Leptosiphon - shining stars
Among gardeners there are many talented landowners. But not a single plant in such an amazing way combines colorfulness and tenderness, like leptosiphon. You will not find it in the list of the most popular annuals for the garden, but once you plant it on the site, it is difficult to give up the pleasure of growing leptosiphons from year to year. Shining multi-colored flower stars on lush trembling greens turn whole glades into spectacular carpets. Yes, and growing leptosiphon is easy.
Shining Leptosiphon Stars
Leptosiphon (Leptosiphon) Is an annual groundcover combining very decorative foliage and surprisingly touching flowering. Despite the fact that in many ways this plant is modest, it invariably stands out against the background of even the most catchy summers. Leptosiphon cannot be overshadowed even by a company of petunias, and it is unnecessary to talk about perennials.
Leptosiphon (Leptosiphon) genus of plants, including about 25 species of plants of the family Sinyukhovye, or Sinyushnikovye (Polemoniaceae) Previously included in the genus Linantus (Linanthus).
Tiny leptosiphons will not exceed 10-15 cm in height, but with all the modesty of size, few flyers can compete with them in their ability to grow in breadth. Leptosiphons form a pillow, constantly capture a new territory, without prejudice to any, even the smallest plant and deftly “knocking” them. The leptosiphon itself is not at all aggressive, rather, on the contrary: too intensely growing partners will easily suppress it. Forming a delightfully dense carpet, the leptosiphon seems to spread luxurious fabrics in the garden.
Its leaves are needle-like, resembling dill, but grow much denser. Due to the dense branching in the density, thin leaves create amazingly beautiful textures of the green pillow. And the bright pubescence adds special beauty to the texture spots created by the greenery of the plant: leptosiphon leaves are decorated with numerous villi. The color of foliage in leptosiphons varies depending on the soil. Classical leptosiphons are distinguished by a light, grassy color, but if you plant a plant in the poor soil they love so much, then solid jackets will turn into a spectacular gray-green, with a bluish tint.
Against a luxurious and bright background of grassy-green, fairly light leaves, flowers literally flare up during flowering. Thanks to the star-shaped form, they really seem to be scattered with someone's caring hand. If the leptosiphon is comfortable growing on the chosen site, the rugs are covered with stars astonishingly thick, often under the flowers the leaves are almost completely hidden. Leptosiphon blooms in June and reaches its peak exactly in the middle of the calendar summer.
After lush flowering, a pause occurs, and the second flowering wave begins only at the end of August and September and is much shorter. In order for leptosiphons to bloom continuously, it is necessary to adjust the sowing and planting dates, to combine several “generations” of leptosiphon in the plantings, blooming at different times.
The color palette of leptosiphon is a separate pride of the plant. But at the same time, leptosiphon does not look like a motley and flashy plant. The soft shades of orange, pink, yellow, skillfully tinted with shining white can not be called porcelain.
Despite the complex botanical classification, which makes related leptosiphons and gilia (gilia), and some species with linanthus, the plant is easily recognizable and distinctive, spread and grown under the same name - leptosiphons. The presence of more than 25 individual natural species is more important from a scientific point of view and for the protection of endemics, because all cultivated as decorative leptosiphons are distributed under the general name without mentioning the species and are hybrids or selective forms.
Improved breeding leptosiphons are found in almost every country and even region. When buying seeds, it is better to focus on purely decorative virtues, in particular on the palette of colors. But there are already legendary mixtures of multi-colored leptosiphons - “Confetti Mixture”, “Stardust” and “French Hybrids”.
In the design of the garden, leptosiphon is used:
- as one of the best plants for emergency design, filling voids, bald spots;
- in the role of a masker of flaws in compositions and free soil on flower beds and in discounts;
- as a great plant for patterned mixborders with a game of textures;
- as a colorful annual groundcover;
- as one of the most spectacular flyers to decorate alpine hills and rockeries, creating natural transitions and soft spots;
- in the design of chintz flower beds and rabatok;
- as a unique border plant.
Best partners for a leptosiphon: clove-grass, osteospermum, Clarkia, Iberis.
Conditions comfortable for leptosiphons
Leptosiphons will reveal all their talents only in good light. They are heat-resistant, not afraid of the southern slopes, more than thank you for choosing any solar location.
Leptosiphon can be ranked among unique summers, completely undemanding to soils. It blooms beautifully and grows rapidly even on the poorest soil, in those conditions where no other summer flyer even thinks to please with an abundance of flowers. This yearbook is a lover of sandy and sandy loamy soil, well-drained and even dry areas. Moreover, on fertile soils, leptosiphon is less effective, shoots are stretched and the density of the bushes is disturbed. This plant can easily adapt to any conditions. True, leptosiphon does not tolerate heavy clay soils.
This yearbook is one of the easiest growing conditions to choose from, but far from easy to maintain. After all, leptosiphon, most often growing on sandy soil, requires additional moisture. In order to enjoy the beauty of the plant, he needs to provide regular watering. It should not be plentiful, but it is better to carry out procedures constantly, reacting even to short droughts.
But from the leptosiphon care program you can safely exclude any top dressing and even pre-planting soil improvement. This flyer does not just need fertilizers, they are one of the most dangerous and destructive factors for him.
Leptosiphon is not afraid of night frost, especially in spring, so it can be planted in the soil earlier. In autumn, he will not disappear from the garden scene with the very first cold weather, and in comfortable conditions he will be able to survive the first frosts.
Pests and diseases of leptosiphon
Leptosiphon is an absolutely stable flyer. The only danger for him is waterlogging and top dressing, which can lead to rapid death of the plant.
This plant can be propagated exclusively by seeds. But here the strategy for growing leptosiphon may be different. It is better to divide the seeds into several seeding waves. This will allow to obtain continuously flowering compositions and stretch the flowering of leptosiphon for a much longer period. Leptosiphon also forms self-seeding, but stratified seeds in the soil mutate and the plant will produce flowers of only one color - yellow or white.
Leptosiphon can be sown directly into the soil very early, back in April, because it is not sensitive to spring frosts even at a very young age. The soil at the place of cultivation must be carefully leveled and moistened. Sprinkle seeds only on the surface, slightly covering with soil, but not deeply deepening.
Leptosiphon is sown in seedlings from April to the end of May. Sowing seedlings is best done not in the substrate, but in wet sand, scattering seeds on the surface. At an air temperature of 20 degrees and covered with a film or glass, seedlings will appear quite quickly. It is better to dive plants at the stage of 3-4 leaves, and they can be transferred to the soil only in May. The distance when planting seedlings between plants should be about 20 cm.
It is better not to destroy the soil lump around the plants, thus keeping even the smallest roots intact. After planting, seedlings need to provide frequent and plentiful watering until complete adaptation and resumption of growth.