Among the garden plants, a unique place is occupied by unique mimulus flowers. They are appreciated not only for their bright and extraordinary colors, but also for the special shape of the buds, which resembles a monkey's face. In this material you will find a description of the mimulus flower, popular varieties, as well as the intricacies of planting and caring for this plant.
Mimulus (or gubastik) is a shrubby herbaceous plant from the Frim family, which is distinguished by its spotty and bright color buds. The habitat of the flower in the natural environment are areas with a temperate or monsoon climate. In Russia, this plant is not used very often in landscape design, but in North Africa and New Zealand it is grown everywhere.
The plant is cultivated exclusively for decorative purposes and is used to decorate flower beds, terraces, paths, borders and loggias.
Species and varieties
Today, gardeners managed to bring about 150 independent varieties of mimulus, however, only 2 species are usually used to decorate garden plots: red and yellow gubastik. You should familiarize yourself with the external characteristics of these species.
This variety of gubastik is also called purple - such flowers have lowered stems with richly red or purple buds and egg-shaped leaves with bulging veins. This is a fairly tall plant with long pedicels. Among Russian gardeners, the following varieties of red gubastik are most often grown: Auranticus, Cardinal, Rose Queen and Red Dragon.
This variety came to Russia from Chile. Such flowers have high pubescent shoots up to 60 cm in height. Characteristic differences of the species: bright yellow buds with a yellowish fluff, as well as a special form of leaves with teeth along the edges.
There are less common varieties of mimulus.
- Orange is a fairly tall plant with emerald, shiny foliage and pale orange buds. It is considered perennial, but it is recommended to store indoors in winter.
- Pomegranate. A very common species in California. It features bright burgundy flowers with a yellowish heart-shaped.
- Mottled. This flower can be found in the USA and New Zealand. It is characterized by small buds of lemon color with reddish specks in the core, as well as high shoots up to 80 cm. Among the most famous varieties, Richard Bish can be distinguished.
- Copper red. Not particularly tall plants with bare reddish stems and copper-red buds on short axillary pedicels. At the end of flowering, the flowers acquire a delicate golden canary hue. The most popular varieties: "Red Imperor", "Andean Nymph", "Rother Kaiser."
- Primrose. One of the lowest lips (up to 15 cm in height), which is distinguished by thin shoots and oblong leaves. The buds of this species are lemon with a red dotted spot. This is the only frost-resistant species among mimulus.
- Musky. A very recognizable plant, which is characterized by lemon flowers and large drop-shaped leaves covered with nap. In addition, this plant produces a strong musk aroma. These flowers usually do not grow above 30 cm.
- Disclosed. This variety has small pinkish or pastel-lilac buds, as well as narrow elongated green leaves.
- Tiger (also known as Hybrid, Leopard and Maximus). These plants have a relatively small height (up to 25 cm) and differ from other species in colorful buds interspersed with brown, burgundy and raspberry flowers. It includes many varieties, including “Viva”, “Winter Sunset”, “Vaudeville” (a mixture of varieties), “Magic”, “Foyer King”, “Twinkle Mix”, “Brass Mankis” and others.
Sowing seeds for seedlings
Gubastik seedlings can be bought at gardening stores or grown independently. If you want to grow mimulus seedlings from seeds, you need to follow the instructions below.
- You can collect planting material after the bloom of the flower, when the fruit-boxes are fully ripe. Seeds can also be purchased at the store.
- You need to plant the seeds no later than the first half of April, however, some varieties with an early flowering period can be sown already in late February.
- For planting mimulus seeds at home, it is better to choose nutritious, neutral or slightly acidic soil (up to 5.8 acidity levels). Universal soil for garden plants is also suitable here, but humus, peat and sand will need to be added to it. Ideally, the substrate for planting gubastik seeds should include turf, leafy ground, peat, sand and humus in a ratio of 1: 2: 1: 1: 3.
- For planting seeds, it is best to use wooden or plastic boxes, but it is mandatory with holes for removing moisture. Small plastic cups or ceramic pots are also good here.
- First, high-quality drainage of gravel or broken brick is placed in the containers, then the soil is carefully placed, which is loosened and moistened with a sprayer.
- Gubastik seeds are very small, so you need to handle them with a toothpick. Try to evenly distribute the planting material across the container, keeping a minimum distance of 2-3 cm between the seeds. It is not necessary to deepen the seeds strongly, just press them a little ..
Further seed care also includes a number of specific activities.
- After planting the seeds, the soil in the containers is sprayed again with a spray gun, then the containers are installed in a warm place (with a temperature of at least 18 degrees) and covered with a film or glass.
- It is very important to control the frequency of watering, to prevent drying out or waterlogging of the soil. In some cases, mold appears under the film on the ground - this is a sign that it is sometimes necessary to ventilate the container.
- As soon as the first shoots of gubastik appear, the seedlings are installed in a cooler room with good lighting. Ideally, the temperature should not drop below 10 degrees, humidity - no more than 80%.
- If there is insufficient lighting in the room or a cloudy day is regularly outside, special lamps are installed above the seedlings.
- Approximately 7-8 days after the appearance of sprouts, the soil in the tanks is fertilized with complex fertilizing with nitrogen and potassium. The following dressings are carried out with an interval of 10-12 days.
- As soon as the sprouts appear 3 healthy petals, they are transplanted into separate containers - peat pots or paper cups with a volume of at least 150 ml are best suited here. In each such container, up to 3-4 seedlings can be placed.
Seedlings are waiting for planting until May, after which the standard procedure for planting gubastik is followed, which you can find below.
Usually mimulus is planted in open ground in the form of strong seedlings with several leaves or transplanted from pots bought in gardening stores. However, in the southern warm regions it is allowed to plant gubastik on the site and in the form of seeds.
The seed growing method is used in the cultivation of certain varieties of mimulus and does not guarantee the preservation of varietal qualities of the plant.
The best time for planting mimulus seedlings in the ground can be considered the end of May or the beginning of June - in these months the earth will already warm up enough, but is still saturated with enough moisture for the plant to take root.
Planting dates also depend on the region where the gubastik will be planted: for the southern regions with a warm spring, the mimulus is planted already in late April, but in the northern territories, such as the Urals or Siberia, planting is shifted to the second half of June. In any case, you need to ensure that the external temperature during landing does not fall below 15 degrees.
Brief instructions for planting a mimulus in the form of seedlings and seeds look like this:
- the ideal time for planting mimulus seedlings is mid-May or the first days of June;
- for seedlings, healthy and strong plants from 6 weeks old are selected;
- before planting, the soil is prepared - best of all, gubastik feels on fertile, loose and light soils containing humus and peat;
- when choosing a place, focus on the partial shade so that the sun falls on the plants only in the morning and in the evening, but not at noon (direct sunlight can burn the plant, make its leaves limp and reduce the color saturation of the buds);
- it is not recommended to plant these flowering plants next to shrubs or trees with superficial root shoots - near them the gubastik will regularly receive moisture and vitamins from the soil;
- seedlings are placed in shallow (up to 10 cm), but wide holes with maintaining a small distance between specimens of 15-20 cm, over time, the bushes of the mimulus can grow and interfere with each other.
Mimulus seeds are rarely planted in open ground - most of the planting material is destroyed and loses varietal qualities . In addition, when planting seeds at the same time as when planting seedlings, the flowering of such flowers will begin much later - already in autumn or late summer.
It is better to plant seeds in early June at an external temperature of at least 15 degrees. During planting, they are evenly distributed over the site and placed in the soil at a shallow depth, then covered with a dense film. As soon as most seedlings sprout, they will need to be thinned out a little.
Picking and seedling of seedlings in a permanent place is carried out not earlier than the appearance of 2-3 full leaves on the sprout.
How to care?
Gubastik, regardless of its variety and variety, can hardly be called a picky plant. In general, all care for this flower comes down to regular watering and top dressing - these procedures directly affect the abundance and color saturation of mimulus buds.
Regular watering and a consistently high level of humidity are the key to a beautiful, strong and healthy mimulus. Ideally, watering this plant should be carried out daily, especially during the summer season. Keep in mind that the near-stem circle near the plant should always be slightly moistened - for this, a layer of mulch is usually organized near the lipstick. Despite the fact that the mimulus is very fond of moisture, it is also not worth overdoing the amount of water for 1 watering. Excessive moisture can lead to rotting of the roots, the formation of fungus on the bush of gubastik, as well as the appearance of snails and slugs - the main pests of this flower.
To irrigate the mimulus, slightly warm but settled water should be used. Watering itself is done in the morning or in the evening. From the sun's rays, moisture in the root circle near the flower will quickly dry out and may burn its leaves. The lack of moisture in the roots of the plant will be indicated by the general sluggish appearance of the bush and the lack of flowering; one can guess the excess moisture from the small holes on the leaf plates.
Regular top dressing is required to strengthen the immunity of the lipstick and the color saturation of its buds. Typically, these plants are chosen precisely mineral fertilizers with potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. The very first feeding is carried out already 3 weeks after the planting of a young plant in open ground. After this, top dressing should be done at least 1 time per month.
Usually, a solution of 15 ml of a mineral preparation and 10 liters of water is used to feed the mimulus. You should not overdo it with a percentage of nitrogen in fertilizers - it will lead to the formation of a large number of shoots and greenery, increase the height of the plant, but reduce the number of inflorescences. An additional top dressing of gubastik is recommended during periods of active growth, after pruning, and also if the plant is sick.
For the appearance of the first flowers or more abundant flowering, a solution of magnesium sulfate (20 grams) per 10 liters of standing water is used.
Loosening and mulching
Professional gardeners recommend loosening in the near-stem circle of the mimulus after each watering - this is necessary so that moisture is absorbed into the soil faster and reaches the roots. In addition, loosening allows you to remove weeds that can interfere with flower growth. With depth and thoroughness of cultivation, it is not necessary to overdo it - the gubastik has a superficial root shoot, which is easy to damage. As for mulching, it is carried out not only to retain moisture near the roots of the plant, but also blocks the growth of weeds, and also provides passive top dressing of the soil after each irrigation.
Depending on the type of gubastik, the following materials may act as mulch: needles, fallen leaves, humus, peat, straw and sawdust. The mulch layer is selected based on the type of soil on the site - for loam it should be no more than 2-3 cm, on sandy loam soils - up to 6 cm. Try to lay out the mulch layer so as not to touch the plant stem.
Some gardeners grow gubastik as a perennial, however, wintering the plant in street conditions is impossible - everything is explained by the warm homeland of this flower and its inability to protracted frosts. Already in the fall, after the end of the flowering period of the mimulus, its bush is cut short, then dug out together with an earthen lump and transplanted into a small container. A container with a flower is best stored on a windowsill or put on a loggia.
The transplantation back to the open ground is carried out only in the spring, after the soil has thoroughly warmed up and all the snow has melted.
Diseases and Pests
Typically, varieties of Gubastik are very immune to many fungal and viral diseases, but if the conditions for growing these flowers are not met, some diseases and pests can cause them significant harm. Below will be described the main diseases and pests that gardeners have to deal with when growing mimulus in a garden plot, as well as effective ways to deal with them.
- Blackleg. This fungal disease very often affects garden crops and is usually observed precisely on seedlings and young flower bushes. Characteristic signs: rotting and blackening of stems and basal neck, weakening and wilting of the bush. To combat this disease, the diseased plant is isolated from other crops, the number of irrigations is reduced, all infected areas of the plant are treated with potassium permanganate (5 grams per 1 liter) or wood ash. As a preventive measure, the plant is treated with fungicides (Fitosporin, Bactofit, Ethin).
- Gray rot. Another fungal disease is expressed in characteristic gray spots on the leaf plates and stems of the mimulus, in addition, a characteristic fluff can be seen on the spots. To cure the plant in this case, all affected areas are removed, the plant is separated from the rest and treated with a Bordeaux mixture or poisonous drugs like the “Champion” or “Oxychoma”. If the infection has just begun to spread, all infected areas are treated with a mixture of ash (250 mg), chalk (250 mg), vitriol (1 tsp), then everything is mixed with 10 liters of water. This mixture should be enough to process 2-3 square meters of land.
- Snails and slugs. These pests appear at a high level of moisture and leave large holes and traces of mucus on the leaf plates of flowers. The slugs can be collected manually, or set up beer traps near the mimulus bush. Chemicals can be used to radically control these pests, but they are very toxic to other plants and domestic animals.
- Powdery Mildew Also a fungal disease, which can be easily recognized by the white coating on the leaves of the plant, which can first be confused with dew. In the fight against the disease, the destruction of the affected areas and the treatment of the diseased plant with fungicides helps.
- Aphid. Distinctive features of the appearance of aphids on the plant: twisted leaf plates, the appearance of ants, wilting and yellowing of the leaf plates of the flower. In the end, aphids always infect plants with entire colonies, so it's hard not to notice it. Insecticides in the form of Intavima, Neorona or Confidora help in the fight against these pests. You can also try to collect aphids from the plant manually.
Very rarely, but the mimulus becomes a place for whiteflies - these pests can be recognized by the brilliant white coating and the tracks on the leaf plates. For control, conventional insecticides are used.
Use in landscape design
- Due to the great attachment of gubastik to high humidity, it is often used to decorate decorative ponds.
- If we talk about growing this flower indoors (as an element of the interior of summer arbors or loggias), then here it harmoniously looks with lobelia or verbena. Especially interesting is the combination of gubastik and matthiola - a joint aroma from these plants will drive crazy even the most experienced gardeners.
- If we talk about the landing of the mimulus in the open ground, then here it looks best in tandem with a funky, rhinoceros or false spirea. Gubastik can be successfully planted on flower beds in conjunction with other plants or grown separately from other flowers. Many gardeners plant several varieties of mimulus in the garden at once to create colorful, bright and conspicuous flower beds.
- Very often, mimulus is used in the design of the so-called rock gardens, where it is combined with ivy, buttercups, a garden viola or wild dill.
The frequency of use of mimulus in the design of the garden is explained by low requirements for caring for this plant - even novice gardeners can grow it. This flowering plant is able to decorate any summer cottage with bright flowers from the beginning of summer to the very beginning of frost.
See how to properly sow mimulus in the next video.