Some flowering plants are comet-like: They bloom brightly but fade quickly. One of these lovely annuals is godezia: No matter how hard you try, you will not be able to keep it for another season.
The good news is that seeds of godezia germinate very well and can be sown in spring and over the winter. And when the first flowers of hydrangea begin to open in mid-summer, you will want to see them next year as well.
You can plant the low-growing godezia along garden paths and the taller varieties will decorate any bed with their crimson, lilac, white or peach flowers.
Find out how to plant and grow hydrangea in your garden in our article.
Planting and care of godezia
- Planting: sowing seeds in the open ground in the middle of April or under the winter: sowing seeds for seedlings in late March or early April with subsequent planting of seedlings in the open ground in late May or early June.
- Flowering: from July to the first frosts.
- Lighting: full sunlight.
- Soil: Moist loam of neutral or weakly acidic reaction.
- Watering: Regular, moderate to abundant.
- Garter: Only for high-growing varieties.
- Fertilizing: once a month with a solution of full mineral fertilizer for flowering plants.
- Propagation: only by seed.
- Pests: caterpillars, aphids, slugs.
- Diseases: peronosporosis (false powdery mildew), root rot, rust, fusarium.
Garden flower godezia (lat. Godetia) is an herbaceous annual of the Cypress family, including about twenty species, growing mainly in the Americas. The homeland of godezia is considered Southern California. It was named after the famous Swiss botanist C.H. Godet, who was the first to study and classify the plant. Since 60s of XIX century the plant has confidently taken its place in European gardens. The advantage of this garden plant is its unpretentiousness and beautiful silky flowers, similar to the flowers of azalea. The flowers of the godetia have similarities with the clarkia, also belonging to the Cypress family.
Stems of the godetia are erect, branched, reaching a height of 20 to 60 cm and forming neat bushes – scattered or pyramidal depending on the species and variety. Leaves are alternate, lanceolate, smooth-edged. Flowers bell-shaped or cup-shaped, fairly large in size, from 3 cm to 10 cm in diameter, simple, consisting of four petals, or plumage in a cluster. The color of the flowers is white, red, carmine, peach, pink, purple, there are varieties of combined colors. The flower stalks are short. The fruit is a tetrahedral cylindrical capsule in which very small seeds mature and do not lose their germination for three to four years.
In addition to directly hydetia, its numerous hybrids are also used in culture: azalea, dwarf, macerated and bushy varieties of hydetia. Godetia blooms from July till frost and can easily cope with temperature changes.
Growing godezia from seed
Godetia is grown exclusively from seeds, and this method of reproduction is not particularly difficult for flower growers. So, how to grow godetia from seeds? Godetia seeds can be planted directly in the open ground, but you can be reinsured and sow seeds in a seedbed.
If you decide to sow seeds directly on the plot, it is best to do it in the middle or end of April, in southern areas godezia are sown in the ground and under the winter, but in any case you need to keep the seeds before planting for half an hour in a weak solution of manganese to protect the future seedlings from infection with diseases.
A slightly acidic or neutral loamy soil in a plot located on the sunny side of the garden will suit the godetia best. Dig out and moisten the soil before sowing and apply mineral fertiliser and wood ash and humus at a rate of 5 kg per 1 m². Then sow the seeds to a depth of 0.5 cm so that there is a distance of at least 25 cm between the plants in the bed. If you want the seedlings to germinate within a week, cover them with cling film. Sprouts that have sprouted too densely will need to be thinned out.
How is the seedless method better than the sprouting method? Because when planting seedlings in the ground and even when picking, some of the plants are injured and die.
How to cultivate seedlings
Seeds for seedlings should be sown in late March or early April in containers with drainage and loose nutritious soil. Fine seeds mixed with sand are scattered on the surface and covered with a thin layer of soil, then a film is stretched over the container to create a greenhouse effect. Remove the film briefly every day to ventilate and, if necessary, to moisten the soil.
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In ten days, sprouts will appear, and the foil can be removed at all. When the seedlings will have two true leaves, they are piked: carefully dug out, shake off the soil, shorten too long roots and transplanted into separate pots of three pieces each.
At the end of May or in early June, seedlings that have reached 5-7 cm in height, planted in the open ground, together with an earth clod so as not to damage the roots of the seedlings. This should be done in cloudy weather, early in the morning, before sunrise, or in the evening after sunset. The distance between the seedlings should be 20-25 cm: the more taller the variety, the greater the distance between the copies should be.
Under the winter, the godetia is planted only in places with mild warm winters, and so far only as an experiment. Florists prefer to sow seeds directly in the ground to avoid losses during transplanting and picking seedlings. It is believed that plants grown from seeds sown in late autumn are better adapted to the environment and more resistant to diseases and pests.
Care of the godetia
The soil around the grown up godetia sprouts for faster growth should be loosened and weeded – this will provide the roots with room for growth and eliminate unwanted neighbors. Watering is carried out medium abundance, but regular. Varieties of godetia that grow higher than 60 cm, so as not to break the stems with flowers, it is desirable to tie to supports – wooden stakes or metal rods.
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For abundant flowering, hydrangea should be fertilized with a full mineral fertilizer with low nitrogen content on average once a month. A solution of nitrophoska at the rate of 1 tablespoon per 12 liters of water, for example, is suitable for this.
Godetia after flowering
How to collect seeds
Godetia seeds mature within about 30 days after the end of flowering. Once the pods begin to darken, they are cut off, dried, then opened and the seeds shaken out, which can be sown for the winter if you live in the south, or stored until next spring. As a reminder, godetia seeds last about four years to germinate.
Species and varieties
This is a compact, bushy annual with light pubescence. In cultivation since 1867. Stems reach 20-40 cm in height, erect or prostrate, brittle, by the end of the growing season turning woody. Leaves are lanceolate, tapering toward the base. The flowers are large, up to 10 cm in diameter, cup-shaped or bell-shaped, aggregated in clusters at the ends of shoots. Silky petals are colored in pink, red, crimson, white, lilac, scarlet and dark red. Varieties of this species bloom from July to October. Hybrid varieties, both high-growing and dwarf, used for borders, were created on the basis of the species.
The most common varieties:
- Weisser Schwann is a low spreading bush 30-35 cm in height, the shoots, green at the top, have a brown tint at the base. Broadly lanceolate leaves, satin-white cup-shaped flowers 5-6 cm in diameter, petals smooth-edged;
- Orange Room is a medium-sized, semi-branched, branched variety, 40-50 cm tall, with reddish-green shoots. Leaves narrow-lanceolate, flowers up to 5 cm in diameter, wide-columnar with full-petaled, reddish-orange.
Plant is 60 cm tall, erect, smooth, brittle stems, semi upright by the end of the growing season. Leaves narrow-lanceolate, pointed. Bell-shaped or cup-shaped flowers up to 5 cm in diameter with satin, spatulate petals, red-pink, crimson-mauve or various shades of red. Blossoms from July to September. In culture since 1814.
- Kirschkenigin is a variety with pinkish-red flowers;
- Crystal Snowflake – tall variety 75 cm in height, the flowers are white.
In nature, there is no such species, but hybrid varietal forms of the large-flowered godetia often have semi-mahogany, macho and dense-mahogany flowers.
Godetia macrose azalea is represented, for example, by such beautiful varieties with macrose-shaped flowers:
- Sybil Sherwood – compact bushes 30-40 cm in height, lanceolate leaves, green shoots with a pink tint, semi-maximum flowers 5 cm in diameter have a pinkish-scented hue, gradually lightening from the middle to the edge of the petals;
- Rembrandt – low hemispherical shrubs 30-35 cm in height, rosy-green shoots, narrow-lanceolate leaves, 5-6 cm diameter swollen pink flowers with a red spot on each wavy, curved at the edge of the petal;
- Diamond – bright red flowers with a white spot;
- Bride – azalea-shaped, swollen white flowers with a faint pink tinge.
- Read about the subject on Wikipedia
- Features and other plants of the Cypress family
- All Species List at The Plant List
- More information at World Flora Online