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"Queen of the night" or "night candle" or the primrose, or perennial evening primrose is a rather beautiful plant with goblet-shaped flowers. Flowers open in the evening, wither the next day, thus replacing them with new ones.
This unusual feature of evening primrose is perennial and determines its flowering throughout the summer season.
What is perennial evening primrose
Enotera perennial belongs to the fireweed family and combines about 100 species of a wide variety of perennial and biennial plants.
Plant height is about 25–130 cm. Its stem is erect, with simple leaves up to 25 cm long. The flowers of this plant are large, 5–6 cm in diameter.
Perennial evening primrose flowers have a pleasant aroma and are most often yellow in color. But sometimes you can see this plant in white, pink and blue shades.
Peduncles of perennial evening primrose are formed from a basal rosette. Perennial evening primrose is used for planting in groups on flower beds, lawns and for cutting.
Most gardeners prefer perennial varieties of this plant with yellow flowers, namely evening primrose and quadrangular.
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Evening primrose: planting and care
Preferring sunny places, fertilized and loosened soils, evening primrose is perennial winter-hardy and unpretentious to the composition of the soil. Despite the light-requiring, these plants grow well in partial shade conditions.
The plant does not tolerate stagnant moisture due to the detrimental effect on its root system. Therefore, it is very important to select a site for evening primrose with good soil permeability.
Before you start sowing or planting evening primrose, you should carefully prepare the selected area. To do this, on an area of 1 sq. m. make about 3 kg. humus, as well as 2 tbsp. spoons of nitrophosphate. Then the earth is dug to a depth of 15-18 cm, after which it is thoroughly watered.
When planting, the distance between the bushes should be about or slightly more than half a meter. Only in this case the plants will feel comfortable and will not interfere with each other.
Despite the fact that evening primrose seeds are small, they ripen well, retaining germination for 3 or 4 years. Due to their small size, the seeds of the plant are more reliable to grow through seedlings. Seeds are sown into the soil to a depth of about 2-3 mm.
Plant propagation is usually done by seed or by dividing the bush. Seeds are sown for seedlings in February-March, planting it in a permanent place only in May. In the first year, rosettes of leaves grow from seeds. And flowering and setting of seed bolls occurs the next year.
But if you plant evening primrose bushes in February or early March, then the plant will bloom in the first year.
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Due to the fact that the setting of young shoots at the roots of evening primrose is quite active, such a plant can gradually displace nearby growing garden flowers. To prevent this from happening, you should pick off wilted flowers.
In addition, it is recommended to dig in some kind of restraints, for example, pieces of sheet metal or slate, to a depth of about 25 cm around the area with evening primrose.
For lush flowering and rapid growth, perennial evening primrose must be fed with special complex mineral fertilizers.
In the summer, before flowering, an area of 1 sq. m., planted with evening primrose, you need to add one tablespoon of superphosphate.
As soon as the first flowers bloom, you can use a special fertilizer for flowering plants (for example, "Flower") or add 1 tbsp. l. potassium sulfate. In addition, you can apply 2 tbsp. wood ash, which is applied to an area of 1 sq. m.
You should know that after fertilizing the soil, the plant needs abundant watering (approximately 10-15 liters of water per 1 sq. M.).
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In autumn, perennial evening primrose is cut to the very root, laying around a layer of compost or peat 5-6 cm thick. In spring or autumn, adult bushes must be dug out, transplanted or divided. This is necessary for the so-called "rejuvenation" of the bushes.
In addition, in September or May, the plant must be dug up and, dividing it into several parts, planted in pre-prepared areas. At the same time, one should try not to forget about the need to separate the young growth that surrounds the main mother plant.
Due to the fact that evening primrose perfectly tolerates transplantation, such procedures can be performed even during the flowering of this garden plant.
Perennial Enotera looks great in group plantings with astilba and veronica, colorful bells, ageratum or lobelia.