How To Grow Nicandra From Seeds?

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How To Grow Nicandra From Seeds?
How To Grow Nicandra From Seeds?

Video: How To Grow Nicandra From Seeds?

Video: How To Grow Nicandra From Seeds?
Video: Growing Nicandra physalodes from seed (Apple of Peru) 2023, December

Nikandra, despite its continued bloom until frost, is undeservedly deprived of the attention of flower growers. This summer with unique talents is often called background, too modest, and sometimes just boring. But it is worth taking a closer look at the lush bushes and delicate blue flowers - and the plant will reveal its elusive charm to you in full. Strikingly easy to grow, Nikandra surprises with seed germination, simplicity of sowing, and unpretentiousness.

Growing nikandra physalis from seeds
Growing nikandra physalis from seeds


  • Self-collection of seeds and their selection for sowing
  • Soil and containers for sowing
  • Sowing the seeds of Nikandra
  • Conditions for seed germination
  • Growing plants
  • Diving seedlings and caring for young Nikandras
  • Seedling hardening
  • Planting Nikandra in open ground
  • Alternative breeding methods for Nikandra

In landscape design, only one of two natural types of Nicandra is used - Nicandra physalodes. It is a highly decorative, versatile annual that has equally good flowering, fruiting and even leaves. Nikandra is difficult to rank among the lush and fashionable plants, but she is absolutely inimitable and irreplaceable in her own way.

Most nikandras are large, powerful annuals, forming symmetrical lush umbrella-shaped or hemispherical bushes that can reach a meter height. But the plant also has compact forms and varieties with a maximum height of only up to 30 cm. Branchy strong stems and large leaves with a beautiful jagged edge stand out for their color intensity, create a very beautiful and lush crown.

Nikandra flowers do not cover the entire bush with a thick veil, but very beautiful large cup-shaped bells of a light lilac-blue color with a light throat sparkle against the background of a thick and bright crown. In addition, Nikandra blooms tirelessly until the arrival of the first autumn frosts, starting its parade in the middle of summer. In place of spectacular flowers, spherical fruits similar to physalis are tied in bright green-purple wrapping lanterns, beautifully hanging from the shoots and inspiring many to create original winter bouquets

Despite the presence of new interesting forms and varieties with dark leaves or flowers, the rules of growing plants and caring for them do not change even for the most outlandish "black" varieties.

Nikandra is grown from seeds. In regions with severe winters, a seedling method of growing is considered optimal for a plant.

Nicandra physalodes
Nicandra physalodes

Self-collection of seeds and their selection for sowing

Despite the fact that Nikandra blooms until frost and the plant has a very long growing season, the plant still allows you to collect a large number of high-quality seeds every year. The shape of its fruits allows you not to worry about their active scattering. To harvest your seeds, you just need to let the lanterns ripen before removing them from the bush.

Nicandra seeds are well preserved, they do not lose germination, not just for several years, but for decades. High-quality, mature seeds are characterized by a very high germination rate: even after 5-6 years, it exceeds 90%.

Nikandra is not as popular with us as other annuals, but its seeds are often found on sale. When buying, it is enough to follow the general recommendations for choosing high-quality seeds - to evaluate the completeness of information about them, choosing trusted producers. The low price should not scare you away from the purchase: Nikandra grows well, gives a bountiful "harvest" of seeds and belongs to the category of the most affordable annuals.

Soil and containers for sowing

Nikandra can be grown in any standard seedling container - bowls, plastic containers, cassettes. It is better to choose containers according to your budget. The main thing is that the containers are not too deep.

The soil for growing Nikandra seedlings is suitable both universal and independently mixed. Special substrates for seedlings have optimal characteristics, but ordinary soil for summer plants and indoor plants is also suitable.

Sowing the seeds of Nikandra

Nikandra is sown when the length of daylight allows plants to develop normally from an early age. This is an easy-to-grow plant, so it's not worth rushing with early sowing, for which, moreover, additional lighting is needed. The optimal dates for the physalisoid nikandra are the first and second ten days of April.

In the process of sowing nikandra for seedlings, there is nothing complicated:

  1. The containers are half filled with soil, lightly compact the soil and fill up the rest of the substrate without compaction.
  2. The soil is well moistened with a spray bottle.
  3. Seeds are sown on the surface in rows or chaotically, trying not to sow too densely.
  4. From above, the seeds are covered with soil, creating a layer up to 1 cm high above them.
  5. The containers are covered with foil or glass.

Conditions for seed germination

Nikandra is an unpretentious plant. It grows well in normal room conditions, but not in the cool. Bright lighting and air temperatures from 20 degrees guarantee friendly shoots.

The seeds of this summer plant sprout amazingly quickly, delighting with the first sprouts about a week after sowing, and with friendly and strong outcomes after a week and a half.

Growing seedlings of nikandra physalisoid from seeds
Growing seedlings of nikandra physalisoid from seeds

Growing plants

After the shoots appear, film or glass is removed from the containers with nicandra. Plants continue to be kept in bright light, scattering direct sunlight if possible, at room temperatures. As with any other seedlings, for Nikandra it is worth maintaining a light, stable moisture content by spraying, preventing the soil from drying out or damp.

Diving seedlings and caring for young Nikandras

Nikandra seedlings should be allowed to grow until at least a couple of true leaves appear. The plants are then carefully dissected into small personalized cups, pots or compartmentalized containers using a versatile seedling substrate.

Seedling hardening

Before planting Nikandra in the garden, it is advisable to harden the seedlings as long as possible. The more time the plants spend in the fresh air and the better they get used to the cool temperatures and the vagaries of the weather, the better. They begin to take out Nikandra into the fresh air as soon as the weather permits, at least for a few hours at lunchtime on fine days. The time spent in the open air is gradually increased, but it is still better to protect the seedlings from severe cold snaps.

Seedling of nikandra physalisoid
Seedling of nikandra physalisoid

Planting Nikandra in open ground

Plants can be transferred to the garden only when the threat of night frosts has passed. Nikandra is not cold-resistant, so there is no need to rush with it. In the middle lane, Nikandra is planted not earlier than the end of May, and most often only in June.

For Nikandra in the garden, only sunny areas with the brightest lighting are selected. Plants are not demanding on soils, but light, high-quality, fertile and well-drained soils are preferred. Before planting in the garden, it is better to add organic matter to the soil, adjusting its characteristics if necessary.

When planting seedlings, it must be borne in mind that the plant loves free space. A distance of about 0.5 m should be left to neighboring crops.

In the first month after planting, it is better for young plants to provide maintenance watering. Then Nikandra can be watered only in a particularly severe drought, relying on its drought resistance and focusing on the weather. If the seedlings are planted in poor, depleted soil, then it is better to immediately start feeding with mineral or organic fertilizers once a month. In the nutrient soil, feeding is not necessary. Nikandra does not need pruning or other care, and Nikandra does not suffer from pests or diseases. After the arrival of frosts, the plant is simply removed from flower beds and ensembles.

Alternative breeding methods for Nikandra

This summer plant, like many of its “colleagues”, produces very abundant self-seeding, and young plants can be used as seedlings.

Nikandra can be sown directly into the soil. But since the plant already blooms only in July, with this option, flowering begins very late, and the bushes do not reach their full size and the necessary decorative effect. Nicandra can be sown into the ground in May or April with a cover, several seeds per hole at a distance of 40 to 50 cm. The seedlings are then thinned out, leaving the strongest plant.