Flower garden and landscape

7 annual flowers that I recommend planting in February

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February is the best time for sowing seedlings for seedlings of many year-olds with a long growing season. Sometimes these plants are recommended to be sown even in December-January. But, in my opinion, the beginning of February is the best time to plant such annual flowers. Daylight hours become longer, and soon (in March) they will be able to receive more sunlight, in addition to artificial illumination. The flowering of the plants described below during the February planting of seeds for seedlings usually begins in July and lasts until late autumn.

7 annual flowers that I recommend planting in February

1. Angelonia

This charming flower is not yet known to everyone, but I highly recommend gardeners to pay attention to it. In appearance, from a distance, its bushes resemble heather, and near the flowers they look like charming little faces that opened their mouth in surprise.

Previously, there were only vegetative forms of angelon, which propagated exclusively by cuttings, and rarely appeared on sale. In recent years, flower growers have been given the opportunity to grow angelonia from seeds. Such forms have smaller flowers, but they look no less charming.

Currently, in online stores you can buy two series of angelon Serena (Serena) and Serenita (Serenita), which differ slightly from each other in height (the first is slightly higher). As for the coloring of angelonium, in both varietal series you can find different tones of violet (lavender, lilac, dark purple), pink (soft pink, raspberry) and pure white with a small greenish-yellow spot in the center of the flower.

Angelonia (Angelonia).

Features of growing angelonia seedlings

Angelonia seeds are quite small and are usually packaged in the form of granules. When sowing, they are only slightly recessed into the substrate with a wet toothpick. Further, the containers covered with a film are placed in a warm place (+ 24 ... +27 degrees) and preferably under a phyto-lamp or a fluorescent lamp. Good lighting promotes seed germination.

Angelonia sprouts do not appear quickly, and usually it takes 1-1.5 weeks. In the first months, seedlings develop very slowly. But already in May on the grown bushes you can see the first buds. However, the phase of budding in angelonia takes a long time, abundant flowering begins closer to mid-summer. The flower is unpretentious and develops well in sunny places with regular watering and top dressing.

Read more about angelonia in the article The Fairy Sissy Angelonia.

2. Eustoma (lysianus)

This flower is highly appreciated by florists, as it is often used in bouquets along with a rose, and sometimes replaces it. Florists have the ability to grow this amazing flower from seeds. On sale you can find seeds as tall varieties, which are mainly intended for growing for cutting, and undersized, which look great in a cache-pot.

In the form of buds and halfway eustoma is really easy to confuse with a rose, but when the flower blossoms completely, it looks a bit like a poppy or anemone. Its leaves are bluish, the stems are thin and, unlike roses, have no thorns. The colors of eustoma are represented by pastel colors - soft pink, lilac, lemon, lime, etc. colors. And more intense colors - dark purple, raspberry red, as well as two-tone - with a contrasting border on a white background.

Of the tall varieties I would like to note the series'Croma ' with the most dense flowers. Of the dwarf series' remarkableRosie ' with double flowers of various colors and eustoma Carmen with a dark purple border on a background of white petals.

Eustoma

Features of growing seedlings of eustoma

Eustoma seeds are very small and almost always found on sale in the form of granules. When sowing, they are evenly laid out on the surface of the wet substrate, after which the container is covered with a film. At a temperature of + 20 ... +25 degrees, the first shoots should be expected no sooner than after 1.5-2 weeks. During this period, it is best to keep crops under a phytolamp - light stimulates seed germination.

At first, eustoma seedlings grow very slowly, and sometimes it may seem as if they have completely slowed down in growth. The strongest leap in the development of lisianthus and subsequent rapid growth occurs around June. At this time, the first buds can be seen in the eustomas, but the budding phase can last 1-1.5 months.

Eustomas need a sunny place, watering, regular top dressing and, with container growing, it is advisable to protect delicate petals from rain.

Read more about growing eustoma in the article Eustoma - growing the queen of bouquets.

3. Hybrid begonia

Begonia ever flowering (always flowering) - is well known to many flower growers. In recent years, breeders have created many amazing hybrids based on it. Although such begonia is no longer called ever flowering, but is called hybrid, in appearance it still remains very close to it and retains all its positive qualities.

For example, series begonias (which are interspecific hybrids) Megawat (Megawatt) and Big (BIG DeluXXe) look like giant evergreen begonias. Moreover, the first grows up to 50-60 centimeters, and the second - up to 90 cm! And at the same time, huge dense bushes with beautiful lush foliage of green or bronze color are abundantly covered with flowers from the beginning of summer to the first serious frosts.

Also interesting is the begonia hybrid Dragon Wing (Dragon wing) with more oblong than begonias everglowing leaves and drooping flowers. This is an incredibly branchy series, which, at a height of 35 centimeters, grows to a width of up to 50 cm without additional pinches.

The independent view is also gaining popularity. Bolivian begoniawhich, thanks to drooping flowers with thin and long pointed petals, is often grown as an ampelous plant.

Hybrid begonia (Begonia × hybrida).

Features of growing seedlings of begonia hybrid

All annual begonias, including numerous varieties of ever flowering, Bolivian and hybrid, can be sown for seedlings in early February. Absolutely all seeds of hybrid begonia go on sale in the form of granules. Granules are evenly laid out on the surface of moistened soil and cover the container with a film.

During germination, it is better to provide begonias with a temperature of + 30 ... +35 degrees and organize backlighting. In this mode, the seeds germinate in 5-7 days. With sparse sowing, begonia can be grown without picking. Seedlings are planted in a permanent place in late May and early July. Hybrid begonia develops well both in the sun and in light partial shade.

Read also our material. Beautiful flowering begonias - a unique show.

4. Lobelia

Lobelia is one of the easiest annual flowers to grow. The abundance of its bright flowers is worth it to grow this beauty in his garden. If you decorate the balcony or the adjacent area with hanging baskets, then in them you can grow ampelous varieties, such as "Regatta", "Crystal Palace" other.

Shrub varieties ("Riviera", Palace etc.) are mainly used for the foreground of a flower garden, in curbs and small garden flowerpots. As a rule, lobelia flowers are colored in shades of blue (blue, blue, dark blue, blue-violet), but pure white, lilac and pink-lilac varieties are also found.

Sometimes the seeds of an annual lobelia, supposedly having bright red petals, come across for sale, but such images are a hoax. Red flowers have only perennial types of lobelia. Lobelia is very tender and airy and will make an excellent company for most annual flowers. When growing, it should be borne in mind that its flowering is undulating. After the completion of each wave of abundant flowering, it must be cut.

Lobelia (Lobelia).

Features growing lobelia seedlings

Lobelia has tiny, dusty seeds, but it’s pretty easy to sow. Sprinkle lobelia seeds onto the surface of a quality sifted substrate and do not cover with soil on top. To sprout quickly, lobelia seeds need light. Keep containers with crops at a temperature of + 18 ... +24 ° С. Germination of lobelia seeds can take from 14 to 20 days.

Placing containers in a plastic bag can help germinate while retaining heat and moisture. Always pour lobelia seeds into a pan so that water does not interfere with small seeds. Many manufacturers offer lobelia seeds in the form of granules or multigranules. In the latter case, several seedlings grow from one dragee, which can be peaked or left to grow in a bunch.

The tiny lobelia seedlings don't just dive. But since it forms small bushes, for the most decorative effect it is planted in a permanent place in "piles". Therefore, it is more convenient to grow lobelia in bunches even if it has not been seeded with multi-granules. Lobelia needs good lighting, watering and top dressing with complex fertilizer.

See also our detailed article Growing Lobelia from Seeds.

5. Bacopa

Bacopa or suter works well in container compositions and hanging baskets thanks to flowering stalks covered with flowers. Bacopa has small, pale flowers. Most often, it is used in the company of bright flyers, which favorably sets off with its gentle discreet charm. In addition, bacopa is valuable in that it has a long flowering period: from early spring to the onset of the first serious frost.

Vegetative bacopa (which is grown only from cuttings) has a rich variety of forms, including terry and large-flowered. There are not so many hybrids that can be grown from seeds: bacopa "Snowtopia" (Snowtopia) with pure white flowers and "Blutopia" (Bluetopia), which has pale purple flowers. In 2019, a new variety of bacopa became available for seed propagation "Pintopia" with relatively large bright pink-raspberry flowers.

Bacopa (Bacopa).

Features of growing bacopa seedlings

For best results, sow bakopa seeds on seedlings about 12 weeks before the last most likely night frost. Sometimes seeds are recommended to be covered with a small layer of soil about two times deeper than the size of the seed. But since the seeds of the bacopa are small, it is better to just slightly press them with a toothpick into the substrate.

Place the containers in a plastic bag to preserve the moisture so needed during germination. The average time the emergence of seedlings after 5-10 days after sowing. Remove the plastic bag as soon as the seeds germinate.

Maintain moderate substrate moisture until the first true leaves appear in the bacopa. During this period, seedlings are especially vulnerable and can die if the soil is overdried. From sowing to picking usually takes two to three weeks. As a rule, seedlings are unpretentious in seedling age and do not even require additional formation.

Bacopa develops well in the sun, and practically does not bloom in the shade. The plant needs regular watering, as the flower does not tolerate the drying of an earthen coma.

Read also our material Tricks of sowing begonias, eustomas, petunias and other small-seeded crops.

6. Viola horned

A miniature variety of pansies. It differs from coarse flowering viols in lower growth and small flowers - up to 3 centimeters in diameter. Sometimes you can find a mention that the horned viola is a perennial. However, it, like the typical pansies, is a two-year-old culture. To grow it as an annual plant, sowing seeds for seedlings is necessary as early as possible.

When sown in February, the viola will begin to bloom in mid-May. Unlike large-flowered viols, the flowering of the horned viola does not weaken with the advent of hot summer days and remains so plentiful that leaves can not be seen from under the flowers.

The color scheme of viola horned hybrids is unusually rich. You can find both monophonic colors, including almost black, and multicolor. The latter combine from three to five different colors in a single flower in the form of unusual patterns, which often resemble the faces of outlandish animals. Most often on sale you can find a series of viola horned "Singing" and Sorbet.

Viola cornuta.

Features of growing viola horned seedlings

Viola seeds are not large, but not quite tiny, like some flowers, they are easy to sow. When sowing, slightly press the seeds into the soil surface and sprinkle with a small layer of earth (equal to about 2-3 seeds height). Germination of viola does not require light. Pots with crops can also be covered with a black film.

Keep the soil in the container moist enough. After the seeds germinate (usually it takes about 14 days at a temperature of +20 degrees), move them to a well-lit window sill. Viola seedlings grow quite quickly, but you can not rush into a pick, since they develop well even in cramped conditions and tolerate transplanting well.

A week before planting in the garden, harden the seedlings of pansies, placing them in a protected place in the open air, where they will be during the day. Viola is a cold-resistant culture and tolerates light frosts, so it can be planted in a permanent place at the beginning of May.

Read more about propagating viola with horned seeds in the article How to propagate garden violets?

7. Pentas

A relatively rare flower that can be grown both as a garden annual and as a houseplant. Pentas is a bush that reaches up to 40 centimeters in height and about 45 centimeters in width. It grows in the form of a small shrub of spherical shape with a dark green oval or spear-like foliage.

Thanks to the corymbose inflorescences from a distance, it can be confused with pelargonium or verbena. Flowers are usually colored in pink, red or white. The new varieties have purple and lavender colors and mixed colors, for example, pink and red. In many cases, there is a white eye in the center of the flower. Each individual flower has the shape of a five-pointed star and is a bit like a wide-open bell.

Pentas is ideal for attracting butterflies to the garden. It can be planted on flower beds, borders, in hanging baskets and containers. If you transfer it to the room at the end of the season, then in winter it will grow as a houseplant. Pentases are very resistant to heat and drought after they take root well in a new place.

Pentas.

Features growing pentas seedlings

It is necessary to sow pentas indoors approximately 7-9 weeks before the time when the last frost usually occurs in your area. Granular seeds are sown on the surface of a moistened substrate and are not covered with soil. Crops are covered with a film and kept at a temperature of about +30 degrees. Shoots appear rather long - on 14-21 days.

As soon as the seeds have sprouted, provide the seedlings with enough light on the sunny windowsill or under fluorescent lights that are on for about 16 hours a day. Seedlings do not need a lot of fertilizer. Seedlings must be fed with a solution of complex mineral fertilizer (suitable for flower seedlings) at the age of 3 - 4 weeks.

When the seedlings appear at least 2 pairs of real leaves, it is better to pick them. Planting in the garden - after the threat of return frost has passed.

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