Clarkia: planting and care, growing from seeds in the open field, photo

Clarkia: planting and care, growing from seeds in the open field, photo

Garden plants

Clarkia is a charming flowering annual, a graceful and beautiful plant closely related to godetia. Clarkia seeds germinate well, seedlings grow very quickly, and flowering lasts about three months.
Clarkia is represented by many species and varieties of different colors, including those with double flowers, which are located on peduncles so densely that leaves are almost invisible because of them.

Our article contains information about:

  • which varieties of clarkia are the most popular;
  • how to sow clarke on seedlings;
  • when and how to transplant seedlings into a flower garden;
  • how to care for the plant during the season;
  • how to collect clarke seeds.

Planting and caring for clarkia

  • Landing: sowing seeds in the ground - in April or early May you can, but sow before winter; sowing seeds for seedlings - in March, transplanting seedlings into the ground - in the second or third decade of May.
  • Lighting: bright sunlight.
  • The soil: loose, light, dry, fertile, slightly acidic soils. Oily soil is not suitable for the plant.
  • Watering: only in drought - twice a week.
  • Top dressing: during the periods of budding and flowering, once every two weeks with a complex mineral fertilizer.
  • Reproduction: seed.
  • Pests: mealybugs, garden fleas.
  • Diseases: rust.

Read more about growing clarke below.

Flowers clarkia (lat.Clarkia) - a genus of annual grasses of the Cyprus family, close to godetia, which some botanists combine with clarkia into one genus. The plant is named after a captain named William Clark who brought it from California to Europe in the 19th century. In nature, the clarkia flower grows in the west of North America and in Chile and has more than 30 species, among which only three are of interest to flower growers.

Botanical description

So, the clarkia plant is an annual herbaceous crop, reaching a height of 30 to 90 cm. Clarkia's stems are branched, erect, usually pubescent with short villi. Elongated oval sessile leaves of bright green or bluish color are arranged alternately. Simple or double axillary flowers of the correct shape, up to 3.5 cm in diameter, painted in different colors, are usually collected in spike-shaped or racemose apical inflorescences, but occasionally there is a single arrangement of flowers. The calyx of the flower is tubular, the corolla consists of four whole or three-lobed flowers, which narrow at the base into a marigold. The fruit of the clarkia is an elongated polysperm.

Growing clarke from seeds

How to sow seeds

Clarkia flowers are grown by seed method - seedling or non-seedling. With the seedless method, clarke seeds are sown directly into the ground. This can be done in April or early May, as well as in late autumn, before winter. Before sowing clarke, add 1 kg of peat per m² and potassium sulfate with superphosphate, a tablespoon of each, to the area for digging to the same area. You need to dig up the area with fertilizers at least two weeks before sowing.

Small clarkia seeds are sown in nests of 4-5 pieces at a distance of 20-40 cm, but they are not buried in the ground, but slightly pressed against it and sprinkled with the thinnest layer of soil. Seedlings may appear in two weeks, and you will have to thin them out, but do not get carried away - blooming clarkia in a dense bush looks prettier. When planting in autumn, the seedlings have time to germinate before the onset of winter and are well preserved under the snow, but even if the crops do not germinate, there is nothing to worry about. In the spring, when the clarkia grows together, you only need to thin it out, like carrots.

Seedling care

Clarkia from seeds, grown by seedlings, at the very beginning of its life is reliably protected from temperature extremes, frosts, cold spring rains and other seasonal and climatic troubles, which is why many flower lovers prefer to grow seedlings rather than sow flowers directly into the ground. Clarkia seeds are sown for seedlings in March, then it will bloom in early June.

Sow the seeds in slightly acidic soil, press them down with a board, sprinkle with water, cover with glass and place in a bright, warm place where direct sunlight does not fall. As soon as shoots appear, the glass can be removed, but the container with crops must remain in a dry, warm place with good ventilation until planting in open ground. Clarkia should be dived as early as possible - as soon as the first leaves appear on the seedlings.

Planting clarke in open ground

When to plant

Clarkia flowers are planted in open ground in May. If the soil in your area is not suitable for clarkia due to its pH, there are several ways to acidify it: add a kilogram and a half of peat or 60 g of sulfur per square meter to the soil for digging, or spill the soil with a solution of oxalic or citric acid at the rate 1.5 tablespoons per 10 liters of water. If the soil is too acidic, it is lime before planting, and if it is too greasy, the site is dug up with sand. Well, do not forget to apply the fertilizers that have already been mentioned. You need to prepare a site for clarke at least two weeks before planting.

How to plant

Clarkia is planted in this way: the seedlings are taken out of the container not one at a time, but in groups, together with an earthen clod, and also planted in holes located at a distance of 20 to 40 cm from each other. Near each hole, you need to stick a stick or rail, which will serve as a support for the thin stems of the clarkia when the bushes grow. Plant different varieties of plants at a distance from each other, because they can get dusty among themselves. After planting, the plants are watered and lightly pinched to stimulate tillering.

Clarkia care

Growing conditions

Growing clarkia and caring for it will not require any special knowledge and effort from you. It is necessary to water the plant only in dry season twice a week, and the rest of the time the clarke will have enough rain moisture. Water for irrigation needs so much so that it is quickly absorbed, and does not stand in a puddle around the plant.

Clarke is fed during the budding and flowering periods with complex mineral fertilizers once every two weeks. For this purpose, Kemira or Raduga are suitable, clarkia is not fertilized with organic matter. Remove wilted flowers and seed pods so that the plant is only wasting its energy on the formation of new buds. That's all the care of Clarkia.

Pests and diseases

Of the insect pests, clarkia is affected by the mealybug, the traces of the vital activity of which look like a cotton-like wax coating on the ground parts of plants. Mealybugs are fought by spraying with Aktara, Confidor or Fitoverm.

If the soil in the area with clarke is loamy, this can cause a fungal disease, manifested by rusty-yellow spots with a brown border on the leaves. To destroy the fungus, the plant is sprayed with fungicides - Bordeaux liquid or oxychome, for example. In general, clarkia is a very resistant plant to pests and diseases, and if you properly prepare the soil for it, neither it nor you will have problems with it.

Clarkia after flowering

How and when to collect seeds

Actually, clarkia reproduces well by self-seeding, you just need to thin out carefully in the spring, when the bristles of clarkia seedlings appear. But if you nevertheless decide to collect the seeds, then it's easy to do: select several beautiful flowers during flowering and, when they begin to fade, tie them with gauze so that the seeds, when ripe, do not fall to the ground. The seeds ripen a month after the end of flowering, when the box turns brown. Cut a box of seeds, put them on a newspaper, dry and sow before winter, or store in a paper bag until spring.

Clarkia in winter

After the clarkia has faded, it can be cut to the very ground, and when the time comes to dig up the area, remove the remains of the clarkia and destroy them. It is best to burn them to prevent the growth of disease-causing bacteria and fungi that can infect soil or healthy plants.

Types and varieties

As already mentioned, only three types of clarkia are grown in the garden culture: clarkia marigold, or clarkia graceful; clarkia is pretty, or clarke is pubescent; Clarkia Breveri.

Clarkia graceful, or marigold (Clarkia unguiculata = Clarkia elegans)

Clarkia flower graceful grows wild in California. It is a branchy, dense annual plant up to a meter high. Its stems are strong, thin, woody in the lower part, the leaves are oval, gray-green with red veins, unevenly sparsely toothed along the edges. Regular flowers up to 4 cm in diameter, simple or double, white, red, purple, pink or blue, are arranged one by one in the leaf axils. Small seeds remain viable for up to 4 years. Blooms profusely from July to September. Growing Clarkia graceful is very common in our climate. Popular varieties:

  • Albatross - clarkia terry white, the height of the branchy bush is about 75 cm;
  • Purpurkenig - terry variety of carmine color, flowers with a diameter of 3.5-4 cm, bush height 80-90 cm;
  • Salmon Perfection - double flowers, pink-salmon up to 3.5 cm in diameter, loose bush up to 90 cm high.

Clarkia pulchella

Dwarf plant. Its stems are branched, erect, up to 40 cm tall. Leaves are green, long, narrow, whole, pointed towards the top and narrowed towards the petiole. Flowers are simple or double, single or collected in several pieces in the axils of the leaves at the tops of the shoots. The original shape of the petals, divided into three widely spaced lobes, because of which the Americans called this species "elk horns". It blooms two weeks earlier than the graceful clarke.

Clarkia breweri

For some time now, the type of Clarkia Breveri has been gaining popularity - a cold-resistant annual up to 50 cm high. Flowers, similar to butterflies, up to 3 cm in diameter, making up loose inflorescences, have a strong and pleasant aroma. Varieties:

  • Pink ribbons - a variety with pink flowers, the petals of which resemble ribbons, the height of the bush is only 30 cm, the stems are branched, the flowering is abundant.

All other types of clarkia that you have heard or read about are actually godetia.


  1. Read the topic on Wikipedia
  2. Features and other plants of the family Fireweed
  3. List of all species on The Plant List
  4. More information on World Flora Online
  5. Information about Garden Plants
  6. Information about Herbaceous plants
  7. Information about Annual Plants

Sections: Garden plants Herbaceous Flowering Annuals Fireweed (Donkey) Plants on K

Description of the plant

Clarkia is a decorative annual flower. It belongs to the family "Fireweed", found in Europe and North America. In nature, there are more than 25 types of clarkia, but gardeners cultivate several. Clarkia is primarily appreciated for its decorative effect. The flower is distinguished by branched stems, villi are located on their surface.

Clarkia's leaves are elongated, deep green. Some species have ovaries. Clarkia flowers are simple, the average diameter of 1 piece is 3 cm. Together, they form inflorescences that resemble an ear. Single-flowered plants are rarely cultivated.

The clarke's cup is small, shaped like a pipe. The corolla includes several flowers. The fruit is presented in the form of an elongated box with seeds.

In open ground, seeds are sown in small nests (4–5 each), without deepening, but only slightly pressing them to wet ground. At the end of the work, the crops are sprinkled with a thin layer of soil. Germination will take about 14-16 days. If the seedlings are too frequent, they can be thinned out, but do not overdo it: in a dense planting, clarkia looks much more attractive. Do not be alarmed if, after the autumn sowing, seedlings appear before the onset of winter - the seedlings will be perfectly preserved under the snow "blanket".

Clarkia is unpretentious and modest in her content.

  • Plants need regular watering only if the yard is dry and hot, the rest of the time the beauty is content with rain moisture. During dry periods, water the plantings sparingly, without turning the soil underneath into a viscous slurry.
  • During a set of buds and flowering, it is recommended to feed clarkia with complex mineral fertilizers ("Rainbow", "Kemira"). It is impossible to use organics for feeding.
  • To ensure that the plants have enough strength to form new buds, periodically tear off wilted inflorescences and seed pods.

Clarkia will gratefully answer these simple procedures with bright and long flowering.

Use in the garden

Liatris is valued for its decorative qualities, melliferousness, it is used in rockeries and flower beds. Fits perfectly in rural, English gardens. This is a great flower for planting against brick walls, fences.

Usually these plants delight with rich, lilac or pink flowers, but there are varieties with white inflorescences. They are not as expressive as the classic varieties with a lilac-pink color, but they go well with white flower beds and brighten up dark compositions. The bright colors of other plants also help.

Liatris often grows in groups, but can be planted singly. Tubers are planted at a distance of 20-30 cm.

The plant is suitable for perennial beds in sunny places, with a southern exposure. Combines perfectly with:

  • asters,
  • large chrysanthemums,
  • coreopsis,
  • bells
  • echinacea,
  • paniculate phlox,
  • physostegy virgin,
  • daylilies,
  • roses,
  • lavender,
  • yarrow,
  • ornamental grasses.

Liatris goes well with golden plants, low grasses due to the contrasting shapes and texture of the leaves.

Liatris can be grown in containers and pots.

Liatris is also used in floristry - for bouquets. The shoots of the plant are cut off when the first flowers begin to develop on the inflorescences. You can use them as an element of a flower arrangement, create dry bouquets.

Dried inflorescences look very impressive in the garden in winter.