Ratibida (lat.Ratibida), or lepakhis - a genus of plants of the tribe Sunflower of the family Astrovye, or Asteraceae, whose representatives are called prairie echinacea. In culture, it is mainly the columnar "Mexican Hat" or "sombrero" ratibide that is grown.
The homeland of this plant, like other species of the genus, is North and Central America. In culture, the ratibid flower appeared at the beginning of the 19th century.
Read more about growing ratibide below.
Representatives of the genus Ratibida can be biennial or perennial plants, the terrestrial part of which is covered with pubescence. The stems of the ratibid are erect, branched, rough and leafy, reaching a height of 30 to 120 cm. The root system is pivotal, branched. Grayish green leaves 3 to 15 cm long, deeply divided.
Ratibid baskets are similar to rudbeckia flowers: from the foot of a dark cone-shaped middle with a diameter of about 1 cm, protruding upward by 2-3 cm, and consisting of tubular flowers, there are radiant ligulate flowers up to 3 cm long yellow, red-brown, brown, red with a yellow border or brown with a purple border. The middle flowers open gradually, one after the other from bottom to top, and in two weeks the cone can reach a height of 4-5 cm. The fruits of ratibida are winged achenes up to 4 mm long.
Cultivation of ratibid from seeds is carried out both by seedling and non-seedling methods. You can sow plant seeds in open ground before winter or on frost-bitten soil in spring. When sowing in winter, ratibid seeds do not need preliminary preparation, they are simply spread over a shallow furrow, sprinkled with sand and covered with spruce branches for the winter.
If you are going to sow in the spring, then first you need to stratify the seed with cold: hold it for a month at a temperature of 0-5 ˚C. And yet it is better to first grow ratibide seedlings in your apartment, and then transplant it into a flower garden.
In the photo: Blooming red ratibide
Sowing seeds for seedlings is carried out in mid-February, and since the plant does not tolerate transplanting and picking well, it is necessary to sow seeds immediately in peat cups filled with a light and moist substrate consisting of equal parts of sod land, coarse sand and peat. The seeds are pressed to the surface of the substrate, without covering, after which the crops are covered with a film and germinated in a warm and bright place. As a rule, seedlings begin to appear after two weeks, and they need to be placed under bright, diffused light.
In open ground, seedlings of ratibids are planted when the threat of frost has passed, but before that it must be prepared for outdoor life for two weeks: the plants are taken out daily to the balcony, terrace or garden, gradually increasing the duration of the hardening session, but at the same time it is necessary to protect seedlings from precipitation and drafts.
The area for the flower garden should be sunny or slightly shaded, with well-drained soil, preferably clay or loamy. The plant is hardy to slightly alkaline, slightly acidic and even slightly saline soils. The soil on the site must be prepared in advance: Dig it up with compost (bucket per m²) and ash (glass per m²).
Planting is best done in the evening or on a cloudy day. Plants should be placed at least 25 cm apart. The transplant is carried out along with all the contents of the pot, and if the container was peat, then the seedlings can be planted in the hole directly in the pots.
In the photo: How yellow ratibida blooms
In the first year, ratibide from seeds is unlikely to bloom, except at the end of summer, and even then, provided that the season is hot. In general, this plant, which many grow as an annual, can last in the garden for three years, and in early spring it can be dug up, divided and transplanted. If this is not done early in the season, the stems of the ratibids will become woody.
Planting and caring for ratibid is simple and not burdensome, especially since in the future the flower will easily multiply by self-seeding. If you want to control the breeding process, it is best to remove the wilted baskets before the seeds are ripe and fall to the ground.
Water the ratibida only in a very dry summer with settled water heated in the sun. If there are regular rains in the summer, then artificial moistening of the soil will not be needed. After watering or rain, loosen the soil in the area while removing weeds.
It is not necessary to feed the ratibide, especially when grown in fertile soil: the plant has a tap rhizome, capable of extracting food from the deep layers of the earth. And an excess of fertilizers can lead to the fact that the ratibide will increase the green mass to the detriment of flowering.
It is not afraid of pests of ratibid; this plant is extremely rarely affected by diseases. Sometimes in the rainy season, the bushes suffer from rot, and then it is better to pull out diseased specimens and lay them in compost, and disinfect the soil in the place where they grew with a solution of some fungicide. Sometimes on the leaves of the ratibide, you can find a whitish bloom of powdery mildew. This infection is eliminated by treating the plants with a soda solution or one of the sulfur-containing fungicides available from garden pavilions and flower shops. Bushes heavily affected by the disease are best disposed of.
Besides columnar ratibids, or elongated (Ratibida columnifera), the description of which we gave at the beginning of the article, in culture you can find another species:
A perennial plant from North America with a dark bronze convex center of tubular flowers and bright yellow ligulate flowers contrasting with them. Gray-green at the moment of opening the basket, the disc gradually darkens to a black-brown color. The height of this type of ratibid is from 120 to 150 cm, the stems are stiff and hairy, the leaves are pinnate, divided into 3-7 toothed spear-shaped segments. The plant is unpretentious, drought-resistant, frost-resistant and not affected by pests or diseases.
In the photo: Ratibida pinnata (Ratibida pinnata = Rudbeckia pinnata)
It should be mentioned that this article was based on the cultivation of ratibid seeds from the columnar "Mexican Hat". This ratibide has varieties and varieties popular in the culture:
Sections: Garden plants Biennials Perennials Herbaceous Flowering Compositae (Asteraceae) Plants on P
Dimorphoteka is a very interesting flower that looks like a sunflower. Unfortunately, garden dimorphoteka is not so well known in our country and is only gaining popularity. In the garden, it attracts attention with its large inflorescence of yellow, orange or red flowers. A characteristic feature of flowers is their closure at night and in the rain. What dimorphote looks like, planting and care, photos of these flowers, their requirements are presented in this article.
In room conditions, it is necessary to sow the seeds of the lipstick in the last days of March or the first ones - in April. Due to the fact that the seeds are very small in size, it is very difficult to evenly distribute them over the surface of the substrate. In this regard, Mimulus seedlings need a mandatory pick. The soil used for sowing should be light and loose, so a universal substrate that includes perlite and coconut fiber is ideal for this purpose, do not forget to add a small amount of clean sand to it. The seeds are simply spread over the surface of the substrate and, without embedding, are watered from a spray bottle. Then the container must be covered with glass or foil and placed in a well-lit, cool enough (from 15 to 18 degrees) place. If everything is done correctly, then you can see the first seedlings after two or three days.
After most of the seedlings appear, the plants can begin to stretch. To prevent this, it is necessary to rearrange the container in the most illuminated and cooler (from 10 to 12 degrees) place. It is necessary to water the seedlings daily and do it in the afternoon. It is also recommended to spray the seedlings regularly from a finely dispersed spray bottle. After the fourth true leaf begins to form in the plants, they will need to be dived into individual cups. In this case, 3 or 4 plants should be planted in each glass. When the seedlings take root in a new place, they will need to be fed; for this, potassium fertilizer of low concentration is used. The second time the plants are fed after 1–1.5 weeks.
Osteospermum is not demanding, which, combined with decorativeness, is a great advantage of this plant.
The osteospermum flower grows wild in sunny and warm places, so when growing the plant should be provided with a sunny position. If the bush is in a shady place for too long, unfortunately, one cannot count on the growth of new buds, the inflorescences will become smaller, paler, the leaves will begin to stretch, turn yellow, and decrease.
The big advantage of osteospermum is the ability to grow on any type of soil. It is important that the soil is permeable because the flower does not like wet soil.
Plants do not like strong winds, you should find them a secluded corner in the garden. Osteospermum survives drought well.
When growing osteospermum in the garden, it is worth mixing the soil with well-rotted compost so that the soil acquires the correct structure. This substrate retains moisture and nutrients better.
When planting in a pot, you can purchase a universal soil for balcony plants, which is mixed with sand in a 3: 1 ratio. It is important to fill the pot with a layer of drainage and allow the water to drain away.
Before planting osteospermum seedlings in open ground or on a balcony, they must be hardened.
In a sunny place, the osteospermum will be strewn with flowers until the first frost. No pruning of bushes is required. The intensity and duration of flowering can be increased if faded inflorescences are removed in time.
Osteospermum flowers are very fond of the sun; in the wild, in the absence of the sun, they close their inflorescences. Thanks to the crossing of plants, this phenomenon is no longer a problem - varieties and hybrids have been bred that do not cover the inflorescences on cloudy days.
Why does osteospermum stop growing for a while? This happens in very hot weather. Although the African daisy is used to high temperatures and loves the sun, it needs cool nights to grow successfully. In recent years, very warm summer nights have become common, even in cooler regions. This can stop the flowering of the plant for a while. But there is no need to worry about it.
Watering is very important. Water should be added regularly, but not very abundantly, so as not to cause root rot. Observing the humidification regime is especially important for potted plants, which need to be watered 2 times a day in hot summer: morning and evening.
In the case of container plants, fertilization is also important, which should be repeated according to the manufacturer's instructions every 1-2 weeks. It is better to use liquid fertilizers for flowering plants, such as geranium and surfinia, which are added to the water for irrigation.
Osteospermum grown in open ground fertilized with compost does not require additional fertilization and feeding. Watering osteospermum grown outdoors is slightly different. Plus plants growing in flower beds - drought resistance. Unlike potted seedlings, osteospermums planted in the ground are less hydrated. If you water them too often, they can rot.
Usually osteospermums are considered annuals in our climate, but when properly stored in winter and in their natural habitat (Africa), they can be perennials. However, in subsequent years, the plants will not bloom as luxuriously as in the first year.
More difficult wintering method:
Osteospermums are not susceptible to disease or pests. In a too dry position, they can be attacked by: