Many heat-loving flowers, whose tubers are dug up and stored indoors for the winter, need to sprout before planting in the ground.
Otherwise, their flowering may not come. Learn the intricacies of this process for five popular tuberous plants.
Ornamental flowers have a right to be capricious. For some tuberous plants, this includes early sprouting. In order for anemone, begonia, gloxinia, canna, and calla to bloom in the flower bed, you not only need to store their tubers properly, but also take care of sprouting the planting material.
Anemone is a perennial herbaceous plant of the Buttercup family, which has about 170 species.
Among the huge variety of anemones that grow both in the flowerbed and in nature (in temperate climates of both hemispheres), there are tuberous and rhizomatous species. The tuberous ones are more demanding in growing conditions. In dry and hot weather they must be necessarily watered, periodically nourished, covered, or dug up for the winter.
And so that the tubers wake up faster and come out of dormancy, they should be sprouted before planting in the ground. After all, they shrink a lot during storage. If the tubers are immediately planted in the bed, they may take a long time to emerge. In addition, neighboring plants can choke them out.
You can start germinating as early as the end of February, but because of the short daylight period, the seedlings will need extra light. The best time is from mid-March to early April.
Before the procedure, the tubers should be soaked, but they should not be completely immersed in water, as they cannot stay without air. To do this, pour some water into a small container, add to it, according to the instructions, a solution of fungicide (Fitosporin or Maxim Dachnik) or growth stimulator (Epin or Zircon).
In the resulting liquid, soak a napkin and wrap the tubers in it. In this form, place them for complete swelling in a plastic bag. This process may take several hours, depending on the quality of the planting material.
After swelling, place the anemones on a slightly moistened mixture of peat and sand (in equal proportions). On top, cover the container with glass or polyethylene film and put it in a cool place. Do not let the soil dry out.
After 10 days, the tubers will have roots and growth points, and the plants can be transplanted into a pot of at least 0.5 l, since anemone does not like transplants. Plant the tubers upwards, deepening them by 5 cm. Put the pot in a light but cool place. The temperature should not exceed 16°C, otherwise, anemones will become frail.
When there is no longer any danger of frost, the anemones can be put out in the open.
Tuberous begonias appeared relatively recently – at the end of the XIX century, but have already managed to acquire many varieties and are loved by florists around the world. They are grown on windowsills, balconies, and, of course, in flowerbeds. These delicate lush flowers will leave few people indifferent.
These begonias instead of the usual rhizome – a tuber about 6 cm in diameter. From November to February it is dormant, so you can start sprouting it no earlier than the end of winter.
If you can not find tubers of begonias of a particular variety on sale, you can get plants from seeds.
Before the procedure, soak the tubers for an hour in a 0.5% solution of room temperature manganese or growth stimulator for disinfection and recovery. Prepared in this way planting material is placed for germination in a container with moss or peat so that the tops (concave side) for a third protrude above the surface.
Germinate begonias on a bright windowsill, moistening the soil regularly with a sprayer. The optimum temperature at this time is 18°C.
When watering, make sure that no water gets on the tuber, otherwise, it may rot.
When the sprouts reach 2 cm, begonias can be transplanted into a separate pot by slightly pressing the tubers into the soil, but not covering them with soil (the substrate should consist of peat, sand, and foliage soil in a 1:1:3 ratio). As the sprouts unfurl, gently sprinkle the tubers with moist soil.
During the germination, spend several fertilizers, alternating mineral (3 g of ammonium nitrate and potassium sulfate, 6 g of superphosphate per 2 liters of water) and organic fertilizers (1% solution of Peat Oxidate). Into the ground begonias planted not earlier than the end of May-early June, when the threat of return frosts disappears, having previously conducted hardening of plants.
Another plant that needs sprouting is the Brazilian rainforest native gloxinia. Once they are finished flowering (between November and December) they are not watered and are moved to a dark, dry room at 12 °C. There, after the above-ground part dies off, it goes into a dormant period.
The tubers are removed from the pot, treated with fungicide, and stored in a box until February, interspersed with vermiculite. Start germinating them at the end of winter. Tubers are etched in a weak solution of manganese or other fungicide and then planted in shallow pots with a diameter of 10-15 cm.
The soil substrate should consist of one part of sod soil, humus, coarse sand, and two parts of leaf soil. In it, the tuber is deepened to a third of the height with the concave side up. The germination temperature should be about 25°C. As growth and rooting begin, it is reduced to 22°C during the day and 18°C at night.
After 2-3 cm high shoots grow on the tuber, the strongest 3-4 should be left, the rest should be plucked out. One day after this procedure, the tuber is covered with soil substrate (the layer should be 0.5-1 cm) and watered. The pot is put in a permanent place. The best way for this purpose is the south-eastern window.
Germination of calla lilies
Despite the fact that such a heat-loving plant as calla requires special growing conditions, it can enjoy its beauty both in a pot and in a flowerbed. However, in order for the flower to better adapt, it should be germinated before planting. Otherwise, flowering will be late, and in the garden may not come at all.
Sprouting the tubers of calla lilies contributes not only to an earlier and longer flowering but also better development of the plant, increasing its resistance to adverse weather conditions and diseases.
Before starting the procedure, you should choose a container for the calla lily (incidentally, its second name is zantedeschia), depending on where it is planned to grow it in the future. For germination before planting in the garden, any container for seedlings will do.
But if you plan to grow Zantedeschia indoors, you will need a pot of at least 5 liters, because the flower does not like transplanting. Due to the fact that the plant needs daylight, you should not germinate it until mid-March, or you will have to illuminate it.
Tubers zantedeskii should not overdry or overwatered. If there are areas of dry rot on them, they should be cut to healthy tissues, and the place should be treated with greenish. Before the germination procedure, place the tubers for half an hour in a solution of Fytoverm or pink manganese solution.
Then place the tuber, flat surface down, in a container with soil substrate (2 parts peat, one part each of garden soil and compost, and half of the sand). Cover it with about 2 cm of soil and tamp it down lightly. Water 1-2 times a week around the edge of the container or pot to prevent water from getting to the middle of the tuber so it doesn’t rot.
Calla does not sprout until it has formed a root system. Therefore, sprouts will appear no sooner than in two weeks. When they reach 5-7 cm in height, add another 2-3 cm layer of earth. Feed every two weeks with a solution of complex mineral fertilizer for seedlings.
The temperature in the room where the calla sprouts should be 15-20°C during the day and 13-15°C at night. Such a difference is good for the plant and will help it to survive easier planting in the bed, which can be done by transplanting in mid-May at the earliest.
Growing such an amazing plant as canna will not cause much trouble even to a novice florist. It is unpretentious, drought-resistant almost does not get sick, and blooms until autumn. The canna is similar to a hybrid of banana and gladiolus and is ornamental not only during flowering but throughout the growing season due to its decorative leaves.
Like all heat-loving plants, it cannot overwinter in the open ground, so dig up the rhizomes and store them in a dry basement, covered with sawdust and soil before frosts set in.
In early March, inspect the rhizome, if there are damages, remove them, and lubricate the cuts with green or powdered with wood ash. Then divide the rhizome so that each division has several buds.
Place all this planting material densely in damp substrate or sand, place the growth bud horizontally, sprinkle sand on top and periodically sprinkle with water. Place in a warm place for germination. The optimum temperature for this procedure is 20-24°C.
If you want your cannes to start flowering earlier, once they have started to sprout, transfer each one to its own pot and place it in a bright room at a lower temperature (16-18 °C). This is where they will grow and get stronger.
By the time they are planted out (mid-May), they will usually have developed 7-8 large leaves. By June, the seedlings prepared in this way give flower arrows.
You can, of course, refuse to germinate the tubers of these heat-loving plants and plant them directly in the ground. But there is always a risk that they will not germinate or will not have time to flower. So the choice is yours.