The onset of spring makes many people think about the design of their sites with a variety of ornamental plants. Someone prefers every year to sow beds, rabatki and alpine slides so-called pilots, and someone considers himself a master of breeding perennial flowers. Be that as it may, at the present time very few people do not know about such a plant as autumn crocus, the photo of which amazes with its tenderness. How to plant this perennial? What conditions need to be created on the site to bloom was lush? All this you will find out right now.
Autumn crocus (autumn crocus) on the totality of biological features refers to perennial herbaceous plants. Its stem is modified into a corm, covered with dead leaf sheaths. The aboveground part of the plant is represented by broadly lanceolate leaves, which do not lose their brightness during the whole vegetative period. Autumn colchicum flower has a light pink with a purple hue, its pedicle is a thin tube that goes straight from the corm. This culture blooms in the fall, while the leaves grow after wintering the plant. In the same period, the fruits begin to form: leathery shriveled boxes with black seeds.
In nature, autumn crocus grows on dry and open places overgrown with grass: forest glades, meadows (including mountainous). It is still found uncultured in the Krasnodar Territory, the Caucasus, Stavropol and Transcaucasia.
Why "autumn crocus"
The plant got its name for a specific alternation of leaf growth and flowering. As is known, most herbaceous plants first release a rosette of leaves, and only then a peduncle. Colchicum autumn is arranged differently: leaves grow at the beginning of spring, but by the beginning of autumn they die off together with the bulb formed in the previous season. And only after that from the corm of renewal the peduncle appears. The boll, which is located in the peduncle, “hides” there until the next spring. With the onset of heat with the leaves, it appears above the surface of the earth and ripens in the first half of summer.
Choosing a place to place landings
Despite the fact that the autumn crocus belongs to very unpretentious plants, for its better development it is recommended to plant it in the sun. Since the plant withers at the end of summer, you can plant it among other perennials that bloom in the second half of July.
Colchicum autumn (photo presented in the article) looks great as a curb plant. In addition, he will decorate a flowerbed surrounded by a lawn, the shores of a small reservoir, as well as a rock garden or alpine slide. In short, this flower can be considered universal. By the way, a blooming autumn crocus acquires a special charm when planted in small vessels of glass or ceramics. Such original pots can be placed on the terraces and balconies.
Planting autumn crocus autumn bulbs and seeds
Let's look at several ways to grow a plant, known as autumn crocus. Planting and care in the open field, as mentioned above, do not require the application of large forces. A flower can grow safely in one place for several years. This culture can be propagated in two ways: with corms and seeds.
In the first case, it will be necessary to dig the onions out of the soil at the moment of the complete extinction of the aerial part, to dry them and leave to “rest” until the end of August. By the way, if you purchased an autumn crocus autumn bulb and planted it at the end of summer, flowering may occur as early as 3 years. However, this method has its drawbacks. The fact is that the diseases of the maternal plant are transmitted to the daughter of corms. Planting material from a crocodile is better to destroy.
Propagation by the autumn crocus autumn seeds makes it possible to obtain absolutely healthy plants. It is necessary to collect the seeds immediately after they ripen (from the first half of June to the end of July). They must be sown in the previously prepared soil immediately after harvest. Seeds will germinate next spring, but flowering will come only after 5-7 years.
Plant care: watering, feeding
In the care of autumn crocus autumn is not too complicated. For active growth and lush flowering, it is enough to transplant the plants to a new place every 7-10 years. Abundant watering of autumn crocus autumn, which was transplanted this season, does not tolerate. He has enough moisture, which comes to corms in the period of precipitation. If the plants are planted too often, thinning can be done. At the same time, it is recommended to pour a small amount of fertile soil into the released gaps.
The main measures for plant care are weeding and pest control. Slugs can harm the autumn crocus, the methods of control of which consist in their timely collection, loosening of the soil and introduction of granulated superphosphate to the beds.
Precautions for planting and caring for autumn crocus
Gardeners growing autumn autumn plant should always remember that this plant contains colchicine - a potent alkaloid that can provoke severe skin irritation and even burns. Contrary to popular belief, this compound is contained not only in corms, but also in leaves and flowers. You can even get poisoned by the water in which the cut flowers of the autumn crocus stood. When ingested, colchicine causes poisoning, symptoms of which are sore or burning sensation in the throat, dizziness and nausea, colic. In severe cases, the alkaloid causes paralysis and collapse.
To protect yourself from the toxic effects of plants, it is important to take precautions: wear gloves when weeding, transplanting and caring for plants. In addition, these measures should be applied to cut buds.
Medicinal properties of autumn crocus autumn
Despite the content of toxic substances, many are aware of the medicinal properties of the autumn crocus plant. Curative properties, oddly enough, are present in him due to the high content of colchicine. The fact is that in small quantities this compound contributes to the expansion of the smallest blood vessels - capillaries. It is this property that makes it possible to use corms and plant seeds as a medicine for gout, rheumatism and neuralgia. It should immediately be said that the difference between the therapeutic and lethal dose is very small, so the drugs based on colchicine are used under the direct supervision of specialists. In addition, colchicine is widely used in the treatment of skin cancer. This is made possible by the property of the compound to influence the process of cell division.
In conclusion, we recall that it is not safe to use any parts of the autumn crocus plant for the treatment of various diseases at home!
General view of the plant
Kolhikum or autumn crocus is a bulbous plant with a height of 5 to 30 cm. The fact that the plant is perennial, is a definite plus. Kolkhikum has an elongated bulb covered with dark brown scales with a beige center. In spring, bulbs grow leaves of a lanceolate species, up to 30 cm long in bright green colors, which form a lush shrub. Simultaneously with the growth of leaf plates, the stem grows with a three-chamber seed box in which the seeds are brown and red. In early June, the seeds ripen and the box opens. If seeds are needed, it is necessary not to overlook the collection time, since there is a high probability that the seeds will be on the ground or will be carried away by the wind.
September is the time of flowering of the colchicum. You can witness the magnificent spectacle - blooming autumn crocus with snow lying around. After all, neither frost nor snow is an obstacle to its flowering.
The plant produces a stem about 25 cm tall with a funnel-shaped flower with a large (up to 10 cm) flower. From one bulb grows from 2 to 6 flower stalks with flowers. The flower does not let out leaves in the fall, so the huge flowers on thin legs look very impressive. Petals of Kolkhikum flowers have a lanceolate form, of various colors: from snow white to pink, from lilac to purple. Modern science of breeding and genetics gave new, terry, species and hybrids. About 3 weeks, they are pleased with their flowering, and then dries completely.
Periods of autumn colchicum life
Colchicum refers to "ephemeroids", that is, to plants that adjust their growing season to certain weather conditionswhere they grow up. Winter cold and summer heat - not the best weather conditions for the growing season. That is why he has such strange at first glance life cycles.
Colchicus awakens in early spring and releases a bundle of leathery, green leaves, with a seed box in the center. At the very beginning of June, after the seeds ripen, the plant dries out, retiring. Colchicum blooms in September, releasing a spike with a very pleasant smell.
Kolkhikum does not let out leaves during this period, the flower of the flower stalk comes from the nutrients accumulated by the bulb. They accumulated during the spring growing season of the leaves, in the cells of which photosynthesis took place and supplied the bulb with substances necessary for nutrition. After a 2-3 week flowering, the autumn crocus plant dries out and goes to rest until spring.
Autumn crocus varieties
Low, with pale purple flowers about 7 cm in size. Due to the fact that the bulbs produce up to 6 peduncles, and the plant has a small height, it is possible to create mini-carpets that look very picturesque in autumn. A feature of these colchicums is the ability to open buds that have already formed during the winter thaw.
In spring, it produces bright green leaf blades 40 cm high. In early September it forms a peduncle with a flower up to 7 cm in diameter. Traditional colors are white or light purple.
Autumn crocus has a variety of decorative forms:
- Terry - low (up to 12 cm), has double purple flowers with a diameter of 5 cm,
- Beaconsfield - has bright purple flowers with a white middle,
- Atropurpureum - with rich burgundy and purple flowers.
Autumn crocus gorgeous
This variety forms in early spring rosettes up to 50 cm high from wide (up to 6 cm), with wavy edges. Kinds:
- Water lily - forms terry, hot pink flowers,
- Huxley - blooms in September, flowers with a pink-purple hue, which changes to bright purple at the edges,
- Dark red - has rich burgundy shades of flowers with a bright middle.
When plant croatia.
Autumn crocuses like sunny areas, although they grow well in light penumbra. If you plant an autumn crocus in the deep shade of trees, it will be easy prey for slugs. The land-croppers love well-drained soil so that the roots do not freeze from stagnant water. The colchicum grows in both acidic and alkaline soil, it feels good even in clay, if it is not too heavy and not oversaturated with moisture. As neighbors for the autumn crocus it is preferable to have peonies and juniper, which by their bright greens can distract the eye from its yellowed foliage.
Planting time of autumn crocus blossoming in the fall - mid-August, when the plant is in a dormant period. A large onion crocus can give a flower in the first year.
How to care for the colchicum.
Flower care of the autumn crocus is not complicated at all: the need to moisturize the soil only during the flowering period, but only if it is hot and dry during this time. At any other time, it is not necessary to irrigate the autumn crocus; natural precipitation will be sufficient - overmoistening is absolutely contraindicated for it. Seedflower is fed two or three times per season at the rate of 30 g of complex fertilizers per 1 m² in the form of solutions (2 g of the drug per liter of water). Fertilizers must contain nitrogen. In the fall on the site make compost. Well, of course, during the loosening of the plot, remove the emerging weeds. As you can see, planting and caring for the autumn crocus will not tire you.
Autumn crocus transplant.
In one place, autumn crocuses can grow for six or seven years, after which they need to be replanted, although it is better to do this every 2-3 years, otherwise the bulbs grow strongly, they become cramped, and autumn crocus flowers become shallow. When to replant an autumn crocus? It is better to plant and replant the autumn crocus bulbs in August, when the plant has a dormant period, but it is necessary to dig corms as soon as the autumn crocus turns yellow in the middle or end of June. The bulbs are carefully cleaned from the ground, freed from the remnants of the leaves, the daughter bulbs are separated from the parent, which are no longer suitable for germination. After washing under a stream of water, corms are pickled for half an hour in a solution of potassium permanganate, dried and stored until planting in a darkened dry room at a temperature of about 24 ºC. When August arrives, the young autumn crocus bulbs are seated according to the scheme already described, having previously introduced fertilizer into the soil.
Pests and autumn crocus diseases.
Autumn crocus slugs and snails, eating the leaves of the plant. In chronic overmoistening, the plant can become sick with gray mold. So that you don’t have to fight with slugs, fill the aisles with fine gravel, crushed shells or eggshell. Plastic gutters can be expanded around the perimeter of the site and filled with water - this will be a mechanical barrier for gastropods. Gray rot is a fungal disease that occurs during prolonged excessive watering of plants. If the infection is not total, you can treat the autumn crocus with Topaz, Champion, Kuproksat or other similar preparation, but the strongly affected parts of the plant must be cut out and the watering balanced.
Autumn crocus after flowering
Some gardeners, trying to preserve the attractive appearance of the flower garden, prune faded flowers and yellow leaves of the autumn crocus. But it is better not to do this, because the onion will need all the vital forces for ripening, and interfering with the natural process will not lead to anything good. Therefore, remove from the site only those plant residues that have fallen off by themselves.