BAZELLA - GROWING AND CARE
This season I decided to diversify the range of plants on my site and plant more decorative leafy crops. Of course, beautifully flowering annuals are the most popular among gardeners. But it is precisely plants with picturesque foliage that provide the constant, one might say, continuous decorative effect of our flower beds.
BAZELLA – DESCRIPTION
Nowadays, more and more seeds of decorative foliage plants are appearing on sale. I chose basella, a vine with attractive foliage from the Basellaceae family. It comes from tropical regions of warm countries - Madagascar, India, New Guinea. Thanks to its creeping vine-like shoots, in warm countries this plant can reach a length of 10 m, but in the middle zone its shoots grow no more than 3 m. Growing this heat-loving plant in our open ground is possible only as an annual crop.
Basella perfectly wraps around supports of any shape, can easily entwine branches and shoots of neighboring plants. Its shoots are green or red-burgundy, with a purple tint (depending on the type), thick, juicy, but at the same time fragile, so they can break from gusts of strong wind. The leaves are heart-shaped with green or dark red veins, leathery, fleshy and juicy. Leaf blade 5-10 cm long.
Basella blooms with small white or purple flowers collected in racemes. In order for the plant to grow foliage to a greater extent, rather than expending energy on flowering, the buds can be removed. But I didn't delete it. Although the flowers of basella are simple and inexpressive, they greatly decorate the plant.
After flowering (usually in September), blue-black, as if varnished, fruits (acene berries) ripen. In our conditions, as a rule, only fruits located in the lower and middle parts of the plant ripen.
GROWING AND CARE OF BAZELLA
Basella is propagated by seeds and cuttings.. And the species Basella tuberifera has tubers.
I purchased basella seeds Overseas guest. Under this name, the bag combines basella seeds of two popular types: red (Basella rubra) and white (B. alba). At the same time, Basella red seeds are found in bags much more often. The reason is most likely that it is more decorative.
The germination rate of basella seeds is generally good and even improves somewhat in the 2-3rd year of storage.
I sowed basella in purchased universal soil at the end of March directly into individual cups, since this plant does not tolerate picking and transplanting well. I placed the seedling containers in a warm, bright place (the optimal temperature for seed germination is 24-25°C). We had to wait a long time for shoots, about 1 weeks. In general, the plants developed without problems.
Grown basella seedlings planted in a large container with drainage holes, which was previously filled with a soil mixture based on turf soil, compost, coarse river sand, and ash. The root collar was not deeply buried; it should be level with the soil.
I immediately installed long sticks as a support, which basella subsequently braided.
In May (after hardening) I took the plants outside. Night temperatures should not fall below 810°C. Basella is very thermophilic and is unlikely to tolerate even short-term frosts. A comfortable temperature for it is 2530°C (at low temperatures, growth slows down and it does not produce such lush green mass).
FOR THE NOTICE
Basella prefers an open, well-lit place, the soil is nutritious, fertile, with good drainage.
Basella's water-breeder is still the same! The soil must be constantly moist. It happens that you water a plant abundantly in the heat, but the next day the soil in the container is dry. This love of moisture is easily explained by its tropical origin.
Therefore, under no circumstances should the soil be allowed to dry out for a long time. It is necessary to constantly keep the soil moist and, if possible, spray the plants.
But severe waterlogging is also dangerous for basella, as it can cause rotting of the root system.
Despite the fact that the summer was hot and the basella was in direct sunlight for half a day, there were no burns on the leaves.
I grew basella as a garden plant, but it can also grow indoors. In this case, it will need regular spraying and abundant watering from spring to autumn (it is reduced in winter).
It is advisable to spray basella with soft water at room temperature so as not to leave unsightly stains on the leaves.
APPLICATION OF BAZELLA IN COOKING AND MORE
Basella shoots and leaves are used in cooking as a leaf vegetable for preparing dishes and drinks. For this reason, basella is called Ceylon or Malobar spinach. It is added to salads, vegetable puree is prepared from its leaves, and tea is brewed.
Basella leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals (they are especially high in vitamins A, B, C, iron and calcium). Their taste is similar to spinach, chard, and beets.
It is advisable to add basella leaves to hot dishes 5 minutes before cooking so that they do not lose their shape and beneficial properties.
Basella greens not only have high nutritional value, but also medicinal properties. In cosmetology and dermatology it is used for skin regeneration. Poultices from the leaves relieve inflammation on the skin, and fresh leaves are applied to wounds for speedy healing.
SO THAT YOU KNOW
Basella improves digestion, relieves swelling, helps improve metabolism, increases endurance, gives a feeling of energy, removes toxins and poisons, and increases hemoglobin levels. However, it should not be eaten by people suffering from gout, allergies, or hypotension.
Basella berries contain a strong pigment, which is used for dyeing fabrics, in the production of cosmetics, baked goods, ice cream, and yoghurts.
This plant can be successfully used to decorate pergolas, gazebos, and veranda windows. In addition, Basella feels comfortable as a potted plant, so it is excellent for container gardening (vertical supports are installed in its pots).
This is such a wonderful plant - basella!
Reference by topic: Basella (photo) cultivation and care
BAZELLA “THE OVERSEAS GUEST” ON VIDEO
© Author: Yulia Kupina, Belgorod region. Photo from the album of the author
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