The snowy peaks of the Himalayas have always attracted courageous climbers who dream of conquering Everest. For many years, attempts to grow it in city gardens were unsuccessful. All that was left was to dream of a blue sea of delicate flowers, quietly growing on rocky slopes at an altitude of 5000 m and among the difficult conditions of mountain peaks resting on the sky.
- Types of blue poppy
- Agrotechnology for growing blue poppy
- The experience of English gardeners
Types of blue poppy
Perseverance and work of flower lovers did their job. And now there is a lot of information about the rules for growing this flower:
- There are 50 varieties of blue poppy or Meconopsis betonicifolia. Almost all of them are common to any type of flower growing in the mountains of Tibet, Western China, and the Himalayas.
- And also Meconopsis cambrica (Meconopsis cambrica) originally from Iceland, West Britain, France.
- The third type of blue poppy is called Meconopsis horridula. Most often, Sheldon's hybrid is grown, bred on the basis of Meconopsis Large and Leaved.
The plant is a herbaceous perennial, the height of which can reach 1 m. A large number of buds can form on each peduncle. The flowers open in turn from the beginning of June. Their size can be up to 10 cm in diameter. The number of petals is from 4 to 8. The life span of a flower is 7 days.
At temperatures above 30 °, the buds do not open and dry out. The flowers are bright blue and yellow stamens. The last flowers on the stem can be lilac in color. It is one of the few varieties that tolerate transplanting well and reproduce easily by daughter rosettes. Russian varieties of the blue poppy plant are also called meconopsis large, great, large.
Agrotechnology for growing blue poppy
Very often, attempts to grow a complex plant do not work well. The main reason for this is the initial phase after planting the seeds and preserving the seedlings. Planting seeds can be done in autumn or spring. For autumn planting, a greenhouse or special containers are used. After the pick, the plants should be kept in a well-ventilated cool area throughout the winter. Fresh seeds germinate without stratification at a temperature of 20-25 °.
For spring planting, a two-stage stratification is carried out. Within one week, the seeds are kept at a temperature of 18 ° and two months at a temperature of 5 °. Even after the appearance of weak shoots after three weeks, there is no guarantee that they will all survive. Sowing seeds is carried out in completely sterile loose soil. The seeds are simply laid out on its surface without deepening, but slightly sprinkled with soil.
Dry air, high temperature create conditions under which the cotyledon leaves do not open. This also happens when creating a mini-greenhouse by covering it with film or glass. The seedling energy is so low that the plants themselves cannot take root for further growth. This is the most embarrassing moment when growing blue poppy.
If you manage to make a very neat pick, deepening the weak root, and ensuring the vertical position of the sprout, then there are chances to grow it. A good helper during this period is a solution of epin or another plant growth stimulator. Meconopsis do not tolerate transplantation very well. Therefore, it is necessary to preserve even the smallest lump of earth on the roots of the seedling.
After picking, young shoots must be kept in an atmosphere of high humidity constantly. To prevent decay, it is necessary to water with a weak solution of potassium permanganate once a week. Frequent airing during this period will not allow the development of fungal diseases.
The second, no less important point comes when a plant is transplanted to a permanent place. This must be done carefully by transferring it together with the earth from the pot. The landing site should be in partial shade. You can make a bed under the canopy of tall trees, while increasing the rate of application of mineral fertilizers. The hot daytime rays of the sun at noon should not fall on it.
The plantings should not be dense. Any loose, fertile land without stagnant water is suitable for meconopsis, although in the wild it grows well on scarce rocky soils. Some gardeners suggest planting blue poppy in peaty soil like hydrangeas and rhododendrons. Even with the best care of a flower, it should not bloom in the first year. By the end of the season, it should form strong rosettes of leaves, which it does very slowly. At this time, you need to carefully monitor the cleanliness of the beds and weed in time.
Weeds are much stronger than a weak seedling. But if the rosette of leaves has grown strong, left before winter, completely fallen from the foliage, overwintered, then next year the hassle will be much less. Active growth begins in April. He is not afraid of spring frosts and already in June stands in elegant, powerful foliage. At this time, watering and feeding with mineral fertilizers such as Kemira-Universal in the amount of one tablespoon per bucket of water is especially needed.
It is extremely rare that viable peduncles appear on it, even in the second year of life.
Even if they do appear, it is advisable to remove all the buds. Basically, it blooms in the third or even fourth year. You can admire the blue miracle for a month. But unfortunately, after that the plant dies. To see the poppy every year, you need to systematically update the planting. It is much easier to do this due to the young root rosettes obtained by modern varieties.
Moreover, one of the disadvantages of seed reproduction is the lack of reliability in repetition of color. You can suffer for a long time during cultivation and get in the garden not the long-awaited blue poppy, but lilac, yellow, red or white. To extend the flowering period, it is necessary to remove the wilting flowers. In the fall, the entire bush is cut off.
The experience of English gardeners
Very interesting is the experience of growing blue poppy by the English gardener Ray Brown, who spent more than one year developing his own growing technology:
- It was he who used the very acidic soil in a large flower bed due to several bags of rotting tomatoes.
- He created the coolness necessary for the flower by arranging special partitions that protected each flower from the direct rays of the sun.
It was the most beautiful blue flowerbed in England. Mild snowy winters, good warm springs create the best conditions for the growth of this poppy species. Although sometimes, looking at beautiful bags of seeds with detailed care rules, you are a little surprised and thinking, but after all, he himself grows self-seeding without worries.
It's not that simple, but you must try. For this, you can use seeds from Unwins, Suttons, Your Garden. The most common poppy disease is powdery mildew. It appears as a gray bloom on the underside of the leaf. You need to fight it using drugs offered in seed stores.
With a successful experiment, you need to collect the seeds of your blue poppy. The boxes are harvested at the moment when they change green and turn beige. If you shake it at this time, you will hear a characteristic sound, like in a rattle. The heads do not ripen at the same time, so they do it in several steps.
The subsequent drying of the heads is carried out by placing them in a rag bag. You need to know that seeds are very fond of mice and moths. Just like the seeds of any other poppy, these can be used for food. Even in the excavations of ancient dwellings known from ancient Egypt, poppy seeds were found. Myths, legends and secrets of different peoples are associated with it.
The greatest honor and respect for blue poppy is given in the small mountainous country of Bhutan. Having become a national symbol, it awakens feelings of love for nature and all living things. Merging with the blue sky, mountain poppy plantations bring it closer to themselves, creating an atmosphere of tranquility and happiness. Using the advice of experts, you can try to create your own blue sea on the site, giving new strength and positive emotions necessary in the hectic life of the modern century.
Informative video about the unique plants of the Himalayas: