For those who are still looking for a special eye-catcher for their garden, we have picked out five unusual plants that you can sow in April.
Weather-wise, April does what it wants – but in terms of garden design, you can still set the tone. We tell you which five unusual plants you can sow in April to later provide absolute eye-catchers in the bed or in the tub.
- starvine (Ipomoea lobata)
Star Winds (Ipomoea lobata) is also known as the Spanish Flag and belongs to the genus of showy winds (Ipomoea). The name “Spanish flag” is due to the unusual color of the flowers. The flower buds are initially red, but change to orange just before they open. Once the flowers are open, the petals then first turn yellowish and finally are almost white. If you want to enjoy these extraordinary flowers from July to September, you should sow the star bindweed in a pre-crop while it is still in April. From mid-May, the young plants can then be planted outdoors. Since it is a climbing plant, the starry bindweed definitely needs a climbing aid with vertical rods or stretched wires. The individual tendrils can reach a length of up to five meters and are wonderfully suitable as a screen or for greening fences, trellises and pergolas. Star Winds can even be planted in large tubs on the patio. The only important thing is a warm and sunny location – in the garden as well as on the terrace.
- ornamental tobacco (Nicotiana)
Ornamental tobacco is characterized by its star-shaped flowers, which emit a delicate fragrance, especially in the evening hours. Thus, ornamental tobacco is an excellent candidate for a scented garden. However, thanks to many breeders, there are now even some varieties that bloom in the shade even during the day. Ornamental tobacco is pre-cultivated indoors at about 18 degrees Celsius between February and April. After the Ice Saints – i.e. in mid-May – the cold-sensitive young plants are allowed outdoors.
- fire pot (Celosia)
The genus Celosia, also known as featherbush or firebrush, belongs to the family of the foxtail plants (Amaranthaceae). One of the best-known representatives is the firebrush (Celosia argentea), whose flowers were originally exclusively reddish-silver in color. However, thanks to a large number of crosses, specimens also exist in fire-red, pink, yellow, orange or even white. Sowing is done as a preculture in the house. Sprinkle the seeds in a seed tray and keep the substrate moist at all times. For the seeds to germinate reliably, they need a temperature of just under 20 degrees Celsius. Germination can take up to three weeks. After that, the seedlings are pricked out and transplanted. After the Ice Saints, you may put the seedlings outdoors. Feather bushes can be planted in a sunny perennial bed, but also do well in a container. Since feather bushes are very sensitive to cold feet, the tub should definitely stand on wooden blocks.
- Indian nettle (Monarda)
Indian nettle is also known to many as bergamot, bee balm, monarda or golden balm. It is an interesting perennial, especially for bee lovers, because the flowers of the Indian nettle are a real insect magnet. Especially the horse mint (Monarda punctata) is a favorite of the bees. The color palette of the flowers ranges from red and purple to pink and white, depending on the species and variety. The perennials look particularly beautiful in a prairie garden, where they can be combined well with various ornamental grasses or goldenrod (Solidago), coneflower (Echinacea) or sage (Salvia). Golden balm (Monarda didyma), lemon monard (Monarda citriodora) and wild Indian nettle (Monarda fistulosa) are also wonderfully suitable for making delicious drinks. Some species of Indian nettle can be propagated by sowing. However, cultivated forms should be propagated vegetatively, for example by cuttings. Those who already have specimens of Indian nettle in the garden can also divide them quite easily. Since the requirements of the individual species can vary greatly, you should consider the sowing instructions on the package when buying seeds. Indian nettles can be planted in partial shade as well as in the sun; their soil requirements also vary accordingly. However, all species agree on one point: they do not like waterlogged soil.
- Candelabra speedwell (Veronicastrum virginicum)
Candelabra speedwell, also called giant speedwell, is an upright-growing perennial and the largest species of this genus, growing up to two meters tall. The perennial is native to North America, where it grows in prairies and meadows. From July to September, the slender flower corollas appear in white, pink or bluish purple, depending on the variety. Because of its height of growth, candelabra speedwell adds that certain something to perennial borders. Pre-cultivate the seeds indoors. On the one hand, this allows you to better select the planting site and, on the other hand, to easily maintain the planting distance of 80 centimeters. Since this is a particularly long-lived perennial that will last decades in one location, it should be planted in the bed background so that other plants are not obscured by it. Veronicastrum virginicum requires a sunny location and a nutrient-rich, moist soil. Giant speedwell feels especially at home on marshy clay soil at the edges of ponds. By the way, the flowers are also very popular with butterflies and other insects.