Galtonia - growing Cape hyacinth in a room
One of the largest garden bulb plants, galtonium conquers at first sight. Unique inflorescences with drooping bells create an elegant cloud over dark leaves, highlighting this beauty against any background and attracting eyes to your favorite places. Galtonia is known primarily as an open ground culture. To do this, it is necessary to provide her with only the right period of rest and a little attention.
- Indoor Cape Hyacinth - plant description
- Types of indoor haltonia
- Conditions for growing indoor haltonia
- Caring for Galtonia at Home
- Diseases, pests and growing problems
- Galtonia Reproduction
Indoor Cape Hyacinth - plant description
Among indoor bulbs in recent years there has been a big jump in popularity. A variety of plants grown in gardens and for distillation, allows you to find species that can become a highlight in the interior. Among the latest innovations, haltonia attracts special rapt attention - a plant of sufficiently large sizes with very elegant and abundant flowering.
Genus Galtonia is a member of the large and diverse Lilein family. In nature, this charming onion impresses with its spectacular effect in the vastness of South Africa. In honor of one of the main scientists who devoted their lives to the study of the unique flora in the south of the African continent - Francis Galton - this culture got its name. Although all over the world her nicknames are much more popular - Cape hyacinth and African hyacinth, which give out both the origin and type of flowering of the plant.
Galtonia (Galtonia) - bulbous perennials. The onion itself in galtonies is already special - tunic, rather large, it is distinguished by a special density and powerful accessory roots. The cone-shaped, with a strongly concave bottom, haltonia bulb in diameter grows to 7 cm and is covered with dry membranous scales.
The height of plants in nature and horticultural culture varies from half a meter to a meter and a half, but in room culture of galtonia there are much more compact bulbous soloists with a maximum height of about 50 cm. Of course, such a height is characteristic of a plant at the peak of flowering, because the greenery of galtonia is far from so impressive like her flower stalks.
Haltonia bulbs produce a rather thick rosette of surface glossy leaves. Belt-shaped, grooved, fleshy, they conquer with a clean forest tint of green color and although they cannot boast of outstanding size, they create an excellent background during flowering, making the whole plant elegant.
In the garden, the leaves of galtonia are stretched to almost a meter long with a width of up to 8 cm, in the rooms they are much shorter and narrower, but still look impressive. Galtonia, unlike many bulbous ones, does not look like a nondescript, low-leaf blooming miracle. Only 4-6 leaves look elegant, somewhat reminiscent of hyacinth. The greenery of the plant is good enough to be considered a decoration of the rooms.
In unique friable brushes, most often one-sided, drooping tubular flowers are not so densely collected. Elegant pedicels, the length of which is 3 times the length of the flowers, only emphasize the beauty of each individual flower and the elegance of the inflorescence as a whole. The length of the funnel flowers of galtonia can grow up to 5-6 cm with half the diameter.
Perianth is very elegant, with lanceolate-ovate straight lobes. On closer inspection, it is noticeable that the outer lobes are always narrower than the inner ones. In galtonia brushes are a bit reminiscent of lilies of the valley and bells. Drooping bells of flowers are always painted white, but on the shining mother-of-pearl texture of the corolla you can consider the game of cream and soft green shades, which unevenly appear as the flower opens. Unlike many competitors, haltonia does not drop flowers; after flowering, they remain in inflorescences.
The flowering period of haltonia is traditionally in August and September. In indoor conditions it is rarely changed, preferring to preserve the natural cycle of development. But if desired, haltonia can be expelled at any time, shifting the rest period.
The plant bears abundant fruiting, although in room culture they usually do not allow the ripening of long triangular boxes of fruits and seeds, removing wilted inflorescences much earlier. If you want to propagate haltonia seeds, they are collected from garden plants. The seeds of the plant are flat, almost triangular, black, wrinkled, are formed in large numbers.
Types of indoor haltonia
The genus galtonium cannot boast of a variety of species. Only 4 species are distinguished from a plant; the possibilities to choose one of your own, your favorite Cape hyacinth, are not enough. The only plant species that is grown both in open soil and in indoor culture is easily recognizable by flowering, but there are much more common features in all species haltonia than differences.
Galtonia greenflower (Galtonia viridiflora) Is a heat-loving plant, which in horticultural culture requires wintering outside the soil, and in the room reveals its true beauty. It is this haltonia that is considered a symbol of the entire genus of Cape hyacinths. With an average height of about 50 cm, it boasts numerous powerful, stable, but at the same time elegant peduncles.
Inflorescences of 10-15 flowers seem elegant and massive at the same time. The emerald hue of the color is not always manifested, but the light green hue, as if fading at the edges of the petals, makes this plant special. But for the leaves and peduncles of this species, it is true that a unique cold-forest tint of color is inherent.
Whitening galtonia according to recent studies transferred to the genus Ornithogalum and the official name of the plant - poultry farmer or ornithogalum whitening (Ornithogalum candicans, synonym Galtonia candicans) But this does not stop selling it further as white-flowered Cape hyacinth. It differs significantly from the poultry farmers, which are usual for us, and the old name is often used in catalogs. This is a larger variety, for growing in a room format which they choose the lowest and most compact varieties, and differing only in the color of the flowers.
Conditions for growing indoor haltonia
According to the required lighting and temperatures, haltonium is a typical indoor bulb. She prefers diffused light, somewhat more shade-tolerant than her competitors. The temperature difference between the phases of rest and active development is a key point in growing the plant.
Lighting and placement in the interior
Unlike most indoor bulbs, haltonia, even in indoor format, can withstand light shading. This plant is often used to decorate light areas near windows, exhibiting on dressers or tables as a living bouquet.
Diffused light for Cape hyacinth is preferred; direct sunlight at noon can leave burns on leaves and flowers. The degree of shading is selected experimentally. Eastern and western windows are considered ideal for the plant.
At rest, haltonia is kept in shade. After the emergence of sprouts and transfer to heat, the containers are either covered with caps or placed in a shady place, avoiding sharp contrast and bright lighting until the shoots grow up (for especially large inflorescences, it is better to wait until the hyacinths flower arrows reach 10-12 cm) . Only after this, the haltonia is transferred to normal lighting.
Temperature and ventilation
During the period of flowering and active growth of leaves, galtonium prefers a restrained-warm environment. It is no coincidence that the temperature from 16 to 18 degrees, similar to the temperature for the distillation of hyacinths, is considered to be ideal for continuous and plentiful flowering of plants. But haltonia can also adapt to typical room temperatures.
Wintering of haltonium should take place in the conditions typical of all bulbous conditions - in coolness and dryness. Indoor haltonias do not have to be taken out of the ground, it is easier to preserve the bulbs without drying out. Plants simply after complete drying of the substrate are transferred to a room with a temperature of 8 to 12 degrees Celsius with a minimum decrease to 4-5 degrees. Under such conditions, haltonia is maintained until germination occurs, after which it is transferred to warm conditions.
Indoor haltonias are not afraid of drafts, but drafts can affect the duration and quality of flowering. Therefore, the conditions for this bulb are better to make more stable.
Caring for Galtonia at Home
Despite the status of a bulbous culture that is rare for indoor culture, haltonium pleasantly surprises with standard care. Regular procedures are necessary for the plant only during the period of active growth and development. For this bulb, you need to be very careful with watering, but otherwise it will not cause difficulties. Galtonia can be recommended to those who like the forcing of flowers and growing bulbs and already have experience with basic bulbs in a room format.
Watering and humidity
Haltonias in pot culture are extremely afraid of dampness. Even in open soil, waterlogging is fatal for them, and in rooms, haltonia can suffer even from a single overflow. The plant is watered neatly, making sure that the soil dries between the procedures by almost half. It is better to water several times, slowly and evenly soaking the soil.
Haltonias can be grown with automatic irrigation or lower irrigation provided that good drainage is laid, but classical irrigation can also be dispensed with if carried out along the edge of the pot without soaking either bulbs or leaves, avoiding direct contact of the plant with water. The plant is not afraid of drought, with the exception of the stage of growth of the peduncle and budding.
With the completion of flowering and the beginning of drying out of the leaves, watering begins to be reduced, having completely dried the substrate by the time the greens completely wither. In dry mode, haltonium is contained in the summer, before transplantation, and after it. Watering is resumed not sharply, but gradually, with the beginning of shoot growth, bringing humidity to the usual stable level only after carrying in heat.
Galtonia loves high humidity. The leaves of the plant can be periodically sprayed, it responds positively to the installation of humidifiers. During dormancy, it is undesirable for haltonia to create a very dry environment. Tanks with planted bulbs can be placed in moist peat or sawdust, or you can simply make sure that the air humidity does not fall below average and periodically spray the substrate.
Fertilizing and fertilizer composition
Galtonia begins to be fed 2-3 weeks after being transferred to heat. For the plant, the standard frequency of fertilizing is suitable once every 2 weeks. Top dressing is completed after the beginning of the wilting of inflorescences.
For this bulbous, it is best to choose special fertilizer mixtures for forcing flowers or for bulbous and tuberous plants. A good plant also responds to fertilizing fertilizers for flowering crops.
Transplant and substrate for haltonia
Traditionally, haltonia is transplanted in the fall, before the period of dry rest, from September to October, depending on the desired flowering time. If the plant was bought in bulbs, then planting is also carried out in September-October. It is possible to grow haltonia with wintering in coolness in an old substrate or in wet peat, with planting in the spring (in this case, the plants are carried out immediately to heat).
Cape hyacinths love light substrates. For them, you need to choose the most loose and permeable types of earth mixtures, paying particular attention to drainage and flowability. According to the reaction, the soil for haltonia should be slightly acidic. When choosing ready-made substrates, it is worth giving preference to special types of soil for bulbous or flowering plants. In the composition of the substrates, the presence of humus is desirable.
There is nothing complicated in planting haltonia. At the bottom of medium-sized containers, leaving about 3-4 cm to the walls or placing haltonia in groups of 3-4 plants to create a “bouquet” effect, lay a high drainage layer. The container is filled with a substrate and the bulb is gently pressed into it, reliably compressing it with a substrate. Haltonium bulbs are planted to the same depth as hyacinths. Plants after planting are placed in conditions for a rest period of 2-2.5 months.
Diseases, pests and growing problems
In the absence of problems with waterlogging of the soil, haltonium almost does not cause problems. Soil pests are dangerous for plants, it can suffer from onion mites and rot. Any problems are best treated with an emergency transplant and prophylactic treatments with systemic drugs.
Indoor haltonias are often propagated by daughter bulbs - a simple separation of the nest and separation of the children during transplantation. If you managed to buy or collect the seeds of a plant, then you can grow a new generation from them, because the galtonies are quite unpretentious even at the seedling stage.
The only drawback in the seed method of propagation of haltonia is rightly called the slow growth of plants. Three to four years will have to wait until the first weak flowering, and not all growers can provide careful care during this period. Sowing is carried out immediately after the collection of seeds or as fresh seeds as possible.
For sowing, light sandy soil is used, consisting half of the river sand, and half of the substrate for adult haltonia. Sowing is carried out superficially, slightly covering the seeds with soil, under glass or film.
At the entire stage of cultivation, seedlings are very sensitive to waterlogging and resistant to drought. A cool wintering for young seedlings begins to organize from the first year. Gradually drying the substrate, the plants are transferred to dry mode and placed for the winter in the cool, which is necessary for adult plants.