Decorative evening primrose attracts gardeners and landscape designers with its simplicity and variety of species. The perennial flower has a large number of varieties that are found in both the south and north. Most of them are of selective origin, but invariably include such a feature as bright numerous inflorescences. The popular evening primrose flower, the planting and care of which will be described later, is called primrose in botany. In addition, the plant is called a night candle or evening primrose.
Description and features
Evening primrose inflorescences are the main advantage of the plant, the flowers are white, yellow, red or blue, and also striped. The creeping rhizome produces hard, pubescent shoots, the height of which depends on the variety. The leaves are always arranged alternately, and have a variety of shapes. The peculiarity is that flowering occurs in the evening, and the buds do not close even in cloudy rainy weather. Evening primrose varieties have a one-year, two-year, or multi-year growing season.
Growing in the garden
Enotera is effortlessly grown in garden plots. The bush does not need to be repotted frequently, the plant does not require special feeding and sophisticated care. The flower perfectly coexists with other crops, has a strong immunity and tolerates bad weather conditions well.
Small evening primrose seeds are more suitable for seedling sowing. The usual seedling potting mix is placed in small containers. In each, a small depression is made up to 5 mm and the seeds mixed with sand and earth are poured. The soil is sprayed with water to prevent waterlogging and decay. It takes up to 14 days for the emergence of seedlings.
You can sow evening primrose seedlings from January to March. The exact dates will be indicated on the seed package, as they depend on the variety. Seedlings are planted no earlier than the beginning of May. The soil should warm up well, be moistened with melt water and have time to dry out. It is advisable to protect young plants from possible frost..
Soil composition is not particularly important for evening primrose cultivation. The varieties bloom beautifully on all types of soil, with the exception of poor heavy clays. The plant reacts normally to acidity, but grows more actively on neutral loose loams rich in nutrients.
Immediately after sowing evening primrose, the containers must be tightly covered with polyethylene so that the seedlings receive a sufficient amount of heat.
After 8-10 weeks after sowing, the seedlings must be hardened. To do this, you need to take the containers outside during the daytime. The necessary conditions are sunny weather and no frost. You can start with 10-15 minutes and gradually increase the time spent in the air.
After 10-15 days, the seedlings must be thinned out. Excess shoots are carefully removed, but it is recommended to simply plant them in another container. Some of them will take root and are used for planting in the future. Thinning of plants sown in one large container is especially important.
Open ground transplant
By May, the seedling grows the required number of true leaves and has a developed root system. Plants are planted in moistened holes one at a time, completely immersing the roots in the planting hole. The distance between the bushes is at least 50 cm.
On light soils, such as sandy soils, it is possible to grow evening primrose from seeds in the open field. Before planting, they must dig up the earth, add sand and, if desired, add organic fertilizers. In the first year of planting, the plant will grow its root system and is unlikely to bloom.
Planting time significantly depends on the temperature of the environment. When the air warms up to 16 ° C, you can prepare the soil for planting seeds. After 14 days, they start sowing if the spring cold does not return.
The main criterion for choosing a site for planting flowers is illumination. The degree depends on the variety, as there are plants that prefer sun, partial shade and maximum shade. The moisture content of the soil should not be too high, the flower tolerates a short drought more comfortably than stagnant water.
Seed planting scheme
Seeds are sown in groups at a distance of up to half a meter from each other, as evening primrose grows over time. The second landing option is tape. To do this, you need to make grooves up to 50 mm deep in loose soil, water with water, then pour out the seeds evenly and cover with soil. After that, the ground is lightly tamped.
Dense seedlings need to be thinned out to provide space for plants to grow. The sprouts are removed with a thin knife so as not to damage the roots. In this case, the surplus plants can be planted elsewhere.
Evening primrose is not a demanding plant to care for, however, the shrub should be provided with elementary conditions. These include:
- timely abundant watering;
- weeding weeds;
- pruning dry parts of the plant;
- loosening the soil;
- tying up.
Evening primrose prefers well-moisturized soil and reacts negatively to dry, sunny weather. To achieve the maximum flowering level, it is necessary to water the plants at least 2 times during the growing season. For each square meter of planting, 15 to 20 liters of water are required.
It is regularly necessary to loosen the primrose root circle in order to remove weeds and increase the access of oxygen to the roots. An abundance of weeds leads to poor growth and poor flowering, and also contributes to the spread of fungal infections and pests.
Low requirements for soil fertility allow you to fertilize evening primrose 1 time during the growth period. There are 2 options for applying top dressing to the soil:
- During flowering, the soil is enriched with potassium sulfate and superphosphate at the rate of 15 mg of dry matter per square meter.
- At the stage of bud formation, add wood ash powder or nitrophosphate to the soil.
Immediately after the end of flowering, sluggish peduncles must be removed from the plants. This increases the nutritional level of the greenery and helps keep the flower bed attractive. At the end of the growing season, which usually occurs in late autumn, the withered shoots are cut along the ground line.
Long-term cultivation of evening primrose in one place leads to degeneration, shredding of flowers on the growing bushes. At the first signs of deterioration in the appearance of the inflorescences, the plant must be divided by dividing the bush and planted in another place. The procedure is carried out infrequently, the period of stable growth should be at least 4 and no longer than 5 years.
Preparing for winter
Additional shelter for evening primrose is not required for the winter, as the flower is frost-resistant. Before the onset of frost, the aboveground part of the plants is cut off, and then abundant mulching of the planting area is carried out. The protective layer must be 50 mm high. Chopped peat, compost, spruce branches or fallen leaves will optimally preserve the roots.
Diseases and pests
Evening primrose has good immunity, especially rarely amenable to infection with fungal infections. When spots appear, you need to remove the damaged leaf and destroy the neighboring plant, which was the source of the disease. Fungicide treatment and preventive spraying are not required. Insects attack evening primrose much more often. The main danger is aphids, which must be destroyed with insecticides immediately after they appear.
There are several types of reproduction of evening primrose: seed and vegetative. In order to get your own seeds, you need to keep the inflorescences until the fruit forms and the seed ripens. However, if you skip harvest time, evening primrose will dissipate naturally. In the fall, it is recommended to propagate the bush vegetatively.
Evening primrose reproduces well on its own by scattering seeds. This method is natural for annual species. Seeds around the plant fall out of the fruits in autumn, and fresh shoots appear in spring. It is required to thin them out or transplant them to the right place.
Dividing the bush
This is the easiest way to reproduce evening primrose, which is already growing in the garden. In this case, it is not necessary to dig out the entire bush, you can cut off a part with a shovel and transfer it to a new place. For fast rooting, it is necessary to keep a lump of soil on the cut off rhizome. Reproduction is possible both in spring and autumn.
Application in landscape design
In horticulture, externally excellent evening primrose varieties are planted in contrasting combinations. The bushes will create bright areas on green lawns, look good in flower beds with constant partial shade. Plants adorn the northern slopes of the alpine slides, fill in and mask flaws well. In the design of the borders and the foreground of the flower beds, low-growing varieties of primrose are used.
To form a contrasting bright effect next to evening primrose, it is preferable to plant:
These flowers have different shades from the primrose when flowering, and the leaves differ significantly in texture.
Enotera is often used in folk medicine due to its rich chemical composition. The rhizome serves as the basis for the preparation of decoctions against respiratory diseases and tuberculosis. Oil is squeezed from the seeds of the plant, which prevents thrombosis of blood vessels, and is also used to treat eczema, dermatitis, diabetes, cirrhosis and rheumatism.
Infusion of the green part of evening primrose is an effective anticonvulsant agent, is a part of folk remedies for heart and kidney ailments, has an antimicrobial effect when used externally.
The American Indians used evening primrose for food. Dishes were prepared both from shoots and flowers, and from dense rhizomes. The latter is rich in starch, protein and mineral compounds. The root is peeled, and the resulting pulp is eaten seasoned with vinegar or stewed in a stew.
The genus evening primrose or primrose includes at least 150 plant species. Most of these are malfunctioning ornamental plants that are heavily used in landscaping and alternative medicine. Some varieties are also used in cooking.
This species of evening primrose is also known under the epithet large-fruited, it is characterized by:
- height no more than 40 cm;
- leaves are oval or strongly narrowed;
- large flowers up to 10 cm in diameter;
- inflorescences of a golden hue are located very low above the ground.
One of the most striking types of evening primrose is characterized by:
- lanceolate leaves form a heaped rosette;
- funnel-shaped flowers are large, up to 7 cm in diameter;
- inflorescences have a light yellowish tint.
Features of shrub evening primrose:
- height up to 120 cm;
- rich green leaves of a long oval shape;
- yellow flowers are large, not less than 5 cm.
The species widespread in North America has been cultivated since the middle of the 18th century. and has the following differences:
- very small height of 25 cm;
- leaves of a narrow lanceolate shape up to 1.5 cm wide;
- inflorescences are formed like an ear;
- small yellow flowers do not exceed 1.5 cm.
The species is also native to the eastern United States and is known as the Fraser Evening Primrose. The plant has natural characteristics:
- the average height of the bush is 70 cm;
- oval leaves have a blue-green tint;
- in autumn, the plant acquires a reddish tint;
- inflorescences are very fragrant;
- flowers are yellow.
Beautiful evening primrose features:
- undersized shrub 40 cm high;
- leaves are oblong with a carved jagged edge;
- flowers are in the shape of a cup with a radius of 2.5 cm;
- fragrant inflorescences are white or pinkish.
Biennial evening primrose characteristics:
- height up to 120 cm;
- leaves 2 cm long have sparse denticles along the edge;
- flower diameter 5 cm;
- inflorescences in a lemon yellow palette.
This type is characterized not only by a bright aroma, but also by the following features:
- love of shade;
- height up to 100 cm;
- flowers are large, yellow in color;
- inflorescences do not fold during the day.
Characteristics of evening primrose:
- large snow-white flowers;
- bush height within 50 cm;
- night bloom is accompanied by a pleasant aroma;
- grown in cold climates.
Features of evening evening primrose:
- growth up to 120 cm;
- flowers of a bright orange hue;
- compact size of the bush.
Enotera Lamarck is also called red-herbaceous and has the following differences:
- height up to 100 cm;
- the leaves are oval rather than lanceolate;
- greenish plants have branched straight shoots;
- flowers are exclusively yellow.
Characteristic features of Drummond evening primrose:
- height 30-80 cm;
- large, strong stem with strong branching;
- pointed leaves of a lanceolate shape;
- the color of the plant is dark green;
- inflorescences are yellow, large, fragrant.
Each evening primrose species has 5-6 varieties. This significant diversity sets the flower apart from other garden plants. You can easily choose the right one based on the size of the bush and the shade of the inflorescences.
The variety belongs to undersized, reaching a height of 30 cm. The plant is perennial, unpretentious, prefers light loam with good drainage. The variety is planted in a sunny area. Blooming with large yellow buds lasts from July to September.
A tall variety up to 120 cm prefers sunlight and partial shade. The flowers are of the correct shape are lemon-yellow and large in size. Perennial evening primrose is resistant to drought and frost, propagates by seedlings.
Unpretentious bushes 30-40 cm high have single large golden flowers that bloom in the evening and at night. The variety is resistant to frost and drought, does not lose growth on poor calcareous lands.
Low bushes up to 25 cm high are intended for planting in partial shade. The color of the flowers is yellow, and the diameter is 7-10 cm. When planting a variety, it is enough to observe a distance of 30 cm between plants.
A short evening primrose with a height of 30-40 cm with light yellow flowers prefers partial shade. The variety requires a dense shelter for the winter, blooms from June to August only in the evening. The seeds are planted in open ground.
A small biennial variety does not exceed 25 cm. The bush blooms in the second year from June to September. Inflorescences are bright yellow and consist of 5-7 buds.
The shrub is 25 to 40 cm high and has a small number of pink or white flowers in the bud. The seeds can be planted in open ground or in a cold greenhouse. The variety easily tolerates winter under a light cover of fallen leaves and spruce branches.
A perennial, low-growing variety does not reach more than 40 cm. The pinkish-white, cup-shaped flowers appear from the end of June and disappear after mid-August. For the winter, it is recommended to mulch and cover with foil.
A perennial shrub reaches a height of 40 cm. In the second year, it is covered with white flowers with a pinkish tint. The variety is grown in a seedling way, unpretentious in care, but requires high-quality drainage.
The variety is medium-sized, has straight stems up to half a meter high.White flowers bloom singly in the evening and at night. The plant is suitable for planting on alpine slides.
Features of caring for evening primrose bushes:
- The high degree of drought tolerance allows the plant to be watered no more than 3 times a year.
- Before watering, it is permissible to apply mineral fertilizers.
- The bushes need to be rejuvenated every 4 years.
- Evening primrose can be transplanted even during the flowering period.
The high immunity of the flower does not require prophylactic spraying with pesticides.