Not so long ago, an amazing South African plant, Ixia, began its solemn procession through domestic household plots. This exotic perennial of the iris family has a bright aroma and a unique color palette of inflorescences.
The root system is bulbous. In early spring, directly from the bulb, a two-row funnel of succulent sword-shaped leaves appears. In the middle of spring, a leafless peduncle with an inflorescence is expelled from the funnel. The inflorescence has the form of an ear and bears up to 12 symmetrical tubular flowers - stars, colored with all colors of the rainbow, depending on the variety.
- Varieties and varieties
- Landing features
- Watering features
- Growing features
- Care features
- Breeding features
Abundant flowering begins at the very beginning of summer and lasts 3-4 weeks. The plant explodes with fireworks of colors and a riot of aroma. It blooms only in the daytime, "falling asleep" in the dark.
Varieties and varieties
The genus Ixia has a little more than 25 species, but only a few varietal crops are used in gardening:
- Ixia hymenokallis early. A snow-white decorative miracle with a tart aroma and "disheveled" arched petals of the flower itself. The height of a flower spike reaches 70 cm.
- Ixia is green-flowered. Small flat flowers with a bluish-black pharynx and a greenish tint, tightly pressed against the flower spike. Abundant flowering occurs in early June. Plant height is about 50 cm.
- Ixia hybrid. Includes many varieties of cream, yellow, pale pink, all shades of blue, blue and pale purple. The height of a spike of color ranges from 35 to 55 cm, depending on the variety.
- Ixia spotted. The most exotic variety, up to 50 cm high. White wide-open flower with rounded petals and deep purple throat. The edge of each petal is slightly touched by a delicate purple spot flowing to the back of the flower.
- Ixia orange. A dwarf variety, barely reaching 20 cm, has the most abundant flowering and tart aroma.
Ixia is an ideal decoration for a personal or suburban area. In landscape design, it is successfully used in the formation of alpine slides. But Ixia is a very capricious plant and not everything is as easy and simple as it might seem at first glance. There are a number of serious recommendations for planting and caring for this exotic plant.
Ixia is a plant that is afraid of cold weather and sudden temperature changes. The planting of bulbs in the ground is carried out with the onset of even heat, closer to the second half of the spring. Planting depth - 6 cm with a distance between the corms of about 3 cm.
For a plant, it is preferable to use a soil rich in humus and a neutral level of acidity. Soil nutrition should be provided with a substrate from sod land and coarse sand fractions with peat inclusions. Water disposal must be formed by a high-quality drainage system.
Ixia is a very moisture-loving plant. But there are some features of its watering. Abundant watering is provided only when shoots appear and the entire vegetative period continues.
Watering stops as soon as the flowering of the plant ends.
The most necessary characteristics for growing ixia are air humidity and temperature conditions. Being a tropical plant, Ixia prefers high temperatures, sunny places, absence of drafts and high air humidity. An area in partial shade will entail lengthening and thinning of the peduncle, as well as dull color, as a result of which the decorative qualities of the flower are lost.
Starting from the moment the bud is formed and throughout the entire flowering period, Ixia is irrigated using a complex of drugs that improve flowering. Usually, mineral fertilizing is used, regularly alternating with organic fertilizers.
Dried inflorescences are removed as needed. At the end of flowering, watering stops. After the foliage has dried, the ixia bulbs are dug out for laying for winter storage. In warm regions, you can leave the bulbs to winter in the soil, having previously insulated the top layer of the soil.
Ixia, like all bulbous plants, reproduces by children. They are selected and planted separately from adult bulbs. Their flowering begins in the third, less often in the second year after planting.
You can propagate the corms by mechanical division. An adult bulb has 3-4 buds of growth, called "eyes". With a sharp knife, the onion is cut in such a way that each part has a bottom with rhizome primordia and an "eye". The cut site is treated with coal powder, ash or brilliant green. When planted, it blooms in the same year.
A few words in conclusion. Such an exotic plant can be grown in your own dacha with your own hands, if you are not afraid of the peculiarities of caring for a capricious tropical plant. It will serve as a wonderful decoration on an alpine slide, especially in combination with other bulbous plants. A cut flower can stand in water for up to two weeks.
By the way, Ixia has a very big advantage over many plants - it is very resistant to pests and flower diseases.