Levkojen plants, Matthiola - care


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Levkojen Matthiola

Levkojen (Matthiola) come from the cruciferous family. Their real home is the mild areas in the Mediterranean. But also Asia and eastern Africa are known as homeland. The Levkojen are planted in our gardens as bedding or balcony plants but also as cut flowers.

Appearance

There are many different types of Matthiola. Small plants that you can put in the balcony box, up to plants that can grow up to 80 cm. However, these are suitable for planting in the garden and as cut flowers. The plants are partly herbaceous or found in the form of semi-shrubs. The stems grow upright and are hairy. The leaves are alternate and the leaf margin can be smooth, sawn or serrated. Often the leaves are hairy gray hairy. The Levkojen are plants that can bloom very lush and they show that with a wealth of colorful flowers whose color richness is hard to beat. The flowering period is from April to July.

Location

In order for them to bloom so beautifully and richly, the plants must also have an optimal location. The Levkojen want to have a full sun, but it should also be protected from strong winds. Either you plant the flowers in a bed or in a group with other flowers, such as Goldlack or Ranunkeln. Even with larger plants, such as ornamental shrubs, possibly tamarisk or funk, the levoons can bring their rich flower florets very effective.

sowing

Who owns Levkojensamen should take care of sowing in June. Either you take single small pots or other planters that are suitable for sowing. In the planters unfertilized soil is filled and the seeds are distributed in it. The soil is then lightly pressed and the potty is lightly poured. Keep protected from rain and wind and always keep moist. Cheap are also cold frames or greenhouses, if you have one. In late summer, the small plantlets are transplanted into larger pots so that the roots can develop well until planting out. For wintering, the pots have to be in a separate room, which has around 10 degrees and is nice and bright.

Set young plants

The young Levkojen are planted as young plants in early spring, ie in February to March in favorable weather. Three weeks before the intended planting, one must start to provide the young plants with a good liquid fertilizer. How is an optimal planting done? At a distance of about 20 cm the plants should be brought into the soil. If the plants are already a bit large, then it is advantageous to give them a small support. So you can brave a strong breeze and not bend. Should still be minus degrees, then the plants can be protected with small hoods from frostbite.

soil Requirements

The soil should be well drained to keep the plants "dry feet". Wet and late frost could destroy the seedlings. There should also be enough nutrients in the soil so that the young plants are well supplied from the beginning. If the soil is too lean, it would be an advantage if the gardener already brings garden compost into the ground a few weeks earlier. If the soil is so prepared, planting a new plant is not an option. Regular removal of weeds and soil loosening should be a must for the gardener. Chopping the soil prevents the evaporation of water in the soil. That's how it stays with the plants. However, the soil should be watered regularly, because if the soil often dries out, that can harm the young plants. Small delicate root hairs can die off and disturb the supply of the plants.

Care of the Levkojen

Levkojen Matthiola

Also, the plants should get a comprehensive care, so they bloom so beautiful and long in the garden. One should not forget that the Levkojen are also cut flowers, which can be tied to beautiful bouquets. But how can you properly care for Levkojen so that they always look good? This begins with the fact that faded parts of plants are removed regularly. If necessary, you can also use the scissors, but for the most part you do not cut Levkojen. One should offer a support to high varieties, which then prevents a kinking.

Watering and fertilizing

Like all other plants, the Levkojen should also be watered regularly. When it is dry, more water should be offered to the plants so that they do not dry up. In May you should offer the flowers a fertilizer, because that strengthens them in the flower and extends it too. If the levels are in buckets, then they should get a liquid fertilizer every 14 days.

Insect pests

Diseases are not known in the Levkojen, but the cabbage white loves this plant. Here he lays his eggs in the late summer in the young plants. Once the voracious caterpillars hatch, they begin their harmful work and eat the plant in no time. To prevent that, you have to collect the caterpillars immediately. Spraying with a reliable, biological caterpillar spray should also prove helpful. If the plants can no longer be rescued because they have discovered the infestation too late, you should immediately remove the plants.

Worth knowing about Levkojen in a nutshell

If you pay attention to all conditions when planting and care, then you will also have beautiful Levkojen in his garden. It's also fun to grow your own plants if you can meet the conditions.
  • Levkojen are undemanding, robust and fragrant summer flowers.
  • The genus Matthiola comprises about 50 species. It is native to the eastern Mediterranean, Central Asia and South Africa.
  • They belong to the family of the Kreuzblütengewächse and are used as bedding and balcony plant and also as cut flowers.
  • Levkojen are well-tried farmer garden flowers. They can be up to 40 cm high, bar fleece even up to 90 cm.
  • Levkojen prefer a sunny location and nutrient-rich, loamy-humus soil. Important is a good lime supply.
  • Noteworthy are their gray-felted, hairy leaves and the bewitching scent that the flowers emit.
  • The flowers can be simple or filled.
There are Levkojen in different colors, ranging from white, yellow, pink and light purple pastel tones to strong reddish or violet colors. Meanwhile, there are already multicolored flowers.
  • The flower of the filled Levkojen lasts longer than that of the simply flowering ones.
  • The flowering period starts in June and, depending on the planting date, extends into October.
  • Buschlevkojen are richly branched, while barley vines grow unbranched.
  • Levkojen develop taproots. Therefore, they can be transplanted only with well-developed pollen.
  • High-growth varieties should be kept upright with a support.
Increased the Levkojen by sowing. The cultivation is simple, the seeds germinate quickly and numerous at 18 to 20° C. Levkojen are light germs. It is best to use germ-free cultivation soil. The seedlings need a lot of light. Levkojen also often sow themselves and multiply strongly. By the way: The essential oil of the flowers of the Levkojen is highly valued in Arabia as a perfume.

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