Shrub belonging to the Boraginaceae family, native to South America – Peru. It cultivated for over a century in Europe. Now there are over 250 species in the genus. It forms small bush about 60 cm, with age, which branches become lignified.
Peruvian heliotrope, easy growing and long blooming, highlights the strong and pleasant aroma. The smell of flowers is felt during the day, but the most powerful – day and night, so you should place it near the terrace or the windows of the house.
Despite the fact that it is a perennial, it is often cultivated as an annual.
Additional information!In this climate it is grown as an annual plant, because it can not stand the cold.
Leaves oval raised and a length of 3 to 8 cm and a dark green color. Striped sheet plate with a relief pattern.
This beautiful shrub with dark green wrinkled leaves, flowers inflorescences of small flowers. Inflorescence of blue, lavender, white or purple flowers (10-15 cm) appear at the tips of the stems in July and throughout the summer. They are grouped into flattened panicle or brush. Every little flower has 5 petals, which emits a sweet aroma, approximate to the smell of vanilla. The plants attract bees and honey.
Each fruit a few seeds.
Peruvian heliotrope: growing conditions
To flower felt comfortable and could develop optimally, its location should be carefully chosen. It is useful to select more than one secure location that will protect the effects of wind and rain. It is best to plant groups of plants in the flowerbeds. When planting it makes sense to think about a suitable support. When the plant reaches older buds become more severe and pose a greater burden on the stems, which can easily break.
Peruvian heliotrope likes fertile, well-drained soil with a certain humidity. The most suitable for growing a universal nutrient rich soil which is mixed with sand or perlite to increase permeability.
Heliotrope is grown in full sun or in places where the sun, at least, is a half-day. In the shade it will not grow and bloom.
The plant produces many flowers, and requires a lot of water. He needs uniform wetting. Heliotrope does not tolerate drought. The leaves begin to turn yellow, wither and fall off. But he also does not tolerate waterlogging, so it must be watered frequently, but sparingly – once or twice a week during the summer.
Peruvian heliotrope growing rapidly with regular fertilization. During the season, because of the abundant flowering, it needs regular dressing fertilizer for flowering plants, especially if it is grown in a pot.
Removing faded flowers not only improves the aesthetic appearance of the plant, but also to extend and improve flowering. Faded floral umbrellas should be cut as soon as possible, then it will grow more flowers, at the same time preventing the formation of seeds. Dry inflorescence leave in the event that it is necessary to get the seeds for planting next year.
Events pruning the shoots is best done in spring, shortening them to 10-15cm. Thus it is achieved a compact and densely branched their growth.
Note!for the plant care should be wearing gloves, because the hairs that cover the leaves can irritate the skin.
Using the seeds can easily multiply your own flower. Sowing seeds – this is a good way to get a large number of new plants. Spring (March-April) seeds were sown in boxes under the cover at 22 ° C. Germination time is about two weeks. When the seedlings grow, it planted in the garden after the passage of spring frosts. You must prischipnut elite seedlings to make it branch out, and thus obtain a compact and branched plant.
Propagation by cuttings is just as easy. To this end, in June cut wood from the bush shoots. They should have a total length of 10 cm. Then the cuttings were placed in a pot with a suitable substrate.
In season you can buy ready-made plants in specialized stores.
Heliotrope because of their decorative qualities can have many applications. The garden heliotrope will decorate the flower beds, which can grow in small groups with other types of decorative plants: low lilies, marigolds, sage and others.
Storage heliotrope during the winter
Heliotrope should be brought into the house until the first frost. When the summer season is over, and the air temperature begins to fall below 10 ° C heliotrope complete growing season. They can be dropped, as a typical annual weed, or to try to keep the winter in a cool, humid environment at a temperature of about 10 ° C.
Important!In the rest period the plant is not fertilized and restrict watering to a minimum.
If the flower survive until spring, in April, he was transferred to a warmer place, is transplanted into a new pot. Begin to water more often. Shoots above the second eye to cut the living plant material. Fragments can be trimmed and used as cuttings and root. The flower should be left for about two weeks in the open air, before finally transfer it to a sunlit place. In the second half of May, as soon as no longer necessary to be afraid of frost (the plant is very sensitive to cold), you can make a plant on the balcony, or planted in the garden,
The types and varieties of heliotrope
On the market offer cultivars heliotrope, and various hybrids. Popularity plants prompted breeders to create new varieties, among which «Nautilus Blue» and «Marine» (purple flowers) and «White Lady» (white flowers).
Among the most commonly used are:
- Bleu Villandry;
- Blue Wonder;
- “Lord Robert”.
Different varieties are different, they can be classified by size. Bushes, grown in a pot, always less than grown in the ground.
Diseases and pests
Specific diseases in plants there. Only a variety of symptoms can occur when errors in care.
The only enemies of heliotrope are whitefly and aphids that attack especially during the winter.
Heliotrope planted in the garden, in addition to its colorful sight, adding a delightfully fragrant atmosphere.