Platycodon (Platycodon) is a flowering herbaceous perennial from the Kolokolchikov family, which is widespread in Japan and China, Korea and the Far East. The culture can be found on forest edges and clearings, as well as on rocky rocky slopes. In floriculture, only one of its species is known - platycodon grandiflorus. Translated from Greek, the name of the flower is translated as "wide bell". The unopened buds are shaped like small lanterns. Popular varieties are Snowflakes, Shell Pink, Fairy Snow, Epoiema, Album and Marisil Blue.
Distinctive features of the perennial are its fleshy rhizome, straight and thin stems 20-80 cm high with a large amount of bluish foliage, single flowers or panicle inflorescences of white, lilac, purple, purple and pink shades, as well as fruit-boxes with shiny ovoid seeds forms. The flowering period of Platycodon lasts on average 50-60 days and begins in the second half of July. Platycodon perfectly coexists with many plants in the flower garden and in the garden. The best companion plants are gypsophila, bells, phlox.
Platycodon seeds can be sown directly on an open flower garden, but the seedling method is still more reliable. Favorable time for sowing: late February - early March. The preparation of the planting material consists in pre-sowing soaking. To do this, you will need a small gauze bag in which the seeds are poured, and a glass container with water at room temperature. The seeds are left in water to swell for 48 hours.
Planting boxes or large-volume flowerpots are filled with a substrate for flowering plants, in which equal parts of river sand, peat soil and humus are carefully loosened and seeds are sown to a depth of 3-5 mm or on the surface. From above, the planting material must be sprinkled with a thin layer of sand and moistened with water at room temperature from a fine spray. Seedlings should appear in 7-14 days. The entire growing period requires timely and regular watering, which should be carried out only after the surface of the substrate has dried. Planting boxes covered with plastic wrap should be placed in a bright and warm room. After the mass emergence of seedlings, the cover must be removed and the temperature conditions must be lowered to 18 degrees Celsius.
Seedling care consists of watering and loosening the soil. First, the soil is moistened, and immediately after that, it is gently loosened. After the appearance of 3-4 full-fledged leaves, the plants dive into flower containers of small diameter (no more than 10 cm). Transplantation into open ground is carried out with a lump of earth.
The ideal time for transplanting seedlings to open flower beds is the third decade of May or the first decade of June. Even mild night frosts can significantly harm young plants, so you should wait for stable warm weather.
It is better to choose a site for planting in an open, illuminated place or in a light partial shade. Good drainage is recommended. The soil should be nutritious and loose with moderate moisture, neutral in composition. It can be loam or fertile soil with a small addition of sand and deep groundwater. Before planting, the site must be dug up, adding wood ash and mineral fertilizers during digging. For each square meter of land, you will need a tablespoon of complex fertilizing and half a glass of ash.
It is necessary to choose such a place for the Platycodon, where he will feel great for a long time without transplants (he does not like such procedures). On average, a plant can fully develop in one area for about ten years.
The planting holes are located at a distance of about 30 cm from each other, the volume of each of them depends on the size of the root part of the plant. The depth and width of the hole should slightly exceed the size of the earthen ball of seedlings. Young plants are watered before being removed from the pots, and then, together with a clod of earth, are transferred into the planting hole. After filling the hole with earth, the first watering is carried out.
Within 10-15 days after planting, young Platicodon plants are recommended to be watered every day, and starting from the third week - 2-3 times a week. A blooming perennial does not like excess moisture.
Loosening and weeding of the soil is carried out as needed, but always after moistening the soil. Weed vegetation should be removed at the stage of its appearance on the flower garden.
Mulching can save the grower time and greatly benefit the flowers. Mulch protects against weeds and keeps the soil moist and loose for a long time.
Complex mineral fertilizers for flowering crops are applied regularly once a month along with watering.
In order for herbaceous perennials not to stretch upwards, it is recommended to pinch the tops from time to time or spray with special solutions that slow down growth.
Tall varieties or overgrown plants can ruin the overall picture in the flower bed and flower garden. To preserve decorativeness, flower growers advise to build a small support for flowers and tie them up, and do not forget about the timely removal of wilted buds.
Seed collection is carried out in early autumn. By this time, the stalks of the platycodon dry up, and the seed boxes inside are cracked.
Platycodon is not a frost-resistant crop and therefore must be covered with a reliable and warm cover during the winter. With the arrival of autumn, when the seeds have already been harvested, the aerial part of the herbaceous plants must be completely cut off. It is recommended to cover the entire surface of the garden or flower garden with a mulch layer about 10 cm thick. Peat, sawdust, dry leaves, humus or spruce branches can be used as mulch.
Cuttings are not popular in Platicodon propagation. The plant is reluctant to take root, you can waste time and energy, but everyone can try it. For cuttings, stems with a heel and several internodes (at least two) are required. In early spring, you need to cut cuttings about 10 cm long and bury them in sand or a special substrate for flowering crops. It is recommended to cover each stalk on top with a glass or plastic container. In such a mini-greenhouse, the processes are located before the appearance of their own roots.
Since the perennial Platycodon does not like transplants, it can also endure the division of the bush with negative consequences. The plant is watered, carefully removed from the ground and divided into several parts. It is recommended to use only a sterile instrument for separation. Each division should have a growth bud. Places of cuts should be sprinkled with wood ash or activated carbon powder, and then immediately planted in a permanent place in the garden. Whether the platycodone will take root after the separation is unknown.
The seed propagation method is considered the most reliable and proven. Seed germination is high. Even a beginner in floriculture can grow seedlings from seeds.
Platicodone is highly resistant to diseases and pests. The plant is sick only in rare cases, when the irrigation regime is violated or the rainy period is too long. In such damp conditions, gray rot usually appears, which is fatal to all plants. At the initial stage of the appearance of rot, urgent measures must be taken:
For the final disposal of the disease, spraying with fungicides is carried out. Twice with an interval of ten days, all plants must be treated with a solution of copper sulfate or Fundazole (2% solution).
Of the pests, mice and moles deliver big problems to Platycodon flowers. From their presence in the garden, the root system is damaged and flowering bushes die. You can get rid of mice if you spread bait with pesticides mixed with cereals or other products throughout the entire area. But it will be very difficult to fight with moles. These rodents can only be deterred by exhaust gas or smoke. To do this, you need a chainsaw and a rubber hose. One end of the hose is lowered into the animal's burrow, and the other is attached to the exhaust port. They turn on the chainsaw and wait for the mole to run away from there.
Garden bell / Shirokokolokolchik / Platycodon from seeds
author Tkachenko K.G., photo by the author
I recommend growing a shirokokolokolchik to all gardeners who want not only to have beautifully flowering and original plants on the site, but, on occasion, also surprise their guests with exquisite dishes from them.
Shirokolokolchik, or platycodon large-flowered (Platycodon grandiflorus) is a perennial herb of the campanulaceae family.
In nature, the shirokokolokolchik grows in Eastern Siberia and the Far East, as well as in Japan, Korea and China.
In the countries of the Korean Peninsula, the shirokolokolchik is called "taradi".
Shirokokolokolchik reaches a height of 60-70 cm (dwarf varieties with a height of 20-35 cm). An adult plant with bluish leaves has up to 10 shoots. Flowering begins in July and lasts 4-6 weeks.
During the period of budding and flowering, the shirokokolokolchik is very decorative. It has unusual swollen buds that look like a flashlight. Apical flowers up to 5 cm in diameter, usually solitary (sometimes two flowers bloom at the top of the shoot). The corolla of the flower is white, lilac, pink, light blue, blue or various shades of purple. The shape of a simple flower is funnel-shaped. Bred varieties of shirokokolokolchik with semi-double and double flowers.
Soil types are classified according to their content:
An important quality of the soil is the ability to pass air and moisture, as well as the ability to retain the incoming water.
For a plant, such a property of the soil as thermal conductivity (also called heat capacity) is extremely important. It is expressed in the period of time during which the soil is able to heat up to a certain temperature and, accordingly, give off heat.
The mineral part of any soil is sedimentary rocks formed as a result of weathering of rock formations. Water currents over millions of years have divided these products into two types:
Limestone is another mineral-forming species.
As a result, 7 main types of soils can be distinguished for the flat part of Russia:
I love daisies and bells very much - I always find a place for them in the garden. And one of the most beloved was the shirokolokolchik, or platycodon, which in Greek means “wide bowl”.
This rather majestic perennial 50-60 cm tall blooms during July-August. If faded "heads" are removed in time, preventing the formation of seeds, flowering will be longer. I grew platycodon from seeds received as a gift for participating in one of the promotions. I sowed them in the house in March.
For sowing, I used light peat soil with the addition of sand (2: 1). Shoots appeared in 2 weeks. I watered it carefully from a special narrow "drinking bottle", into which I inserted the long part of a regular ballpoint pen (by unscrewing the top cap). It turns out conveniently and targeted - for each seedling.
As for most plants in seedling age, waterlogging is destructive for Platycodone. In May, she landed in open ground, choosing a sunny place with some protection from the winds. The soil is breathable with the addition of humus, coniferous litter and sand. Young plants transplanted well and bloomed at the end of August.
Despite the fact that Platycodon has a taproot, I tried to dig it up and divide it. Did it in the spring. Everything worked out, but it was necessary to monitor the soil moisture, to support root formation with a stimulating preparation (according to the instructions). In the first summer, the shoots were low - the plants were sick and took root. Delenki bloomed the next year, but they grew to the state of good bushes for several more years.
ON A NOTE
Shirokokolokolchik is winter-hardy; you do not need to cover it for the winter. After wintering, shoots appear late, more often at the end of May. Therefore, the soil in this place does not need to be dug up in search of sprouts.
Since the plant comes with pink, white and blue flowers, I select neighbors in accordance with the color (not only for growth).
© Author: Irina GORODKO, St. Petersburg. Photo by Valentina BONDAR
Platycodon is grown by seeds, carrying out their surface sowing in spring. The optimum temperature for seed germination is not lower than + 20 ... 22 ° С.
It is recommended to prepare the soil that is loose, loamy, nutritious, well-drained and moderately moist. Stagnant water is dangerous for the plant. The landing site should be well-lit and sunny. Plants can also tolerate light shade.
A bed for seedlings is prepared in advance, marking the planting sites with pegs, so that next spring you can see where the platycodon seedlings are.
Advice! Since young plants do not need much space for growth in the first year, sowing can be carried out with a row spacing of up to 15 cm.
The main care of the seedlings will be regular weeding and loosening of the soil surface.
From the spring of the second year of the growing season, monthly fertilizing is carried out with complex mineral fertilizer.
Some specimens can bloom one year after sowing, but usually bloom begins in the third year.
From the third and in subsequent years, during the period of active growth, Platicodon is fed once every three weeks, alternating between organic and complex mineral fertilizers, and watering is carried out as the top layer of the soil dries up.
Plants do not need winter shelter, however, in the fall, after the stems and leaves die off, you can mulch the plantings with a layer of peat.
Seedlings just planted in open soil need systematic watering. It must be carried out every day for the first 14 days. Then the plants are watered no more than 1 time in three days and not so much water is poured onto one bush. When the platycodon is watered, it is necessary to loosen the surface of the soil and pull out all the weeds. To reduce the amount of watering, weeding and loosening of the soil, it is recommended to cover it with a layer of mulch.
Also, this plant should be systematically fed once every 4 weeks with a complex fertilizer for flowering plants.These flowers have one feature, namely, they stretch up strongly, this becomes clearly noticeable after the bush turns 3 years old. In order to preserve the decorativeness of flowers, it is recommended that they regularly make pinches, or they can be treated in spring with a special preparation that slows down the growth of the plant (inhibitor), for example, you can use the Athlete. In the event that the platycodons are still strongly elongated, they will need to be tied to a support. You also need to remove the flowers that have begun to fade in time.
It is best and most reliable to propagate such a plant in a generative (seed) way. Some gardeners try to propagate Platycodon by cuttings, but only a few can do it. But if there is a desire, then of course, you can try to grow such a flower from cuttings. Cuttings are harvested in spring, for this it is necessary to cut off the stem with a pair of internodes, as well as with the heel. Then the cutting is planted for rooting as usual.
If the bush is grown on sandy soil, then for its reproduction, you can resort to dividing the bush. To do this, carefully dig up the flower, and then make a thorough inspection. If you find shoots with buds, then they can be carefully cut off with a pre-sterilized sharp knife. Places of cuts should be treated with sulfur or ash, and then the cuttings should be planted in a permanent place in open soil. However, when propagating Platycodone vegetatively, you should be prepared for the fact that you will fail. The best and easiest way to grow this plant is from seeds.
This plant has a very high resistance to a variety of diseases. However, if the weather is very wet for a long time, then there is a high probability of infection of Platicodone with gray rot. In order to avoid this, experts advise to thoroughly loosen the surface of the soil, as well as be extremely careful with watering, try to avoid stagnation of moisture in the root system of the plant. If the flowers have already begun to rot, then it is recommended to dig up and destroy the affected bushes, and the remaining ones must be sprayed with a solution of copper sulfate or Fundazol (2%) or Topsin-M (1%). After 1.5 weeks, it is recommended to spray the plants again.
Only rodents, or rather, moles and mice, can harm such a flower. They are able to injure his root system. There are a large number of methods that will help get rid of these pests, but which ones are suitable in your case, it's up to you. The most effective way is to "smoke" the rodents out of their houses. To do this, you need to connect a rubber hose to the exhaust outlet of the chainsaw. The other end of this hose should be placed in the burrow. While the chainsaw is running, smoke will begin to enter the hole, and the rodents will get to the surface. There is another way to get rid of pests. You will need to purchase bait with poisoned cereals and spread it around the site. It should be borne in mind that this method of rodent control does not work on moles.
The fruits ripen in August-October. The seed pod contains many small, flat, shiny seeds.
Fresh, undried seeds can be sown shortly after harvest - before winter.
Or they sow a shirokokolokolchik in early spring (the earlier, the better the germination of seeds will be). Preliminary stratification of seeds within 1-3 months on the eve of spring sowing significantly increases their germination.
When sowing, a shirokokolokolchik and the seeds are shallowly covered with sifted sand.
You can propagate shirokokolokolchik and vegetatively: by dividing the bush and spring cuttings.
Platycodon has fragile roots, and mature plants do not tolerate transplanting well. Therefore, the division of an adult bush (over five years old) is carried out when it is transplanted:
- at the beginning of spring regrowth - in April or early May
- after seed ripening - in August.
In the spring, at the beginning of the growth of the shoots near the bush, Platycodon cuttings can be carried out: they break out the root cuttings with a "heel" and root them.
In the photo: shirokokolokolki with lilac flowers
More than a hundred years ago V.V. Dokuchaev discovered that the formation of the main soil types on the Earth's surface follows the law of latitudinal zoning.
Soil type is its attributes, which arise in similar conditions and have the same parameters and soil formation conditions, which in turn depend on the climate during geologically significant periods of time.
The following types of soils are distinguished:
The tundra and brown soils of semi-deserts are completely unsuitable for agriculture. Low fertile podzolic taiga and chestnut soils of dry steppes.
For agricultural activities, the most important are medium-fertile sod-podzolic soil, fertile gray forest soils and the most fertile chernozem soils. The humus content, climatic conditions with the necessary heat and moisture make these soils attractive for working on them.
We are used to seeing beauty in the clouds, in the surrounding nature, and never in the soil. But it is she who creates those unique pictures that remain in the memory for a long time. Love, learn and take care of the soil on your site! She will repay you and your children with wonderful harvests, the joy of creation and confidence in the future.
Determination of the mechanical composition of the soil:
The importance of soil in the life of mankind: