As a rule, flowering plants love the sun and dissolve their buds under its warm rays. But there are flowers that prefer sunlight to moonlight, and one such plant is mirabilis. Popularly, this flower is better known as the dawn or night beauty. Mirabilis is very unpretentious, tolerates heat and drought well, blooms with bright inflorescences of juicy shades - it is not surprising that flower growers and landscape designers love it so much. The mysterious night beauty deserves to be noticed.
Growing mirabilis from seeds, when to plant this flower in open ground and seedlings, how to care for the plant, will be discussed in this article.
Features of the night beauty
The birthplace of mirabilis is Mexico. For the first time, the ancient Aztecs drew attention to this plant, noting not only the amazing beauty of night flowers, but also their medicinal properties.
Attention! Mirabilis roots have been proven to contain a powerful laxative. The stems and leaves of the plant have anti-inflammatory and wound healing effects.
Later, the seeds of mirabilis came to Europe, where the flower quickly gained popularity and became widespread. If at home mirabilis is a perennial plant, then in colder climates it is grown as an annual - the roots of the flower are not able to withstand even minimal frosts.
Mirabilis belongs to a very rare family of Nocta or Niktagin plants. There are about fifty species of night beauty in the wild, but only one of them - Yalapa - has taken root in Russia.
Characteristics of the night mirabilis:
- mirabilis yalapa - herbaceous plant;
- dawn bushes are compact, powerful;
- plant height can range from 50 to 120 cm, depending on the variety and growing conditions;
- the root system is powerful, the roots are tuberous, swollen - this is the structure that allows the flower to tolerate drought well;
- inflorescences look like gramophone;
- the color of flowers can be very different (from white to orange and purple), often there are inflorescences with stripes, specks, two-color mirabilis;
- the device of the mirabilis flower is surprising in that it completely lacks a corolla, and instead of an inflorescence - a calyx (in other plants it is colored green, has a small size);
- the diameter of the inflorescences can be 3.5-5 cm;
- mirabilis opens only at night, in cloudy and cool weather;
- mirabilis has a very rich aroma that attracts night moths and butterflies;
- each flower "lives" only for a couple of hours, after which it again rolls up into a tube and withers;
- the fruit of mirabilis is a wrinkled box of dark brown color, inside which there is one large seed;
- dawn bloom lasts from June until the first frost;
- the night mirabilis propagates by seeds, dividing the bush and lignified cuttings.
Important! Mirabilis is very unpretentious, therefore it is considered one of the best flowers for novice florists and busy owners.
Since in Russia mirabilis is grown as an annual plant, it is more convenient to propagate it by seeds. Of course, a florist can cut a stalk from a bush or divide a flower by roots, but all these actions will not make sense, since in winter the plant will die anyway.
Attention! As an experiment, you can lower the cuttings or rhizomes into the basement and provide them with a suitable temperature. But practice shows that most of the plants will not survive until spring, and all these actions do not make sense, because mirabilis is perfectly propagated by seeds.
When choosing a place for a dawn in your garden, you must remember the tropical origin of this plant. Mirabilis, indeed, is incredibly unpretentious and capable of blooming even in the most difficult conditions and on clay soils, for example. But, if a florist dreams of lush bloom and large beautiful flowers, you need to provide mirabilis with just ideal conditions:
- find the warmest and sunniest place in the garden;
- think about the possibility of shading flowers in the afternoon (because of the strong heat, mirabilis may stop throwing out buds);
- protect flowers from drafts and strong winds;
- prepare slightly acidic or neutral soil;
- mirabilis is able to withstand drought, but excessive moisture is detrimental to this flower, so the soil must be well drained and not be in a lowland;
- the earth should be loose, nutritious, good for air and moisture.
Advice! If the soil in the flowerbed is acidic, you must mix it with dolomite flour or quicklime.
Landing in the ground
In principle, the climate of most of Russia with long and warm summers and minimal rainfall is quite suitable for a night beauty. All this allows you to grow mirabilis from seeds at home, without resorting to buying seedlings.
Attention! Direct planting of seeds of a night beauty in the ground is possible in those regions where a stable warm temperature is already established at the end of April or in the first half of May.
To answer the question of when to sow mirabilis seeds on a flower bed, it is necessary to analyze the climatic situation in a particular region. To achieve flowering of mirabilis at least by the end of June, it is necessary to plant its seeds in the ground by the first days of May.
If by this time the soil has not warmed up well enough, and there is a threat of return frost, it is recommended to use mini-greenhouses. In such cases, large oval seeds of mirabilis are laid out in pairs at a distance of 20-30 cm from each other, deepening them into the soil by no more than two centimeters. After planting, the seeds are watered with warm water and covered with a transparent film. The film is removed when mirabilis sprouts appear from the seeds, and the weather stabilizes.
Advice! To speed up the germination of mirabilis seeds, it is recommended to soak them before planting.
Growing mirabilis directly from seeds is an easy and quick process. However, for some growers, there may be a fundamentally earlier flowering of the dawn, or the climate in the region is cold, which does not allow early sowing of seeds in the ground. In such cases, mirabilis is grown in seedlings.
It is necessary to sow dawn for seedlings in the first half of April, in order to plant mirabilis in the ground in 1.5 months. Sowing seeds of a night beauty for seedlings is not difficult, but here you need to follow some rules:
- Choose deep cups or pots for planting flowers. The root system of mirabilis goes deep, and not to the sides, so the roots will need a lot of space.
- Prepare or purchase a ready-made substrate. The soil for seedlings is prepared from equal parts of sod land, peat and river sand.
- It is recommended to add a handful of wood ash to each pot just before sowing.
- The seeds of mirabilis should be soaked in a damp cloth for 12-20 hours (you can skip this, then the seeds will germinate a couple of days later).
- Place 2-3 seeds in each glass or pot. This seedling is quite large, the plants are powerful.
- The seeds are deepened by no more than two centimeters, sprinkled with dry earth on top.
- Water the plantings with warm water and cover with a transparent film.
Now you need to remove the seedlings in a warm place with a constant temperature of 23-25 degrees. After 10-12 days, the seeds will germinate, then the shelter can be removed, and the pots can be placed on the windowsill.
Attention! Seedlings of mirabilis should be watered sparingly, as excess moisture will lead to its death. Only when the ground is completely dry can you water the flowers with a little water.
At the end of May, the seedlings of the night beauty are transferred to a permanent place. The wells are prepared in advance, leaving an interval of 30-50 cm between them (depending on the variety of mirabilis and the height of the bush) and fertilizing with a mineral complex.
With how to grow mirabilis from seeds, everything is clear. Now it's worth talking about the rules for caring for night flowers. Although the dawn is very unpretentious and usually does not cause any trouble to the owner of the site, like any cultivated plant, it needs minimal care:
- watering mirabilis needs regular, but not very frequent. During dry periods, it is recommended to water the flowers abundantly once a week. If the grower noticed that the number of inflorescences on the bushes has decreased, watering can be increased - after 1-2 days. When there is enough natural precipitation, it is not necessary to water the night beauty; she suffers from excess moisture more than from its lack.
- You need to feed the mirabilis at least three times per season. The first fertilizer should be complex and contain nitrogen, it is applied immediately after planting seedlings in the ground or before laying the buds. The second time the flowers are fed in the middle of summer, the third feeding is done at the end of August. The last two dressings consist of a complex of minerals, but nitrogen is no longer needed at this stage, it will make the flowering more scarce.
- Diseases and pests almost never infect mirabilis, so there is no need to process the bushes.
- To keep the flowers strong and healthy, the soil under the bushes must be loosened after each rain or watering, and weeds must be pulled out.
- In the middle of autumn, dawn bushes are dug up and disposed of, having previously collected seeds from mirabilis for the next season.
Important! In the southernmost regions with mild winters, you can try to keep the mirabilis until spring. To do this, with the onset of cold weather, the bushes are pruned and the roots are covered with a thick layer of organic mulch or spruce branches.
Photos of blooming mirabilis do not leave you indifferent: it is not for nothing that this flower was revered by the wisest ancient peoples (Aztecs, Egyptians). Dawn is rightfully considered the queen of the night, illuminating the garden with bright colors when other flowers fold their buds and sleep soundly.
It is quite simple to grow mirabilis, for this you just need to sow seeds in the ground or plant them on seedlings. Complicated plant care is also not required, so the night beauty is perfect for the most inexperienced flower growers.
More information about growing seedlings of mirabilis is described in this video: