What is she broadleaf and how to grow it in the suburbs
The lush and vibrant flowering of shrubs turns the garden into a luxurious haven for relaxation. Especially if in it the broad-leaved calmia takes its due place – an exquisite guest from overseas. The plant was first discovered in North America. Scientists spotted it among lush forest thickets and humid swampy valleys. Over time, the culture was brought to Europe. Today it decorates the gardens and front gardens of our compatriots. Let’s take a closer look at an exotic overseas plant.
Kalmia broadleaf: external characteristics and varieties
The culture belongs to the numerous Heather family and is considered an evergreen shrub. It grows up to 2.5 m in height. However, there are also specimens that barely reach 0.5 m. Calmia broadleaf has leathery lanceolate foliage. Its tips are slightly pointed and from the side resemble laurel leaves. On average, their length is from 2 to 15 cm. On the shoots, it is located in a spiral. The back part is painted grayish and “sprinkled” with white bloom. The outer area of the plate has a glossy green surface.
Every 2 years, the old foliage turns brown and gradually crumbles. Fresh young plates appear instead.
During the flowering period, which begins in early June, the kalmiya puts on an exquisite outfit. It consists of many buds collected in inflorescences. Depending on the variety, they are bell-shaped, funnel-shaped or cupped..
The petals are painted in these colors:
The diameter of the buds reaches from 1 to 3 cm. In the center there are long graceful stamens, always ready to “share” the pollen with insects. Successful pollination ends in fruit. They resemble small, but dense, boxes. Inside the “containers” are small seeds.
It has been observed that the broadleaf Calmia grows very slowly. For a year, it increases by about 2 cm. Young branches are covered with purple bark. They also have an elastic structure. Over time, the shoots lignify, acquiring a dark brown color..
In nature, there are about a dozen varieties of kalmia. In addition, breeders have developed many garden options. They successfully take root in the garden plots of fans of lush greenery. Consider a few popular examples.
Galaxy broadleaf deserves special attention, which grows up to 2 m in height. During flowering, the bush is covered with star-shaped buds. The interior is painted white. The middle has a wine-red hue, and the edges are framed with a white border. The plant loves fertile soil and moderate moisture. In dry times, it needs regular watering. However, it does not tolerate stagnant water. The best place to grow is a partial shade sheltered from the wind. The culture is used in single plantings or rock gardens.
More recently, the German scientist K. Hubbers has developed a new cultivar “Kalmia latifolia Tofka”. It is distinguished by large buds that reach about 4 cm in diameter. In addition, they have an exquisite color: a burgundy ring of interrupting shape stands out against the background of a pale pink tone. The culture is actively used in the landscape design of garden plots and city parks..
Kalmy broadleaf Kaleidoscope is considered an excellent variety. The buds are painted in 2 colors. Light cherry is harmoniously combined with a snow-white tone, and inside the cup, there is a light throat. The petals bloom at the end of May. The plant is grown to decorate summer cottages.
If you wish, you can find shrubs that have burgundy, purple and even black buds.
Features of growing crops
The appearance of broadleaf calmia in the Moscow region caused unprecedented delight among summer residents. Overseas beauty “granted” to the endless expanses of Russia!
It turned out that it can be grown in a flower bed in three ways.:
- ready-made seedlings.
Each of them consists of a series of simple operations that are quite accessible even to an inexperienced gardener. By far the easiest way is to plant a ready-made bush. Usually such seedlings, with a closed rhizome, are purchased in nurseries. This makes it easier to plant them in the flower bed. When buying, pay special attention to the foliage. It should have a rich color and juicy appearance. The absence or paucity of plates indicates a painful condition of the root system..
To successfully grow calcium in the Moscow region, you need to take into account several important points.:
- whims of nature;
- comfortable place on the site;
- type of soil.
Observations show that in this area, the shrub grows wonderfully, both in the shade and in the open area. However, he does not like drafts. Therefore, calcium is planted next to farm buildings or under the protection of tall crops..
Fertile soil of medium acidity is suitable for the plant. The soil from the prepared funnel is mixed with humus and sour peat. Then the seedling is carefully removed from the pot. It is lowered into the hole and covered with soil. The root collar is left at ground level. The shrub is watered abundantly.
We use seeds
Often, experts grow broadleaf Calmia using seeds. The material is purchased in stores or independently collected from existing bushes. The seeds are folded into a paper bag and dried thoroughly. For 2.5 months, the seeds are sent to the refrigerator. There they undergo stratification.
Sowing begins in March. This will require containers with a fertile substrate. After distributing the seeds, the soil surface is watered abundantly with a spray bottle. The container is covered with foil or plastic to create a greenhouse effect. The room maintains a minimum temperature of 22 to 25 ° C. In a month, greens will appear. When 4 leaves are formed, the sprouts are transplanted into separate pots. Seedlings are watered abundantly until the culture is fully strengthened and transplanted to a flower bed.
It has been observed that propagation of kalmias by cuttings does not always end with success. They hardly take root in open areas. Despite this, such technology exists.
It consists of procedures:
- the tops of the plant are cut off with a length of 10-15 cm;
- remove foliage from the bottom of the cutting;
- the cut is moistened with a fungicide;
- the workpiece is kept in a growth stimulator.
Cuttings are planted in separate pots or a spacious container. Cover gently with polyethylene or clear glass. The plantings are aired daily. Moisten if necessary. When the cuttings take root, the shelter is removed. The next year, the calcium is transferred to a prepared flower bed..
If root shoots appear next to adult bushes, you can use them to propagate a culture.
Watering, loosening the soil and feeding
The plant is not afraid of short periods of drought. Therefore, it is moistened as the top layer of the earth dries up. An adult bush needs 1 liter of water, and young seedlings are given about 3 liters of liquid at a time.
The next day, after abundant moisture, the near-stem area is gently loosened. Thanks to this, the root system receives an additional dose of oxygen. The procedure is performed with a hoe, trying not to touch the roots..
Top dressing system:
- Fertilizers are applied for 3 years after planting the calmia on the flower bed. In the spring, the soil is watered with urea. 10 liters of water will require 1 tablespoon.
- During the flowering period, the root area is fed with mineral fertilizers.
- In summer, the bushes are watered with slurry from manure. It is prepared according to a recipe: 15 parts of water are poured into one part of the mullein. Under 1 bush, 5 liters of mixture is enough.
- In autumn, the culture is fed with complex fertilizers.
- The next feeding is carried out no earlier than after 3 years..
As you can see, the planting and care of broadleaf kalmia in the Moscow region consists of simple procedures. First of all, they buy a seedling, or grow it on their own. Then they choose a suitable place. The planting and care process is carried out strictly according to the scheme.