Table of contents:
- What are vegetative annuals?
- 1. Bidense
- 2. Alyssum
- 3. Lobelia
- 4. Petunia
- 5. Bacopa
- 6. Scovola
- 7. Purslane
- 8. Osteospermum
- Where to buy vegetative cuttings?
Video: The 8 Best Vegetative Annuals. Description, Varieties And Photos
Many growers have probably come across such a concept as "vegetative", "vegetative cuttings" or vegetative annuals. And even more often you can hear such a name as "vegetative petunias". Vegetative annuals really represent a special group. Among such plants, one can find unique species and varieties, the seeds of which cannot be found on sale, since seed reproduction is, in principle, impossible for them. We will talk about the features of vegetative annuals and the most amazing representatives of this group in this article.
What are vegetative annuals?
The word "vegetative" itself comes from the Latin word "vegetativus", which means "vegetable." Vegetative are those annuals that were obtained through vegetative propagation. In botany, this is one of the methods of asexual reproduction and is interpreted as "the formation of a new plant from the multicellular part of the parent specimen."
Most often, "vegetative" is called rooted cuttings cut from mother plants. Many annuals and perennials, including those that were originally grown from seeds, have the ability to propagate by cuttings. But most of the annuals, who are designated as "vegetative", in principle, are not able to reproduce except by cuttings and do not set seeds. But where did the mother plants come from?
The situation is reminiscent of the question of what came first - the chicken or the egg. But with regard to "vegetative" there is still an exact answer. Initially, vegetative varieties (more precisely, these are, of course, always only hybrids) are created in the laboratories of large breeding and seed companies.
As we know, the traditional way of obtaining new cultivars is to cross-pollinate carefully selected parent specimens. But, unfortunately, this does not always result in the formation of viable offspring or the appearance of the desired unique traits, which are fixed at least at the level of the first generation hybrids (F1).
However, experts know truly "magic" methods and technologies, thanks to which it is possible to create a hybrid with unique characteristics, which in fact should not have been born. In particular, for example, a plant such as pethoa also originated in the laboratory. Indeed, under natural conditions, the embryo obtained from the cross-pollination of petunia and calibrachoa always died due to the different number of chromosomes in plants.
But scientists managed to transplant such an embryo into a donor plant, which successfully “endured” a new flower. Of course, a plant obtained as a result of such complex manipulations cannot be reproduced from seeds, therefore pethoa, like its other vegetative counterparts, are subsequently reproduced only by cuttings.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Vegetative Plants
Pros of vegetative plants:
- indeed, unique colors that cannot be grown from seeds;
- there are hybrids with double flowers in plants, which are not characterized by doubleness during seed reproduction;
- usually the bushes of such seedlings are uniform, strong and well-formed;
- you can grow crops that, in principle, do not multiply by seeds;
- no need to waste time and take up space on the windowsill growing seedlings from seeds.
Disadvantages of vegetative plants:
- high cost of seedlings;
- when buying in online stores, you can find a change;
- plants can be infected with such typical and difficult to eradicate pests of greenhouse farms, such as spider mites, whiteflies, mealybugs and others;
- Since the plants were obtained by cuttings, they can be infected with viruses that could be transmitted from both the mother plant and from poorly processed tools when cutting the cuttings.
Under such a sonorous name, there is a decorative form of a string on sale. Biden, or vegetative succession (Bidens, or Coreopsis ferulifolia) is usually an ampelous plant with thin drooping shoots, which is used for hanging baskets. An additional decoration is carved foliage.
Flowers most often vary within different shades of yellow. But there are also hybrids with variegated flowers, for example, ' Bidy Bop Flame' - bright orange centers and yellow tips of the petals. The flowers are shaped like daisies or rather tiny sunflowers. Flowering is long and very abundant.
It would seem, what can surprise such a simple plant with small flowers smelling of honey? And why buy it slips when alyssum (Alyssum) so easy to grow from seed, and even get a self-seeding?
As you know, varieties of alissum grown from seeds are divided into two large groups: bush and ampelous. The latter are only slightly suspended from the pot. But the vegetative amelian alissum allows you to create a real train of delicate flowers, because the length of the shoots of such hybrids is several tens of centimeters! The most powerful bushes and long shoots in the hybrids ' Lucia White' (white) and ' Lucia Purple' (lilac). Also, vegetative alissum may have larger flowers.
Lobelia (Lobelia) - another fairly popular and already a little familiar with the summer, whose vegetative forms literally boggle the imagination. For example, could you imagine a terry lobelia? And it really exists and spreads, like the whole "vegetative", only in the form of rooted cuttings.
Terry lobelia has the same small bright blue flowers with a white center, but they consist of many petals and look like small original roses. There is also another interesting variety of vegetative lobelia ' Star Super', which differs from seed in a larger spot in the center and a slightly different flower shape (more oval).
I think not mistaken in assuming that the petunia (Petunia) has the richest diversity of vegetative hybrids of all annuals. And no matter how beautiful the seed varieties are, the most amazing petunias can still be found among those that propagate by cuttings. For example, densely doubled small-flowered forms that look very charming and original exist only in vegetative petunias.
The most popular of them are petunia "Tumbelina Priscilla" (purple), "Tumbelina Melissa" (yellow). And non-double hybrids with unique colors are simply countless! Moreover, most varieties of vegetative petunias are ampelous and form very long lashes, densely covered with flowers. These petunias are more hardy and do not require the removal of wilted flowers.
Usually grade Bacopa (Bacopa), grown from seed, act on the sidelines, setting off a bright plants in the composition of floral arrangements, because they are very small, pale flowers. But vegetative bacopa is so good that it can be planted as a soloist.
And this is not surprising, because the flowers of the Bacopa variety ' Double Snowball White' are three times larger than that of most varieties and, moreover, are even double. So you don't immediately recognize Bacopa in this beautiful bride. In addition, it was only last year that it became possible to grow pink-lilac bacopa from seeds, and previously, bacopa with raspberry flowers was only available in vegetative form. Also interesting is the hybrid ' Gulliver Violet Glow' with raspberry-purple flowers.
In the West, Scaevola (Scaevola) is a very popular plant, and it can often be seen as a part of container compositions. In our country, this flower was completely unknown for a long time, since it is still almost impossible to find its seeds on sale. Moreover, seed reproduction of this plant is in principle possible. But now, finally, it has become possible to purchase rooted cuttings of this original flower.
Scovola is ampelous or cushion-shaped bushes covered with medium-sized (up to 2.5 centimeters) flowers, similar to a fan, collected from the inflorescence. The color of the petals is mainly in blue-violet range: from pale blue to deep purple. The corolla is pure white, rarely yellow. Blooms very profusely all summer.
Vegetative purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is significantly different from seed, and in this plant it is not always easy to identify the usual purslane. This succulent has the same plump, juicy leaves, but they are flatter and have rounded edges. The flowers of the vegetative purslane are about half the size of the seed, but the bushes bloom very abundantly. In cloudy weather, the corollas, like those of the seed purslane, are closed.
Basically, vegetative purslane is found in two colors: bright yellow and orangey. Recently, terry varieties of such a purslane and variegated varieties have begun to appear on sale. When planting a purslane next to other plants, it should be borne in mind that it grows strongly and quickly.
Osteospermum (Osteospermum) is an interesting plant from the Astrov family, and another exotic variation of multi-colored "daisies". Depending on the cultivar, this flower can also look like asters or chrysanthemums. At the same time, the plant is only 30 centimeters tall (seed varieties are usually 40-50 centimeters high), so this is a great pot plant.
There are varieties of osteospermum that are grown from seed, but vegetative osteospermum has some truly fantastic variations. For example, the hybrid ' Flower Power Purple Sun' is a novelty of last year and has received a prestigious award. Indeed, one can hardly find another flower whose petals combine such exotic colors.
Another very worthy variety ' Margarita Double Pink' is distinguished by the presence of 'pompons' in the center of the flower, which makes it look like varietal echinacea. By their nature, osteospermum is a perennial and mother plants can be preserved as a houseplant in winter. However, cuttings of osteospermum are very difficult to root, so it is better to acquire young plants again in the form of rooted cuttings.
Where to buy vegetative cuttings?
The easiest way to get vegetative hybrids is from the plant market. Usually, entrepreneurs purchase such cuttings in bulk from Holland in advance, after which they grow them on their own and by the time of planting they present to buyers well-formed bushes, densely covered with flowers.
But sometimes nursery breeders keep mother plants in winter and carry out cuttings on their own in spring. Also, "vegetative" is very actively sold in various online stores. In the latter case, although it is easier to find the most interesting varieties, you can easily be disappointed that very tiny, barely rooted, and not grown cuttings can be sent.
In any case, when buying a "vegetative" in an online store, you need to give preference to those that are not too far from you, otherwise the cuttings may simply not reach or arrive very weakened.