Nightshade: home care, growing from seeds, species, photos
Nightshade (Latin Solanum) is a representative of plants of the Solanaceae family. The genus grows in natural conditions mainly in the temperate and tropical zones of the South American continent. The genus includes more than 1,700 plant species.
Representatives of the genus are herbaceous annuals and perennials, shrubs and trees. Stems are both creeping and erect. Leaves also come in different shapes, depending on the type of plant. This species includes a large number of "food" crops, such as tomatoes, potatoes and eggplants, but there are also weed species, which are also poisonous.
Few species are grown in gardens, greenhouses and indoor conditions. The main ones are bordered nightshade, peppery and dark brown. When growing nightshade indoors, you will have to maintain high air humidity, ensure regular spraying, and in winter, a cool temperature. If the homemade nightshade is not cut, it may lose its decorative qualities.
Briefly about growing
- Bloom: from February to March to October.
- Lighting: bright diffused light.
- Temperature: in spring and summer - 18-26 ºC, in winter - 12-14 ºC.
- Watering: from April to September - immediately after the topsoil has dried. Since autumn, watering is reduced, and in winter they simply do not allow the earthen to dry out to the full depth.
- Air humidity: increased throughout the year. Keep the plant on a pallet of wet expanded clay and be sure to spray on hot days.
- Top dressing: from late spring to early autumn - 2-3 times a month with mineral fertilizers for flowering plants in liquid form.
- Rest period: from October to February.
- Cropping: in the spring, when the nightshade berries are ripe and the leaves begin to turn yellow.
- Transfer: the plant is transplanted every spring after pruning.
- Substrate: leafy land, peat and turf land in equal parts.
- Reproduction: seeds and stem cuttings.
- Pests: whiteflies, aphids, spider mites.
- Diseases: from too high temperature and humidity, leaves may fall prematurely.
Read more about growing nightshade below.
Caring for nightshade at home
Throughout the year, indoor nightshade needs bright diffused lighting. Windows on the east or west side are best suited for this. South-facing windows are less suitable, since the plant will need to be shaded during the hottest hours, and the north side is not suitable, since flowering may be weak, and nightshade development may be slow and inadequate.
In summer and spring, the temperature should be between 18 and 26 ° C, and in winter, keeping at temperatures above 18 ° C can lead to the fall of fruits and leaves, so in winter the temperature is kept at 12-14 ° C above zero. Indoor nightshade at home in the warm summer months can be taken out onto the street or balcony (not under direct rays and not under precipitation), and in winter you just need to provide an influx of fresh air, but you cannot keep the plant in drafts.
Homemade nightshade is watered abundantly throughout the growing season (April-September) immediately after the soil on the surface dries. The rest of the time, the plant is watered much less (dormant period), simply without bringing the earthen lump to dry out.
Nightshade needs high air humidity throughout the year, so you need to regularly spray the plant, and also put the pot of nightshade on a tray with wet expanded clay or pebbles, but so that the bottom of the pot does not touch the water. If the air is dry, then the plant may bear fruit later and weaker.
The nightshade plant needs to be fertilized 2-3 times a month from late spring to early fall. Fertilizers for tomatoes or special fertilizers for decorative flowering indoor plants, preferably liquid, are suitable. Concentration - according to the instructions on the package.
The nightshade plant must be shortened every spring by a third of the length of the shoots. This is usually done after the berries have ripened and when the leaves begin to turn yellow. And in order for the plant to bush better, then in the fall it is advisable to pinch the shoots without buds and flowers.
After the nightshade plant is pruned, it must be transplanted into fresh nutrient soil. At the bottom of the pot, you need to pour a 3-centimeter layer of expanded clay or broken bricks to prevent excess water from stagnating in the pot. For transplantation, a mixture is prepared from equal parts of peat, turf and leafy soil. A mixture of one part of sand and two parts of humus, turf and peat soil is also suitable. After transplanting, the nightshade is watered, and fed only after 2 weeks.
Propagation by cuttings
Nightshade can be propagated by stem cuttings. To do this, after spring pruning, you can not throw out the cut branches, but choose the strongest ones and try to root them in a mixture of sand and peat, or you can simply in sand or vermiculite. After the cuttings take root, they are transplanted into separate pots with a mixture of humus and turf soil with sand (2: 1: 1). Don't forget about the drainage layer at the bottom of the pot. After transplanting, the plant needs to be pinched to improve branching, and during the summer you can cut the nightshade a little several times for the same purpose.
Growing from seeds
The nightshade flower can also be propagated by seed. To do this, take leafy soil, sift it, pour it into a container, and spread the seeds on the surface of the earth. Sprinkle the nightshade seeds on top with a thin layer of sand, slightly moisten the container, place the container in a warm place (about 22 ° C) and cover with foil or glass. Within a couple of weeks, seedlings should appear, which, as they grow, will need to be dived 2 times. After that, the plants are planted in the soil described in the previous paragraph, and similar care is taken.
Nightshade berries can be poisonous if swallowed, so you need to be smart about growing a plant in a home with children and / or animals.
Diseases and pests
Nightshade does not bear fruit. Nightshade may require additional artificial pollination. To do this, you can transfer pollen from flower to flower with a soft brush.
Nightshade leaves and fruits fall. The main reason for this behavior of the plant is the increased temperature and humidity in the room.
Nightshade pests. Nightshade can be affected by whiteflies, aphids, or spider mites. The risk of injury is increased if the plant is kept in a room with too dry air.
Jasmine nightshade / Solanum jasminoides
This species comes from Brazil. Representatives of the genus are evergreen shrubs with curly, long (up to 4 m long), hairless, thin shoots. The leaves that grow on the upper part of the shoot have an elongated ovoid shape, with a solid edge, simple, not pubescent; leaves on the lower part of the shoot are usually trifoliate, up to 7 cm long and up to 3 cm wide, shiny. It usually blooms from early spring to mid-autumn, quite abundantly. The flowers are light blue in color, reach a diameter of 2 cm and are collected in the apical panicle inflorescences. Fruits are bright red berries up to 1.5 cm in diameter.
Giant Nightshade / Solanum giganteum
These plants are evergreen branching shrubs that grow up to 6 m in height. The branches of the species are thick, covered with whitish hairs and short thorns. The leaves are dark green (above), elongated-oval (up to 25 cm in length), covered with white hairs below. The flowering period is mid to late summer. It blooms with small hanging flowers of a dark purple hue, which gather in the apical corymbose inflorescences. Indoor conditions are not often grown, the species is more suitable for growing in greenhouses.
Nightshade Zeafort / Solanum seaforthianum
The species is very decorative, represented by evergreen shrubs with climbing shoots, grows to a height of 5-6 m. The leaves of the species are ovate-lanceolate, but more often just lanceolate, slightly wavy, imparipinnate, the leaf edge is solid. The inflorescence is paniculate, axillary. Flowering period: early spring to mid-late autumn. The flowers are light purple, hanging. The fruit is orange-red in color and ovoid.
Wendland Nightshade / Solanum wendlandii
The species grows in natural conditions in the mountainous regions of Central America at an altitude of 2-3 km. Representatives of the species are branched evergreen shrubs, growing up to 4 m in height. Curly branches are covered with small thorns. The leaves on the shoot are different: in the upper half, the leaves are oblong-elliptical, up to 10 cm long; the leaves in the lower part are dark green, three-lobed, up to 25 cm long and up to 10 cm wide. The flowering period is summer. Inflorescence - panicle: apical, corymbose. The flowers grow densely, purple in color, up to 5-6 cm in diameter. The fruit is bright purple in color.
Curly nightshade / Solanum crispum
This species is a fast-growing ornamental-flowering plant, twisting shoots. Flowers are collected in apical corymbose inflorescences, purple-blue hue.
False Nightshade / Solanum pseudocapsicum
The representative of the genus is a half-meter non-deciduous shrub. Shoots branch. Leaves are oblong-lanceolate, dark green in color. The flowering period with good care lasts year-round, as does fruiting. The flowers are white, grow one at a time, small in size. The fruits are similar to a cherry berry, depending on the degree of ripeness, they can be from green to bright red, bitter, fruits cannot be eaten.
Pepper Nightshade / Solanum capsicastrum
You can also find it under the popular name "Jerusalem cherry". A low, non-deciduous shrub (reaches a little more than 0.5 m in height). Leaves with a wavy edge, different sizes, greenish-bluish hue, have an elongated lanceolate shape. Flowering period: June-August. The flowers are white, small, growing one at a time. Fruits - poisonous berries up to 2 cm in diameter, red.
- Read the topic on Wikipedia
- Features and other plants of the family Solanaceae
- List of all species on The Plant List
- More information on World Flora Online
- Indoor Plants Information
Sections: Houseplants Solanaceous Plants on P
Arenaria is a charming and tender herbaceous annual, biennial or perennial plant from the Clove family. There is another name for this plant - gerbil. The flower received this name for its love of sandy soil. This article will tell you more about how to plant an arenaria and how to properly care for it in the open field.
Popular types of trolls' favorite flower
Currently, there are about 30 varieties of this cute flower, 20 of them grow on the territory of Russia.
The plant is found in Siberian forests near water bodies or on wet lowlands of rivers. Her buds resemble miniature bells. At the beginning of flowering, they look like small lemon balls composed of glossy sepals. Later, they open up in all their glory and attract many insects that fly in search of sweet nectar. The base of the plant is decorated with finger-dissected leaves on long petioles.
Chinese bathing suit
The peculiarity of the flower is its large size. It grows up to 120 cm in height and is distinguished by expanded buds of a wide-oval shape. The most famous variety of this species is the Golden Queen swimsuit. Its height is about 80 cm. Finger-shaped leaf plates are collected at the base of the plant and remain decorative throughout the season. Golden buds bloom in June and have an unusual shape.
The plant grows successfully in open areas where there is a lot of sunlight. Loves moisture, but disappears with prolonged stagnation of water. It tolerates winter cold wonderfully and does not need shelter.
The Golden Queen swimsuit shown in the photo is distinguished by delicate petals, bright color and unique shape of the buds. It is widely used to decorate artificial ponds, curbs, rocky gardens and mixborders.
Dzungarian bathing suit
This type of flower belongs to low dwarf varieties, reaching a height of only 15 cm. But if the soil is fed with humus, the bather can conquer a half-meter height. In its natural environment, it is found in the mountains and in open areas of mixed forests. It blooms in early summer and lasts a whole month. The buds are colored bright yellow.
Verbenas reproduce well on their own. Gardeners often leave withered flowers in their backyards, hoping that they will self-sow next year. This rule does not apply to hybrid verbena, which, being an artificial variety, does not give identical offspring, often does not even scatter. To grow hybrid verbena from seeds, the seed must be bought from the manufacturer, independent breeding it is impractical.
When to collect seeds?
Verbena blooms from July to September, sets seeds abundantly, giving good self-seeding in a good position. You can collect seeds in the fall by cutting off the inflorescences yourself after the first frost. Inflorescences left before autumn will spontaneously shed seeds. This should be borne in mind during spring work in the area where verbena grows. Seeds will germinate only in spring, so as not to destroy young shoots, you should not weed or loosen the soil under the verbena. Young shoots appear at the turn of March and April.
When to sow seeds?
The optimal time for sowing seeds in the ground is the end of summer, so that the seeds lie in the soil and prepare for spring germination during the period of winter dormancy (they have been stratified in natural conditions). Occasionally in the fall, single seedlings appear, which rarely survive the first winter.
We can also sow verbena with seeds in the spring in a greenhouse (after 30 days of cold stratification). Sowing seeds for seedlings is carried out in February-March. If the seeds are sown too late, you need to be prepared for the fact that this year we will not see flowers or the plant will not bloom profusely.
When to plant verbena on seedlings depends on the region, the terms may be shifted by 2-3 weeks. The guideline is that you need to sow verbera seeds for seedlings at home 6-8 weeks before the last frost.
In the southern regions, you can plant seeds at the end of February, but the seedlings will require additional lighting, since the daylight hours are still short. In the Moscow region, verbena can be sown for seedlings in March. In the Leningrad Region, sowing begins at the end of March, in Siberia, in the Urals - at the beginning of April.
Selection of capacity, soil preparation
Sowing seeds is best done at home in early spring, so that the plants have time to get stronger before planting in open ground. We sow in small pots, trays or plastic planting cassettes, followed by growing verbena at home on a windowsill at home or in a greenhouse.
Sowing requires a fertile, permeable soil with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH. You can buy a universal soil, add perlite (for 5 liters of soil - 0.5 liters of perlite) or river sand.
If the soil mixture is prepared from garden soil, you need to add to 1 part of the garden soil:
- peat - 2 parts,
- a handful of ash
- river sand - 0.5 parts.
The prepared soil must be treated against pathogenic fungi and pests. There are several ways of processing:
- steam up
- bake in the oven,
- chemical treatment - spill with a solution of potassium permanganate, phytosporin, fungicides.
Sowing and germination - step by step
- First you need to prepare a tray with soil for germination, moisten it well.
- Soak the seeds for 8 hours, and just before planting, while preparing the containers and soil, you can soak the seeds with a growth stimulator (Epin) for 20 minutes.
- Place the seeds a few millimeters deep into the soil. In order to make it easier to sow very small seeds, placing them one by one at a distance of 2 cm, you can use a wooden toothpick. It is possible to scatter the seeds over the surface, but then, with friendly seedlings, you will have to remove some of the seedlings.
- Sprinkle the seeds with a very thin (2 mm) layer of dry soil or fine sand. We moisten the surface very carefully from a spray bottle so that, with large drops of water, the seeds do not fall deeper into the ground.
- All are covered with cling film and placed in a well-lit room, but not necessarily in direct sunlight. In the first week after sowing, it is good to rearrange the pots in a room with a temperature of 4-8 degrees Celsius. This contributes to the emergence of seedlings. Seeds germinate in different ways, sometimes quickly and amicably, sometimes for a long time. From time to time you need to remove the film, ventilate, moisten the soil, wipe the film from condensation.
Growing seedlings, picking
- When the seeds germinate, the film can be removed. The room temperature should be 20-26 degrees. The soil should be kept moist at all times. Watering is carried out carefully, on the soil, trying not to soak the plants.
- If the daylight hours are still short, you need to supplement the illumination of the seedlings with phytolamps or fluorescent lamps, extending the lighting period to 12 hours a day.
- Picking. When young seedlings develop 2 true leaves, they need to be transplanted into separate pots. For picking, the plants are well watered, carefully pry off with a nail file (another convenient object for this) and transplanted into separate cups or into a large container, at a distance of 5 cm. The seedlings are buried in the ground up to the cotyledons. Fingers slightly compact the soil, watered.
- After picking, the pots are placed in a warm place on the windowsill.
- After 3-4 weeks, the tops of the seedlings can be trimmed so that they bush. Pinching the top is especially important for ampel varieties of verbena.
- Top dressing. This plant is not very demanding for feeding. But a week after the pick, you can feed it with a water-soluble complex fertilizer, diluting it well.
- Hardening. When 10 days remain before planting in the ground, they begin to harden the seedlings - gradually they accustom the seedlings to outdoor conditions. The pots are placed on an open window, balcony or taken out into the street first for 1-2 hours, then gradually the hardening period is increased, taking into account the weather conditions. By the time of planting, the plants have already spent the whole day on the street, only at night they are brought into a warm room.
How to grow Coleus from seeds
Purchased seeds are highly germinating. However, subject to correct self-collection, the percentage of germination will be almost identical.
The optimal temperature for Coleus in the summer is 22-24 ° C. It is recommended to take out the seedlings in the summer to fresh air. In winter, the culture should not be kept in a room with a temperature below 12 ° C. In summer and spring, leaves can fade due to direct sunlight. The midday sun is dangerous for the plant, so it needs to be shaded.
In room conditions, the Coleus needs high humidity. The plant must be sprayed using settled soft water. During the winter period, coleus practically do not grow, being at rest.
The soil will be warmed up by spring rays, which will have the most favorable effect on the development of young seedlings.
After night frosts cease to pose a threat to plants, pots with seedlings can be taken out to the loggia or transplanted into open ground
Watering and feeding
Coleus needs abundant watering, especially on hot days. It is preferable to use settled water at room temperature. After watering, the soil must be loosened and weeds removed.
Growing seedlings of coleus from seeds involves periodic feeding: at the beginning of the summer period, the seedlings need nitrogen fertilizers, from the second half of the summer they begin to make complex mineral supplements. Plants obtained from seeds require potassium supplements (potassium concentration should not exceed 1 g per 2 liters of water), as well as nitrogen complexes. During the winter period, top dressing is recommended no more than once a month.
They start diving after the appearance of two leaves. All manipulations must be performed with utmost care, since young seedlings are rather fragile. In order not to harm the root system, the dive is carried out with a plastic or wooden spatula.
Seedlings obtained from seeds are hardened 7-8 days before planting. The seedlings are taken outside and left for a while, gradually increasing the period of being outdoors from a few hours to a whole day. After hardening, coleus adapt better to external conditions and demonstrate high growth rates. Without this procedure, seedlings planted in open ground can get sick or even die.