Luxurious Sandersonia, or Golden Lily of the Valley
The time has long passed when the lantern flowers were considered the property of the physalis exclusively. With the unusual boxes-fruits of this decorative and vegetable plant, one of the most valuable tuberous exotics, the magnificent sandersonia, easily reaches for primacy. The flowers of this amazing plant really look like porcelain lanterns, as if they were about to fall from the bushes and soar above the garden. The outlandish appearance of Sandersonia, a unique tuberous liana, only underlines the unusually growing foliage. But the status of a rare exotic is not accidental: this beauty is by no means easy to grow. And to succeed in regions with harsh winters, you will need to work hard.
Exotism from the luxury section
You can’t call Sandersonia an ordinary plant. This is a rare, quite "risky" beauty, the cultivation of which can bring a lot of joys and sorrows. After all, Sandersonia has so many requirements that it is difficult to satisfy them in a climate that is not cool. But if you show zeal and perseverance, then your collection will be adorned with an unprecedented beauty corms, which can not be found equal.
There is only one plant in the Sandersonium family - sandersonia orangeor orange color (sandersonia aurantiaca) In the wild, this South African beauty-liana practically does not occur: it is ranked as a rare and overvalued species. But in the culture of Sandersonia has a very special place.
Sandersonia orange is sometimes also called the golden lily of the valley, the golden bell or the Chinese lantern.
The unusualness of Sandersonia manifests itself even in its root tubers. At the same time, the flower-bearing stem and leaves grow from each bud, and after the completion of the cycle, two new daughter tubers are formed from them and the plant is almost completely renewed. In addition to the new replacement daughter tuber, children are also formed at the base of the shoots, but their development negatively affects the formation of the second tuber and all flowering, when breeding sandersoniums on an industrial scale, they fight such children by stopping flowering and emergency digging. But for gardeners who just want to enjoy the beauty of Sandersonia, you can not worry about such nuances. But what you should not forget about is that Sandersonia tubers are not only unusual, but also ultra-fragile. The kidneys, daughter tubers and main roots break off so easily that even careless digging can be fatal.
Tubers, which are “tied up” as wrinkled small spheres, are transformed beyond recognition within three months, extended and smoothed, and acquire a typical shape. The stalk is tall (up to 60 cm), powerful, but since the plant is a vine, it lies, and sometimes curls, flexible and plastic. The antennae located at the ends of the leaves easily cling to the supports, without which this plant is not grown. On the shoots, lanceolate leaves are surprisingly symmetrical with a bright, saturated color that blends perfectly with the orange bells.
The growth of sandersonia is very specific. The plant goes through a full cycle in 4-5 months, after which it passes into the stage of absolute dormancy. Where there is no frost in winter, Sandersonia simply remains in the soil for long 7-8 months without the slightest sign of growth. In regions with not only severe, but also mild winters, the plant is certainly dug up before winter.
Sandersonia is one of the most flowering plants among the corms. To call blooming sandersony simply decorative would be a crime: unusual forms and grace make it a very special plant, unlike any other garden culture. If Sandersonia grows in comfortable conditions, then its flowering will please not only with beauty, but also with extraordinary abundance. But the main thing in Sandersonia is not the number of flowers at all, or even their size. Neat bells became famous not only with a diameter of up to 2 cm with a slightly longer length, but with the shape of an ideal flashlight. They seemed to be sculpted by hand, the density of the petals makes the flowers almost porcelain. And the bright orange color, which can not be called anything other than fiery golden, only enhances the illusion.
The use of sandersonia in decorative gardening:
- as a luxurious, crowning accent;
- in the role of decorating flower beds, front garden, recreation areas;
- for decorating objects of small architecture, including as an attention-grabbing accent;
- to emphasize the design and introduce original touches;
- as a potted plant;
- like a shearing crop.
Different strategies for growing a single plant
The classic way to grow sandersonia in the middle lane is to cultivate sandersonia as a perennial with a dig for the winter. But agricultural technology is not quite similar to gladioli or dahlias, other bulbous and corms: it is better to plant sandersony in a pot before planting it in the soil.
For those who want to simplify the task and prefer to admire the sandersony in containers and in the summer, without planting the plant in the ground, a different strategy is suitable. After all, with equal success, this beauty will bloom in pots. In fact, with this option, sandersonia is grown as an indoor or greenhouse culture, which is taken out to fresh air only in the summer. For the winter, rhizomes are not dug up, but just cut off aboveground parts and carry containers into a cold and dark room. With sparse watering, Sandersonia passes the stage of complete rest, and in February wakes up. It is moved to living rooms, grown until the summer, and then taken out to balconies, terraces or to the garden.
Optimal conditions for sandersonia can be created in greenhouses and conservatories, where it is easier to control both temperature and lighting. Particularly good are the non-freezing, but cool greenhouses, in which the beauty can winter in the soil without digging.
Conditions Required by Sandersoniya
To succeed in growing sandersonia, especially in regions with harsh winters, in the middle lane, a place for planting needs to be selected more than carefully. This exotic plant can only be placed on a sunny platform, but no less attention should be paid to protection from wind and drafts. If the location will combine heat and bright lighting, then Sandersonia will practically not notice some of the disadvantages of temperature indicators.
Soil also pay special attention. For sandersonia, the soil must be loose, with good drainage or water and air permeability. But other parameters are also important: fertility, neutral or at least slightly acid reaction (permissible pH is from 5.0 to 6.0) and a loose, light texture.
Growing this plant is not so simple due to increased dependence on heat and light. This beauty needs stable conditions, long daylight hours and relative stability. Sandersonia is also sensitive to temperature extremes. In regions with a short summer, it may not bloom at all, especially if the weather is not typical. And you need to be prepared for such disappointments: every year, the landing of Sandersonia is like a lottery. But on the other hand, the “gain” more than compensates for the risk of failure. Yes, and really serious problems when growing rarely arise, and rather are the exceptions to the general rule. If Sandersonia has bloomed successfully for several years, your experience becomes even less: every year it adapts better to the conditions on your site, becomes hardened and becomes less sensitive.
Be careful: Sandersonia is a poisonous plant, and you need to work with tubers when pruning and planting only in the form of gloves and all possible precautions.
Planting this plant in regions with severe winters is a very specific task. Sandersony must first be planted in pots or containers. And you need to do this early enough, at the end of winter. Yes, and you need to stimulate the "waking up" of the kidneys yourself: Sandersonia should first be treated with a solution of fungicides, and then soaked in warm water and kept at a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius until the buds germinate. And only after that carry out the landing in the tank. Planting in pots with nutritious loose soil for sandersonia should be carried out in late February. Plants are moderately watered, but not fed and kept warm and in the light. Growing plants in this way until stable weather is established, you will get strong and fairly resistant, capable of flowering specimens.
In May, when the threat of late frosts has passed, Sandersonias are transferred to open soil. If the weather is too unstable, the nights are very cold, it is better to postpone the transplant and just take the plants out for a day to the garden for hardening. Sandersonia will not stand even the slightest frost. Before transplanting, the soil must be improved by adding organic fertilizers to it. Soil characteristics can also be improved with peat, sawdust, bark, if the soil is not too loose. Sometimes, before planting, the soil is sterilized (using methyl bromide or chloropicrin).
Sandersony can also be planted directly in open soil at the end of May. But this method is considered more risky, because the development will be completed much later. Consequently, the plant will have to be dug up immediately after the shoots die out, at the very beginning of the dormant stage, which is much more traumatic.
Sandersonia is planted at a distance of 30 cm to neighboring plants. If you have a “crop” of small tubers that need to be planted to build mass, then they are placed closer. Pay particular attention to the depth of the landing. Ordinary sandersonias that have not passed the division are planted to a depth of 5 cm. Separated sandersonias are set to such a depth that the cut remains above the soil line.
Humidity and watering requirements
Sandersonia needs systemic care. This plant will have to be watered, actually treating it as well as the frame exot in your garden. But this does not mean that you need to water Sandersony every day. Procedures should be moderate, they are carried out only when the soil dries up, and natural precipitation is insufficient. Do not allow prolonged drying of the soil - and you will certainly succeed. But waterlogging is categorically unacceptable.
Trimming and tying Sandersony
Sandersonia is not an ordinary plant. This is a liana, its stems twist slightly, the antennae are located on the ends of the leaves and for it they must establish a support along which the stem can climb.
Sandersonia Nutrient Fertilizers
This plant will not refuse from fertilizing, but not classic, but combined. For sandersonia, the main fertilizers are applied before planting, p optimal soil characteristics and a supply of nutrients for flowering. For improvement they use exclusively organics. But after planting, fertilizing is carried out exclusively on insufficiently nutrient soils. If necessary, each month the plant is watered with mineral fertilizers mixed with water for irrigation. You can add such additional dressing only before and during flowering.
Digging and wintering Sandersoniya
Sandersony must be removed from the soil before the arrival of the first autumn frosts. First cut off all the aerial parts completely. Carefully, with a large reserve of soil, remove root tubers from the soil. Manually shake off the soil from them. Soak root tubers in a solution of fungicide or a special anti-infective agent for 10 minutes. After that, treat the stumps of the shoots with crushed coal or a special tool for treating wounds and preventing fungal infections, dry the tubers for several days in a dark and warm place in the fresh air.
Put the root tubers ready for wintering in boxes or pots with peat or loose soil. Put the containers with sandersonia in a room with a temperature of 3 to 5 degrees Celsius and store them during the winter in complete darkness. You can keep Sandersony in the refrigerator: in peat or soil, it overwinters in sachets with holes or paper bags. But with this storage option, make sure that the temperature regime meets the needs of the plant. It is best to place the tubers on the warmest, bottom shelf.
The minimum duration of a cold winter is 12 weeks. For flowering plants content at suitable temperatures for at least 3 months is a critical factor.
Pest and Sandersony Disease Control
Sandersonia is by no means the most persistent garden plant. This beauty, both in pots and in the ground, is threatened by slugs, caterpillars, spider mites, and even rot with fusarium. The main condition is prevention, soaking tubers after digging and before planting and thorough inspections. But the main thing is to prevent excess moisture, jamming of tubers, thorough and attentive care.
Fine sandersoniya can be propagated in only one way - the separation of tubers. For this, adults, mature, large root tubers are suitable. Despite the fact that Sandersonia has two full-fledged growth points, the daughter tuber from the second kidney is smaller than from the first. In order for both plants to bloom the same, they are recommended to be separated annually. In this case, the separation procedure is carried out before planting, after cold storage.
After separating the tubers, it is very important to process the slices immediately. And pay attention to the tools: they must be clean, sharp. It is better to treat wounds with charcoal (as with all tuberous and bulbous plants). After the tubers have dried, they are soaked in a fungicide solution for prevention.
Separated sandersonias are soaked before planting as well as the usual undivided ones. They are soaked in warm water and kept warm until germination (it takes about 1 week when the sprout bud swells and the tubers become more brittle). Plants are treated with fungicidal solution and planted to a depth of 5-10 cm so that the cut remains above the soil surface.
If you managed to get or collect the seeds of Sandersonia, then you can get a new generation of plants in this way. Seeds are sown only at the beginning of spring, keeping them after harvest in dry and dark, but in cold conditions. They actually need the same frost-free but cold stratification as tubers. For sandersonia it is necessary to choose the lightest substrates, bright lighting and light humidity. But since seeds germinate even under strictly controlled conditions for a very long time, seedlings need to be grown for two years as indoor plants, and they can be dived into separate containers only after reaching a ten-centimeter height, this method is used very rarely.