Digitalis is a perennial native to North Africa and West Asia. The plant owes its name to the form of flowers that are directly similar to the thimble, while in botany it is customary to call it digitalis. There are about 35 species of this plant. It is used for decorative purposes, in landscape design. Often grown by gardeners as an annual species. It can be used as a medicine, but in high concentrations it is poisonous and dangerous.
It is necessary to pay attention to this when planting, especially if the presence of children is possible in the garden.
Description and features of digitalis
The stems of a herbaceous plant are notable for their rigidity, grow up to 1.5 m in height. The perennial is devoid of lateral processes, while the petiole leaves, mainly oval, are assembled into a rosette. The leaves of dark green color have a pronounced relief, grow up to 30 cm in length, and up to 10 cm in width. The shadow side is densely covered with pile, the leaf is shiny and convex on top. In appearance, digitalis resembles a shrub. In nature, digitalis can be found in forests, glades and forest edges, among other shrubs.
In the summer of digitalis, a multi-flowered inflorescence appears in the form of a brush, formed by bell-shaped flowers.
Shades range from red to white, and yellow is also found. Sometimes the pharynx is decorated with specks. Small seeds ripen after pollination. One plant brings about 2 million seeds, and their germination lasts up to 3 years.
Purple, kurpnotsvetkovaya and other species and varieties of digitalis
Despite the species diversity of digitalis, only 4 species are widespread in the middle lane.
This species reaches a height of 120 cm and is covered with oblong foliage. Its dense inflorescences from bells grow up to 15 cm in length and form a wave form closer to the edge. The cup looks like an orchid, usually no more than 4 cm. Flowering occurs in the summer months. The yellow petals have a pink pattern, and the pharynx is a golden hue inside. The view is highly regarded for its decorative qualities.
The biennial plant is represented by deciduous stems, not higher than 1.5 m. There is pubescence of shoots in the lower part of the leaf. At the beginning of summer, inflorescences in the form of a brush usually blossom, it is not symmetrical, formed by flowers no longer than 13 cm each. Petals of different colors are strewn with black dots. This species came from Western Europe, where the plant is actively cultivated. There are many varieties, such as: spotted, large-flowered and gloxinidae.
Inflorescence is found both unilateral and pyramidal. Most commonly grown varieties:
- Alba Petals are white, can be covered with dark dots.
- Mirabelle. Inflorescences are multiflowered, pink shades.
- Excelsior. This hybrid reaches a height of 1.8 m. It is noteworthy in that its flowers form a spiral.
- Peloric. Flowers of this variety are the largest among all varieties, located on a peduncle up to 1.8 m high.
It grows to 1.2 m in height, resembling a bush for its appearance. The stems have a hard fleecy cover. The sheets are elongated to a sharp edge, grow up to 25 cm in length and up to 7 cm in width.
In June, you can watch the brush open at the top of the stem, it is strewn with small flowers. They are inherent in yellow shades, with the outer surface covered with pubescence. Corolla to the edge is divided into 5 petals. It is found in Western Europe, Russia and Ukraine.
A small perennial grows to 80 cm in height. Small-flowered, in comparison with other varieties. Green leaves are collected in a dense outlet low from the surface of the soil. On the shady side they are bordered by cilia. In the middle of summer, a brush covered with two-lipped cups opens, often it resembles the shape of a pyramid. The flower is white, and as it moves away from the edge, it is covered with a brown pattern formed by veins. Among the many varieties and hybrids, the following are most common:
- Tapsi. The bells on the brush are large, pink and crimson;
- Merton. Early flowering plant, which can be observed already in late spring, the flowers have a pink color.
It blooms in July, and the duration of flowering is not more than 2 months. It has medicinal advantages. It occurs in vivo mainly in Moldova.
Digitalis Growing from Seeds
The simple method, which includes several stages, is inferior to vegetative propagation only in speed.
Seeding for seedlings
Sowing of seeds is carried out in early spring and should include the following actions:
- Soaking in water, which needs to be replaced every 6 hours, while the entire soaking period should not exceed 1 week;
- Spreading seeds on the surface of the prepared soil;
- Sprinkle with a little sand;
- Spraying with a growth stimulant;
- Covering the container with polyethylene or glass;
After which they must be left for 2 weeks in a dark, warm place.
In digitalis, the first seedlings appear quite late, after the formation of 2-3 leaves, it is necessary to dive the plant. The capacity is not particularly demanding - a cup will be suitable for each separately or a common container. When planting together, it is worthwhile to maintain a distance between seedlings of 10 cm. Seedlings are unpretentious, it is enough to water it as needed, carefully loosen the soil, prevent drafts and arrange diffused lighting. 2 weeks before planting in open ground, it is necessary to carry out the hardening procedure, which is carried out as follows:
- You should take the plant to the balcony for 5 minutes, provided that there is no precipitation, and the weather is warm;
- Repeat the procedure daily, gradually increasing the duration of digitalis in the fresh air.
Planting in the garden can be carried out after the plant can safely spend the whole day in outdoor conditions.
Sowing seeds in open ground
Throughout the spring period, digitalis can be sown in open ground, but it is preferable to do this early.
Preliminary it is necessary to properly prepare the soil: you need to carefully dig, level and provide it with enough time for further subsidence.
When sowing, it is necessary to observe a distance of 30 cm between rows, while the depth of embedment should not exceed 2 cm.
Sprinkle the planted seed with a small amount of earth. In cold weather, it is allowed to cover seedlings with lutrasil. The minimum permissible distance between plants in one row is 10 cm.
Dates of planting seedlings in the ground
Seedlings are planted in late spring - early summer, focusing on the lunar calendar of landings. It is allowed earlier, but it is worth considering that a young culture will not be able to survive the return frosts. The soil should be well warmed up, and at least 5 leaves should already grow on the seedlings.
Digitalis should be sown in an open and well-lit place, however, flowers can develop normally in partial shade. Areas that are located near deciduous plants are not suitable, since the soil around such crops is excessively moist with periodic water retention. In such conditions, digitalis will not die, but will be devoid of flowering.
Digitalis landing technology
- Water permeability, i.e. there is no stagnation of moisture.
Weeding and digging is preliminarily carried out, and to a depth of not less than 30 cm. After that, soil is fertilized with compost at the rate of 5 kg per 1 m2.
When transplanting, you can not destroy the earthen lump of the plant, since the roots are very fragile. After planting, be sure to compact the soil and water it abundantly. Do not wait for flowering in the first year of growth, at which time the plant will only form a rosette.
Outdoor digitalis care
The plant needs watering only in the dry season. After each moistening, carefully loosen the soil so as not to damage the digitalis root surface system. No more than 2 times a season must be fed with mineral fertilizers, they are applied along with watering. To improve decorativeness, it is necessary to break off inflorescences that have already managed to bloom, as well as withering.
Digitalis after flowering
Proper planting and care guarantee good growth rates of digitalis and timely flowering, however, after it you should not neglect the care of perennials.
Due to the surface location of the root system, there is a high probability of partial exposure of the root. To avoid this, especially in the autumn period, digitalis should be sprinkled with a small layer of soil.
Quite a few varieties are notable for their resistance to low temperatures, however, if a small amount of snow falls in winter, the plant risks freezing. It will not be superfluous to fill the outlet with sawdust or foliage. Shelter for the winter is especially important for young digitalis.
Seeds can be collected after the full ripening of seed bolls, which must be removed before they begin to burst. First, the seeds must be dried in a well-ventilated room, then transferred to storage in paper bags and left in a dark, dry place.
Digitalis vegetative propagation
Such reproduction is carried out using basal processes. First you need to get rid of the brushes that have already faded and wilted, while you can not touch the dense inflorescences - they are useful for collecting seeds. 3 weeks after this, at the base of the trimmed plants, root shoots will sprout. Each of the root sockets will acquire 7-8 leaf plates, which must be carefully removed and transplanted. The shoots will grow stronger until the fall and will be able to withstand the coming winter. The young plant will acquire peduncles and will bloom no later than the next season.
Diseases and pests
Powdery Mildew The fungus spreads at high speed through the air, as well as with irrigation water and through tools. The affected plant is yellowed, wrinkled and dies. At the first signs of the disease, you should get rid of the affected parts, then immediately treat with digitalis fungicide. If the disease has not been eliminated in the initial stages, then in the subsequent stages, the plant is already impossible to save.
Root rot. A digitalis affected by this ailment should be destroyed to stop further spread. Then the place where the diseased plant grew needs to be treated with a fungicide.
Leaf spotting. It occurs on leaves and stems as a result of the activity of various pathogens. This is a symptom of the death of the affected area. The disease affects both young and mature plants. The disease leads to premature falling of leaves, their drying and deformation; weakens the immunity of digitalis.
Insect pests. The plant is susceptible to attacks of various species of aphids, which are carriers of various infections. It is easy to remove the pest by treating digitalis with an insecticide.
Mr. Summer resident informs: the harm and benefits of digitalis
Previously, doctors used digitalis to treat various diseases, used as painkillers for skin diseases, as well as to cleanse the body with constipation. However, when a certain concentration of digitalis was exceeded, the medicine caused nausea, diarrhea, and not infrequently led to death.
In the XVIII century, the flower began to be used in traditional medicine, mainly for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Digitalis is currently used to:
- Strengthen the walls of blood vessels;
- Normalize blood supply to muscles and tissues;
- Hemodynamic performance improvements;
- The fight against cardiosclerosis, hypertension, tachycardia;
- Normalize heart rate.
I use digitalis woolly more often than others as a raw material for medicines. Organic acids, glycosides are isolated from it. The foliage is crushed to a state of powder, which is part of the medication. Alternative medicine refers to many types of tinctures from digitalis.
All types of digitalis contain poison, which is hazardous to health, therefore it is not recommended to resort to self-medication with this plant. It is especially contraindicated for people with chronic lung and heart problems, suffering from gastric tachycardia, as well as for young children and pregnant women.
Use can cause a rash, itching, vomiting, many signs of food poisoning, respiratory failure, cramps throughout the body, and other similar symptoms. With prolonged use, anorexia, loss of appetite and the appearance of hallucinations can develop.