perennial herbaceous plant native to Europe, North America and New Zealand. They are small plants with oblong leaflets and characteristic flowers, intense blue, which bloom in profusion in spring and early summer gathered in clusters. It is a very rustic plant, which can also be found in the wild, it usually develops slowly, but tends to occupy all the available space.
Do not forget me
The myosotis, or don't forget me, are herbaceous plants from annuals to perennials. They are part of the Borraginaceae family and are common in the spontaneous state in Europe, Asia and the temperate areas of Africa and the American continent. The genus includes about 50 species, four of which can be considered endemic to Italy: the myosotis palustris, the myosotis pulsatilla, the myosotis arvensis, and the myosotis alpestris.
They are found with some ease in the meadows, along the watercourses and in the mountain environment.
In this article we will talk in particular about the myosotis used as annuals or biennials, in particular the sylvatica (sold very commonly in spring in nurseries) and the Azorica.
The botanical name of this seedling (known by all in reality as forget-me-nots) comes from the Greek and means "mouse ear" for an alleged similarity between these and the shape of the corollas.
The popular name is instead linked to a large number of fables and legends.
|Family and gender|
Borraginaceae, gen. Myosotis, sp. sylvatica
|Type of plant||Herbaceous, annual or biennial|
|Exposure||Full sun, half shade|
|colors||Light blue, blue, white, pink, mauve|
|Irrigation||Adjust without stagnation|
|Composting||Every 10 days|
|Height||From 15 to 30 cm|
It likes sunny positions, but adapts to the half-shade; total shadow inhibits flower production. It does not fear the cold, even if too cold winters can ruin some plants and limit their growth.
The myosotis requires exposure from completely sunny to partial shade.
Basically we can say that in all in the Center-North and in the mountain and piedmont areas it is better to guarantee a greater number of hours of direct sunshine. In the southern regions and in the coastal areas, on the other hand, the partial shade will undoubtedly be more welcome. Excessive heat can in fact cause a rapid drying of the soil as well as favoring the appearance of pathologies such as oidium (especially if combined with strong humidity) or red spider mite.
In the case of plants grown in pots (especially on balconies or terraces) it is good to give an exposure a little more sheltered from the sun's rays.
The mysotis sylvatica is a vibrant herb native to Europe. It is basically a biennial plant or in any case a short-lived perennial whose height can range from 15 to at most 40 cm. Its habit is bushy and compact, with thin and pointed leaves, slightly pelosette and with bunched inflorescences. The single flowers, produced from April to June, are very small, generally of a very bright blue and with the central yellow part. It is still possible, even in nature, to find specimens with colors tending to mauve, pink or white. Its ideal habitat is woods and fresh grasslands.
It has been used to obtain various hybrid cultivars widely used in horticulture. These, to give long and abundant blooms, require soils richer in humus than those suitable for the species, as well as rather sunny exposures.
The azoric myosotis, less widespread in cultivation, is instead endemic essentially of the Azores islands. It has a more prostrate bearing. The flowers are carried in very dense racemes and a dense down is very evident. The petals are intense indigo, with a white eye in the center. Requires more wet aerals. This species was also used to obtain interesting horticultural hybrids.
He likes a good amount of water, but he does not soak the soil; it is advisable to water at least once a week, as long as the spring is not particularly dry, in which case it is advisable to intensify the watering considerably. Add fertilizer for flowering plants to the watering water every 15-20 days, to encourage flower development.
The irrigations, to obtain good and lasting results, must be rather regular. Clearly they will have to be more and more frequent as we move towards the south of the peninsula.
We always avoid that the soil dries completely, but we try in every way to avoid the danger of water stagnation. The frequency must therefore be assessed taking into consideration both the climate and the texture of the soil.
In pot we keep the substratum always slightly damp, but we avoid the use of saucers.
It has no particular needs even if it particularly likes humus-rich and well-drained soils.
To have healthy and well-flowered plants it is good to place them in a fresh and rich, but well-drained, substrate.
If the one at our disposal is too compact and clayey, it will be good to work it in depth by incorporating a good quantity of sand and possibly some fine gravel.
In the case of poor soil we can instead think of improving it by adding plenty of mature flour manure.
Forget not forgetting me
Forget about cultivating me, it's pretty simple. They do not require great care and combine an abundant and delicate flowering (with a highly sought-after color), but at the same time rather prolonged.
They are eclectic and adaptable to both flower beds and borders. They are also excellent for growing in pots, alone or in combination with other herbaceous plants or shrubs.
Family and gender
Name of cultivar
|Victoria Blue||Bright blue flower, gray-green leaves|
|Mon Amie Blue||Light blue flower, yellow eye, gray-green leaves|
|Bluesylva||Light blue flowers with yellow eye|
|Victoria Rose||Light pink flower with yellow eye, gray-green leaves|
|Gold 'n' Sapphires||Sky blue flowers and golden leaves, with magnificent contrast|
|Snowsylva||White flowers with yellow eyes, gray-green leaves|
|Rosylva||Light pink mauve flowers, gray-green leaves|
It takes place by seed in the summer, the seeds are placed in a mixture of sand and peat in equal parts, which must be kept in a damp place and protected from heat and sun; the plants are planted in autumn, they will produce flowers as early as the following spring.
New myosotis seedlings can be obtained either by seeding or by cutting.
You can buy sachets of seeds or recover them on exhausted plants, usually already around June. They are formed where the flowers of the small pods were. With time they open releasing the seed.
To get new seedlings for spring you need to start around July, using alveolar trays or cassettes. They should be spread evenly and covered with a very light layer of fine soil or vermiculite. It will be vaporized with water and then it will be irrigated by immersion, always maintaining high environmental humidity by using plastic films to cover. Germination takes place in about two weeks and then you will have to proceed with different topping. In winter we place the plants in a sheltered room and put them in permanent shelter from March onwards.
You can also proceed with the cutting (especially if you want to maintain a particular cultivar). The one in water is very good.
It is obtained by removing stems in the middle of summer and almost completely eliminating the leaves. They will be placed with the bottom in a bottle full of water. In a sunny area. They will root in 15-20 days.
For the cultivation in pots the advice is to use a soil for flowering plants, also happy with the woodland. We can eventually improve it further with a few handfuls of seasoned organic soil conditioner and some sand. On the bottom of the container it is always important to create an effective drainage layer, based on gravel or expanded clay.
Pests and diseases
Forget me not particularly afraid of gray mold and oidium; it is hardly attacked by parasites. Generally they are rather resistant herbaceous and bring their flowering season to a conclusion without problems.
In particular situations, that is to say above all where the high humidity of the ground and the air are concomitant with a poor ventilation, oidium attacks can occur. To avoid this it is first of all important to regulate the watering and absolutely avoid wetting the leaves and stems. If the problem should still appear, we can try to stem it by using specific anti-cryptogamic products.
Another enemy of these plants is surely snails and slugs. Damage is more likely at the beginning of spring, during the first hours of the morning, and when the rains are abundant.
We can prevent the attacks using special baits (however, paying the utmost attention if there are pets or children).
Excellent natural alternatives are the beer-based traps or the spreading of sand or ash around the plants.
Forget not forget me
The jars can be planted from October to March. In all of southern Italy, the plants often flourish throughout the winter. Elsewhere it is instead recommended to buy them and put them in the garden in spring, after the last frosts.
Before proceeding let us hold the plants in a basin of water for about an hour. In this way it will be easier to extract them from the vase. Once extracted we check that the roots are not too long. In that case, we should check them so that they are stimulated to take root in their final location.
We create holes that are wide and at least twice as deep as the earthen bread. On the bottom we can insert a teaspoon of slow release granular fertilizer for flowering plants.
We place the specimen, we cover and press well.
The ideal distance between one and the other can go from 10 to 30 cm, also depending on the size of the specific cultivar and the effect we want to achieve (more or less compact).
In vase the interval between two specimens must be at least 15 cm.
Let us water abundantly.
At planting we can add a little slow-release granular fertilizer to flowering plants to the compost.
Later, to assist the flowering and make the color of the petals more lively, it is good to administer a liquid (or water-soluble) fertilizer with a high potassium content every ten days.
A good strategy can also be to dilute it very much and distribute it with every watering. In this way the contribution will be constant.
Don't forget me - Myosotis: Other care
For the rest, it will only be necessary to devote oneself with a certain skill to cleaning the faded stems so that the plant is stimulated to produce others. This also helps to prevent self-dissemination which, with myosotis, is always very abundant and could become a problem where it is not appreciated.
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