Brachikoma (lat. Brachycome ) is a genus of flowering plants, represented by both annuals and perennials. Belongs to the Compositae family. It occurs naturally in Australia and New Zealand. The genus includes about fifty varieties, however, in landscape design, the most commonly used brachycoma is iberolist and multipartite.
Description of species and varieties
Despite the large number of varieties of this plant, only two species are most often used in ornamental gardening – the iberolist brachycoma and the multipartite. He obtained interesting varieties with different colors and bud sizes.
Brachycoma iberisolistnaya ( Brachycome iberidifolia ). Perennial variety with erect, flexible branched stems. It grows up to 40 cm. The bushes are densely covered with deeply dissected dark green foliage. Inflorescences – baskets with a diameter of 3 – 5 cm. This culture begins to bloom in the second half of June. Flowering lasts for 8 weeks.
Among the most famous varieties:
“Waltz” – a varietal mixture with flowers of light pink, lilac, pale blue color. The core of the baskets is amber color.
“Bravo” – a varietal series with flowers of different shades. Ideal for creating colorful flower beds, bright flower arrangements on the site.
“Magenta Delight” – a variety with fuchsia-colored baskets.
“Blue Star” – a bush with creeping stems, densely covered with openwork foliage. Blue inflorescences.
“Summer Skies” is one of the most beautiful varieties of this plant. Possesses inflorescences of light tones. The diameter of the baskets is 4 cm.
“Purple Splendar” – differs in baskets of purple color.
“Margarita” – has star-shaped baskets with reed flowers of white, purple, purple color.
“Blue Baby” is a branching bush 20 cm high. During flowering, it is covered with blue baskets, the diameter of which is 3 cm.
“Swan Lake” – a varietal mixture with a predominance of lilac and purple color baskets. It is used to create alpine slides and design discounts.
“Blue Star” is one of the undersized, versatile varieties with blue inflorescences. It is used for decorating garden paths, resting places in the garden, verandas, terraces.
“Blue sissy” is an annual variety with intensively branching thin stems. The flowers are pale blue with a lush yellow core. Suitable for growing in seedbeds, as well as for growing in pots.
Multipartite brachycoma (Brachycome multifida ). Plant 20 – 30 cm high with small narrow-lanceolate foliage of rich green color. Inflorescences – baskets of snow-white, lilac, light pink hue. Prefers to grow on rocky soils. It develops poorly on substrates enriched with organic matter.
These photos illustrate the description of the brachikoma flower of various species and varieties:
When growing brachykoma, seeds for seedlings should be planted when the cold begins to subside – in late February or early March. To do this, take pots for seedlings or wooden containers.
As a soil, a mixture of leafy soil, sand, humus and turf is used. The soil is enriched with mineral fertilizer, diluted in low concentration. Before sifting, the earth is moistened, small depressions are made in which seeds are laid. From above, the crops are covered with plastic wrap to achieve the creation of greenhouse conditions.
The optimum air temperature for germinating the seeds of this plant is the range within 18 – 23 degrees. After about a week, sprouts will appear, at the same time the shelter is removed. When the plants have a third leaf, they start picking seedlings – brachikoma seedlings are planted in individual containers, for example, plastic cups.
During transplantation, the seedlings are carefully removed from the pot and, together with a clod of earth, are placed in a new soil composition. Planted plants are sprayed with a spray bottle. Subsequent care for developing seedlings should consist of periodic watering and top dressing.
The procedure for hardening the brachycoma should begin after the weather is warm outside. The first 2 – 4 days it is kept in the fresh air for 1 hour, then the time is gradually increased, bringing it up to 24 hours. The planting of grown seedlings on the site is carried out on fine days in May. Threat of return frosts by the time of disembarkation should be left behind.
Landing in the ground
This crop should be grown in an open sunny area. The composition of the soil is not of great importance for this flower, but it is better to choose well-drained substrates. The plant does not tolerate stagnant moisture, so lowlands and places near water bodies are not suitable for it.
For plants, holes are made 10–15 cm deep, while the distance between them should be about 25 cm. Transplantation is carried out while maintaining a clod of earth on the roots to avoid injury. Flowering brachycoma occurs a few days after planting on the site.
In regions with a mild climate, seeds are immediately sown in flower beds after the return frosts recede. For sowing, furrows are made, where the seed is evenly scattered. Topped with a layer of sand.
Until the emergence of sprouts, maintain the optimum moisture content of the substrate. After the shoots reach a height of 3 cm, they are thinned out, leaving a distance of 15 cm between the seedlings.
As practice shows, it is possible to grow perennial varieties of brachikoma by rooting cuttings. To do this, choose a mother bush, dig it out and transplant it into a container. They are brought indoors for the winter.
With the onset of spring, cuttings 5–6 cm long are cut from the central part of the stems. Sections of planting material are treated with a solution that stimulates root growth and placed in a light nutrient substrate. They are transplanted to the site at the end of spring, choosing a fine day for this.
- Soil preparation. A loose substrate is suitable for breeding this culture, which will provide the roots with a constant flow of oxygen. Before planting, it is recommended to prepare the site: dig to a depth of 20 cm, remove stones, break up large clods of earth, and eliminate weeds. Coarse-grained sand should be added to heavy soil. After planting in open ground, brachycoma requires simple but regular care: watering, feeding and shaping.
- Watering. It is necessary to irrigate the plants moderately, avoiding stagnation of moisture and drying out of the earthy coma. In mid-latitudes, this work is carried out 2-3 times a week; in regions with dry, hot summers, the bush is watered every other day or every day. With a moisture deficit, the plant will not develop, form buds abundantly, and lose its attractiveness.
- Topdressing. The first time fertilizer is applied 10-15 days after planting in open ground. To do this, use a complete mineral composition for garden flowers. Then feed every two weeks until flowering.
- Bush formation. For the splendor of the bush, regularly pinch the tops of the stems. To prolong the period of bud formation, faded baskets are cut off in a timely manner.
Diseases and pests
Brachikoma is rarely exposed to diseases and pests. However, negative external factors can weaken the flower’s immunity. Sudden temperature changes provoke the development of powdery mildew.
A white coating appears on parts of the plant. Over time, the disease leads to yellowing and leaf fall. To eliminate the disease, a fungicide should be used, for example, Topaz.
Among the insect pests that attack the bush, snails and slugs are isolated that gnaw on the foliage. To combat gastropods, mustard infusion, which is used to treat planting sites, or the insecticidal preparation “Thunderstorm” and the like, effectively helps.
Sometimes a whitefly butterfly settles on a bush. The larva of this insect sucks the juice from the leaves and stems of the flower. In order to get rid of the insect, chemical solutions are used.
Use in landscape design
This plant is characterized by bright abundant and long flowering, so the range of its application on the site is very wide. Brachikoma will decorate the flower garden, add colors to the flower beds, help in creating a beautiful flower arrangement. This culture is planted in rockeries, rock gardens, used to create borders, landscaping empty islands in the garden.
These photos show what a brachikoma looks like in a flower bed next to other flowers:
Low bushes are planted in the foreground. The best neighbors are armeria, geranium, yarrow, stonecrop, marigolds, pansies, bluebell, pelargonium, tobacco, violets, zinnias. You should not plant this crop next to tall plants that will shade it, thereby negatively affecting development and flowering.