Mekonopsis - Himalayan poppy
Meconopsis or blue bell poppy for the beauty and unusual colors of the petals of a large flower, they call it the blue Tibetan sun. By the biological similarity of the structure of the vegetative organs and the external structure of the flower, it belongs to the poppy family, united in the corresponding genus. Several species stand out in the genus, but the species is most known. Meconopsis grandis or translated into Russian - meconopsis largelarge, great, Himalayan Blue Poppy. The unusual color of a large flower, up to 10 cm in diameter, fascinated the people of Bhutan so much that they adopted meconopsis grandis as the national symbol of the country.
- Biological features and distribution area
- The use of meconopsis in the house landscape
- How to grow meconopsis in a summer cottage?
- Outdoor Mekonopsis Care
- Vegetative propagation of meconopsis
Biological features and distribution area
Genus meconopsis (Meconopsis) is interesting in that it has a torn distribution area, which also affected the external characteristics of plants. The main homeland of meconopsis is the Himalayas, in which more than 40 species of the family are distributed. Plants of the Himalayan distribution area have a variety of blue-blue, fiery red, creamy yellow, white shades of large single petals or flowers collected in inflorescences.
And only one species from the genus meconopsis - Meconopsis cambrian (Meconopsis cambrica), chose the continent of his growth the English continent, including Wales and Ireland. Unlike the Himalayan meconopsis, English never forms flowers of blue and blue shades.
Himalayan meconopsis are represented by perennial herbaceous giants from 2 m to dwarf plants 10-12 cm tall. They grow in mountainous shady forest areas, in moist alpine meadows. Most common in Nepal, Bhutan, western China, southeast Tibet.
At present, their distribution area has expanded to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Alaska (USA), Western Europe, and regions of the Russian Federation. Restraining factor is hot, dry air, low rainfall.
A separate meconopsis plant is a rosette of light green simple large petiolate leaves, from the center of which individual flowers (10-25 cm in diameter) or one or several peduncles of a racemose or paniculate type, bearing up to 10 buds, rise at high peduncles. The whole plant, including flower buds, is covered with a thick pubescence of a bluish, sometimes brownish tint.
The leaf blade of rosette leaves is almost whole wide, upward on the stem changing to oblong. The leaf apparatus of meconopsis blooms very early and by mid-June, the first flowers adorn flower beds, rock gardens, rockeries or rocky gardens in shady places. Fascinating beauty of flowering lasts more than a month.
The plant grows with rosettes and after a few years presents an elegant bush. Roots from pivotal to fibrous. Rhizome forms have well-developed branched underground shoots with sleeping buds, from which new plants form in spring. The aboveground mass dies annually and a new outlet grows from the renewal buds located on the rhizome.
In Europe and the Russian Federation, a slightly different type of meconopsis is widespread - meconopsis literalaceous (Meconopsis betonicifolia), giving rise to many garden forms, varieties and hybrids. Gardeners simply call him Himalayan poppy. It also contains milky juice, therefore it belongs to poisonous plants, but not narcotic ones.
The use of meconopsis in the house landscape
In the old days in private ownership, every corner was tried to occupy food crops. Today, more and more large areas are left for recreation areas, playgrounds. Wild green lawn-lawns, which are systematically trimmed, are in vogue. Against the background of mowed lawns, monoclomb, mixborders, rock gardens break. Unreal beauty, large heads of poppy-like flowers of blue and other blue shades create an original island of joy.
Thick green curtains of blue, red, orange, yellow, white flowers of meconopsis do not need partners, but at the end of flowering, their decorativeness decreases due to wilting of flowers and peduncles, drying of the rosette of plants. That is why meconopsis on the flower beds can be combined with a hosta, brunner large-leaved, low green cereals (thin field birch, perennial ryegrass and others), which will cover the lost decorativeness of the main plant.
Mekonopsis look great in combination with aquilegia, ferns, cornflower, digitalis. If faded flowers are removed in a timely manner, then flowering can be extended until the end of August.
In the country, from different varieties and types of meconopsis, you can create magnificent monoclobes that will bloom in different periods of the warm season. Then you are provided with a fabulous flower garden throughout the summer. For example, you can choose varieties and hybrids of the following types of meconopsis:
- Large meconopsis (Meconopsis grandis) blooms in June. Flowering lasts until early August. The flowers are large, blue and purple, less common are pink and white, 10-12 cm in diameter. Forms multi-flowered rosettes. It tolerates frosts up to -20 ºС.
- Mekonopsis (Meconopsis betonicifolia) blooms in June-July with bright blue flowers up to 10 cm in diameter. Flowering lasts 2-3 weeks. It tolerates frosts up to -18 ºС. It has many varieties and hybrids, varying in size and shade of flowers.
- Mekonopsis Cumbrian (Meconopsis cambrica) blooms from July to August. The flowers are orange, yellow, less often red. Small up to 4-5 cm in diameter. In the outlet, 1 flower is formed on the peduncle, which is very similar to poppy. Flowering continues throughout the summer. Withstands frosts up to -23 ºС. Unlike previous species, it can grow in the sun, therefore it is often used in rock gardens and rockeries.
How to grow meconopsis in a summer cottage?
Propagation of meconopsis by seeds
You can buy a mixture of different varieties of meconopsis or a specific type of hybrid seed in specialized stores.
Sowing is carried out in containers at the end of February and exposed to ambient light in a relatively warm place in the apartment or in the greenhouse.
For the cultivation of meconopsis seedlings, a loose, slightly acidic, moderately nutritious soil is required. It can be prepared independently by mixing 1 part of turf, leafy soil and sand with 2 parts of peat. The mixture is disinfected with a solution of potassium permanganate. Holes are drilled at the bottom of the container or other container to drain excess water, and drainage is made of brick chips, wood chips and other materials. A layer of prepared or purchased slightly acidic substrate is poured on top.
Sowing and care
Germination of meconopsis seeds is low, therefore, to obtain full seedlings, the soil is moistened with a solution of sodium humate or novosil, root. The substrate in the container is carefully spread and surface sowing of seeds is carried out. With a flat die, slightly press the seeds into the soil, literally by 1.5-2.0 mm, dust with fine river sand and carefully moisten the sowing through the spray gun again. Cover with glass or film, imitating a mini-greenhouse. The house is put in a warm place under diffused light, in a greenhouse away from doors.
Shoots appear after 2-3 weeks. Meconopsis sprouts are very tender, do not tolerate moisture fluctuations, are immediately affected by the black leg fungal disease. When sowing in a greenhouse for prophylactic purposes, you can use the chemical preparation “oxychom”. Pre-treat the topsoil, as recommended. The use of chemicals is strictly prohibited in the apartment.
The only way to get healthy seedlings is to prevent increased soil moisture in the container. For indoor conditions, you can try to soak the seeds for a short time in a solution of the biofungicide “phytosporin-M” or “planriz, Zh.” Carefully dry and sow. The air temperature is +10 .. + 12 ºС.
Extreme temperature +13 .. + 14 ºС. If the temperature rises at least 1 ºС higher, tender seedlings will die. It is difficult to obtain healthy seedlings, but with careful care it is quite possible, especially since in subsequent years meconopsis can propagate by self-sowing.
At the age of 3.0-3.5 months (approximately in the second half of May), a container with meconopsis seedlings is taken out to the garden and grown in the open air until the end of summer. In September, stronger plants are planted permanently in prepared places.
If the planting is carried out in a monoclomb, then the distance between the plants is left from 25 to 40 cm, depending on the variety and species. In rock gardens or a stone garden, young seedlings are placed according to the scheme.
Outdoor Mekonopsis Care
Mekonopsis - shade-tolerant plants. But for most species, direct sunlight and dry soil-air conditions are detrimental. Therefore, penumbra is chosen for young animals, with sufficient lighting in the morning.
With high dryness, sufficient watering and fine spraying are needed to create air humidity. If the variety is tall perennial, you can use low supports for garter. In the first year, perennials give a small increase and need additional nutrition.
During the summer season, in the first year, meconopsis is fed twice: before flowering and a month before wintering. Ammonium sulfate (ammonium sulfate) is added to the top dressing, which acidifies the soil, which is very important for meconopsis. The dose of top dressing should not exceed 20-25 g / sq. m square. You can’t feed and mulch plantings of meconopsis with organic fertilizers and wood ash.
Mekonopsis are winter-hardy plants, therefore, they do not require winter special shelters. It is enough in the autumn after trimming the aerial mass to mulch them with wood chips or healthy garden leaf fall. In autumn, perennials are pruned according to the type of peonies (under the root). From the sleeping buds of underground shoots of meconopsis, new young plants appear in spring. From the second year, plants grow rapidly, abundant flowering begins, the formation of young rosettes.
Further care for meconopsis is to water (not more than 1 time per month), 1 feeding is better before flowering and dividing the bushes in the autumn.
Vegetative propagation of meconopsis
Vegetative propagation of meconopsis is carried out by cuttings and division of the bush. In order not to burden yourself with unnecessary worries at home, it is best to use vegetative propagation by dividing the bush.
When dividing the bush, a very important condition must be observed: the meconopsis bush is divided when it is at rest. Early in the spring, as soon as the snow or in the fall. In the south, not earlier than the second half-end of September, in the northern regions at the end of August. Transplantation is carried out only in non-hot, humid weather.
To obtain delenok, the bush is carefully dug up, shaken off the soil. Inspect and remove damaged old, diseased roots and underground shoots. After inspection and preparation, the bush is divided so that each separated part has 1-2 renewal buds or a young outlet. Delen mekonopsis planted in pre-prepared places. In the first week, young plants shade, carefully monitor the moisture of the soil. The rest is ordinary care.
Cutting of meconopsis differs from division of the bush in that the mother bush is not touched. And only young outlets are separated. Separated outlets are planted in a mini-greenhouse for summer rearing and in the fall or next spring they are planted for a long time.