Eustoma - growing the queen of bouquets
The Irish rose, elegant and refined eustoma knew periods of universal admiration, and almost oblivion. But today she is once again popular and loved. This plant is grown primarily for cutting. Beautiful flowers resembling delicate silk half-opened roses stand in bouquets for a long time. A wide palette of colors, the tenderness of a flower with amazing durability always surprise. As well as the difficulty of growing a plant that requires a special approach. Eustoma is grown as a garden, and as a hothouse, and as a room culture. And in any quality, the plant will require very careful care.
Description of eustoma
Known among flower growers also under the name of Lisianthus Russell, an Irish, Japanese rose, Texas bell or love rose, eustoma is one of the most beautifully flowering cultures. And in horticulture, and in floriculture, it is represented by only one species - large-flowered eustoma (eustoma grandiflorum).
Earlier in the genus Eustoma (Eustoma) identified three separate species. However, the joint work of the staff of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew (United Kingdom) and the Missouri Botanical Garden (USA) to streamline the nomenclature of modern plant taxa, combined the following species under a single name - Eustoma large-flowered (Eustoma grandiflorum): Eustoma large-flowered (Eustoma grandiflorum), Lisianthus - Eustoma Russell, or Russell (Eustoma russellianum), Eustoma small, Gentian small, Gentian western, Eustoma blue marsh (Eustoma exaltatum).
Large-flowered eustoma is a luxurious plant with a height of 30 to 90 cm with branched shoots, simple, elegant leaves with a bluish tint and flowers resembling a hybrid of rose and poppy. On one plant, up to two dozen large luxurious flowers bloom per season, and due to the fact that they do not open simultaneously, but in turn, the eustoma remains attractive for an amazingly long time.
The ability of the buds to blossom after the flowers wither remains in the bouquets: when buying eustoma or putting it in vases, you can be sure that each bud will turn into a beautiful Japanese rose. Each plant looks like a bouquet: due to the specific branching, strong, but slender, fan-shaped, eustoma really seems to be a bouquet planted in a pot.
The flowering of eustoma depends on the timing of sowing and begins 20 weeks after sowing. In classic garden eustomas, it starts in June-August and lasts until mid-autumn, because the plant will not stop delighting with flowers until the frost reaches -10 degrees and snow falls.
The eustoma color palette today includes not only white, purple, pink, yellow, orange colors, but also various two-tone and watercolor combinations. Compact room eustomas have colors that are usually clean and bright enough, while garden colors are much wider. It even includes light green, fruit shades.
The huge assortment of eustoma and its popularity around the world is the merit of breeders in the USA and Japan. In the west, this plant is one of the most popular cut species, but even here, this Japanese beauty is slowly gaining ground.
Different approaches to growing eustoma
The rose of love - a truly exclusive plant. And her special status of "flower is not for everyone" is fully justified. After all, growing eustoma is really not easy. There are 3 different growing strategies for eustoma:
- in room culture;
- in the garden;
- in greenhouses or greenhouses as a shearing plant.
Agrotechnics of growing eustomas in the garden and in greenhouses is no different. Most often, the plant is cultivated as an annual one, just throwing out a magnificent flowering after the season. This approach has a definite plus: it is the annual eustomas that can be forced to bloom most abundantly. Growing as a perennial requires indoor maintenance in winter, because eustoma does not tolerate frost.
If you have the opportunity to transfer eustoma, place it, then it will delight you with magnificent flowers for cutting from year to year. True, there are some nuances here: many flower growers notice that eustoma does not cause trouble and is only happy for 2 years, and from the third it starts to hurt, be affected by pests, gradually withers. So there are only two options for growing it - as a summer or biennial.
As a houseplant, eustoma is just beginning to gain popularity, it is quite rare. And as such, only eustoma with a minimum height, dwarf varieties can be cultivated.
A peculiar intermediate option is growing as a garden pot plant. It allows you to achieve the main thing: to get rid of the need for digging for the winter, because the pots just need to be moved to the room. But there are some more advantages. In particular, easier control over conditions and humidity, the ability to easily correct lighting. According to the requirements for conditions and care, room and pottery eustomas are identical.
Growing eustoma in the garden and greenhouses
The agricultural technique of growing an Irish rose for cutting is similar both when planting in protected greenhouses and in open soil. After all, temperature preferences, like other requirements in plants, do not change.
The conditions necessary for eustoma in the garden
Both in the garden and in the eustoma greenhouse, it is necessary to provide the most bright lighting. The scattered light will suit the beauty as well as the brightest sunny locations. Even in the slightest shade, the eustoma may not bloom. Sissy-eustoma should be better protected from drafts, and even more so from cold winds.
Soil for the plant is also not suitable for anyone. The soil should be quality processed, improved, deeply dug. Eustoma can grow only in water- and breathable soil, which does not pose a risk of water stagnation and waterlogging. Loose, light, with a high percentage of organic matter and certainly fertile soil - the main guarantee of success in the cultivation of eustoma.
Landing eustoma in the ground
Before planting an eustoma, it is necessary to improve the soil. Double digging with the introduction of humus, compost, a portion of full mineral fertilizers will be a sufficient measure for this crop. If the soil is too wet, there is even the slightest risk of waterlogging, then it is better to lay a new drainage under the ridge.
It is important to carry out the eustoma planting after the slightest threat of frost disappears, not earlier than the end of May for the garden and April in greenhouses. At the same time, the time of landing itself also matters: the eustoma prefers landing in cloudy weather or in the evening.
Eustoma is planted in the soil so that between the plants a distance of 15-20 cm remains. The level of penetration during planting should be the same as that of seedlings. Earthball cannot be destroyed. Watering is carried out immediately after planting, and then stable conditions are maintained until growth resumes. If the eustoma is grown for cutting, it is best to place the newly planted plants under the hood for several weeks.
Garden and greenhouse eustoma care
Japanese rose is very demanding care. It is sensitive to changes in humidity, top dressing, gratefully reacts to an increase in air humidity in greenhouses (by any methods other than spraying).
Watering for eustoma should be systemic, but regulated according to the frequency of precipitation and temperature. Waterlogging of the soil should not be allowed. But prolonged drought will lead to developmental disruption. Light, stable humidity, more frequent watering on hot days and during droughts - the ideal strategy for the "rose of love."
Top dressing is made with full mineral fertilizers. After all, an eustoma needs the same amount of nutrients; nitrogen is just as important for it as phosphorus and potassium. Traditionally, top dressing is carried out monthly for eustoma in an annual culture, 3 times (active growth, budding and the beginning of flowering) for eustoma, which is stored for the winter. When growing for cutting in greenhouses, tactics are sometimes used with nitrogen fertilizers before flowering and potassium-phosphorus fertilizers after budding.
This plant is gratefully responding to soil mulching, which will help to significantly reduce watering and stabilize growing conditions.
In high eustomas, the shoots are often too thin, weak, they need support. At the first signs of lodging, breaking the branches of a plant, you need to tie it up to a peg or pull the rows of twine for large plantings.
Wintering garden eustoma
Usually the next year, potted eustomas growing in the garden are preserved, but you can also gently dig up ground plants by transferring them with an unbroken earthen lump into pots. At the eustoma, shoots are cut off before wintering, leaving 2-3 internodes on them. Under the condition of minimal, sparse watering, lack of top dressing and bright lighting, the eustoma should winter in rooms with a temperature of about 10-15 degrees Celsius. Resume habitual care only when new shoots appear on the plant. In a heated greenhouse, wintering conditions are similar.
Pest and disease control in the garden
Eustoma does not belong to resistant plants. It attracts spider mites, slugs, whiteflies, which are better to fight with insecticides right away. And of the diseases, she is afraid of not only gray rot, but also powdery mildew with fusarium. To avoid the risk of infection, it is better to carry out preventive spraying with fungicides.
Growing eustoma as an indoor or garden pot plant
The ability to cultivate a luxurious eustoma and as a purely indoor plant appeared relatively recently. And we owe it to the Japanese flower growers, who have developed special varieties of eustomas that feel good in pots. 10-20 years ago, eustoma in the assortment of indoor plants was a miracle, and it was brought into the premises only to save for the winter for the garden.
It is better to buy indoor eustomas not in the form of seedlings, but ready-made formed bushes in specialized flower shops. If you want to buy several copies along with seedlings for the garden, then make sure that you are offered a variety that is especially suitable for potting. The height of indoor eustomas is limited to 15-30 cm.
Even modern hybrid indoor eustomas are grown as seasonal summer plants, plants that, after colorful flowering, are easier to throw away than to try to preserve in a perennial culture. If you arrange a full wintering of the eustoma, provide extremely complex care and cool temperatures, then the plant can be grown as a biennium, but the eustoma will not become a full-fledged perennial. Another unpleasant “surprise”: indoor eustomas usually grow rapidly after purchase, increase in size due to treatment with growth inhibitors.
For growing in a pot culture with a stay from the end of spring until the fall in the fresh air in the garden, only eustomas of sufficiently compact sizes are also suitable. Usually on sale you can find seeds and seedlings, which indicate that it can be used for container growing. Such densities can be grown both as annuals and as perennials, purely in pots or planted in the ground for the summer.
Lighting and temperature
Lighting for room and potted eustoma should be light, bright, but direct sunlight should not fall on the plant. At the solar location, both the leaves and flowers of the eustoma will suffer, the plant may be too sensitive to violations of a comfortable level of humidity.
But the temperature regime is easier to choose: in the warm season, the eustoma will feel comfortable at ordinary room temperatures, and pot forms - in the fresh air in the absence of temperature drops of up to 10 degrees. If you do not want to throw away the plant and try to save it in winter, then after flowering and before the start of active development, the eustoma should be placed in cool conditions with a temperature of about 10 degrees Celsius for indoor plants and 10-15 degrees for potted crops. Wintering lighting should not change.
Watering and feeding for eustoma
Caring for eustoma in room and pot culture should be scrupulous, but not too complicated. This beauty is watered so that the substrate remains slightly moist all the time, without drying out, but also without excessive moisture. Between the procedures, the topsoil (3 cm) should dry out, and it is advisable to drain the water from the pallets immediately after watering.
Top dressing is used only from among fertilizers for flowering plants, in a standard dosage every 2-3 weeks for any form of cultivation. With a cold wintering, all watering is minimized, and feeding is not carried out. It is strictly forbidden to spray the plant, but increased humidity will benefit the eustoma (it is provided by placing trays with wet moss or humidifiers).
For eustomas, only warm water is used: the temperature contrast between the ambient air and the substrate can be detrimental to both indoor and garden potted eustomas.
Transplant and substrate
In order to stimulate the flowering of eustoma in the next year, after waking the plants need to be transplanted immediately. Eustoma is moved to a new substrate, if necessary, only a few centimeters increase the pot. For eustomas, slightly acidic or neutral earth mixtures with a loose, light, permeable texture are suitable, in which a large amount of fine sand is necessarily added.
For this culture, the substrate for the senpolia is excellent. A powerful drainage layer is necessarily laid at the bottom of the tank. But the main thing - during the procedure, do not destroy the earthen lump, and even more so do not divide each bush of eustoma, because the plant will not survive even the slightest injuries of the rhizome.
Diseases and pests
Indoor eustomas suffer less from typical diseases, but with the slightest disturbance in the comfortable humidity of the substrate, they are quickly affected by gray rot. The danger to these beauties is represented by whiteflies and thrips. At the same time, inspection of plants for the earliest possible identification of the problem should be carried out as often as possible, and the fight should be started immediately with the help of fungicides and insecticides.
Pot garden eustomas are as vulnerable as those growing in the soil.
In fact, all potted eustomas need only a pinch of the apex at the seedling stage. But if the plant is stored for the next year, then it is pruned before harvesting into the storage room, leaving several internodes on each shoot.
Cutting to bouquets
Eustoma flowers are cut when at least a few "roses" open. Pruning should not be afraid: the eustoma is able to bloom repeatedly, is actively developing and on average pleases with new inflorescences in 4-6 weeks. The same technique can also be used for meager, very short flowering: pruning can stimulate flowering in garden eustomas.
Reproduction of eustoma
Despite the fact that the eustoma is propagated by both vegetative methods and seeds, on a private scale, only the sowing method can be used. Eustoma cuttings root very difficultly, they need specific and strictly controlled conditions, and this option is usually left only for selective purposes.
Eustoma has one key feature that complicates all agricultural technology: the seeds of this plant are superfine. 1 g contains about 15000-25000 seeds, and if you want not to buy ready-made seedlings of eustoma, but to grow this culture yourself, it is better to immediately select granular seeds. They are easier to handle, and the sowing frequency is much easier to control.
Eustoma seeds are sown in mid-March. But if you want to get flowering bushes in the middle of summer, and not in August, then the sowing should be moved to February and even January. If the plant is grown in room culture, the sowing time can be shifted depending on the desired flowering period (for example, to bloom during the winter, eustoma should be sown in late July, August or early September).
For this plant, only sterilized soil can be used. Unlike most flyers, eustomas are not sown in a common container, but in small pots with a good drainage hole that allows for lower watering. Seeds should be scattered on a pre-moistened substrate without covering. Germination is carried out at a stable temperature of 23-25 degrees Celsius (lowering to 18-20 degrees at night is permissible). Every day, the crops are aired in the mornings and evenings, and stable light humidity is maintained by lower watering or spraying.
The process of emergence of seedlings takes about 2 weeks, but at the very beginning of the development of eustomas grow very slowly. To protect against black legs during this period, it is better to spray seedlings with phytosporin, and in order to avoid developmental disruption and loss of plants, protect young shoots from direct sunlight. Pick-up is carried out in individual containers only when 5-6 sheets appear.
After transplanting, the plants are gently watered, and from the tenth day from the pick, they are introduced into the program for feeding fertilizer with full mineral fertilizers. After releasing a 7-8 leaf, the top for thickening the bushes must be gently pinched.
Eustoma seedlings in open soil or garden pots are tolerated only when the threat of freezing frost disappears, not earlier than the end of May and the beginning of June.
When grown in a greenhouse or greenhouse, sowing can be done directly into the soil. Seeds are rarely scattered, and then seedlings are thinned out so that between plants there is a distance of 15-20 cm. When sowing into the soil, temperature is critical:
- if germination occurred at standard 23-25 degrees, then the eustoma will bloom in the same year;
- if the temperature was higher, then it will only form a beautiful rosette of leaves, but will bloom like a biennium, only in the second year of cultivation.