Viscaria oculata is an annual herbaceous plant, of European and North American origin; it produces small dense bushes, consisting of thin ribbon-shaped, arched leaves, up to 25-30 cm long; from June until the autumn season between the leaves there are thin stems, up to 30-35 cm tall, which carry small single flowers, similar to small carnations, of pink, lilac, blue or white color, with a contrasting colored eye, more light or darker. The flowers are followed by small papyrus capsules that contain some small seeds. Very easy to grow plant, it is used as a border or in flower beds; the flowers have a thin, very long stiff stem, which makes them very suitable as cut flowers; they are also used to prepare dried flower bouquets. For a better effect it is advisable to plant the plants at a close distance.
The seedlings of viscose oculata are planted in a sunny place, or even partially shaded if the plant is to guarantee optimal growth; generally they have no particular needs, even if the flowering is more abundant when the summer is not excessively torrid. In this way it will be possible to fully enjoy the beauty of its colorful flowers. These plants fear the cold and temperatures below 15-18 ° C due to the complete desiccation of the plant.
These plants can easily withstand short periods of drought; they are watered only when the soil is dry, avoiding excesses to avoid any water stagnation that could cause the plant to weaken and the stem to rot. Every 15-20 days, during the vegetative period, fertilizer is supplied for flowering plants, mixed with the water used for watering. However, irrigation is not essential for this plant.
The plants of viscid oculata develop in any soil. In any case, the ideal soil for these species is soft, rich and well drained, but as we have said, they can adapt even in less than ideal conditions. They can also be grown in a container. This plant is particularly suitable for decorating the garden at home and for creating flowerbeds or borders of great ornamental effect.
Reproduction of the viscary oculata occurs by seed; generally they are sown directly at home, in the month of March-April. It is also possible to sow the plants in seedbeds, maintaining a temperature close to 20-22 ° C; in this way we will have more chance of seeing our plants grow better. Seeding in seedbeds is preferably carried out in January and February. In areas with very mild winters it is also possible to sow the viscaria directly at home in the autumn, while to obtain a very early flowering, in February-March.
Viscaria oculata: Pests and diseases
As for diseases and parasites, we can say that these plant species fear the attack of aphids and snails. Snails, by attacking the leaves, weaken them creating holes on them and making the plant even more prone to the development of diseases. Excluding this problem, they are fairly robust plants, which are unlikely to suffer from pests.