Limnantes (lat. Limnanthes ) – an annual plant, a representative of the genus Limnantovye. This flower is not uncommon in the flower beds of the middle lane. It is characterized by unpretentiousness, bright buds and splendor, since the shoots are able to branch and grow strongly. The homeland of the plant is North America, where it grows in wet wetlands, near ravines, near ditches, and settles in lowlands. This culture does not tolerate prolonged drought, cannot develop on dry substrates, where it quickly withers and dies.
Limnantes flowers are five-petalled, most often yellow with a wide white border, but the buds of some varieties can be pink and lilac in color. During flowering, the bush is densely strewn with flowers that completely cover the foliage.
The buds emit a pleasant rich aroma. It is especially acute in the evening. Flowering begins in the first summer month, under good weather conditions it can last until frost. Most varieties of limnantes can withstand negative temperatures down to -3 degrees.
The fruit is round with a smooth or bumpy surface, consists of five lobes, each of which contains small black seeds. Fruit ripening occurs at the end of August.
Varieties of Limnantes Douglas
In ornamental gardening, only one variety of limnanthes is used – Douglas (Limnanthes douglasii). This species is a sprawling shrub with straight or decumbent branched shoots. The leaves are pinnately dissected, divided into thin segments. The flowers are simple, five-petalled, widely opened.
Also in nature there are 5 subspecies of this variety. Some of them are on the verge of extinction, but there are those that are grown in household plots.
“Nivea” – a subspecies with creeping stems that develop rapidly, branch and form a dense carpet over a wide area. The flowers are white with longitudinal stripes inside.
“Rosie” is a plant with white flowers, on the surface of the petals of which there are light pink stripes.
“Sulfria” – differs in buds of a uniform lemon-yellow color scheme.
“Striata” – has stems with numerous branches. The flowers are bright yellow with a white border around the edge.
“Alba” – a variety with snow-white petals of buds.
“Makuni” is a Canadian subspecies that is currently on the verge of extinction.
These photos illustrate the description of limnates of various varieties:
Growing from seed
Limnantes is grown only with the help of seeds. Seed material can be purchased at a specialized store by choosing the appropriate variety. After the purchase, the seeds are usually planted for seedlings, since sowing in open ground is possible only in the southern regions. If there is already such a flower on the site, you can collect seeds from it by cutting the boxes before they are fully ripe.
Before sowing, the collected seeds must be prepared for planting, and a disinfection procedure must be carried out. To do this, they are placed in a weak solution of potassium permanganate for 30 minutes. Also, gardeners, before planting, soak the seed in a solution that stimulates growth. For this, the drug “Epin” or “Kornevin” is suitable.
For growing seedlings take boxes, pots or plastic cups. It should be borne in mind that when planting seeds in separate containers, there will subsequently be no need to pick the grown plants. This is important to know, since the root system of seedlings of this crop is quite fragile and can be damaged during transplantation.
The substrate for growing seedlings is prepared from turf, sand, peat and compost, taking these components in a ratio of 2: 1: 3: 2. You can buy ready-made soil for seedlings in the store, but if it contains a large amount of fertilizer, the gardener will not wait for flowering.
It is necessary to plant the seeds of limnantes for seedlings when the length of daylight hours increases – in the second half of March or in the first days of April. Prepared containers are filled with soil, moderately watered with water at room temperature, avoiding excess moisture.
Seeds are scattered on the surface of the earth, sprinkled with a thin layer of sand on top. To create a greenhouse effect, crops are covered with a film. They are kept at room conditions, regularly caring for in the form of airing, removing condensate from the film and watering as necessary.
Caring for seedlings of limnantes after planting the seeds consists in irrigating the seedlings from a spray bottle. Seedlings in good conditions germinate very quickly 0 the first shoots can be seen in a week.
After the appearance of sprouts, the shelter is removed, containers with young plants are placed on the windowsill, where they will receive enough light. Phytolamps are used if necessary. The grown plants are watered abundantly using settled water. Water procedures are carried out in the morning.
The air temperature in the room where the seedlings grow should be 19 – 22 degrees during the day and 15 – 17 degrees at night. When the plants form a pair of leaf plates, they are seated in separate pots if they are in a common container.
After picking, the first top dressing is carried out using organic fertilizer in the form of mullein, bird droppings or ash solution. After a couple of weeks, they re-feed with ammonium nitrate.
10 – 15 days before planting in open ground, seedlings are hardened, taken out into the street if warm days have come, and the air temperature has reached 12 – 15 degrees. On the first day, the plants are left in the fresh air for 2 hours, from the next day the time is increased by 1 hour, gradually adjusted to 24 hours.
It is better to plant this crop in open sunny areas, and the composition of the soil does not play a special role for it. Work on planting limnantes seedlings on the site is carried out at the end of May or at the beginning of June.
A fine sunny day is chosen, holes are made in the soil, plants are carefully transplanted into them using the transshipment method. The soil around the bushes is compacted, moistened.
An important requirement in the care of limnantes after planting in open ground is regular watering, since the flower cannot tolerate a lack of moisture. The lack of timely water procedures leads to a slowdown in the growth and development of the plant, which negatively affects flowering.
In order for the substrate to retain moisture longer, the area near the bushes is sprinkled with mulch in the form of dried leaves or straw. During prolonged rains, it is important to loosen the area around the bushes in order to avoid the appearance of a hard crust on the surface of the earth, which prevents the penetration of oxygen to the roots.
For abundant flowering and splendor of limnantes, mineral supplements are added. This work is carried out 1 – 2 times a month with an interval of 15 – 20 days. In order for the plant to remain lush, well-groomed and attractive for a long time, the upper parts of the shoots are regularly pinched, faded buds are cut off.
This culture is not susceptible to diseases and pests, however, a constant excess of moisture in the soil leads to damage to the root system by a fungal infection. To prevent this, you should follow the rules of watering, take into account the characteristics of the flower. Affected specimens must be dug up and destroyed, in order to avoid infection of neighboring plants.
Use in the garden
Bright attractive flowers look beautiful in any part of the garden. To fill voids and decorate nondescript corners, colorful carpets are created, planting plants at a distance of 15–20 cm. Compact limnantes in garden design will decorate an alpine hill, help in the design of discounts, and enliven a flower bed.
The plant is used to decorate garden paths, rocky hills, planted along the banks of artificial ponds. In addition, limnanthes are grown in tubs and containers to decorate a balcony, veranda, and resting place in the garden.
As for the neighbors, the most harmonious partners for this culture are plants with similar requirements: dwarf phloxes, nemophiles, garden daisies, lobelia, brachycomas, pansies and many other flowers. The versatility of a bright plant was appreciated by landscape designers. It is used in compositions with coniferous crops, ferns, moss.
Due to their unpretentiousness in growing conditions, limnanthes are an excellent option for beginner gardeners. They remain decorative throughout the growing season, helping to solve many problems associated with decorating the site.