Every year I, like probably almost all flower growers, plant new summer trees, dreaming of an unprecedented, brightest and most unusual flower garden.
Last season, I bet on undersized mimuses and did not fail.
As a botanist, I imagined this plant from the Norian family, but as a floriculturist I first met him. It was all the more interesting to watch how strong plants grew from fragile seedlings, on which multi-colored two-lipped gramophone records then appeared. There were so many color combinations that it makes no sense to list them; take a better look at the pictures.
According to one version, the name of the genus mimulus (Mimulus) means "little mime, magician" and comes from the Latin word mime. According to another version - from the Latin mimo - “monkey” (the corolla of the flower in shape resembles the muzzle of a mischievous monkey). At home, in America, they call it that - monkey flower (monkey flowers). In Russia, for irregular flowers - with the upper lip bent backward and the lower one capriciously pushed forward - it is called the gubastik. In addition to spots, decorativeness of the flowers is given by hairs that create the effect of velvety on the lower lip. But it’s not only a matter of beauty, all this “make-up” is very important biologically, as it shows insects the path to nectar.
The genus mimulus includes about 120 annual and perennial species. On sale, the most common are mixed mixtures of hybrid mimulus (Mimulus x hybridus), the parents of which are several species, and most of all mimulus tiger, or speckled. True, in recent years, certain varieties have also been sold - for example, Viva with yellow, Magic Spots with cream-white, Calypso with red-orange flowers (only the main, background color is indicated, not the color spots).
Especially for hanging baskets, the British bred an ampel variety Brass Monkeys with bright orange flowers. It grows well and blooms profusely in the shade throughout the summer, and most importantly - it tolerates the dryness of the substrate perfectly.
Seeds are very small, just dusty, in 1 gram of them up to 7000 pieces! It is not possible to evenly distribute seeds on the surface of the substrate, so a pick will be required in the phase of 2-3 real leaves. Mimulus is sown in March-April in boxes, which are required to preserve moisture cover with glass or film. At a temperature of 15-18 ° shoots appear in two weeks. It is better to moisten the seedlings from the spray gun - they are very tender. But they are developing rapidly, and by the end of May, when it comes time to plant seedlings in the flower beds, young plants grow to bloom.
Mimulus can be propagated not only by seeds, but also by cuttings. Shoots easily give additional roots, it remains only to cut off and plant new plants.
The literature indicates that the mimulus is photophilous, but can also develop in partial shade. In my garden, I took him a place on the curb. From the south and west, the plantings were closed with a house and trees, so there wasn’t even a partial shade, but a thick shadow, all the more so since it was often cloudy last summer. In addition, from the gutters laid on the roof of the house, raindrops constantly blew up, which directly fell on flowering plants, which they liked.
Mimuli bloomed very abundantly until the end of June, but gradually fading flowers moved to the top, and the stems lay down. And the neat bushes turned into sloppy rugs with rare small flowers on the crown. The border became untidy, it was necessary to trim the plants and feed them with complex fertilizer in order to cause repeated flowering (a fairly well-known method of prolonging the flowering of some summers).
Many Russian firms buy seeds abroad. At the same time, unfortunately, the original - brand names of varieties are not always printed on packages. Well, if instead of them a translation into Russian is given, often “names” are simply invented. And it happens that the same variety is sold under different names.
The result exceeded my expectations. A week later, young shoots appeared, on which buds began to stand out. Secondary flowering was more abundant and longer than the primary. Only the first frosts stopped the flowering of the mimulus. Based on my experience, I advise you to trim the plants without waiting for a complete loss of their decorativeness, then you will admire the flowering carpet until the end of summer.
Mimulus is good not only in flower beds. It can also be used as a container plant, planting in flowerpots and boxes on the north side of the house, but in this case constant and plentiful watering is necessary.
Another gubastik - yellow (Mimulus luteus) - can be planted as a summer on the bank of a decorative reservoir, where it bears fruit and spreads easily by self-sowing.
Mimulus bushes can winter in the room. To do this, in the fall, the selected plants are transplanted into pots, cut almost to zero and put on cold bright window sills.
© Matt Lavin
Author: O. Signalova