Sparaxis (Sparaxis) comes from South Africa, where it grows along the banks of tropical rivers, reaching up to a meter in height. In our conditions, it is not so high (from 15 to 60 cm), but no less noticeable than in the homeland. It is successfully bred in the garden, where it goes well with other plants. But in order to grow this colorful flower, you need to know its features. This article is devoted to their consideration.
Description of the flower and its variety
Sparaxis is a tuberous perennial flower from the iris family. Its multi-colored, resembling stars, six-centimeter openwork flowers delight the eye at the end of May-June. In appearance, they look like intricate Arabic script. Plants are extremely demanding of heat; in cool summers they may not bloom. There are several most common varieties of sparaxis, which differ in color, size of flowers and the plants themselves:
- Lord of fire. Very spectacular variety, creating the impression of fiery tongues flaming on a black background.
- Undersized tricolor flowers with strong stems. This is a kind of mix of colors. You can find white-yellow, red-white and other shades of peduncle.
- Bilbifer - One of the highest varieties of sparaxis. He loves sandy soils. Its large peduncles can be snow-white and yellow.
- Grandiflora - growth champion. Juicy leaves are surrounded by large elongated flowers of various shades of white, purple, yellow. They simply have an amazing aroma, for which it is often called fragrant.
- Grade "Striped" also very diverse and sophisticated. The most beautiful flower stalk of this variety is painted in orange with a bright yellow core.
- Grade Elegant characterized by a combination of purple and yellow shades of the flower with an almost black center.
Place selection, landing, care
Sparaxis is best planted in sunny places, further from shading trees, bushes and tall herbaceous plants. The plant prefers soil loamy, rich in humus. It will bloom well after a rainy spring. Bulbs of undersized varieties are placed at a distance of 4 cm from each other, and tall ones - with an interval of ten centimeters.
At the beginning of the growth of sparaxis, one should beware of drought, which can lead to yellowing of leaves and significantly reduce the number of flowers. In such conditions, they need regular and plentiful watering. You should also spray twice with warm water at the beginning and end of the day. This protects them from burns.
Even with the appearance of small leaves, it is necessary to regularly fertilize sparaxis. Caring for an exotic plant in the open ground ends with 3 weeks after flowering (in July-August), when the leaves dry, bulbs that do not withstand wintering in our conditions, dig and store until spring.
There are several ways to reproduce sparaxis.
Using tubers in the open field
Dug up tubers of already wilted plants are cleaned and stored in a dry room at a temperature of no higher than 9 degrees. At the same time they are insulated with sawdust, straw, peat, while ensuring good circulation of fresh air. In such conditions, bulbs can, without spoiling, be up to 3 years. Before planting, the nodules are heated, increasing the temperature in the storage to 25 degrees.
Breeding in pots
With this method, nodules are planted in early autumn in 2-3-liter pots. In one such container should be placed no more than four copies of sparaxis. Pots are placed on the windowsill, watering the plants well. Draft landings are harmful. Three months later, the windowsill will be filled with colorful tropical flowers.
Seeds are germinated in greenhouses or in premises similar to them in terms of conditions. They are in wide boxes of ten-centimeter height in warmth and with good watering. Emerging seedlings are thinned out, leaving an interval of 2 cm between them. When young plants reach a height of 5-8 cm, they can be transplanted into the open ground.
- Sparaxis is never planted alone, it looks very impressive in the form of a bright meadow, where there are up to a hundred plant copies in various color variations.
- Combinations of this exotic with other ornamental plants and flowers are possible. At the same time, it is better to place sparaxis flowers in the foreground, because, being miniature, it does not obscure higher plants. You can provide in this case, the stepping composition.
- A multi-colored flower looks good in rock gardens, combined with conifers and stones. You can supplement this picture with other types of bulbous plants.
- In group plantings and borders, sparaxis looks good with tigridia, escholia, phlox, stonecrops, thyme and other flowers. In such cases, it is better to use the varieties of Bilifer and Grandiflora to avoid excessive variegation of the composition.
- The flower combines well with the greenery of the lawns, creating the illusion of a natural lawn.
- You can use it to create mixed flower beds, where it is important to take into account the rules of a harmonious combination of colors, alternating delicate and bright colors.
- Hanging flowerpots with sparaxis will create comfort in a small area.
South African handsome sparaxis has recently appeared in our summer cottages. It is extremely diverse, with his participation you can create an infinite number of garden compositions. He loves sunny, warm places, but he hardly tolerates heat, requiring regular watering. Cold for him is generally not acceptable, because it can interfere with flowering. Surrounded by caring and competent care, sparaxis pleases with snow-white, bright red, violet, yellow, orange and other beautiful colors, where tenderness is harmoniously combined with contrast.