Arctotis (lat.Arctotis) - a genus of flowering plants of the Astrovye family, which includes about 70 species. About 30 of them grow on the African continent south of Zimbabwe and Angola, some are endemic to the Cape region, and some are found in South America.
From the Greek language, the name of the genus can be translated as "bear's ear": the plant is distinguished by dense pubescence. The history of cultivated species goes back over 100 years.
Planting and caring for arctotis
- Bloom: from July to frost.
- Landing: sowing seeds for seedlings - in March, planting seedlings in open ground - in early or late May, in areas with late summer - in early June. Sowing seeds in the southern regions directly into the ground - in April.
- Lighting: bright sunlight.
- The soil: limestone, drained. Wet or clayey soil will not work.
- Watering: rare but abundant. Water regularly in dry season.
- Top dressing: complete mineral fertilizer during bud formation and flowering. The plant does not tolerate organic matter.
- Reproduction: seed.
- Pests: aphids and meadow bugs.
- Diseases: gray rot.
Read more about the cultivation of arctotis below.
The arctotis plant is represented by grasses and shrubs with silvery or white pubescent stems and leaves. The shape of opposite or alternate leaves of arctotis is incised or wavy-toothed. Single saucer-shaped baskets with a diameter of 5-8 cm, strongly resembling daisies or gerberas, rise on long peduncles and consist of white, purple, pink or yellow reed marginal flowers and purple, violet or brown tubular, located in the center of the inflorescence. The multi-row wrap of the basket consists of numerous scales. The fruit of arctotis is a grayish-brown achene with a tuft. The seeds of the plant remain viable for up to two years.
Arctotis is represented by annuals, biennials and perennials. Perennial arctotis is grown as an annual crop in cool climates.
Planting arctotis in open ground
Growing from seeds
It is better to grow arctotis from seeds in a seedling way. Planting arctotis and caring for it during the seedling period is possible even for a beginner, especially if you listen to our advice and carry out sowing in mid-March in peat pots, spreading 3-5 seeds in each. The pots are then placed on a common tray and covered with foil or glass. The first shoots may appear within a week. It is undesirable to grow arctotis flowers in a common container, since this culture does not tolerate picking, but if for some reason you sowed seeds for seedlings in a box or container, then at the stage of development of two true leaves, the seedlings should still be planted in 3 pieces in pots. When the seedlings reach a height of 10-12 cm, pinch the seedlings to stimulate tillering.
Arctotis seedlings are planted in open ground after the threat of recurrent frosts has passed. It could be mid or late May, or early June. Planting is preceded by a hardening preparation: the seedlings are daily taken out into the open air for a while, so that they get used to the environment in which they will soon find themselves. The duration of the session is gradually increased so that by the end of the two-week period, the seedlings can spend in the garden around the clock.
Seedlings with an earthen clod are loaded into holes located at a distance of 25-40 cm from each other. If you grew them in peat pots, then place the seedlings in the hole right in them. Fill the remaining space with soil, lightly compact the surface and water abundantly.
How to plant
In areas with early and warm spring, Arctotis can be sown directly into the ground in early May. The plant is photophilous, therefore it requires open areas, illuminated by the sun. Well-drained soils containing lime are suitable for Arctotis. The culture does not develop well in wet and clay soil.
When sowing, 4-5 seeds of arctotis are placed in the holes. The distance between the holes is calculated depending on the variety and type of plant: for undersized arctotis, an interval of 25 cm is sufficient, and for tall ones for nutrition and development, more space is needed - up to 40 cm.The seeds are sealed, the surface is slightly trampled, after which the area is watered abundantly. Seedlings appear in a week and a half, and after 10-12 days they are thinned out. With good care, arctotis can bloom in two months.
Arctotis care in the garden
Growing arctotis will require you to perform the usual and simple procedures: watering, loosening the soil, weeding, dressing, pinching and, if the need arises, treatment from diseases and pests.
Arctotis has good drought resistance: its deep root system is designed to extract moisture from the depths, so often the plant does not need to be watered. But in a dry period, try not to forget to moisten the soil, especially since it is easier to loosen and weed moist soil.
There is also no special need for top dressing, but the culture responds well to the introduction of mineral complexes during the period of bud formation and flowering. Organic fertilizers are contraindicated for arctotis..
Caring for arctotis also involves removing wilted flowers. This is done to stimulate the plant to form new buds. In addition, tall varieties may need support.
Pests and diseases
In general, arctotis is resistant to both pests and diseases, but sometimes it is affected by aphids and meadow bugs, and during the period of prolonged rains or when grown on wet soils, it can get sick with gray rot.
Treating the plant with onion infusion or a solution of 100 g of dry mustard in 10 liters of water will help to get rid of meadow bugs. If this measure proves to be useless or ineffective, you can always use an insecticide.
Aphids, which are harmful not only by sucking juices from the plant, but also by being a distributor of incurable viral infections, are destroyed with Fitoverm, Actellik, Aktar or other insecticides.
Gray rot cannot be cured, therefore, at the first signs of the disease, the affected specimens should be dug up and burned, and the rest of the bushes should be treated with a fungicidal preparation, for example, Fundazol.
Arctotis after flowering
An annual arctotis, which has lost its decorative effect, must be destroyed, after which in the fall the soil on the site is cleaned of plant debris and dug up. In areas with cold winters, any arctotis, even a perennial one, is grown as an annual, but in Ukraine and southern Russia, you can try to cultivate perennial species if the plants are well protected from the winter cold. Cut off the ground part at a height of 10 cm, mulch the surface of the flower garden with a thick layer of organic mulch - straw, bark, sawdust - and cover the mulch area with spruce branches or non-woven material.
Types and varieties
In our latitudes, not so many species of arctotis are grown in culture.
Arctotis short-stemmed (Arctotis breviscapa)
A compact perennial up to 15 cm high, native to South Africa. Its leaves and stems are covered with white tomentose pubescence. Ligulate marginal flowers of a bright orange hue. In culture, the species has been since 1812.
Arctotis rough (Arctotis aspera)
Also native to South Africa, it reaches a height of 40-50 cm. In our climate, this species is grown as an annual plant. Its inflorescences up to 5 cm in diameter consist of yellow tubular and yellow reed flowers with brown streaks.
Arctotis stemless (Arctotis acaulis = Arctotis scapigera)
A perennial plant with a powerful taproot and pinnately dissected leaves up to 20 cm long, green on the upper side and whitish from pubescence on the bottom. Inflorescences-baskets up to 5 cm in diameter consist of yellow ligulate flowers with a purple lining and black-red tubular flowers.
All from the same areas of South Africa, where all arctotis grow in perennial crops, whereas here they are grown as annuals. In height, light green, highly branched erect stems of this species, pubescent with a soft silvery-white pile, reach 1 m.Dense, asymmetrical oval-lanceolate leaves, wavy-toothed at the edges, located opposite and also covered with tomentose pubescence. The upper leaves are sessile, the lower ones are petiolar. Long peduncles bear graceful single baskets with a faint but pleasant aroma and consisting of pearl-white marginal flowers with a golden-yellow base and a pale purple underside and small gray-purple tubular flowers that form a steel-bluish disc in the center of the inflorescence. In cloudy weather, the baskets are closed. This species has been cultivated since 1900. A known variety of arctotis stochasoliferous grandis, which differs from the main species in longer leaves and large inflorescences.
Arctotis hybrid (Arctotis x hybridus)
PThis name combines the popular in culture complex hybrids between different species of arctotis. These plants, depending on the local climate, can be grown both as annuals and as perennials.
Species rarely found in culture include beautiful arctotis with blue marginal flowers, auricular with ligulate flowers of bright yellow color and magnificent, or lush with large marginal flowers of orange color.
The most popular varieties are:
- Pink Suga - arctotis, in which the marginal flowers are pink-lilac from the ends to the middle, and yellow-orange from the middle to the base;
- Mahogeni - marginal flowers in plants of this variety are terracotta-orange, and tubular flowers are green;
- Hailey - ligulate flowers of rich yellow color, and the middle consists of cylindrical circles of dark yellow and black;
- Brick Red - variety with reed flowers of red color, the middle is dark yellow with dark brown.
Arktotis Harlequin, a mixture of varieties of various colors, is in high demand among gardeners.
- Read the topic on Wikipedia
- Features and other plants of the family Asteraceae
- List of all species on The Plant List
- More information on World Flora Online
- Information about Garden Plants
- Information on Biennial Plants
- Information on Perennial Plants
- Information about Herbaceous plants
- Information about Annual Plants
- Information about the Shrub
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Arktotis: planting and care in the open field
Arktotis ... Surely in this word many people think of the breath of the harsh north wind. But no! This is the name of an ornamental African plant of the Astrov family, which has never seen snow. From Greek, the name of a pretty exotic is translated as "bear's ear", and received its arctotis for the silvery-white soft pubescence of leaves and shoots. The main pride of the plant is its large inflorescences-baskets, similar to gerberas or outlandish daisies, the tongues of which are painted in yellow, pearl-white, lilac, red and orange tones. The middle tubular flowers, forming a dense disc in the center of the basket, can be purple, steel blue, reddish-brown, yellow or almost black. In combination with fleecy, as if frosty, jagged leaves, bright inflorescences look elegant and fresh.
On the flower beds of the middle zone, arctotis is still an infrequent guest, but the growers who managed to get to know the original African before others highly appreciated his external attractiveness and persistent picky character. Take a closer look at the charming "chamomile" and you.
The osteospermum flower (Osteosopermum) is gaining popularity, which is not surprising because it is a very ornamental plant that blooms beautifully and profusely in the first year of cultivation before frost. Osteospermum belongs to the family of Asteraceae (Astreraceae). It is mainly cultivated on balconies and terraces, although it is also planted in the garden. It is also called African, blue-eyed or Cape chamomile, garden gerbera. Although African chamomile has flowers similar to chamomile, it is by no means a classic chamomile.
It is interesting. The name Osteospermum was given because of the very hard seeds of the plant. They are really very hard, like osteo, which means "bone" in Latin.
This undemanding flower will appeal to lovers of abundantly flowering plants. As the name suggests, the natural habitat of African or South African chamomile is hot Africa. This is why it grows well on a south-facing balcony. Osteospermum loves full sun exposure, after sunset the inflorescences curl inward, so that the color of the outer petals can be observed.
This beautiful flower appeared in our country quite recently. However, its international distribution began at the end of the last century. It has a beautiful inflorescence reaching 6 and even 10 cm in diameter!
- African daisies are usually compact, sometimes looser, can reach a height of 50 cm. There are dwarf varieties, so depending on the amount of free space, you can choose the right variety.
- Leaves osteospermum lanceolate, with serrated edges.
- Inflorescences in the form of multi-colored baskets, consisting of tubular and reed flowers. There are hybrids with reed flowers in the form of "teaspoons". Plants bloom from spring to autumn - from May to October. Numerous generative buds can be seen among the narrow leaves, announcing a long flowering period that lasts until autumn.
Arctotis: growing from seed, when to plant a flower?
If you plan to cultivate arctotis, growing from seed and when to plant a flower will be the most pressing questions for you.
Arktotis is a culture that does not need special measures from the florist for full growth. In mid-latitudes, it is cultivated as an annual, so seeds will be required to grow the flower. Planting material can be placed in flower pots in the second decade of March. Cover the top with cling film or place in a greenhouse. For seeds to germinate, they need a lot of heat. After 3 weeks, you can expect the first shoots. Arctotis sprouts that hatch need a lot of air, so remove the plastic from the flowerpot as soon as they appear. Provide the seedlings with a little watering, and after a month, transplant them in a container of peat. Perform all actions carefully, since the arctotis has fragile roots that are damaged by careless movements.
Seeds for seedlings are sold at gardening stores. If these flowers are already growing in your garden, collect the planting material yourself. The seeds ripen 14 days after the end of the flowering period. Keep in mind that the seed is small in size, so it needs to be collected on time (until the seeds are overripe and spill out). You can collect the seeds of the South African flower in reserve, because they remain viable for a long time.
In your home garden, it is better to grow arctotis by seedlings. If the plant gets into warm climatic conditions, close to their natural, African habitat, then it grows from a seed directly in open soil. To get seedlings from seeds at home, sow them in a container filled with a mixture of sand and peat.Do this in March and send the seedlings warm (let them grow somewhere in the room). Before planting, treat the soil with potassium permanganate. It will protect the future flower from bacterial infection.
If you want to grow a beautiful and healthy arctotis (photo), cultivate and care for the plant correctly. It is allowed to place planting material in open soil only in the south of the country, where a mild climate prevails. If you live in a latitude with an unfavorable climate, first plant the seeds in seedling cassettes filled with light soil and wait for the shoots to emerge.
You can sow arctotis seeds in garden soil in May, and in pots - in the second half of March. Form depressions in the soil and place up to 5 seeds in the hole. Observe the individual distance between seedlings, calculating it taking into account the diameter of the inflorescences of the selected variety. Expect the first shoots in 10 days (maybe a little more). Young seedlings can withstand short light frosts.
If a South African flower is grown in seedlings, its root must be dived (the tip is pinched off in order to activate branching. At an early stage, transplant the seedlings into peat pots from seedling boxes (3 in 1 container). Once in the soil, the containers from peat disintegrate in just 7 days Soil for distilling flower seedlings, choose light (loamy, sandy loam) and rich in minerals. Peat pots will help you prevent the death of seedlings due to root damage during transplanting into garden soil. In dry weather, water the plant daily with small volumes of water. that growing in heavy soils provokes the development of serious diseases in flowers.The best place for cultivating a flower is an open sunny area.
Arctotis. Growing from seeds - features of seed propagation
Growing arctotis from seeds
A native of Africa who moved to Europe and America, a flower that conquered gardeners of all continents is arctotis. It, outwardly somewhat reminiscent of a star, is often confused with gazania, mini-aster or daisies. This is not surprising, all these plants are close relatives.
Arctotis can be called a plant for lazy people - it is unpretentious, grows easily, does not need constant fertilization and watering. If you find a suitable place for it, then it will delight with its magnificent flowers next to other representatives of the flora, and growing far from them.
Taxonomy and names
Arctotis belongs to the family Asteraceae, or Asteraceae, from the class of Dicotyledons of the Angiosperms (Flowering) division.
The scientific Latin name for the genus Arctotis was given by the Swedish taxonomist Karl Linnaeus. The name still causes some bewilderment and a number of jokes about the stupid imagination of the scientist, because in translation "arktotis" means "bear's ear". However, no part of the plant is shaped like a bear's ears. Most likely, the association was caused by the pubescent leaves of some arctotis species. The name "bear's ear" is also found in Russian, as a literal translation of the scientific name.
Popular names "African chamomile", "African daisy" are associated with the natural range of the plant.
Do not confuse "bear ear" with the similar name "bear ears", that is, with bearberry belonging to the Heather family. These two different plants are completely different from each other, grow in different geographical latitudes and in different biocenoses.
Among the species of arctotis, there are various life forms: perennial herbaceous, dwarf shrubs, biennials and annuals.
Arctotis can grow as a ground cover plant, with short stems, or reach a height of half a meter or more.
Leaves are simple, feathery. The leaf blade is of varying degrees of dissection, pubescent on both sides, so the leaves of some species appear silvery. In other species, the dorsal side of the plate is bright green, and the lower surface is light green or white. The hairs protect the leaves from the sun's rays on the one hand, and from the cold on the other (in the daytime and at night, in places where arctotis grows, the temperature can fluctuate greatly).
Very small flowers of two types - tubular and false-ligulate, collected in a basket of inflorescences. The marginal flowers, popularly called petals, are sterile and have the function of attracting insects and protecting them. The middle flowers are five-membered, actinomorphic (with radial symmetry), have stamens and pistil, and form seeds.
The color of arctotis inflorescences can be of any color and shade - from white or cream to maroon. But most often the color is yellow. Flowers are pollinated by insects.
Plants have a pronounced "love of the sun" - in the evening they close their inflorescences, and when the sun rises, they open again.
All species of arctotis love good lighting, preferring to grow in sun-drenched flower beds and flower beds. Born in Africa, arctotis are not afraid of the direct rays of the European sun, their leaves are protected from ultraviolet radiation. In the sun, arctotis grows rapidly and blooms profusely. Arctotis grown in partial shade with a lack of lighting will not look so impressive, they will have much less inflorescences, or the plant will not bloom at all.
Well-drained and well-aerated substrates are optimal for arctotis. Arctotis does not grow on acidic soils with a pH below 6.0, but it can grow on calcareous soils. The plant does not like heavy clay substrates. Before planting arctotis, such a soil must be changed by adding sand and compost to it.
For an adult arctotis, as well as for growing its seeds and seedlings, an identical soil is suitable.
Humidity and watering
Arktotis does not like stagnant water in the soil and excessive watering. When the air temperature drops, watering must be reduced or stopped, otherwise it will cause the development of fungal infections. When watering, you need to try to get less water on the leaves and flowers. Water the arctotis, preferably in the morning.
Usually, arctotis is fertilized with complex fertilizers at the beginning of the growing season. It is better to do this before flowering. It is important not to overdo it with fertilizers, as an excess of mineral components can have negative consequences. For example, with an excess of nitrogen, arctotis will give a large green mass, but few flowers. Excess fertilization can be one of the causes of arctotis disease (for example, root rot).
Since annual arctotis species are more often used in culture, they are propagated mainly in a generative way, that is, by seeds. Arctotis seeds can be sown immediately after ripening, or after a few months - they do not lose germination for 2 - 3 years, depending on the species and variety.
River sand or perlite should be added to the seed soil to make the substrate breathable. You can sow seeds in pots, special seedling cassettes or a pallet. Wooden boxes with low sides can also be used. Their bottom should first be covered with foil.
As a mixture, you can use:
• peat + perlite / sand in a 1: 1 ratio
• peat, deciduous forest soil + perlite / sand in a ratio of 1: 1: 2
• black earth + perlite / sand in a ratio of 1: 1.
You can use summer cottage soil (if it is not very acidic) or universal soil sold in stores. When using soil from the street, before planting, it must be calcined in the oven in order to kill pests, their larvae and eggs.
The seeding depth for planting in closed ground is 1 - 2 cm, in open ground 2 - 3 cm.
When sowing, the soil should be well moistened, but not wet. After sowing, the container with seeds is covered with a film so that it does not come into contact with the soil surface.
Seedlings appear in 1 - 3 weeks. After that, the film is either removed or raised higher by 30 - 40 cm above the ground level. It is imperative to make holes in the film for air exchange.
Seeds are sown at the end of February - March, depending on the climatic conditions of the region. Ready seedlings are planted in a permanent place in April-May.
Sowing seeds outdoors is possible in areas with warm climates. It is held in late April - early May.
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Caring for "bear ear" is practically the same as caring for other decorative perennials. He needs to provide moderate watering, loose soil, timely feeding.
In nature, arctotis grows on rocky soils. This feature influenced the ability to extract moisture. The plant actively uses its long roots that extend deep into the ground, it is saturated with night dew that seeps into the ground. Therefore, it must be watered very carefully so as not to overmoisten the roots and cause them to rot.
Some species of arctotis are perennials. Sometimes flower growers try to transplant the shrub into a pot for the winter in order to divide it into several bushes in the spring and plant it in the ground. But more often, due to a too fragile root system, the plant cannot overwinter. Therefore, the only reliable method of reproduction is sowing seeds either on seedlings or in open ground.
Arktotis is not picky about feeding. But before and during flowering, it is recommended to feed it with mineral fertilizers:
The plant categorically does not tolerate organic fertilizers. They can damage the root system and kill the crop.
Flowering and how to extend flowering times
Arctotis flowers appear 2 months after sowing. Depending on the variety, they can be of a wide variety of shades: yellow, red, orange. In order for flowering to last as long as possible, faded peduncles must be removed. So the shrub will look more decorative, neat. And also all nutrients will be redirected from dried flowers to the formation of new ones.
If the arctotis is tall, then it needs to provide additional support. Otherwise, the flowers will fall to the ground. With good care, flowering can last until November, with a short rest break. On cloudy days and at night, arctotis inflorescences close.