7 best flowering plants for ampel compositions
The word "ampel" comes from the German word ‘ampel’, which means a hanging container for flowers. The origin of this concept indicates that the fashion for hanging flower beds came to us from Europe. And today it is very difficult to imagine a garden where at least one hanging basket was not found. In response to the growing popularity of container floriculture, a large number of ampelous plants appeared on sale, whose shoots easily fall outside the cache-pot. Let's talk about those that are valued for their beautiful flowers.
Speaking of beautifully flowering ampelous plants, one cannot but recall the queen of annuals - petunia. As you know, all petunias are divided into bush, cascade, semi-ampel and ampelous.
Often, the term "cascading" misleads gardeners, suggesting a waterfall from stems and flowers. But in reality, cascading petunias are more likely to be bushy and grow vertically.
As for semi-ampel, it is hardly possible to get a real cascade here, since the shape of the bush in such petunias is closer to spherical. From the bush, they are distinguished by thinner stems, which can slope down under the weight of the flowers.
Truly ampelous varieties and hybrids are considered, forming flowering stems more than 30 centimeters long. We will dwell on them in more detail.
Petunia "Taidal wave"
‘Tidal Wave’ (Taidal Wave, Tidal Wave) On sale can also be found under the name "Typhoon" or "Tornado". This truly breathtaking petunia, which makes a lasting impression on everyone who has ever seen it.
In its power, the ‘Tidal Wave’ hybrid has no analogues among ampelous petunias, since its bush in good conditions reaches a height of 50 centimeters, and the stems hang down 1.5 meters. At the same time, the whole plant "from head to toe" is strewn with large flowers so that foliage is almost invisible.
The victorious procession of this petunia began with a single color designated "silver". This hybrid has light lilac, almost white flowers with small purple streaks in the center. Due to such a cold combination, from a distance the flowers appear silvery.
Subsequently, the line was enriched with other colors, among which the most interesting hybrid ‘Tidal Wave Red Velor’Noteworthy for its very deep shades of red, which, closer to the center of the flower, becomes almost black. Other colors in this series are: ‘hot pink’ (dark cherry), ‘purple’ (hot pink) and ‘cherry’ (raspberry).
Despite the fact that in the presence of regular feeding, petunias bloom well in a small volume, this giant, in order to open up in all its glory, needs space for the root system.
Another popular ampoule petunia is ‘Opera Supreme’ ("Opera") This series forms voluminous branching bushes, which, drooping, form a hemisphere. The length of the shoots of the Opera petunia can reach one meter, and the diameter of the bushes is 90-120 centimeters. The flowers in this series are quite large and have slightly wavy edges.
The ‘Opera Supreme Pink Morn’ ("Opera Pink morning") This is truly ampelous petunia, which begins to form long stems even in seedling age, and after landing on a permanent place immediately tends to down. This hybrid has very delicate bright pink flowers with a white center.
No less popular is the variation. ‘Opera Supreme Raspberry Ice’ ("Opera Raspberry Ice"), which attracts with its mesh raspberry pattern on white petals. However, this petunia is semi-ampelous and does not form long hanging shoots, but gives out a domed bush.
White, raspberry and red petunias from this series behave like true ampelous, but the longest lashes form in purple (Blue) and lilac (Lilac ice) variations of the Opera petunia.
In recent years, a novelty in the medium of ampelous petunias of Czech selection went on sale ‘Diamond Pearly Shades’. This hybrid features unusual wavy edges and a very pleasant shade of pink petals with a shimmer of pearls. The shoots of such a petunia can reach 80 centimeters, and from the very beginning they show the ampelic nature of growth.
For lovers of petunias with medium-sized flowers, which are more suitable for small hanging flower pots, there is a variety of varieties ‘Shock wave’ (Shock Wave, or "Shock wave") The charming flowers from this series reach 3 to 4 centimeters in diameter. Such small inflorescences are very resistant to wind and rain, so that the petunia looks neat in any weather.
The most interesting petunia flower colors ‘Shock Wave Deep Purple’, they have shades of purple with tints that in the center become almost black. Hybrid ‘Shock Wave Pink Vein’ bright raspberry veins are decorated on a white background, in addition, the flowers have a very pleasant aroma.
The shoots at the Shock Wave line are not too long (on average 30 centimeters), and basically all the colors have thin stems pointing down. The only exception is the violet color (‘Shock Wave Denim’), whose bushes often prefer to grow up the bush type.
Also noteworthy series ‘Easy Wave’, ‘Wave’ and surfinia having ampelous growth.
For landscaping semi-shady places using container flower beds, the competition for petunias is tuber begonia. For hanging baskets, an ampel version of this plant is used, but here everything is not entirely simple.
In the case of begonia, as a rule, varieties with long flexible peduncles are called ampelous, so that the flowers sitting on them hang down, but the stems grow exclusively vertically.
With the placement of these begonias, questions often arise, because in order to see large drooping flowers, you need to place a hanging basket with a plant directly above your head like a chandelier. Such an arrangement is not always convenient, and flower growers who grow ampelous plants generally expect that the whole bush will hang from the basket, and not just individual flowers.
But in fact, truly drooping shoots for begonias are more likely the exception, because the plant has a thick and juicy trunk, devoid of the flexibility inherent in true ampels. In this regard, even varieties that, judging by the advertising pictures, can fall over the edges of the pots, often grow upright.
Nevertheless, you can outsmart a stubborn plant here. If you see that the tuber has given out a single thick sprout, then most likely it will grow exclusively vertically. To avoid this, it is better to break such a sprout as early as possible, after which other buds will wake up, from which thinner shoots will grow. They will be able to hang under the weight of the flowers.
A similar technique, in particular, can be carried out in relation to begonia "Illumination" (‘Illumination’), which, being ampelous, often behaves like a bush.
But such hybrids as ‘Cascade Balcony’, ‘Cascade Pendula’ and ‘Splendide’ do not form hanging stems, but have drooping flowers with long peduncles.
Brahikoma is not the most popular annual, however, this charming flower will decorate any hanging basket with its delicate inflorescences. Medium-sized multi-petal inflorescences resemble miniature stems or chamomiles. Petals can be lilac, blue, purple, lavender and sometimes pure white.
Moreover, not only reed, but also central flowers of the inflorescence can have different colors. Thus, the center of the flower-basket can be yellow, like daisies, brown or almost black.
An additional decoration of the brachycoma is the deeply dissected cirrus foliage. Thanks to the combination of openwork foliage and small flowers of a heavenly color, the whole plant looks airy and weightless.
Most often, brachycoma is sold in a mixture of colors ("Swan Lake", "Blue baby", Margarita etc.) and in group landings gives the impression of clouds or sea waves.
When landing in a container, a gentle brachycoma soon begins to lean down and can be used as an ampel plant.
The only minus of this annual is not too long flowering period. To stretch the time spent in brahikoma bloom, you need to trim and feed the bushes after the completion of the first flowering wave. It is also recommended to sow seeds in several periods with an interval of 2 weeks.
Purslane is an ideal ampel plant for dry sunny places where it will grow with minimal watering. In the open ground, this bright annual is used as a groundcover and is planted with glades, but in hanging baskets this flower will look no less attractive.
Purslane shoots are not too long and hang on average 20-25 centimeters. Nevertheless, it is a true ampel plant, which from a young age will tend to go down, decorating the edges of the cache-pot.
In addition, due to drought tolerance, the purslane will tolerate the conditions of a small planter, in which the land quickly dries up, and forgives the grower for untimely watering.
Today there are a large number of varieties of purslane of a wide variety of colors with simple or double flowers. Special attention should be paid to such varieties as "Happy path" with interesting hatching on the petals and Sandalwood - A series combining very original shades of salmon and yellow.
To achieve the maximum decorative effect, a purslane should be planted as close to the edge of the cache-pot as possible.
Due to the fact that Purslane is not easy to combine with other plants due to its bright appearance, it is recommended to use a solo flower in a mixture of its colors.
You should also pay attention to a bright novelty - ampelous purslane, which propagates exclusively by cuttings. Unlike the usual purslane, its flowers are smaller, and the colors are limited to yellow, pink and salmon. However, due to more abundant flowering and powerful shrubs forming drooping whips up to 80 centimeters long, this plant looks simply amazing.
The only minor drawback of any purslane is that its flowers are closed in cloudy weather.
Read more about growing purslane in the article Cultivating purslane of large-flowered seeds.
Annual lobelia is represented by two types - bush and ampel. The latter forms thin, falling lashes, strewn with small flowers, similar to a tiny fan. This plant can fall over the edges of the cache-pot by 20-35 centimeters.
To identify such a lobelia, you need to search on the bag with the seeds for the designation Cascading, "Ampelous", ‘pendula ’, as well as the Latin name on the back of the package ‘Lobelia erinus trailing’.
The ampelous nature of the plant is also often reflected in the name of the variety, for example, lobelia "Fountain" or "Pearl Waterfall".
The most popular ampel lobelia series Regatta. This line is characterized by earlier flowering, blooming four weeks earlier than most varieties. In addition, the Regatta lobelia has a very rich palette of colors. In this series you can find plain blue-violet (‘Regatta Midnight Blue’) or sky blue flowers (‘Regatta Sky Blue’), and even the original colorings, for example, ‘Regatta Lilac Splash’ has pearl light purple petals with a blue tube.
But the most unique colors and shapes, as always, are vegetative series, among which you can even find lobelia with double flowers.
Lobelia has rather loose bushes, therefore, to make it look spectacular, it is necessary to plant it in groups in one pot.
Often, hybrid lobelia seeds are sold as multi-tablets. In this case, several shoots emerge from one ball covered with a special shell, and it is not necessary to dive such seedlings at all, they may well initially grow by a "bunch", and also subsequently land on a permanent place without dividing.
Read more about growing lobelia in the article Annual lobelia.
6. Alyssum marine
This fragrant annual is most often used in carpet plantings in the open ground, and ampel varieties of this flower are suitable for hanging baskets. The latter have more open shoots, which when planting near the edge of the pot begin to go down.
When choosing varieties for hanging baskets, it is very important to find exactly those that will form long lashes, since most varieties are compact bushes in the form of a hummock and are more suitable for flower beds.
The most powerful bushes form the vegetative forms of the sea alissum, which is propagated exclusively by cuttings. Such an alissum, planted in a hanging basket, is able to form a real ball, consisting of an abundance of medium-sized fragrant inflorescences.
Of the varieties grown from seeds, alissum is especially interesting. Big Jamcharacterized by the largest flowers with a honey aroma and powerful flowing stems.
Alissum also has an ampel character "Clia Crystal" - This is an improved hybrid alissum with large flowers and long stems. When planted in hanging baskets, its thin stems will form a waterfall that is about 35 centimeters in length.
The flowering of the hybrid is so plentiful that foliage is not visible due to the flowers. This series is represented by many colors: lavender, dark purple, white and others. To achieve maximum effect in hanging baskets, alissum is best planted in groups.
In the West, bacopa (suter) is one of the most popular ampel plants for container compositions. At first glance, this discreet annual, having small, pale flowers on thin shoots, is not noticeable. However, in combination with the brighter large-flowered flyers, Bacopa plays the role of a plant that sets off their catchy beauty. And floral arrangements with the participation of this plant look more harmonious and airy.
Bacopa with white flowers is most often found on sale. "Snowtopia" and bacopa with pale purple petals, Bluetooth. These varieties form tender shoots that can hang down 20-25 centimeters.
In the form of seedlings, vegetative forms of bacopa are often found on sale, which have larger and often even double flowers. Such hybrids are more effective and can be used in independent group plantings in flowerpots or hanging baskets.
Other beautiful flowering ampelous plants that can be successfully used for hanging baskets: caliberhoaampel forms webrens and viola, Pelargonium pelvic, mimulus, Catharanthus (ampelous varieties), nemesia ("Poetry") and others.