Plants To Grow From Seed

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BROWALLIA (FAMILY SOLANACEAE)

Of [he nine species which have been found, it is Browallia spccwsa from which the modern hybrids have been developed. Although it has the common name of bush vioietj varieties are available with blue, lavender and white flowers.

In appearance it is a shrubby plant about 12-20 in (30-50 cm) in height, freely branching, flowering profusely over several weeks, not unlike Exacum ajfine in habit. The flowers, which are about 2 in (5 cm) across, are tubular, flaring out to five petals and usually have a white throat; the 1 in (2.5 cm) long stalks, carrying the flowers, are produced from the leaf axils. It is a very useful pot plant because it can be brought into flower during the late summer and autumn; or, if the sowing is delayed, it will flower during the winter and early spring.

Seed should be sown in JI seed compost or soilless seed compost, lightly covered with compost, and the seed pan enclosed in a polythene bag or covered with a sheet of glass. Ideal temperature for germination is 60-65°F (15 - 18°C) which should result in the seedlings making their appearance in 14 to 21 days. The time of (lowering is governed by the time the seeds are sown. Sow in late winter or early spring for plants to flower in late summer and autumn. If you wish to grow plants for winter flowering sow in late spring.

When the seedlings are large enough to handle, pot in 3-in (7,5-cm) pots using compost E6 or equivalent, and in due course pot on into 4 or 4'/j-in (10 or 11-cm) pots, depending on the size of the plants.

Hrowallias have a tendency to become leggy and to prevent this it is necessary to pinch out the growing points regularly to produce bushy compact plants. The plants produce a succession of flowers; you will need to remove dead flowers from time to time to keep the plants looking attractive. If the plants are allowed to grow naturally they make good subjects for hanging baskets because they develop an arching habit.

The ideal temperature range for browallias is 50-60°F (10- I5°C) during the flowering season. Temperatures higher than 65°F (18°C) will shorten the life of the flowers and the flowering period. In the house the plant should be kept in a cool room, in the window, where it is exposed to bright light, and it will benefit from some direct sunlight in the late autumn and winter months. Browallias are annuals and should be discarded when they have finished flowering.

CAMPANULA (FAMILY CAMPANULACEAE)

Until quite recently Campanula tsopkylla, commonly known as Star of Bethlehem, was always propagated by cuttings, when grown by amateur gardeners, but a new variety called 'Kristal' is now available which can be grown from seed. Campanula isophyUa has a trailing habit, and unless it is being grown in a hanging basket it needs support.

Sow seed in early spring, heat 60-65°F (15- 18°C), in soilless compost and keep covered by glass or in a polythene bag until seedlings begin to appear, then expose to full light but not sunshine. Prick out into 2-in (5-cm) pots as soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle. When the plants are ready to be potted on, use a 4l/:*in {11-cm) pot, potting two or three plants to each pot, in compost E6 or equivalent- As the plants grow, give them any support which may be necessary to give the effect you desire. There are many different types of support available.

Campanula isophyUa is a cool-house plant and enjoys outside conditions in the summer more than the conditions in a greenhouse or a house; therefore it should be put in the coolest place available in the house which is compatible with its light requirements (bright light shaded from direct sunlight). Do not allow the compost to dry out, but on the other hand do not overwater. Ideal temperatures are 60-65cF (15- 18°C) during the summer, and 40-45°F

How Grow Hanging Strawberry Plants
  • impjnula ucphytk is an ideal pbnl for n hanging basket.
  • 5-7°C) during the winter when the plants are resting, keeping ihe compost on the dry side, not loo moist and not too dry.

Plants can be grown on year after year and new plants can easily be raised from cuttings, which should be taken when the plants have made some new growth in the spring. Take tip cuttings, 2 in (5 cm) long, with three or four pairs of leaves, the stem being cut below a node. Remove the lowest pair of leaves, dip the stem in a hormone rooting powder and insen about '/a in (13 mm) deep into the cutting compost. Keep the cuttings enclosed until some new growth is observed, when they can be left uncovered until they are ready to be potted.

(\impjnula ucphytk is an ideal pbnl for n hanging basket.

CINERARIA (FAMILY COMPOSITAE)

Although most gardeners refer to these plants as cinerarias their correct name is Scrtscio. The species Setucw cruentus comes from the Canary Islands where n grows as a perennial. It was introduced into England about 200 years ago and is the main parent from which today's cineraria hybrids have been raised.

Owing to the fact that cinerarias bloom in the winter and spring months, they have always been very popular plants. An enormous number of hybrids have been raised, which offer such variety in boih size of plant and shape of flower thai plants are available to meei any grower's requirements.

Cinerarias lend to have very large leaves, and ifthe larger varieties are grown the plants take up far too much room in the frame and greenhouse. For house decoration it is belter to grow the dwarf or compact plants.

In appearance a cineraria in flower looks rather like a bouquet of daisy-type flowers surrounded bv bright green leaves. The colour range of the flowers is enormous and includes many different shades of reds, pinks, maroons, blues, orange and white in self-colours and bi-colours. There is also a variety with star-like (lowers.

Cinerarias have been very popular plants since early Victorian times and during the latter part of the nineteenth century, when many professional gardeners were engaged in raising new and improved cullivars or hybrids, there were many named varieties offered by nurserymen It is not surprising that they have always been popular plants because not only are they attractive and colourful flowering plants, but with careful planning rhey can be (lowered from autumn to spring; also, in a cool atmosphere of say 45—55°F (7-13°C), some varieties will remain in flower for six to eight weeks.

Although they are perennials, cinerarias arc usually treated as annuals and are grown from seed each year, the plants being discarded after flowering.

Most seed growers or merchants offer their own strains, which arc usually mixed colours, and these vary from dwarf plants, about 10 in {25 cm) in height, to large plants, 18 in (45 cm) tall. It is, however, not so much the height as the width which makes the plant large, because the taller varieties have large leaves and well-grown plants measure about 2 ft (60 cm) in diameter, taking up a considerable amount of room on the greenhouse bench. Unless you have a lot. of room to spare it is better to grow the large-flowered dwarf varieties, which are in any case more useful for house decoration.

Sow the seed in either a soilless compost or in JI

A Cineraria is a very colourful planl for wintci and early spring lltwermg

A Cineraria is a very colourful planl for wintci and early spring lltwermg

Happipot Plant

seed compost covering lightly with a tine layer of the compost or fine sand. Cover the seed pan with a sheet of glass or enclose it in a plastic bag. Seed sown in mid-spring should be kept in a temperature of about 60-65JF (15- 18°C) and germination should take about seven days, in which case a fortnight after sowing the seedlings should be ready for pricking out into trays using compost E6.

In a further three to four weeks the seedlings should be ready for potting into 3-in (7.5-cm) pots and when these are well rooted in mid-summer pot on into 4'/j or 5-in (11.5 or 13-cm) pots, depending on the size of the plant.

Seed sown in spring, as described, should produce

Cineraria 1$ easily raised from seed in a very wide range of colours.

plants which have been potted into their final pots by mid-summer and these will bloom from [he beginning of autumn onwards. Plants from the same sowing do not all bloom at the same time, and if you grow, say, a dozen plants from a spring sowing, they will probably cover a period of about three months, i.e. from the end of the summer until early winter. Seed can be sown any time between mid-spring and early summer inclusive; consequently, by sowing at different times, plants can be had in flower throughout the autumn and winter months.

Cinerarias can be grown in soilless compost, but in my experience they grow better in compost E6. Having large leaves, they require frequent watering in hot sunny weather and should always be shaded from direct sunlight. Even so, the leaves will nearly always flag during the heal of the day despite the compost being well watered, but in the cool of the evening they will recover and will be none the worse. It is, however, belter to grow the plants outside in the summer, as soon as all danger of frost has passed. Any situation where the light is good, but out ofthe direct rays of the sun, is suitable. Before the end of the summer the plants should be taken indoors or preferably into a greenhouse.

As [he plants make considerable growth in their growing period, feeding should commence after the plants have been in their final pots for some four or five weeks.

Cinerarias tend to attract greenfly and whitefly in the summer months so, from time to time, inspect the undersides of the leaves and spray with a suitable insecticide if it is necessary.

After the plants have finished flowering they should be discarded as they do not make satisfactory flowering plants in t he second year,

GERBERA (FAMILY COMPOSITAE)

This plant originates from South Africa as its common name of Transvaal daisy implies. It is a half-hardy perennial which flowers from mid-summer to autumn. The daisy-like flowers are very attractive in a wide range of colours (including pink, rose, red, salmon orange and pale yellow) on strong stems, and are excellent as cut flowers.

Up lo recent limes the Jamesonii hybrids, which have flower stems about I Vi-2 ft (45-60 cm) high, were used for pots, but a new variety has been introduced called 'Happipot New'. This has stems about 8-12 in (20-30 cm), long with flowers about Vh in (9 cm) across, and makes a much more compact and attractive pot plant. This new variety will flower about four months after sowing.

Sow gerbera seeds in mid-spring in JI seed compost or soilless compost, by just pressing the seed into the surface of the compost. Put the seed pan in the propagator, temperature 65-70 F (18-2I°C), and

Cineraria 1$ easily raised from seed in a very wide range of colours.

Flowering Pot Plants

cover with a sheet of glass, leaving exposed to full light. A fortnight after sowing the seedlings should be ready for pricking out into a seed tray, using compost Eft or equivalent. Three weeks later they should be ready for potting in 3'/j-in (9-cm) pots and later, when sufficiently grown, into 5 or 6-in (1 3 or 15-cm) pots, depending on the size of the individual plant, again using compost E6.

Gerberas are very easy to grow and do not require any special treatment. Plants can be kept in the greenhouse on watering trays or outside in the open air during the summer, in which event they should be watered as required. The compost in the pots should not be allowed to become too wet and should be watered regularly but sparingly.

Having raised a batch of gerberas from seed you will no doubt have raised enough plants to meet your requirements, and the following season it wilt only be necessary to repot the previous year's crop. Gerberas are perennials and each year will grow larger; by the third year they will require a 10-in (25-cm) pot, but as they are so easy to raise from seed it is really better to raise a new batch every two or three years.

Pots as large as 10-in (25-cm) are too cumbersome for house pot plants; they also take up too much room in the greenhouse, and gerberas have to he protected from the frost. During the winter, cease watering the pots but do not allow the compost to get too dry. Just water sparingly when the surface of the compost looks dry and the pots are beginning to feel a bit on the light side.

Gcrbera jamcsonn, (he Transvaal Daisy, has a very iiurncrtivc flower in various shades of pink, red, orange urui yellow.

Gcrbera jamcsonn, (he Transvaal Daisy, has a very iiurncrtivc flower in various shades of pink, red, orange urui yellow.

Flowering Pot PlantsHow Plant Daisy Bush Pot

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