Sanvitalia: description and features of cultivation

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Sanvitalia (lat. Sanvitali ) is a numerous genus that includes annual and perennial plants. Under natural conditions, representatives of the genus are found in Central America. In ornamental gardening, this culture began to be used in the VIII century. The genus belongs to the Asteraceae family.


Sanvitalia is a herbaceous plant with intensively branching straight or creeping thin stems up to 50 cm long. Due to the numerous branches, the bush has a rounded shape. Its height reaches 25 – 35 cm. The leaves are oval or oval-elongated, entire, long-petiolate, with an opposite arrangement.

Inflorescences – single baskets with a diameter of 2.5 – 3 cm, outwardly resemble a sunflower in reduced sizes. Reed flowers of sanvitalia can be bright yellow, white, terracotta, brown, tubular – fuchsia, dark brown, black, light green.

This culture begins to bloom in the second summer month. Flowering lasts until mid-autumn. After flowering, the plant produces a fruit with seeds inside.


In the middle lane, only one variety of sanvitalia is cultivated – Prostrate. On its basis, a large number of varieties were obtained:

“Bright eyes” – a plant with creeping thin shoots 25 – 30 cm long. Baskets with tubular dark flowers and ligulate carmine color.

“Million Suns” – a variety that is grown in hanging planters. It has baskets with tubular rich green flowers and reed bright yellow.

“Orange Sprite” – semi-double variety with rich orange inflorescences.

“Solar wave” – differs in rich yellow baskets with a diameter of 3 cm.

“Mandarin Orange” – has coral inflorescences-baskets.

“Gold Braid” – is a bush with creeping stems up to 40 cm long. The central part of the basket is dark purple, the reed flowers are lemon yellow.

“Aztec Gold” – a variety 20 cm high. It has carmine-colored baskets with a green core.

These photos show the varieties of sanvitalia, the description of which you have read above:

Planting seeds

This plant is propagated by seeds. Seed material has a high similarity, if you create suitable conditions for this.

You need to sow sanvitalia for seedlings when the calendar spring comes. For planting, take small plastic glasses, ordinary or peat pots. A layer of expanded clay is laid at the bottom to create drainage.

A substrate is poured on top, consisting of garden soil and sand, taken in a ratio of 3: 1. The seed is deepened by 1 cm, sprinkled with a layer of soil, irrigated from a sprayer, covered with cling film or a piece of glass to create greenhouse conditions. They contain crops of sanvitalia in a room with a temperature of 18 – 20 degrees on a lighted windowsill.

Sprouts will appear within a couple of weeks. Before they appear, it is necessary to carry out regular care for the crops, which should consist in daily airing of the mini-greenhouse, removing condensate from the surface of the film or glass, and moistening the substrate. After the sprouts hatch, the shelter must be removed.

When the second leaf plate is formed in young plants, they dive into separate containers. After 2 – 3 weeks, hardening begins, leaving it in the fresh air for several hours every day. As a result, the seedlings should successfully spend the day on the street.

With the establishment of warm weather, the grown plants are transplanted to the site. This work is carried out in the second half of May, but if there is a threat of frost returning, then its deadlines are postponed until the beginning of June.

The area where sanvitalia will grow should be flooded with sunlight. For the full development and flowering of this plant, fertile, loose soils with a neutral acid reaction should be chosen. Poor soil before planting needs to be enriched with fertilizers.

In the selected area, holes are made with a depth of 15 cm. The distance between them should be 20 cm. A drainage layer is laid on the bottom in the form of small stones or broken bricks.

Seedlings are carefully rolled into planting pits along with a clod of earth. This helps to keep the root system from damage. After planting the sanvitalia, the hole is covered with earth, compacted, and watering is the first care measure.

In southern latitudes, sowing seeds can be carried out immediately in open ground. After the plants reach 7 – 10 cm, they will need to dive, leaving the strongest. Between plants when picking should be left about 10 cm.

Flowering of plants grown according to the above recommendations can be observed in 2 – 2.5 months from the moment of sowing.


Growing sanvitalia from seeds will not be a hassle, as it is one of the most unassuming plants to care for.

  • Watering. This crop has low watering requirements. The main thing is to observe moderation, to prevent an excess of moisture in the soil, as a result of which various fungal diseases of the flower occur. It is enough to irrigate the bush 1 – 2 times a week. In rainy summers, there will be no need for water procedures. After watering, it is required to loosen the soil around the bush to prevent the formation of a dense crust and free penetration of oxygen to the roots. Weeds are also removed during this work.
  • Topdressing. Fertilization is required only if the sanvitalia was planted on poor soil. The mineral composition is used 3 times during the summer months with an interval of 3 weeks.
  • Other activities. If the bush grows in an open area, there is a high probability that gusty winds will violate its integrity. To maintain the shape of plants, supports are installed near them.

For the splendor of the bushes during the cultivation of young plants, they are pinched several times. This procedure promotes intensive branching.

If necessary, sanvitalia can be transplanted to another place in the garden. This culture successfully tolerates a transplant, quickly takes root in a new place and continues to bloom.

Since the flower can withstand temperatures not lower than -3 degrees, at the end of flowering it is dug up and destroyed. Some gardeners wish to keep the plant until next spring. In the first half of September, the bushes are dug up and transplanted into pots. Keep in a room with a temperature of 6 – 8 degrees.

Disease control and pests. If the irrigation regime is violated, sanitary insects and some diseases can attack. With poor watering, the leaves of the plant begin to curl, change color. Spots often appear on leaf plates. Having found signs of the disease, water procedures should be normalized.

An excess of moisture leads to a disease such as black leg. This disease can develop both in an adult specimen and in seedlings.

To prevent the occurrence of a fungal disease, it is important to regularly ventilate the seedlings, moisten the ground only after drying by 2 cm. Affected plants are removed from the soil and eliminated. The remaining specimens are treated with a fungicide solution.

Use in landscape design

Sanvitalia harmoniously fits into any flower arrangements, taking its rightful place in flower beds. With the help of these plants, you can decorate any area beautifully.

Suitable partners for this culture are alissums, nemophiles, ageratums, purslane, fuchsias, forget-me-nots, cinquefoil, begonia, salvia, lakfiol, sweet peas, cyanosis, cloves.

See how the flower beds with sanvitalia flowers look like in these photos:

Small variegated flowers, resembling miniature sunflowers, look advantageous against the background of large stones, so they are great for making rockeries, creating rocky gardens.

Sanvitalia in landscape design are often used as ampelous plants. Also with their help decorate garden paths, balconies, recreation areas.

These flowers look very interesting in container plantings in combination with verbenas, expressive petunias, salpiglossis, mesembryanthenums and other flowers with contrasting shades.

Lush flowering carpets can transform the voids on the site, effectively decorate nondescript places in the garden. Balconies and window boxes are decorated with beautiful plantings in baskets.

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