Ixia (Ixia) comes from South Africa, where there are several dozen plant species. Its name means "bird glue" - birds catch with sticky composition. And the juice of this flower is also sticky. And its specific aroma attracts many insects. Florists grow several hybrid varieties of plants.
The spike-shaped inflorescence of ixia differs from other irises in the absolute symmetry of each flower. They bloom only in clear weather at dawn, bloom for about three weeks, after which they lose their decorative effect.
Ixia is a perennial tuberous bulbous plant, half a meter high. Her leaves are narrow, arranged in two rows. Star-shaped flowers with a variety of colors are collected in a brush or spike. Their number ranges from 10 to 20. Each flower, 2-5 cm in size, has 6 petals. Their cups are similar in shape to a funnel. They bloom from early spring, but due to the short flowering time and thermophilic plants, the best flowering time is June.
Landing and care
Ixia is a plant that does not tolerate cold and temperature fluctuations. Therefore, the planting of ixia bulbs in open ground should be carried out in the second half of spring, no longer fearing frost. In this case, it is better to dig them into the soil at a 6-centimeter depth, observing a 3-centimeter interval between plants.
There should be enough sand, turf and peat fractions in the soil. It should be well loosened. At the same time, good drainage and drainage should be taken into account. Water the plant should be plentiful, starting with the appearance of the first sprouts, during the period of budding and flowering. After that, the plant does not need watering.
When caring for ixia, you must remember that this is a tropical plant that needs high humidity, warmth, sun and a calm place.
In a shaded area, ixia blooms poorly, giving faint and dull flowers. Many flower growers plant plants, changing their place every year.
During the flowering of ixia, fertilizing with mineral and organic fertilizers is necessary alternately. There are also special fertilizers for these flowers. On especially hot days, the plant, in addition to watering, needs to be sprayed. Faded inflorescences are removed. In regions that are not warm enough, foliage should be dug out for winter storage after the leaves have dried. In other areas, wintering bulbs in the soil are insulated.
When growing ixia in a closed ground, it is necessary to provide it with sufficient lighting. Planting a plant in a winter garden requires a special temperature regime: first, the temperature should not be above 5 degrees, and then 13 degrees. In this case, the bulbs are planted at the height of winter, and the flowers appear in May. Watering and feeding ixia are similar to those conditions that are in the open ground.
Bulb Care and Reproduction
In the fall, the bulbs, dug up, washed with potassium permanganate and dried. They are stored for storage in a room with a temperature not lower than 10 degrees.
Plants propagate as "children", which are separated from the main tubers by digging, and seeds. Planted separately from adult bulbs, "children" give flowers in the second year, while flowering of plants grown from seeds is achieved only in the third year.
Florists know several varieties of ixia, which are called hybrid. These are plants up to 50 cm in height with various colors of flowers - white, pink, orange, yellow, red. They are very fond of depicting them in the photo when they want to show the beauty of Ixia. These flowers have a common feature - they are darker inside than outside. The color of the core can be brown, blue, red and others.
Hybrid flowers are usually sold in a mixture. Such varieties of ixia are also known:
- early hymenocallis - up to 70 cm high, with snow-white flowers with a tart aroma;
- greenflower - a half-meter plant with black-green flowers;
- spotted - the most exotic flower of a white-violet color with violet spots passing to its outer side;
- orange - a tiny (up to 20 cm tall) plant with a lot of small flowers and a strong aroma.
Combination with other colors
One of the best neighbors for Ixia is freesia and gladiolus, which are equal in height. But it is better to plant them not interspersed with these flowers, but as separate glades.
Ixia are also good next to multi-colored annuals - white petunia, red salvia, multi-colored lobelia. Pink carnations and armeria seaside - a great combination with African exotics.
Located at the foot of the Ixia blue-white neighbors - catnip, linen, fassen - will give them a special exquisite beauty.
Ixia in landscape design
Ixia is widely used in the vicinity of other bulb cultures in such compositions:
- alpine slides;
- flower beds;
- rocky rockeries;
- rabatki and others.
At the same time, they need to be planted either in large groups, or in the form of an impromptu border.
In addition, it is good to diversify vegetable beds with these plants, multi-colored flowers look very elegant against the background of their greenery. They also look brightly among the ground cover, non-blooming plants.
Recently, ixiah has often been used as container plants, planting a large group of them in extensive tubs to decorate arbors, terraces, loggias, balconies and others.
Although the tropical guests - Ixia - are quite capricious when breeding them in a temperate climate, and they bloom only 3 weeks, but with good care they give beautiful flowers that delight with their variety. Their advantage - a bright, festive color and astringent aroma - more than covers all the worries of gardeners. Captured in the photo, they will revive the memories of a warm summer and brighten up the winter monotony.