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Graptopetalum (Graptopetalum), or spotted petal, is a succulent from the Fat family. In the genus, there are about 20 plant species with a different set of properties and characteristics. It is found mainly in the hottest climates of America and extends from Arizona to the Mexican border. Arid and stony soils in coniferous forests or areas on mountain slopes are habitual habitats for succulents. The cultivated types of the flower have long been known to flower growers from Europe.
Among the varieties of graptopetalum, one can see both miniature bushes and tall bushes with spreading peduncles. Wild-growing modifications differ in size, structure of shoots and developmental features. Most species are characterized by a dense rosette of succulent or stemless leaves, which adorns the top of the bush or is located on the surface of the earth. There are varieties with squat leaf blades. Outwardly, they resemble open cedar cones.
Small-flowered racemose inflorescences sit on lateral peduncles that look straight out of the socket. The base of the peduncle is hidden inside the sinuses. Star-shaped buds are formed from separate lanceolate petals in the amount of 5 to 7 pcs. Long stamens are visible from the calyx. Their number does not exceed 15. Flowering occurs in late spring and lasts for several weeks.
Caring for graptopetalum at home
Growing graptopetalum at home is not difficult even for beginners. Indoor decorative spotted petals, like many cacti, are considered unassuming to care for, perfectly decorate any room and are suitable for cultivation in greenhouses. Representatives of the Tolstyankov family easily coexist with other plants and do not cause trouble for the owners. The culture grows slowly and fades quickly.
Location and lighting
A pot with graptopetalum is placed on the windowsills on the south side of the building. Bright light will not harm the leaves, but, on the contrary, is a prerequisite for the development of a healthy seedling. Beautiful graptopetalum grows well near the window, which is in the westerly direction. Here, too, the sun will be enough for him.
When not enough light falls on the leaves, artificial phytolamps are installed near the flowerpots. The length of daylight hours for a culture at the stage of growth activation should be at least 10 hours.
The optimal temperature regime in summer for graptopetalum is mainly 25-28 ° C. With the advent of autumn cold weather, it is better to lower the temperature and rearrange the flowerpots to another place so that the plant is prepared for winter. From November to February, all vegetation processes freeze. Until the spring of next year, the succulent is transferred to a cool veranda or insulated balcony.
While the plant is intensively growing shoots, moisture is applied in moderation. Stagnant fluid damages the roots and increases the risk of disease. Watering is repeated provided that the soil dries out at least half. Water is required to be taken at room temperature.
In cold weather, graptopetalum is watered only occasionally. The signal for the next session is the change in the turgor pressure in the plates. It is enough to carry out the procedure once a month.
The graptopetalum plant prefers low air humidity, being in confined spaces.
The spotted petal is planted in a loose, breathable substrate. It is not necessary to select a nutritious soil. The soil mixture for planting can be collected in different proportions, for example:
- Combine 2 parts of rough leaf land, 2 parts of coniferous land, 1 part of peat and 3 parts of sand.
- Take an equal amount of sod land, leafy soil and river sand.
- Put half of the sand and turf in the pot.
- Purchase ready-made soil for succulents.
Since the root system of the plant grows strongly as it grows, you will need to take a wide roomy pot. The bottom is lined with drainage, thereby avoiding stagnation of water in the soil. Small pebbles are poured over the substrate, then the shoots will not come into contact with wet ground.
Top dressing and fertilizers
Monthly top dressing responds favorably to crop growth. In flower shops, special fertilizers for cactus species are available for sale. It is not recommended to apply fertilizers in autumn and winter. During this period, the bushes are at rest.
Graptopetalum does not tolerate transplantation. Once again, do not disturb an already established flower. Only when the roots begin to crawl out of the pot, the plant is transplanted into a larger container.
Reproduction methods of graptopetalum
For propagation of graptopetalum, leafy cuttings, seeds or young rosettes are used. The latter take root faster.
Before lowering the cuttings into the ground, the material is dried for 1-2 days. Slightly moistened, buried shoots are covered with glass or a piece of polyethylene. Excess water in the pot during the rooting period causes rot. Under favorable conditions and proper care, the processes will strengthen after a week. After a couple of months, a small strong succulent will form above the substrate, from which flower stalks will appear in the future.
Diseases and pests
The spotted petal is insect resistant. Waxed leaves do not quite attract pests. Among the diseases, rot takes the first place, which affects the roots and shoots of the plant as a result of improper care and soil transfusion.
Graptopetalum - Graptopetalum
Types of graptopetalum with photo
Sources on plant growing distinguish the following varieties of graptopetalum:
Graptopetalum beautiful (Graptopetalum bellum)
Has long earned recognition from florists. The plant is of short stature and has a shortened stem. The maximum length of a wild-growing bush is up to 30 cm. The rosettes of succulent dense leaves do not exceed 10 cm in diameter. They are located on top of the ground and rarely rise above the pot. This type of indoor succulent develops slowly and increases by only a couple of centimeters per year in volume.
The growth of leaf blades occurs in a spiral. The leaves that have just peeped out are directed with their heads up, and the old ones are tilted back. After some time, young shoots are also aligned horizontally. The leaves in the rosette are pressed very tightly to each other, like scales in a cedar cone, have a triangular shape and pointed tips. The plant is colored green with a gray tint. A bronze tint is visible near the very edge.
The height of the peduncle is about 10 cm. It bears a low-flowered inflorescence and rises at a decent distance from the mother's outlet. The diameter of the flowers is about 25 cm. The calyx is formed from 5 red-purple or pink petals. The color of the inflorescences differs in different types of graptopetalum. The central dark pink stamens stand out against the main background. The oval anthers are white.
Graptopetalum paraguayense (Graptopetalum paraguayense)
In another way it is called the "Stone Rose". The main advantages of the species are a fleshy short shoot of an erect or lodging type. Green, slightly leafy rosettes are formed from pointed, oval plates with sharp tips and up to 1 cm thick. The foliage of the Paraguayan graptopetalum is looser and not as densely located as in the previous species. The length of the plates does not exceed 8 cm, and the width is 4 cm. The outer side of the shoots is protected with a thin layer of wax. The culture is characterized by a bluish-blue color, but there are varieties with a pink tint.
Since the succulent rosette is quite large, the arrows of the peduncles stick out at a slight distance from the ground surface. Five-petal buds are unattractive, too small and inconspicuous. The white color alternates with reddish specks.
Not all growers know about the existence of the described species, but if you carefully consider it, it will be difficult to resist planting such a wonderful plant in your apartment. Compared to the "Stone Rose", this succulent is formed from a rounded rosette with tightly fitting plates. Elongated peduncles are branched and graceful. Thanks to this, the bush resembles a miniature tree with a dense crown. The flowers are small, collected from 6 narrow white petals with red dots.
Growing, caring for and the desired properties of rabbit cabbage
A useful plant "hare cabbage" grows in Siberia and the Urals. This plant is not afraid of aggressive weather conditions and can grow on rocky soils. The first shoots appear after the snow has melted and the sun's rays begin to warm. New leaves grow in the middle of the head of cabbage, and the old ones gradually die off. At home, it can be grown from seed or propagated by tubers.
Cut the cuttings from the plentifully watered plants in advance.
Their length depends on the type of plant, usually with 2-3 pairs of leaves. Excessively long cuttings take root worse.
Large ficuses (elastica, lyre-shaped) lateral shoots take root better, or you can take one ripe leaf with a "heel" (the adjacent part of the trunk), twist it lengthwise into a tube, fixing it with an elastic band, and deepen it to the base when planting. Cuttings of conifers or plants with milky juice are placed in a container with warm water for several hours to prevent vascular blockage.
The stalk is cut with a sharp, clean knife at an angle, the oblique cut has a large suction surface. The cut should be straight and smooth, not squeezed, so scissors are not suitable for this purpose.
The stalk is cut off with the increment of the previous year, but not capturing too old wood, otherwise the formation of roots will be delayed. If the immature part is thin and long at the top, it is shortened above the kidney, but already at a right angle, to reduce transpiration.
For the same purpose, the lower ones are cut off and the large leaves are cut in half. You cannot completely remove the leaves - they participate in photosynthesis.
For active callus formation and root growth on thick cuttings, you can cut the bark lengthwise above the lower cut by about 0.5-1.5 cm, depending on the diameter of the cutting. In thin bark, it is enough to cut or scratch.
For difficult-to-rooted plants, special phytohormones based on auxins are used, for example, heteroauxin, root, - aqueous, aqueous-alcoholic solutions, dusting.
Also, cuttings can be soaked for 12-14 hours in a solution of zircon (1 ml per 1 liter of water). When using these drugs, it is important to observe the correct dosage, as higher concentrations often cause the opposite effect.
In easily rooted plants - ficus benjamin, hibiscus, codiaum, narrow-leaved dracaena - just sprinkle the cut with charcoal.
Difficult species are best rooted in a special greenhouse with bottom heating, maintaining the soil temperature + 25-30 degrees.
But most plants have enough summer warmth. Aquariums, glass jars, plastic bottles are used as a substitute for mini-greenhouses.
A rooted stalk can simply be covered with a jar or plastic bag to maintain constant moisture. The main thing is that the leaves are spacious and the condensation formed on the walls does not lead to their decay. Lighting should be good, but protect the greenhouse from direct sunlight, otherwise the stalk will "cook".
Gardening with little or no watering
In recent years, the summer is getting hotter and less rainfall, therefore the issue of watering the garden is becoming more acute and the efficient use of water is more relevant than ever. All these are "water-saving technologies" and today we will tell you how to quench your garden's thirst with their help.
⦁ The concept of "Water-saving technologies"
For the first time the term "water saving technologies" ("xeriscaping") was used by the Colorado Water Management Council, USA. "Water-saving technologies" are technologies and methods for reducing the needs of the landscape for irrigation and maximizing the use of natural precipitation.
In this photo you can see the front part of the courtyard, decorated with a spectacular flower bed. It should be noted that drought-resistant plants are planted along the edge of this flower bed, catching water after rain and not allowing it to drain from the flower bed. This is one of the simplest examples of water saving technologies.
⦁ Improve soil quality
The first step in creating a water-efficient landscape is to improve the soil. So, clayey soils contain small particles, which, after wetting, combine to form a strong bond and therefore moisture cannot seep into such soil. Sandy soils, on the other hand, are much more porous and allow rainwater to go deep into the depths too quickly. The ideal soil should contain a lot of organic matter, which will behave like a sponge, holding water and giving it to plants as needed.
⦁ Rely on mulch
It is highly recommended to surround the plants with a thick layer of mulch so that you can maintain the desired moisture level in the soil. Organic mulch can be crushed bark, compost, rotted manure, pine needles, chopped leaves or grass clippings, and even newspaper. This mulch minimizes evaporation and mixes slowly with the soil, while also fertilizing the latter. Pebbles, rocks, and river / seashells are also good mulches, but they will not decompose and will become an obstacle if you wish to repot the plant.
⦁ Stop the leak
Doesn't it happen that after the rain you would watch the rainwater quickly drain from your garden to the street or to your neighbors? It's time to end this! Instead of helplessly observing all this, build a dry channel that will catch the currents and force the water to go into the ground. For example, this “channel” in the photograph is located at the base of the slope, thanks to which the water does not pour out onto the sidewalk.
⦁ Collect rainwater
In dry times, every drop of water is precious. We advise you to collect rainwater, no matter how weak the rain is, as, for example, the owners of the house do in the photo - they put a beautiful rain barrel under the drain - beautiful and practical. By collecting rainwater, you will also save money. But: check local requirements before installing the rain barrel. Imagine in some regions such barrels are prohibited!
⦁ Keep records
We advise you to install a rain gauge (or rain gauge) and enter in the plate how much moisture your landscape received. For most gardens, 2.5 cm of water per week is sufficient, so if you have a generous rainfall, the garden does not need more watering. If you use automatic irrigation, you can also control the water flow with a rain gauge.
⦁ Water wisely
It turns out that watering with a hose is wasteful and inefficient. The fact is that frequent shallow watering can even worsen the situation, since plants in this case begin to develop the root system close to the surface of the earth, and small roots dry out quickly. Therefore, less frequent, but deeper watering is preferable for plants. We recommend using drip irrigation or a weeping hose that delivers water directly to the plant roots. In the garden, which you see in the photo, the oozing hose is recessed under a layer of mulch, which prevents the evaporation of water.
⦁ Remove the grass
In areas where water is scarce, starting an emerald lawn is akin to insanity. For information: in summer, rolled lawn grass requires at least 6 cm of water per week, i.e. You will need to water your lawn every 3-4 days.Therefore, wouldn't it be logical to remove this unfortunate grass and replace it with drought-resistant plants? Take, for example, this front garden in front of the house - here instead of lawn grass, ornamental grasses, agave, steppe euphorbia (Euphorbia) and other "easy" plants were planted.
⦁ Try succulents
Who said that plants that are not afraid of drought are dull and uninteresting? Aloe saponaria and sedum grow in this bright rabatka and they look (agree!) Like a scattering of gems. Note that succulents are naturally drought-resistant (http://www.vashsad.ua/plants/interesting_plants/show/7685/) and look consistently great all summer long. Of course, we are not saying that in our area these plants will be able to overwinter, although Sedum and Sempervivum can.
⦁ We place bets on containers
A container garden needs to be watered almost every day. Which can be a problem in arid areas. But this is not a reason to refuse containers / tubs / pots. Just plant colorful drought-tolerant plants in them (http://www.vashsad.ua/landscape-design/interesting_plants/articles/show/8370/). For example, in this vintage birdbath you see tall Crassula tetragonia in bloom, Graptopetalum paraguayense and Euphorbia tirucalli or Euphorbia tirucalli.
⦁ Choose drought tolerant annuals
When choosing annuals for your garden, pay attention to their drought tolerance. For example, the immortelle is able to do with so little water that its beautiful flowers are dry to the touch, like paper. This hardy plant grows equally well both in the garden and in the tub and comes in a variety of colors, including bicolor immortelles. The immortelle in the photo is the Dreamtime Jumbo Light Pink immortelle that grows in a sunny area.
⦁ Plant groundcover
Ground covers will stop the erosion processes of the slope, and in the upper soil layer their dense root system forms a kind of sponge, which will retain excess rainwater or water obtained during irrigation. For shady areas, we recommend using ground covers such as Ajuga, Pachysandra, and ivy. In areas exposed to sunlight on all sides, we recommend planting ornamental grasses, sedum, catnip or nepeta and liriope. In this hillside backyard, woolly thyme and loosestrife are planted to decorate and control erosion - they successfully close the gaps between tiles and borders, and also add visual interest.
⦁ Allow to drain!
If you will be setting up a patio, try to do without concrete. It may be faster, easier, and cheaper to pave a patio with cement, but concrete does not absorb water and rainwater will drain from it quickly and may even wash out nearby areas. If, instead of concrete, you pave the site with stone slabs, then the site will be more beautiful, and the water will go - as expected - into the soil between them.
⦁ Arrange aquifers
Plant thirsty plants close to each other to save on water. Then, to save the plants, there will be no need to water the entire area. Take vegetables for example: most vegetables need water more than other plants, so it makes sense to plant them together compactly. Pay attention to how the owners of this garden solved the watering issue (see photo): all water-loving plants are planted on a raised bed close to the terrace. The drainage here is also controlled by a dry channel that runs along the entire length of the backyard.
⦁ Rain garden
As paradoxical as it may sound, it is the construction of a rain garden on the slope that is one of the best ways to cope with drought conditions and prevent strong flows after a rainstorm. A great spot in your landscape for a rain garden is a low patch, which usually fills up with water after a heavy rain. Dig soil at this location and fill the cavity with hardened soil. Then build a dry bed leading to this patch. During a downpour, water will flow along a dry bed into your rain garden. Meanwhile, there all this water will be very happy with moisture-loving delphiniums, papyrus or papyrus, cardinal lobelia (cardinal), canna, echinacea, rudbeckia and taro.
⦁ Study the question!
Do your own little research. To do this, look at which plants come from arid regions. Naturally, they have long been adapted to such conditions and will not wither without watering, as soon as the temperature rises. Plants native to Mexico, South America and the Southwestern United States, the same agaves in various shapes and colors thrive in hot and dry conditions. Here in the photo you can see Agave filifera next to Gaillardia.
Gaillardia, by the way, is a maintenance-free perennial native to the dry prairies of the United States.
⦁ Add herbs
Most of our herbs - thyme, rosemary, lavender and oregano thrive in a water shortage. These herbs are native to the Mediterranean and too moist soil does not suit them - with an excess of water, their tops die off. Therefore, you will definitely find these herbs in a dry landscape. In addition to their exceptional endurance, the advantage of these herbs is their magnificent color and aroma. We admit that our favorite gardening with little or no watering is rosemary. Rosemary is prized for its pretty foliage, flowers, and for its purely pragmatic culinary uses. In winter, rosemary is able to withstand frosts down to -12 ° C.
⦁ The quieter you go, the further you'll get
Note that most drought-tolerant plants are undersized ground cover, they will slowly but surely cover your yard with a colorful carpet of fleshy foliage. One of these ground covers that we especially love is the stone rose (Sempervivum), which is also called rejuvenated. This hardy plant comes in a range of different colors and shapes, and it propagates by shoots (stolons) that a stone rose lets out above the ground. You can do nothing with the young children, or after waiting for them to develop their own root system, you can plant them in some other place. By the way, if you stick Sempervivums between stones, you can thus stop weathering and subsequent soil erosion.
⦁ Stop the wind
Wind and drought often go hand in hand. This is because the wind blows moisture out of the leaves, forcing the plants to draw more water from the soil. Plus, strong winds easily remove the top fertile soil layer. Therefore, if it is often windy in your area, it is advisable to put up a fence or plant a hedge in order to protect the landscape dear to your heart. It is for this purpose that the fence, which you see in the photo, was installed. This garden is located in California, where the winds often do not hesitate to walk.
⦁ Buy smart
If you look for plants for your front garden, immediately look for drought-resistant ones, otherwise the search may drag on among - as it may seem - endless lists of annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees. If your garden center does not have a dedicated section like this photo (photo taken at a garden center in New England *), do not try to determine plant dryness using tags. As a rule, most tags do not contain detailed information, so do not hesitate to contact the store staff directly.
* New England - the name of the region to the north. Atlantic coast of the USA
Narrated by Doug Jimerson
Translation: Anna Zhurbenko
specially for the internet portal
garden center "Your Garden"
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There are probably few such houses where there would be no plants! Even those who are completely indifferent to flowers, just by tradition, keep some pelargonium or aloe on their windowsill ... What can we say about real enthusiasts who cherish and cherish their favorites, use every free corner in order to accommodate everything new and new pets. But the corners, at times, are often not enough! But this is not at all a reason to abandon plants in the interior, you just need to choose the right, compact plants that do not take up much space.
You can, of course, dwell on the plants formed using the "bonsai" technique, but it is difficult to "make" such a plant on your own and it takes quite a long time, and buying even a small amount of such plants is not always affordable. Therefore, our choice stops at a group of plants bearing the general name "succulents". This is not a curse, but a Latin word succulentus - juicy, or succus - juice. Many of these plants are compact, but this is not their only advantage. They are unpretentious, require a minimum of care, reproduce well vegetatively, are diverse in appearance, some bloom brightly and unusually, can grow together in one container, forming beautiful compositions that can be supplemented with decorative pebbles.
It is worth experimenting with the combination of plants in color, shape and texture of the leaves. In many species, scarlet (Aloe) the leaves are decorated with thorns, sometimes subtle, sometimes frighteningly thick and strong. The leaf plate can be monochromatic (green or dark green) or variegated, with light strokes and spots.
Some plants from the genus Haworthia (Haworthia) boast leaves adorned with transverse folds or pearl-like tubercles.
Genus peperomia (Peperomia) can offer a wide variety of mini-garden plants, with smooth, wrinkled or pubescent leaves, bluish, yellowish, reddish or traditionally green.
The milkweed (Euphorbia) there are both giant species and small plants, with purple, variegated, yellow leaves, smooth or wavy edges, with thorny stems, there are plants that resemble a smooth ball, and there are similar to cacti.
Ledeburia is suitable from bulbous succulents (Ledebouria), also called scilla, with variegated leaves and small bell-shaped flowers on spike-shaped inflorescences and a larger drymiopsis (Drimiopsis). Both plants grow rapidly, forming many baby bulbs.
It is necessary to think over a plan for placing plants in a container in advance, given that the composition will be viewed from different sides. Selected plants are planted not close to each other, leaving room for growth. These spaces can be decorated with decorative stones, shells, colored glass balls. Further care of the composition is reduced to rare watering and loosening of the soil mixture, if it has not been decorated.
Not all growers agree that succulents need to be fertilized, but if you decide to feed your pets, it is better to use complex mineral fertilizers in half the concentration of the recommended dosage.
About growing succulents under lamps
The radiation intensity of household lamps is insufficient for the normal growth of succulent plants.
If you make the illumination of plants on the basis of available light sources: tubular fluorescent lamps or "economical" lamps, then the plants will have to be placed almost closely under the lamps, which will not be particularly in harmony with the interior of the room. Therefore, the maintenance of succulents under artificial lighting is very problematic for the living room conditions.
It is much easier to keep succulents until spring on a cold window with almost no watering as they were in the fall.
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