Mesembryanthemum is a succulent annual or biennial plant is a member of the family Azizova. In nature, it is found in South Africa. This plant was named in 1684 mesembryanthemum g, in Greek, the name translates as “midday flower” because known at the time mesembryanthemum were United by such characters as the opening of flowers only in Sunny weather.
Features of Mesembryanthemum
Rod mesembryanthemum is not very high, creeping or creeping plants, and in some cases shrubs, with a height of 15 centimeters. Silnovetvyaschiesya recumbent shoots are usually straight. Fleshy sessile leaf plates of greenish color have a spindle-shaped or rounded shape.
On the surface of the sheet plates, there are surface swollen cells, called idioblasts, which externally look like small balls of crystal, because of them this culture is also called ice or crystal grass. The flowers of this plant are similar to daisies. They are collected in the brush and can be single.
The flowers are painted in a variety of colors: white, pink, red, and sometimes yellow. Blooms such a plant throughout the summer period, and blooms in mid-autumn. The fruit is a five-leaf box, inside which there are small seeds. They remain viable for 1-2 years.
This culture is grown both in indoor conditions and in open soil.
Care Mesembryanthemum at Home
Seeds of mesembryanthemum can be sown directly into the soil only in the southern regions. In the middle latitudes, seedlings of such a plant are first grown, while sowing is carried out in the first half of April.
It is not necessary to sow seeds earlier, because seedlings need a large amount of light. To grow seedlings, you will need a breathable light soil mixture, which should consist of coarse sand, peat and garden land (2:2:1).
The substrate must be disinfected before planting, for this, it is calcined in an oven or shed with a solution of potassium permanganate. Then the surface of the soil mixture is leveled and cleaned in a warm place for 15 days, during this time, useful microorganisms necessary for plants should multiply in the substrate.
Seeds should be evenly distributed over the surface of the soil mixture, which must be pre-moistened, then they are slightly pressed into the substrate, but do not fall asleep substrate. The container should be covered with glass or film, and then it is removed in a well-lit cool (15-16 degrees) place before the seedlings appear.
After about 7 days, the first seedlings should appear, when this happens, the plant is removed in a cooler place (from 10 to 12 degrees). The mass appearance of seedlings occurs only after 3-4 weeks.
How to Water and Feed
The development of fragile seedlings is extremely slow, and yet they do not have resistance to root, in this regard, to grow seedlings of such a culture, it must be properly watered. Greenhouse, where seedlings grow, it is necessary to ventilate well, while the soil mixture should always be a little moist.
For its humidification, it is necessary to use a spray. Once the plant is stronger, and they have formed 2 of these sheet plates, they should be dive individual containers (plastic cups or pots), which are filled with the same soil mixture, but it should be noted that it should be a lot of sand. Feed a plant in the seedling period is not necessary.
Planting and Care Mesembryanthemum Outdoors
In open soil, seedlings of mesembryanthemum should be planted only after the return spring frosts are left behind, and warm weather is established, while the land should be well warmed, as a rule, this time falls on the second half of May or the first days of June.
For the cultivation of such a culture, it is recommended to choose a ventilated area, which has reliable protection from drafts and is illuminated by the sun during almost the whole day. Best of all, these flowers will grow on the site, located in the southern part of the garden.
The soil should be well-drained rocky or sandy. Before you start planting, you should make digging the soil, while it is necessary to make expanded clay, as well as sand. This plant is not recommended to be planted near moisture-loving crops the fact that in excessively moist soil, the bushes rot.
How to Care in The Garden
To water these flowers it is necessary moderately and in a timely manner. Watering is carried out only when the soil dries well and it will be seen that the bushes suffer from a lack of water.
If in the summer it rains often, such a culture can be very badly affected, in this regard, experts recommend that in wet weather to cover the site with a film, as a result, the soil will not dewy from the water. Sites fertilize 1 time in 15-20 days.
For feeding, a solution of complex fertilizers for succulent plants is used.
Trim the bushes don’t need, opposite blooming creeping through the area shoots turn a flower bed into a colorful spectacular carpet. If the bushes properly cared for, their flowering can last until the second half of the autumn period.
Species and varieties of mesembryanthemum with photos and names
Cultivated by Gardeners to date, not a very large number of varieties and species of mesembryanthemums, below will be given their description.
Or mesembryanthemum crystallinum, or crystal grass. This species Comes from the deserts of South Africa. Such a wide-spreading perennial reaches a height of about 15 centimeters. It has a large number of shots that adorn the small fleshy leaf plates oval and greenish color, with the edges of their wavy.
The flowers are similar in appearance to daisies or daisies. This type is described in more detail at the beginning of this article. The following varieties are Popular:
- Sparkles. Leaf plates are painted in whitish-yellow color. The flowers have a different color, and in diameter, they reach about 45 mm.
- Harlequin. Petals have a double color, namely, pink and orange.
- Limpopo. This variety includes varieties of different colors.
Such a branched annual plant reaches a height of 12 inches. Shoots have a pale red color tint. Fleshy linear leaf plates reach a length of 50 mm, while on their surface there are hairs. The color of the flowers is Carmine pink, closer to the middle they are painted in darker color shade, in diameter they reach 36 mm.
The annual branched plant reaches a height of 10 centimeters. The length of the fleshy leaf plates is about 75 mm, they are obovate, and on their surface there are papillae. Flowers in diameter reach 30-40 mm, they are painted in pink, orange, bright purple, red, apricot, yellow or purple. Their disclosure occurs only on a fine day.
This succulent is cultivated as a ground cover plant, but in natural conditions, it is a semi-shrub. The height of the Bush varies from 60 to 100 mm. Leaf plates have an oval or linear shape. When the temperature decreases, the bushes are painted in bronze color. The species is frost-resistant and has a short flowering period. Narrow petals can be painted in yellow-gold, orange, red or purple. The diameter of the flowers is about 35 mm.
The species has an unusual color, which explains its great popularity among gardeners. The petals are painted in a rich yellow, with stamens, pistil and the center of the head bright red. The height of the Bush is about 10 centimeters. Length spatulate-lanceolate leaf plates 10-45 mm.