Every gardener has flowers that he prefers. Some - for beauty or a pleasant aroma, others - for unpretentious care. There is a plant that combines all this. We are talking about Liatrix, a magnificent perennial. The plant both looks great and smells great, and in addition, it is not at all moody.
Beautiful and useful
The homeland of Liatrix is North America, it also grows in Mexico and the Bahamas. In nature, there are about 20 species of this plant from the Aster family. Liatris has a very large and branched underground part, consisting of many roots and tubers. Above, we see delicate inflorescences of white, blue, purple, pink. The leaves of the plant are light green, very decorative. Liatris can reach one and a half meters in height, the smallest varieties rise 50 cm above the ground.
For some reason, we often call him leatris, but this is wrong, because in Latin the name is written as liatris, that is, through "and". By the way, the name of a beautiful flower is formed by a combination of two Greek words, one of which is translated as "doctor", and the other - "smooth".
The plant was considered medicinal by the ancient Greeks. Liatris broth helps with angina, they need to gargle. The crushed leaves of the plant remove swelling and itching well after insect bites. The Indians used to attach Liatris roots to a snakebite, it was even called the snake root. Leaf syrup is still used in America to treat the kidneys.
And the pleasant scent of a flower with a subtle hint of vanilla, pleasant for people, cannot be tolerated by moths. So if you put just one dried stalk in the closet, you can keep woolen items from pests. Another flower is used to create exquisite perfume compositions; essential oil is made from it.
Well, and, of course, a perennial is good for decorating a garden. They can decorate an alpine slide, flower bed or mixborder, plant next to an artificial reservoir or along the border of a green lawn. The group landing of Liatris also looks very impressive.
As already mentioned, Leatrice has quite a few varieties. But the differences between them are not so significant and lie in shades, density of flowers in inflorescences, plant height, flowering time. Here are the most popular types of this plant that are found in gardens:
- Spicate. Perhaps this is the most common type of liatris. They love to grow it due to its unpretentiousness and decorativeness. Peduncles of such a plant can reach 80 cm. Flowers are white, purple, pink, purple, lilac. It differs from its counterparts in leaves - they are very thin, besides, there are many of them. Therefore, the plant looks great even when not in bloom. The flowering period begins towards the end of June and lasts about a month.
- Rough. This is a very tall species of liatris, some specimens reach one and a half and even two meters. The flowers are small, the color is different, mainly purple-purple shades.
- Filmy. It has very wide leaves, and the plant itself is tall, up to a meter. The colors are very different, but in the already familiar range - pink, white, lilac, purple. Caring for this species is also very simple.
As a rule, lyatris grows well on its own. But if there is a task to multiply it, it is not difficult to do it. There are three ways:
- Seeds. They are harvested and then sown. This can be done either in very early spring, or even before winter, since they are not afraid of frosts. Before sowing, you can soak for 7-10 hours, having previously prepared a solution of humate. So the germination will be better. But you need to know what cultivation is - not fast, the full growth of liatris will pick up only in the second or even third year after sowing. Sowing should be done in prepared open ground.No special effort, you just need to dig up the ground with a small amount of humus, form grooves one and a half centimeters deep, fill the seeds there and sprinkle them with soil.
By dividing the bush. A very simple and effective way, Liatris reproduces well this way. It is necessary to separate young shoots from an adult flower, but always with roots, a strong root collar and tubers. Then plant them in the ground at a distance of 30-40 cm from each other. It is best to dig holes in advance and put humus there. The depth of the holes is about 10-15 cm. After planting, it is recommended to put mulch on top, you can also use humus for this. Thus, plants can be planted once every three or four years, in early spring or before winter.
- Tubers. You can take the tubers of an adult plant, which is at least 3 years old, directly from the rhizomes. The principle is the same as when landing by division, that is, in the holes. It is only very important to position the tuber correctly: upward with a small depression. From this dimple, sprouts will then sprout, after about a month. By the way, Liatrice tubers are sold in specialized stores, if there is no adult plant, you can buy tubers.
Planting and leaving
Despite the fact that the lyatrix is very unpretentious, it will still feel better if it is put in the right place. An abundance of the sun will be ideal for a plant; it is not at all afraid of direct rays. But if you plant liatris in the shade, it will bloom worse, and the inflorescences will not be as bright and fluffy as they can become.
In addition to good lighting, this culture needs a fairly light and fertile land, sufficiently dry. If the soil is clayey, you can add sand to it. The problem of excessive moisture is solved by arranging drainage at the planting site. For fertility, you can add humus and a little nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizers.
As for leaving, it will be limited to watering, weeding and removing dried inflorescences. The main focus should be on the soil. And yet, there are some features of caring for a liatrix:
- The plant reacts much worse to excessive moisture than to dry land, it tolerates drought perfectly. So it is rarely necessary to water liatris, it is better to organize drainage in case of rains. In general, if light rains fall at least once a week, this will be quite enough for the lyatrice, no more watering is needed.
- Liatris copes well with both heat and frost, so this perennial does not need to be shaded or covered for the winter. But it is necessary to mulch, this will protect against weeds and protect the roots from damage. It may even be worthwhile to huddle the plant, raking up the soil, as is the case with potatoes. But you don't need to loosen, you can damage the rhizomes.
- Like any other plant, Liatris responds well to feeding. In the spring it is necessary to add fertilizers with nitrogen to the soil, in the fall - with potassium and phosphorus. If the flowers are tall, they can be tied to supports; to preserve decorativeness, remove everything that has already faded.
Pests and diseases
Although liatris is rightfully considered one of the most viable and unpretentious garden plants, it is still not immune from disease and all sorts of pests. Diseases usually occur due to waterlogging in order to fight them. It is enough to transplant Liatris in a dry and lighted place. The most dangerous pests:
- striped nutcracker,
- field mice
Fight them with insecticides, which are scattered next to the plant.