The dimorphic libraries They are very popular herbaceous plants, something that they have earned since they are very rustic and their cultivation is very simple. Because of this, although they are native to South Africa, today they can be found in a great diversity of climates. In fact, in climates that are not too cold, it is advisable to control its growth, because if it were left, there would come a time when we would have beautiful dimorcabs in the most unexpected corners of the garden.
Perfect plant to give at Christmas someone who wants to start in the care of plants, or to have on the table on the terrace.
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Origin and characteristics of the dimorphic library
The dimorfoteca, whose scientific name is Dimorphotheca ecklonis, It is a perennial or perennial and can reach a height of up to 1 meter., with daisy-shaped flowers with lilac, white, orange, or bicolor petals. The leaves are alternate, simple, elliptical in shape and somewhat succulent, with serrated margins and a dark green color. The stems are thin, light brown in color.
It is popularly known as Cape marigold, matacabra, polar star or Cape margarita, as well as as dimorfoteca. It is native to South Africa, and is cultivated throughout the world, especially in those places with warm or temperate climates.
Although it lives for several years, covering in a very short time that area of our favorite green corner that we like so little, in cold climates it is considered a seasonal plant, as it does not resist moderate frosts. But this is not a problem because it reproduces with such extraordinary rapidity that we can collect the seeds of our own plants and sow them in spring.
What are the care it requires?
If you want to have a copy, we recommend you take care of it as follows:
Your ideal location will be where receive direct sunlight, but it can also adapt to the shade that has some hours of the day. It is recommended that, if it comes from a greenhouse, the first days we protect it from the sun, as the leaves could burn.
- Yard: It lives in all types of terrain, from clay to acid. However, we will see how it grows faster in those that are fertile. That is why it is advisable, when planting it in the ground, mix garden soil with a little organic fertilizer. If we forget, it is not a problem: we can pay to the dimorfoteca throughout the growing season, that is, in spring and summer, arriving in autumn if it is a warm climate.
- Flower pot: you can fill it with universal substrate (on sale here!).
The frequency of irrigation will depend on the climate and on whether it is in the ground or in a pot. That is why when in doubt, check the humidity, for example by inserting a thin wooden stick all the way to the bottom, or with a digital meter.
To give you an idea of how often to water, tell you that usually during the summer it is watered 2 or 3 times a week, while the rest of the year it is done 1 or 2 times a week.
If you have it on the ground, from the second year on, you can space out the waterings, as long as at least 300 liters per square meter fall per year.
During the warm months of the year it will be interesting to subscribe to the dimorfoteca from time to time, for example, once every 15 or 30 days. Use for it Organic fertilizers, such as guano or algae extract, following the indications specified on the product packaging.
Can be multiplied by seeds and cuttings in spring or summer:
- First, fill in a hotbed -pots, seedling trays, yogurt containers, ... - with universal substrate.
- Then water.
- Next, place the seeds on the surface of the substrate and cover them with a thin layer of soil.
- Finally, put the seedbed outside, in semi-shade, and keep the substrate moist (but not flooded).
So will germinate in about 7 to 10 days.
To get new copies faster, you can cut a stem without flowers of about 10 centimeters, impregnate its base with homemade rooting agents and plant it (not nail it) in a pot with vermiculite previously moistened.
Put it in semi-shade, and you will see how it emits its own roots in about 15 to 20 days.
Plagues and diseases
Pruning the dimorphic library
Since it grows so fast, and spreads so much, it is often necessary to trim its stems to keep it as we want. So if you see that it's growing too big do not hesitate to prune its stems whatever you consider.
It tolerates pruning very well, even regrowing after a drastic pruning in which it is left with very short stems. Of course, use pruning shears previously disinfected with pharmacy alcohol, and This task should be done in early spring.
It is not necessary to prune in winter, as it could suffer damage especially if there is frost.
Planting or transplanting time
Resists up to -5ºC.
And you, do you have at home?