Knifofia: care, cultivation, protection, varieties
The article presents Knifofiya: care, instructions for growing, protection, description of varieties.
Knifofia is a bright, beautiful exotic plant that belongs to the Xantorrhoeaceae family. Its name was honored in honor of the biologist I.I. Kniphof. In nature, this incredibly beautiful plant is found in Eastern and Southern Africa.
Knifofia: description of the plant and characteristics
Flower of Knifofia: photo of a plant
Growing in a familiar natural environment, knifophya remains green all year round. The height of the cniphophia varies between 0.6-1.5 m. But a species such as the Thompson cniphophy can grow up to 300 cm tall. Knifofia has a shortened thick rhizome and long xiphoid leaves that make up a basal rosette. Its leaves are often used to decorate bouquets. From the middle of each rosette a peduncle grows, which in shape can be compared with an ear or lupine. The inflorescence consists of small scarlet and yellow flowers. Knifofia has one interesting feature: the buds of its flowers are colored red or coral, and the flowers themselves are yellow. The knifofia begins to bloom in the middle of summer. After the end of flowering, the bushes of cniphophy do not lose their attractive appearance.
Knifofia: growing from seed
Flower of Knifofia: photo of a plant
Everyone can grow knifofia in the simplest way - by planting seeds, through seedlings Seeds begin to be planted at the very end of March or at the beginning of April. For planting knifofia, shallow boxes are taken. They must be pre-disinfected, and then filled with a soil mixture for flowers. The seeds are carefully scattered over the surface of the soil, and then lightly sprinkled with earth from above. Then it is advisable to cover the boxes on top with a film, which must be lifted regularly to provide oxygen access. Before emergence, the boxes can be placed on the windowsill. They need to be watered systematically. The first shoots will appear no earlier than 15-20 days. Until that time, one must not forget about airing and watering so that the soil does not dry out.
After the emergence of seedlings, they should be under the film for some time. They should be taught to room conditions gradually. To do this, it is necessary to lift the film every day, constantly increasing the time for which the plants remain uncovered.
When the first pair of true leaves appears in the knifofia, it must be planted in individual containers. Small cups are suitable for this. It is worth remembering that this plant does not tolerate sudden changes in temperature, the knifofia reacts very badly to a cold snap. Therefore, the room temperature must be stable. Seedlings need to be regularly sprayed with a spray bottle. There is no need to feed the seedlings, because the mixture for planting it is initially saturated with all the substances necessary for the flower.
Knifofiya: planting and care in the open field
Flower of Knifofia: photo of a plant
It is permissible to transplant knifofia into the ground after the frosts have passed and there will be stable warm weather. Adult flowers can even survive temperatures slightly above 0, but seedlings need temperatures around 10-12 degrees.
Knifofia does not like shaded areas, this plant is very light-requiring. It is preferable to plant knifofia on the south side of the garden, preferably on a hill. If you plant it in the shade, its leaves will lose their brightness and growth will slow down. The plant prefers a moisture-absorbing soil that allows air to pass through well.Knifofia does not react well to an excess of moisture, this can harm her. Sandy soil is most suitable for it.
Many gardeners are faced with the fact that the knifofia does not want to bloom. The reason for this may be the wrong landing site, for example, if it was planted in the shade, as well as the close location of groundwater. In this case, it is better to transplant the flower, otherwise it may die.
The soil is prepared before planting the plants, the site is dug up, sand is applied and well leveled with a rake, if necessary, fertilizers are applied. In the prepared area, planting holes are made, keeping a distance of 30-40 cm between them. Each hole is watered with water, and then a plant is planted there. The size of the pits should correspond to the size of the rhizomes of the plants along with a lump of earth. Placing plants in the holes, they are covered with earth and lightly tamped, then watered again.
Caring for knifofia and growing it in your flower bed is not such a difficult task. Despite the exoticism of the flower, anyone can grow it. In the first year, after transplanting the knifofia into the ground, you must not forget to water it, loosen the soil, and weed. In the first year of life, the cniphophia will not bloom, it will be possible to admire the flowering only the next season, when the root system of the plants is sufficiently strong. To enjoy the bloom of knifofia, you need to adhere to all the simple rules of caring for it.
How to water and feed knifofia?
It is recommended to water the knifofia flower after the top layer of the earth has dried. Usually watering is done every 3-4 days. If there is a drought for a long time, then you can water the plant more often than usual. Water the plant early in the morning or late in the evening so as not to provoke leaf burns.
So that watering, loosening and weeding is required less often, you can cover the soil surface near the plant with a layer of mulch, which can be taken as sawdust or peat.
In early spring, the plants can be fed. This is done before the buds begin to form. For spring feeding, it is advisable to take organic matter or nitrogen-containing fertilizers. From organic fertilizers, humus is well suited, it is better not to use manure, it poses a danger to the plant. You can also use homemade compost and wood ash.
The second time the knifofia is fed when it fades. For the second feeding, it is recommended to use potash mineral fertilizers.
Throughout the growing season, knifofia needs phosphorus. To provide the plant with this important element, phosphate rock can be used. It is added to the soil in the spring before transplanting the plant into the ground. This fertilizer has a long working life, it should be applied no more than once every 3-4 years.
When growing this flower in the latitudes of our country, knifofia can live for several years, provided that it is removed for winter storage. For wintering, knifofia is prepared. Each arrow is carefully cut from the bush, while the leaves do not need to be touched. Then the plant is removed and taken to a room with a temperature of about 10 degrees. A basement is suitable for this.
You can dig up a bush and move it home, this will significantly extend its life. Having dug a bush, it is transplanted into some kind of large pot. All winter, the bush needs to be watered, to prevent the roots of the knifofia from drying out. The plant is planted back into the ground in the last weeks of spring, or in the first weeks of summer.
You can do without transferring the plant, you can simply tie its leaves, and pour a layer of peat chips on top and then cover the bush with spruce branches. A waterproof material, such as a film, is placed on top. Thanks to this, the plant will be able to survive a cold snap down to -15 degrees. In the spring this shelter is removed from the bushes. After removing the shelter in the spring, the bush must be carefully examined, all dead and frost-beaten leaves must be removed.In cold regions, it is not recommended to leave the knifofia outside for the winter, it will not be able to survive severe frosts.
Diseases and pests
With proper care, the flower rarely gets sick. Knifofia can be attacked by pests that feed on leaves. Most often, knifofia suffers from whitefly butterflies, and thrips can also harm it. If such a nuisance happens, then the plant needs to be sprayed with insecticides.
If you overdo it with watering, then rot may appear on the root system of the plant. If you find it in time, then the plant can be saved. To do this, raise the bush higher to the soil surface and carry out two or three treatments with fungicidal preparations. If the rot has already severely affected the plant, then it is better to get rid of it before the rot begins to spread to neighboring bushes.
Reproduction of knifophy
Gardeners, striving to preserve all the decorative qualities of this beautiful flower, propagate knifophya by dividing the bush. The division is carried out in the spring, in May. For this, adult bushes, which have daughter shoots, are dug up, and then these daughter shoots are carefully cut off with a knife and planted in the ground. In the morning or evening, young plants need to be watered. Watering should not be too abundant.
Division is an unpleasant procedure for knifofia, therefore, after it, the plant especially needs careful care. Experienced gardeners recommend dividing no more than once every five years.
Types of bnifophy
In Europe, relatively few types of bniphophy are grown.
One of the popular types is knifofia Taka.
Flower Knifofia Taka: photo of a plant
This beautiful flower was brought to Europe from South Africa. It reaches a height of about 80 cm, it has large inflorescences, the length of which can reach 15 cm. The flowers of this type of cniphophy are yellow, and the buds are scarlet. This type of bnifophya is very popular with flower growers due to its excellent health and stability. Knifofia of this species tolerates wintering in the ground well.
Flower Knifofia berry: photo of a plant
In the wild, it is found only in the Cape Province. Its height is about two meters. The inflorescences of this plant reach approximately 25 cm. The flowers of this kniphophy are yellow-green in color, and the buds are coral-red.
Berry knifofia has many varieties. The large-flowered cniphophia is one of the most attractive. It reaches a height of one and a half meters, and its inflorescence length is 30 cm.Knifofia of the Doctor Ker variety reaches a height of 1 m.It has bright yellow inflorescences 20 cm in size.
Flower Knifofia hybrid: photo of a plant
has many varieties and varieties. Among them, such varieties as Indiana, Cardinal, Prince Maurito, Theo, Rocket and many others are very popular.
Knifofia is an atypical plant for central Russia, so not every species and variety can be successfully grown in our climatic conditions.