Mesembryantemum (from the Latin Mesembryanthemum) is a genus of biennial or annual succulents belonging to the Aisov family. The flower is widespread in South Africa.
There are more than 50 species in total. Most often these are grassy annuals.
The name of the plant translates as "midday flower." The fact is that the presented view opens the cups at noon in clear weather.
Annuals and biennials reach a height of 15 centimeters. Succulents can be either creeping or creeping. Some have the appearance of shrubs.
The seeds are small, the fruits are boxes. The stems branch perfectly, lying, straight.
The leaves are green in color, rounded shape. The top arrangement of the leaves is next, and the bottom is the opposite. The main characteristic is the presence of surface swollen cells resembling crystal drops.
Terry flowers, in appearance resemble daisies. Coloring - from white to red. Flowering lasts all summer until mid-autumn.
Varieties of mesembryanthemums
- The most common cultivar is the mesembryanthemiforum. It has another name - daisy-shaped dorotheanthus. Its flowers reach a diameter of up to 3.5 cm. Color can be different.
- Another popular variety is mesembryanthem ocellata. Flowers are yellow, the middle is red.
- The most popular is crystal mesembryanthem. Perennial has a large number of fleshy leaves. The glandular hairs look like drops, hence the name was given to the species.
- From domestic varieties should be allocated "Hoarfrost".
The remaining species were bred in foreign countries and are used mainly for decorative purposes. Between plants of different types it is necessary to observe spatial isolation.
- Flowers are propagated in two ways: by cuttings or seeds.
- Planting the latter goes into the closed soil at the end of winter. Sand should prevail in the ground. The soil should be loose and breathable.
- Before shoots appeared, the ambient temperature should reach 12 degrees, then it was reduced to 10 degrees. When the seedlings get stronger, they are dived and planted in peat pots also with a predominance of sand in the ground.
- If you are sure that the frost has passed, you can plant flowers in a permanent place. The distance between them should reach 15 centimeters.
- Of course, planting can be carried out in the spring directly into the open soil, but flowering will be delayed.
- The timing of flowering depends on the climate.
Seed is prepared in advance. First, the boxes are dried, and then immersed in water. After the box gets wet, seeds are taken out of it. They are washed and dried.
Cuttings are prepared in the following way: in the autumn, the bush is dug up, until spring it is left in a dark and cool place. Then cut into cuttings and put on rooting in wet sand. For three days after planting, the plants are not watered, they need time to adapt. If leaves appear on the cuttings, everything goes well. After the threat of frost has passed, the plants can be transplanted to a permanent place.
Landing and care
In winter, uterine bushes are located in greenhouses and heated greenhouses. The ambient temperature in this case should reach 10 ° C. Cuttings are from March to May. It is better to choose sandy soil. In order for the cuttings not to die, do not fill them. The place is chosen dry and bright. After rooting, the bushes will quickly grow. It is not necessary to cut them.
Care for mesembrytemums primarily consists in providing a good level of illumination. That is why it is better to land them on the south side. If there is not enough light, the plants will stretch, and the flowering period will be delayed. With proper care, flowering will be plentiful - many stars of various colors will appear on the beds. A carpet of mesembryanthemums looks very colorful on the site.
Like any succulents, plants negatively relate to high humidity. Watering for them should be moderate. If there is more water than necessary, the roots will rot. If trouble has occurred, the plant must be left until it dries. In regions with harsh winters, flowers are transferred to the room at a temperature of at least 6 degrees in cold weather. If the temperature drops to 0, the plant will die. In the middle zone of the Russian Federation, seeds are planted in such a way that the mesembryanthemum bloomed in the summer.
Mesembryantemum, cultivated in room conditions, requires the same care as a plant planted in the ground. If you decide to put a flower on the window, then the side should be sunny. During the growing season, moderate watering is required; during the dormant period, it is worth abandoning it. The flower tolerates dry room air well, but it is recommended to spray it on too hot days.
Leaving involves feeding 2 times a month - from May to September. The soil is better to choose slightly alkaline. In general, the mesembryanthemum is unpretentious. It is rarely affected by pests and diseases.
The most important factor to pay attention to is light! If you cannot provide the plant with good lighting, nothing will work.
How to use in landscape design
Crystal grass is a real find for the design of the site. It looks very beautiful, so many plant a flower in the foreground. Among other things, the plant is suitable for rabatka, creating a carpet, border.
Mesembryantemum also looks great in containers on terraces and balconies. With it, you can decorate a rock garden or rockery. Especially good flower looks on the background of stones.
In central Russia, it is used as an annual. The flower grown from seeds blooms in June and pleases the eye until autumn. Indoor plants have been living for more than one year.
It can be used to create a simple flowerbed, about the features of the formation of which we talked about in one of our previous publications.
Mesembryantemum is an excellent ornamental plant native to South Africa. The most popular varieties of succulents are crystal, hair-flowering, and ocellar. Reproduction occurs either by seeds or by cuttings. The first method is preferable. The plant does not require special care, the main thing is a good level of lighting. Mesembryantemums look great in rock gardens, discounts, rockeries, on terraces and balconies, in curbs and room conditions.