Each year I certainly enrich my floricultural experience by growing new and interesting plants. Some of them are new to me personally, others are new to the world of choice. Each year, the promoters offer interesting annual flower cultivars. Many of them have taken root in my garden or on my balcony and have become favorites. In this article, I want to tell you about the interesting annuals I came across last year. All the described annuals are easy to grow from seed and easy to take care of. Maybe you will like them too. You will learn Plant 5 Unusual Plants in Summer Garden in the ThumbGarden article.
Capsicum annuum (Sweet And chili pepper)
Most dwarf ornamental pepper (Capsicum annuum) varieties have super hot spicy fruit but are rarely used as a condiment. The main advantage of this type is its very flashy appearance. Of all the ornamental pepper varieties, the one that impressed me the most was the mottled variety.
This plant is a true dwarf, measuring no more than 10 inches (25 cm) in height. Its narrow conical fruits are also quite small – 0.5 mm in diameter and up to 1 inches (2.5 cm) long. This pepper is notable for its brightly colored fruits, which are intricately oriented upward. Young peppers are purple, then turn orange, and finally deep red. In this way, a rich variety of colors can be observed on a single shrub.
The mottled leaves give the plant an additional decorative effect. capsicum annuum peppers have dark green, slightly purple leaves with a random pattern of white. The patterns on the leaves of these peppers can already be seen on the very first true leaves, while the cotyledons have no patterns.
Capsicum annuum ornamental pepper is a very plain crop but can encounter some difficulties in the initial stages of growth. First, keep in mind that dwarf ornamental peppers, including this variety, take much longer to germinate than bell peppers, and this is not uniform. On average, seeds of these peppers, even if pre-soaked in a germination booster, do not germinate until a month after sowing.
It is not unusual for one of the “boldest” seeds to germinate after two weeks and the rest to emerge after 1-1.5 months. However, it is also possible not to wait for a single seed to germinate. Given this peculiarity of ornamental peppers, I recommend buying seeds in reserve and sowing them as early as possible (in January).
Capsicum annuum peppers are extremely slow-growing at first. However, you may be surprised when, on a small 2 inches (5 cm) bud, the first flower appears and the pepper starts to bear fruit. Then, it moves up and branches more vigorously. After planting in mid to late May, care will continue through regular watering and fertilization with a liquid fertilizer every 2-3 weeks.
These little bushes of peppers look most decorative when loose, but a clump or two in a small clay pot in the kitchen also looks charming. I also really like the idea of creating small container combinations of dwarf vegetables with these gorgeous peppers.
Laurentia, or Isotoma, is an unusual and rare annual plant with a very delicate blue-purple color. Its star-shaped primitive flowers are not easily recognized as bellflowers. But in fact, Laurentia can be called a variety of this flower because it belongs to the bell family.
Since I am very fond of bells, this plant also attracted me. The bush is 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) tall and has a spreading habit that is very delicate and atmospheric. During the flowering period, Laurentia is covered with many small star flowers on the thinnest stems.
The leaves are oblong and very sculptural, and at first, a glance may even look a little stabby. The flower itself has a long tube that forks into five elongated, pointed petals. A flower is 1-1.35 inches (2.5-3.5 cm) in diameter. The most common color is blue, but it can also be pink or beige. another benefit of Laurentia is its wonderful fragrance. For me, it is similar to the scent of lilies but much more delicate.
Speciality of growth
Laurentia is a plant with a long growing period, so I sowed it very early, in mid-February. The seeds are very small and should not be covered with soil. They are placed on the surface, slightly pressed into the substrate, the container is covered with a film and kept in a bright place. New shoots will appear in about a week. Laurentia seedlings need light. In natural light, even in the brightest window, my seedlings stretched a lot and looked stunted.
Even with such early sowing, Laurentia did not bloom until early July. Thereafter, the plant blooms all summer without removing the flowers that have already bloomed. Laurentia can be planted in the sunniest spot, alone or with large-flowering annuals.
Oregano to Origanum, a well-known popular herb and medicinal plant. There are many ornamental Origanum varieties with attractive appearances and characteristic fragrances. Many of them overwinter well in the central region. On the other hand, Origanum ‘Kirigami’ is a heat-loving crop that can be grown as a summer plant or as a houseplant. However, it is very easy to grow from seed.
Origanum has the most distinctive appearance in the genus. It is valued mainly for the unusual shape of its spikes, which consist of purple, double-lipped florets, and large round bracts of purple and lettuce. When dried, the inflorescence retains its shape and can be used as a dried flower.
The leaves are rounded, pendulous, and strongly scented. origanum ‘Kirigami’ bush is hanging and looks very attractive in hanging baskets as an ampelopsis. The bushes are 8-10 inches (20-25 cm) tall and can grow to 12-14 inches (30-35 cm) wide. Despite its pleasant, pungent aroma, Origanum is not used as food, but only as an ornamental plant. It is very drought tolerant and will grow well in full sun.
To ensure that ornamental Origanum has time to grow into a full plant that looks particularly spectacular, start sowing seeds as early as possible – in January-February. Press the seeds lightly into the soil to surface them. new shoots will appear soon after 4-7 days. But at first, the seedlings grow slowly. Seedlings take 90-100 days to grow.
Origanum is transplanted into gardens or containers only after the threat of frost has passed. It is best brought indoors to overwinter before severe temperatures below 32 °F (0°C) begin, although minimal frost will liven up the bracts and enhance the purple hue.
My experience with ornamental Origanum has not been too successful, as I sowed the seeds a bit late and the plants did not have time to acquire asexual propagation during the season. But the unusual structural earrings look really extravagant, so I’m going to try growing Origanum again.
I first saw Schizanthus in a city garden many years ago while traveling in Europe, but, as it turns out, not all Schizanthus have such large mottled butterfly inflorescences. Only the hybrid series ‘Atlantis’ has such conspicuous orchid-like florets.
This species features a distinctive border with various shades of red and purple. For example, ‘Lilac Bicolor’ has a purple border that frames the white and bright yellow pattern in the center of the flower. The least mottled variant in the “Pure Crimson” series has two shades of crimson.