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Sweet potato sweet potato, or morning glory sweet potato (Latin Ipomoea batatas) is a valuable fodder and food crop, a type of tuber-like plants of the Ipomoea genus of the Bindweed family. Sweet potato originates from Colombia and Peru, from where it spread throughout the region before the arrival of Europeans in South America, and also reached East and South Polynesia, the West Indies, Easter Island and New Zealand.

Hellebore (Helleborus) - species, varieties, cultivation. Photo


He does not care about snow or slush, he is not afraid of snowstorms and blizzards, and even if frost hits, he will endure it staunchly. Thanks to the tough leaves that hibernate under the snow, and the flowers that appear at “non-standard” times, the hellebore has gained fame as an unpretentious plant. Delicate, as if carved from marble, with many stamens with golden anthers, hellebore flowers will decorate any flower bed or corner of the garden.

Although the hellebore is native to the Mediterranean region, it is perfectly adapted to growing in Eastern Europe and feels as comfortable here as it does in its native Balkans. Due to the abnormally early flowering, various mystical properties were attributed to the hellebore, for example, with this plant, a belief is associated with protection from evil forces, black magic and hostile spirits. According to other legends, the hellebore, on the contrary, could summon a demon into our world.


The hellebore (Helleborus) belongs to the family Ranunculaceae (Buttercup) from the order Buttercup, class of Dicotyledonous plants. All members of the family are very ancient - they were among the first flowering plants on earth that have survived to our time.

Among the people, the hellebore is also called the winter house or frostbite. The translation of the Latin name - Helleborus is becoming more and more popular, this is due to the fact that the Latin name of hellebore is written on packages with plant material.

The western names of the flower "Christmas rose" and "rose of Lent" are associated with the winter bloom of hellebore, but not with a rose. In this case, the folk tradition of calling beautiful flowers "rose" played a role, regardless of their real systematics. In addition, in Germany, it is customary to give a flowerpot with hellebore at Christmas. According to a German legend, this flower appeared from the tears of a poor shepherd who fell to the ground, saddened by the fact that he did not have the opportunity to give a gift to the born Christ.

In nature, there are 14 species of hellebore, according to other sources, their number is about 20. The spread in numbers is due to the fact that some variations of hellebore are isolated into separate species. All types and varieties of hellebore are poisonous plants containing alkaloids of cardiological action.

In the photo: black hellebore, Botanical Garden of Moscow State University "Apothecary Garden"


The life form of hellebore is a perennial herbaceous evergreen plant. Dark green leathery leaves on long stalks are collected in a basal rosette. The leaf blade is finger-dissected.

The height of the hellebore is 30 - 100 cm, depending on the variety and variety.

Flowers on long peduncles, collected in racemose inflorescences. Flowers are bisexual, actinomorphic (with radial symmetry), with a double perianth. Sepals are large, non-falling, painted in various colors from snow-white to purple, depending on the species and variety. These large sepals are usually mistaken for petals - they have taken on the function of attracting pollinating insects. The real petals of the hellebore are small, modified into nectaries. The size of the "flower" in some varieties is 8 - 10 cm in diameter.

The hellebore blooms in early spring, and in regions with a milder climate, for example, in Western Europe, at the end of winter. It has many stamens, and they are arranged in a spiral, which serves as further evidence of the long-standing origin of the hellebore. Hybrids with spotted flowers and terry “corolla” were bred.

An interesting feature of hellebore flowers is the color change depending on the duration of flowering. The plastids located in the sepals over time from leukoplasts and chromoplasts turn into chloroplasts containing a green pigment. This happens after the pollination of the flower, when the attraction of insects is not required. The green sepals begin to perform the functions of the green parts of the plant, that is, to synthesize organic substances.


All types of hellebore are beautiful during the flowering period, but as ornamental plants they mainly use black hellebore, m. Caucasian, m. Oriental and m. Smelly.

When using Gelleborus in herbal compositions, you need to remember that he does not like frequent transplants from place to place. Therefore, you need to immediately select a place where the hellebore will grow for several years. Thanks to the shiny dark green leaves, hellebores are decorative all year round, and not only during the flowering period.

These plants use:
• as an element in compositions with decorative flowering and decorative deciduous perennials (badan, saxifrage, lumbago)
• as a ground cover evergreen
• a plant for planting in places with a limited amount of sunlight (partial shade and shade), including under the crowns of shrubs and trees, where most perennials cannot grow
• in a group with spring bulb ephemeroids (snowdrops, streams, hyacinths, daffodils, primroses)
• in rock gardens and rockeries, including in a group with evergreen deciduous plants - heather, erica, cranberries and others
• as a container plant to decorate patios, terraces, paths.

In addition, hellebores grow
• for forcing in winter
• cut into bouquets.

In the photo: purple hellebore (red, blushing), Botanical Garden of Moscow State University "Apothecary Garden"

Some believe that all Helleboruses are extremely hardy plants that do not need shelter in winter. This is an erroneous point of view: some species have frost resistance at the level of 6 - 7 zones, for example, in the blackening hellebore, which is popular in gardening.

But the eastern hellebore feels great, not needing shelter in 4 - 5 zones. Therefore, whether to shelter the hellebore for the winter can only be answered by knowing its appearance and the climate of the local region.

Hellebores grow well in various lighting conditions, but the best for them is light partial shade or scattered sunlight - the conditions in which plants live in nature. But in general, Helioborus can be attributed to universal plants, because it covers the entire range of sunlight acceptable for plants, and can grow both in the sun and in deep shade.

Different types of hellebores react differently to excess sunlight - in some, the foliage loses its beautiful bright color, fading in the sun.

Sometimes there is no correspondence between the written articles and the actual cultivation of hellebore. That is, the gardener notices that the flower feels great under the scorching sunlight, which does not harm the hellebore. This is due to the large number of new hybrids and varieties created by breeders in the past few decades. They have different requirements for growing conditions.

As with lighting, hellebores are not picky about soil. They can grow both on neutral substrates and on soils with a weak alkaline environment. Hellebores do not like acidic substrates both in nature and in culture, but they can still grow on slightly acidic soil.

To avoid the death of the plant and create comfortable conditions for the hellebore, before planting, you need to know the pH of the soil on the site. If the substrate has an acidic environment, then it is made alkaline, making it neutral or alkaline. For this purpose, the easiest way is to use chalk mixed with soil in a 1: 1 ratio. After the chalk has been mixed with earth, it is poured into a prepared hole, watered with water and left for a couple of days. Then compost is added to the pit, mixed again, spilled and left for another week. It is necessary to ensure that the earthy mass remains homogeneous and crumbly.

The soil for planting should be rich in nutrients, so it is advisable to add organic fertilizing (compost, humus) to it.

Humidity and watering

Although hellebores love a moist substrate, they can tolerate dry periods: mature plants have a powerful developed rhizome, in which there is a supply of liquid. But young plants, seedlings, separated plant parts or transplanted hellebores should not be left without additional watering in the absence of rain.

The hellebore is usually fertilized in the spring - during this period, organic fertilizers dissolved in water are applied. In summer and late autumn, the hellebore can be "fed" with complex mineral fertilizers of prolonged action - that is, solid fertilizers that slowly dissolve, giving the plant the necessary components.

Diseases and pests

In the open field, the hellebore rarely suffers from pests and diseases. These can be aphids, slugs and snails, mice, caterpillars of the hop fineworm. Among the diseases, fungal origin prevails, arising from high humidity. In case of problems, standard methods of control are used and prevention is observed.


For gardeners, the best way to propagate a hellebore is to divide the overgrown plant - that is, vegetative propagation. Having dug up the hellebore, cut the delenki so that each has roots and at least one bud. The optimal timing for dividing the bush is autumn and the calendar beginning of spring (preferable).

If you are growing a species plant (not a hybrid), you can grow a hellebore from your own seeds. Hybrid seeds must be purchased.

In the photo: Eastern hellebore, Botanical Garden of Moscow State University "Apothecary Garden"

Growing a hellebore from seeds

Sowing in the ground

To avoid cracking, unripe seeds are collected with gloves so as not to burn the plant sap. They are ripened in room conditions. Direct sowing into the ground is carried out in the fall with fresh seeds or in the spring after stratification of the seeds. Seed germination occurs in a year, and flowering - in four years.

To get seedlings, seeds are sown in a mixture of peat and sand. Peat will prevent the formation of mold in the soil, and the sand will make the substrate breathable, it should make up a quarter of the soil mixture. If using a different potting mix, be sure to spill it with a fungicide to prevent fungal infection.

Planting containers contain three months at a temperature of + 20 degrees or slightly higher. The next month or three - in the refrigerator with a positive temperature from 2 to 4 degrees until the seeds germinate. The soil should always be moist. After germination, the container is moved to a light windowsill without the scorching sun.

When a pair of true leaves is formed in the sprouts, they are transplanted in separate pots or on a growing bed in partial shade, leaving 15-20 centimeters between the plants. They are looked after: watered, loosened, weeded, if the soil was poorly fertilized, they are fed with a dissolved mineral complex. In late summer or early autumn, grown seedlings are planted in a permanent place at a distance of 20-40 cm, depending on the species and variety.

The hellebore can be made to bloom in winter. After digging the rhizomes in the fall, plant them in containers filled with fertile soil, and place them in a cool room in the light. Do not let the soil dry out. From December to March, light up the hellebore, and it will delight you with a long flowering, revealing its flowers one by one. In the spring, return it to an open-air garden in a shady place.


There is a lot of confusion with hellebore species because plants have many variations, natural varieties and interspecific hybrids. For example, green hellebore, isolated as a separate species, is called by some a subspecies of black hellebore. Another example is hellebore blushing (purple), classified as a species, a number of researchers call a variety of hellebore green. And the Caucasian hellebore (H. caucasicus), often mentioned in the Russian-language literature, is not distinguished as a species in the international classification.

Black hellebore (Helleborus niger)- a type species of the genus, described by Karl Linnaeus, widely known and used as a medicinal plant. The area of ​​the plant is Alpine forests, but now the black hellebore grows much wider than its original natural range, including it introduced in North America. This species got its name because of the color of the rhizome.

Blossoming of the black hellebore depends on the region: in Central and Western Europe, it blooms from January, in the southern part of Europe, the plant blooms in November-December. In Eastern Europe, hellebore bloom begins in late February-early March, and in some areas even at the end of March-April.

This species is characterized by good frost resistance and large, usually solitary, flowers. The most popular variety - "Potters Wheel" - has large white, almost drooping, flowers, the diameter of which can reach 10 - 12 cm.

Smelly hellebore (H. foetidus) and M. fragrant (H. odorus) have a number of similar morphological features: the height of the shrub is 50-60 cm, in the inflorescence there are 2-4 flowers, the diameter of which does not exceed 7 cm. The perianth shade is light green or yellow-green. The species are easy to distinguish during the flowering period: the first, as the name implies, has an unpleasant smell for people, and the second, on the contrary, has a delicate aroma. These features are associated with various pollinating insects. The stinking hellebore attracts mainly flies, and the fragrant hellebore attracts bees.

Balkan view decorated hellebore (H. torquatus) became the basis for a whole line of terry "Party Dress" or "Party Dress". These hybrids fully live up to their name: catchy, with a double perianth, sepals in which are usually several shades, they are created to create a good mood. For example, the flowers of the "Party Dress" variety "Belya Owl" have a light-green shade that smoothly changes to white, and then turns into pink.

Winter hardiness of this species and its combs from zone 5 and above, in some areas, in winters with little snow, the plant may need shelter.

Eastern hellebore (H. orienalis) - one of the most popular and beloved species by gardeners, on the basis of which many varieties have been created that differ in a large color variety - from white to almost black, including hybrids with a speckled perianth and a rare bluish-lilac shade:
• "White Swan" ("White Swan") - a variety with large snow-white flowers
• "Valerie's Spring Promise" ("Valerie's Spring Promise") is a large bush with powerful stems on which green flowers develop with a contrasting purple edge
• "Rock and Roll" - a variety with several rows of sepals, due to which the flowers look like terry, decorative sepals are given by small dots on their surface
• "Blue Anemone" ("Blue Anemone") - a variety with lilac-lilac or lilac-blue petals.

In Germany, breeders received varieties of hellebore oriental, with a wide range of colors, which were united by the common name Lady. For example, a variety with cherry-colored sepals was named Lady in Red, and a hellebore with dark blue-violet petals was named Lady Metallic.

All varieties of this species have good winter hardiness (zones 4 - 5 and higher).

Among the new varieties should be highlighted: 1 - "Double Pink" (white terry with pink edging), 2 - "Double Red" (terry cherry with a purple tint), 3 - "Double Helen Parple" (terry dark purple, almost black) , 4 - "Double Ellen Pikoti" (white terry with bright pink streaks), 5 - "Double Ellen Green" (light green color), 6 - "Double Ellen Pink" (soft pink), 7 - "Double Ellen Yellow" ( lemon), 8 - "Double Ellen White" (white). The word "double" in the names is used for varieties of hellebore with a double perianth.

The variety "Pretty Ellen Spotted" (9) has white flowers with a slight greenish bloom and lilac-violet blotches, up to 50 cm high, suitable for bouquets. And "Preti Ellen Pink" (10) no higher than 20 cm, pink flowers.

Yellow with a greenish tinge semi-double flowers at Golden Discovery. They can be 10 cm in diameter, the plant itself is no higher than 30 cm. The same large flowers in the Winter Emotions Triple Pink variety, they are delicate pink, and their total height is about half a meter.

Description of the plant

The genus Gabranthus belongs to the numerous Amaryllis family. These are perennial bulbous crops. Bulb "Argentine lily" 1 to 5 cm in size, with densely grown together brown scales. The funnel-shaped corolla of irregular shape is painted in delicate shades of pink, yellow, scarlet, reminiscent of a crocus flower. It is located on a leafless peduncle that grows up to 25-30 cm in height, with 1 or 3 buds, each of which is up to 6 cm in diameter, collected in a thyroid inflorescence. The leaves are green or gray-gray, narrow and long, up to 30-40 cm. After flowering, the fruit is formed - a three-celled capsule, the seeds are flat, black in color.

Types and varieties of lunar

The genus of the lunar is not numerous, includes only two species: the reviving lunar and the annual.

The revived species can rarely be seen in its natural environment, in most cases it is found in botanical gardens and greenhouses. Due to deforestation, the plant loses its usual place of germination. It is a rare plant listed in the Red Book.

The annual lunar is often used by flower growers when decorating flower beds, because of the beautiful unusual fruits it is used in floristry, when drawing up winter bouquets and flower arrangements.

Other names for the plant are moon grass, money flower.


Lunaria (Lunaria rediviva)

One of the important features is that the bush can easily grow in shady places, which in no way affects its decorative effect, flowering and development.

Lunnik is a revived specimen of ancient flora, growing in the Tertiary period. Lunnik is a perennial representative of the genus, it grows up to 70 - 100 cm in height.

The stem is erect, branched in the upper half, rough, fleecy. Leaves in the lower part of the stem are heart-shaped with a serrated edge, petiolate, opposite. In the upper part, the leaves are elongated, oval, sessile, arranged alternately.
At the ends of the stem, in paniculate inflorescences, flowers are collected 3 - 4 cm in diameter, purple in color, quite aromatic and fragrant.

After flowering, in place of flowers seeds are formed - fruits in the form of elongated, flat, pointed at the ends, oval-lanceolate pods 3 - 5 cm long. Seeds ripen in August.


Annual lunar (Lunaria annua)

The homeland of the plant is considered to be the southeast of Western Europe; it is not found in the natural environment in the territory of central Russia. The one-year-old lunar, despite the name, grows for two years. In the first year, a rosette of leaves is formed, in the second year the bush blooms. When grown in gardens, it spreads by self-seeding and runs wild.

The stem is erect, 40 - 60 cm high, branched. Leaves are alternate, petiolate or sessile, ovate, wide, pointed, rough, covered with fine hairs.

At the ends of the stems, the flowers are collected in racemose inflorescences of white, purple or lilac color. Flowering occurs in the second year after sowing. Flowering period May - June. In August, the plant bears fruit in the form of a pod, a flat round or oval box up to 3 cm in diameter.

Watering the bush should be moderate; waterlogging and stagnation of water should not be allowed, this can provoke decay of the roots, in particular, perennial lunaria suffers from this. After the seeds ripen, watering is completely stopped. Lunar annual and perennial in the hot, dry season requires additional watering.

Strongly overgrown stems must be tied up, as in strong winds they can break.

For better development, you should periodically rid the soil around the bush from weeds, and also loosen the ground as often as possible.

In many sources you can find information that lunaria is a rather winter-hardy species, however, in gardening, the plant needs protection in the cold period. Plants in the fall, before frost, are covered with dry leaves and straw.

As a top dressing, once a month, during the entire flowering time, organic and mineral fertilizers are added to the soil.


Annual lunar grass prefers open sunny glades, it develops quite well in diffused light and in light shade, but at the same time it loses its decorative effect.

The perennial lunar is extremely poorly tolerated by direct sunlight, in open areas the plant withers, shrinks, the appearance of the bush suffers, the leaves turn yellow. It is preferable to choose shady and semi-shady areas for it.

How to choose a landing site

When planning planting, first of all, attention is paid to the composition of the soil, if necessary, fertilizers and drainage are applied. The next criterion when assessing the place for the moon is the illumination, depending on the type, an open area or a dark one is selected. The presence of drafts and wind-blown places must also be taken into account. Too close planting will lead to wilting of the plant, a decrease in the number of flowers, the bush will begin to shrink, it needs space.

The soil

The annual lunar is undemanding to the composition of the soil, it grows on any sufficiently fertilized soil.

A perennial species, a more demanding representative of its kind, prefers a well-drained, moist, humus-fertilized loose soil, with slightly acidic or neutral acidity. For better growth, a small amount of lime is added to the soil.

Diseases and pests

A plant that is quite resistant to pests and diseases, however, leaf flies, aphids, and a cabbage butterfly can attack the bush. To combat them, insecticides are used.
When affected by various fungal diseases, which happens extremely rarely, the lunaria must be treated with a fungicide.

Growing robinia

There is a seed method of reproduction or growing robinia using shoots.

Seed germination is considered more effective breeding. They are extracted from the beans of the robinia vulgaris. Before sowing, the material is prepared, namely, it is doused with boiling water, after which it is soaked in cold water. The procedure allows you to soften the skin so that moisture penetrates the embryo. Another method of processing beans is cutting the skin off with a file. Sowing is organized in greenhouses or pots filled with peat and sand. The optimal time to start growing seedlings is May. Seedlings will appear on the surface after two weeks. Seedlings survive quietly without additional cover. It is only important to observe a regular watering regime. In June, containers with pseudo-acacia are placed in the garden. Here the shrub remains to grow until next spring. After a year, the seedlings are transferred to free soil.

For vegetative propagation, root shoots are cut out. Bushes every season sprout new shoots that are perfect for transplanting to another place. In addition to the shoots, gardeners are engaged in the creation of air layers. To implement the idea, you need to tie a pot of soil to a branch. Roots are formed during the summer. When the branch is well rooted, it is cut off from the main tree or bush and replanted.

Transplant and reproduction

Any kind of mimulus is able to reproduce by self-seeding. Many growers prefer to propagate the flower by cuttings in order to get an adult bush faster. In the summer, after flowering, the cutting is cut, transplanted into a pot with loose sandy soil, and covered with a bag for better rooting. Cuttings take root pretty quickly after 2 - 3 weeks. Planting a vegetatively grown lipstick is carried out as soon as the roots appear on the cuttings. A less common breeding method is by dividing the bush. It is used in the spring before flowering.

Transplanting seedlings into open ground or returning the overwintered plant back to the flower bed is carried out only by the transshipment method, in order to preserve the root system. In case of damage and loss of part of the roots, the plant will bloom weakly, it will give all its strength to the restoration of the underground part.

Growing from seeds

In the spring, in mid-April, seeds are planted immediately in open ground. The soil, enriched with fertilizer and sand, is moistened, the seeds are applied to the ground in an even layer. Cover the garden bed with a glass cover or covering transparent material for 2.5 weeks, the first shoots are thinned out, forming future flower beds. This method is less effective than seedling.

Secrets of growing annual asters: planting and care

Asters are propagated only by seeds. Under normal storage conditions, the seeds retain their germination for two years, on the third, germination and germination energy sharply deteriorate.

Asters are relatively undemanding to soils, but grow better on light and medium loamy soils. They can be grown by sowing seeds in open ground in spring or late autumn on frozen soil or by seedling. For growing seedlings, sowing is carried out in the second half of March - early April in boxes.

The soil mixture for sowing and caring for annual asters should be fresh, not previously used for growing other plants, not rich in humus, light in texture, with a high content of sand, which allows water to pass through well.

One of the secrets to growing annual asters is to prepare the right potting mix. To do this, you need to take 3 parts of sod land, two parts of peat, one part of river sand and 2 tablespoons of wood ash in a bucket of prepared soil mixture. Mix everything thoroughly and pour into the box. Pour the calcined river sand on top with a layer of 1 cm. Water a little and sow the seeds, cover the seeds on top with the same sand with a layer of 5 mm. Until emergence, the temperature is maintained at 18-20єC. Seedlings appear on the 5-7th day.

Aster seedlings are grown at a temperature of 13 - 15 ° C. Very rare watering is carried out if the soil is very dry. After watering, the seedlings are regularly ventilated. At the beginning of May, a small top dressing is carried out: 1 teaspoon of Agricola-7 and nitrophoska are diluted in 2 liters of water.

Seedlings are planted in the third decade of May with covering with covering material until June 10. Some gardeners dive seedlings of asters in the phase of the first true leaf. The seedlings are buried to the cotyledonous leaf. Seedlings are planted in pots or at a distance of 7 cm between plants in boxes filled with earth.

Knowing all the secrets of growing asters, an experienced florist will definitely prepare a garden bed in advance in the fall. Sow immediately to a permanent place in open ground. Seeds are sown in spring in late April - early May. The crops are covered with a double layer of covering material, the material is opened for hardening plants on warm, windless days with an air temperature of 7 ° C or more, the cover is completely removed at the end of May.

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