Digitalis, or digitalis (Digitalis), translated from Latin means "thimble" or "finger." The plant was first described in the mid-16th century by the botanist Fuchs, to whom it owes its name. Many years of digitalis are grown from seeds in many European countries, and in Russia even in Western Siberia.
What is this flower good for, whose eloquent folk names (fox glove, dead man's bells, bloody fingers, etc.) come from many ancient legends and fairy tales?
Botanical description and the best types of digitalis
Digitalis genus consists of more than 3 dozen species. He loves clearings and edges in the forest, meadows and bushes, grows in coastal lowlands, along roads and on stony hillocks.
These are grassy or shrubby thickets with slender and stiff stems from a half meter to a half in height. The leaves are large, bright green, oval. They have many glycosides that are used by traditional and traditional medicine.
The flowers are like a bell, arranged spike, crowning a long stalk. Their shades and colors have the widest palette: purple, yellow, snow-white, lilac, etc. Their spotting is distinguished, and the color of the spots and large dots contrasts with the main color. Flowers delight the entire summer season. The abundance of pollen in inflorescences is designed for easy pollination by insects.
According to legend, spots on flowers are warnings from forest elves that these flowers are dangerous. They are really poisonous, so you can’t grow these charming bells in places where children walk. Many of them are medicinal plants, and they are all very decorative.
A fruit box with small seeds that lasts up to 3 years. In one box there can be up to 10 thousand.
Depending on the height of the stem, all species are divided into 3 groups:
- dwarf - 30-60 cm in height;
- srednerosly - up to a meter high;
- tall - from a meter and a half, sometimes even almost two meters.
How to grow digitalis (video)
Many species of this beautiful plant are known:
- The most famous and famous for its species diversity among them digitalis purpurea. Details about it will be described below.
- Rare in beauty variety purple - dwarf. Her height is a little more than half a meter, the flowers are pale yellow with reddish spots.
- White - with snow-white flowers, very unpretentious.
- Rusty, her flowers are golden brown, pinkish, with purple or brick streaks up to 4 cm in size. The stem height is more than a meter, sometimes up to two. Two-lipped flowers are similar in shape to an orchid.
- Large flowered. It has shiny leaves and large six-centimeter pale yellow flowers with brown spots and a light edge. Its height is up to 120 cm.
- Woolly - the most inconspicuous of all, the flowers are small, yellowish or brownish-purple, densely pubescent. They have a medicinal purpose.
- Yellow. Its bright flowers are 2-3 cm in size. The leaves and stems are smooth, the height of the plant is almost a meter.
- Digital Merton - A hybrid of large-flowered and purple with shiny leaves and pink flowers with dark spots.
Digitalis purpurea characteristic
Digitalis purpurea is cultivated in our conditions as a highly growing biennial plant. The stem is straight, very pubescent. At the roots, the leaves are collected in a rosette, and on the stem they sit on long stalks, large, oval in shape. They are velvety above, and pubescent below.
Flowers are white, pink, cream or purple, they are also pubescent, inside painted in darker colors, large (up to 5 cm), collected in the form of long, lush brushes. Bluebell flowers appear from June to September for the second year after sowing.
There are several dozen giibridov. Moreover, the selection of this plant is constantly ongoing. Among them are popular varieties:
- Shirley - with pink, purple, cream colors.
- Excelsior is the tallest with spiral flowers.
- Peloric - with multi-colored, large flowers.
- Pink champagne is a one-color variety with exquisite flowers.
- The breeding novelty is Fooxy, which blooms already in the year of planting with flowers of different shades - from white to carmine.
- Carousel - a very spectacular, medium-sized flower dotted with white or yellowish flowers with red dots
- Candy Montain is a novelty of pink or purple flowers, an amazingly beautiful plant about a meter tall.
Digitalis perennial: seed growing technology
A common and simplest method of reproduction of digitalis perennial is the cultivation of plants from seeds.
This process takes place in the following sequence:
- The beginning of April is the best time for me to sow seeds for seedlings. They are only slightly sprinkled with earth or sand.
- Shoots appear after 2 weeks.
- When on a bush you can count 5-6 leaves, transplant young plants into the garden.
- In August, you can already rejoice in the appearance of the first flowers.
Digitalis seeds for sowing are collected a month after flowering. Then the seed capsule becomes yellow-brown. They are carefully torn off and dried in the sun. Unboxed boxes are opened on time, and seeds are sown in a natural way. In such cases, the most hardy plants grow.
How to transplant digitalis (video)
Digitalis flower: planting and care in the open ground
For digitalis, preferably an open, sunny place away from trees and water. She does not like waterlogged soil.
Before sowing seeds, prepare beds for them. The earth is loosened, fertilized with nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus (humus and lime). The distance between the beds is 40 cm.
Technology and landing dates
- The grooves are shallow, the earth is slightly compacted in them. After sowing, the seeds are covered with soil or sand and watered. The bed can be covered with agrofibre for a couple of weeks.
- After a month and a half, young seedlings are thinned at a distance of 5 cm from each other.
- At the end of summer, a second thinning is carried out, observing the interval between the bushes up to 25 cm.
- If ready-made seedlings are planted in a permanent place, then between plants should be 30-40 cm. Sowing seeds in open ground is carried out at the end of spring: in the southern regions - in April, in a temperate climate - 2-3 weeks later. Seedlings are transplanted to the site by the end of summer.
Watering and feeding
It is not difficult to grow digitalis, this plant is unpretentious. Care for it consists of regular watering with loosening the soil to avoid stagnation of water, weeding.
It is advisable to feed a flower 1-2 times during watering with universal ready-made complex fertilizers for flowers. But their overfeeding can lead to increased leaf growth to the detriment of flowers.
If the roots of the plant are bare by the end of summer, then they should be covered with a nutritious soil mixture or compost.
Digitalis is sometimes susceptible to fungal infections.: gray rot, powdery mildew, or leaf spot. Their main reason is improper care. Processing flower plants with special products from flower shops saves from these troubles.
Occasionally, aphid attacks a bell. In the fight against parasites, the drug "Spark" helps with which the plant is sprayed. Before this, dissolve the tablet in a bucket of water.
Digitalis Muse, Pearl and other varieties in the decor of the garden
The purpose of the perennial in garden design depends on its size. Tall plants with large flowers are planted in mixboards and flower beds. These include the variety "Muse" with long light pink, lilac and yellow tassels and grade "Pearl" - white and cream garden beauty. In flower beds, they look spectacular in the center, framed by lower cultures.
Medium-sized specimens ("Carousel") - the best decoration of the walls and cover fences. Dwarf flowers are suitable for planting along borders, paths, rabatok.
Good neighbors for them can be blooming pelargoniums, roses, rhododendrons, honeysuckles. In shaded and shady places it is better to plant them next to hosts, primulas, geraniums, peonies, valerian and others.
How to grow digitalis at home
At home, digitalis can be grown in pots. In this case, it germinates in early spring. To do this, at the end of summer, plants are placed in a room with a temperature of no higher than 12 degrees. Next year, flowering will begin in April.
Dwarf bells can be grown on balconies. Ready-made seedlings grown on the windowsill since March are planted in containers.
Germination of seeds occurs in small containers covered with film or glass. Heat and additional lighting are highly desirable. The first 2 weeks the soil needs to be moistened and aired. The grown bushes are planted in large containers on the balcony in warm soil. Usually do this in late spring.
How to sow digitalis (video)
Digitalis, a medicinal Mediterranean plant known since ancient times, is widespread in our forests, meadows and gardens. Due to its exceptional decorativeness, variety of varieties and an abundance of colors and shades, the brushes of charming tall bells will decorate any garden. Growing this perennial is easy and affordable even for inexperienced gardeners.