The medunitsa of the borage family remarkably takes root in our gardens. A modest herbaceous plant does not upset the whims and blooms early, almost immediately after the snow melts.
Particularly beautiful varietal species. Petals gradually change shade from bright pink to purple-blue. The leaves, located on an erect stem, are soft and velvety, covered with silvery specks.
It cannot be said that the lungwort flower will become the most spectacular inhabitant of the site, however, it has a special charm. In England, this plant is grown to make salads. In young basal leaves there is really a lot of vitamin C, as well as potassium, iron, manganese, calcium and other useful microelements. By the way, even in the dried form, the lungwort flower is still useful, so it is used when salting or boiling. In addition, it has healing properties.
The data on the types of lungfish vary, experts call at least 12. The plant is actively pereopylyaetsya, so it is very difficult to structure the genus. For medicinal purposes, you can grow medicinal medunitsu, softer and unclear. In the floriculture, the most decorative types of lungfish have proven themselves: shaft-like with silver-white leaf blades, long-leaved and narrow-leaved, indistinct, sugar, and also red with scarlet petals.
How to grow a Lungwort flower
The scorching rays of the sun are contraindicated to the plant. The site where it is planned to plant a lungwort should be in the shade or partial shade, for example, under the trees or near the buildings. Then the pattern on the leaves will be well expressed, and the flowers will surprise with rich shades. But there are no special requirements to the soil, the perennial will take root everywhere. Of course, attention should be paid to the drainage of the soil; water should not stagnate.
You can multiply the lungwort seeds. In the spring they are sown directly into the soil. Weeds are removed from the site in advance, it is also desirable to make manure. It is important to note that the depth of the beds must be at least 45 centimeters. When shoots seem, they need to be thinned out, leaving about 8 centimeters of space between bushes.
The seed propagation method has two major drawbacks. Firstly, it will not be possible to maintain the purity of the variety in this way, there may appear plants with a completely different color. Secondly, young plants grown from the seeds of the Lunaria, will bloom only after 2-3 years. Therefore, it is better to use reproduction by dividing the bush.
Perennial dividing is recommended in early spring or in July-August. A part with a renewal kidney is carefully separated from the bush and planted directly into the ground at a distance of about 20 centimeters from other specimens. The area around the planted plants mulch using humus, then they will develop better. Young bushes are covered with a film for 5-6 days so that the moisture does not evaporate so quickly.
Delenki get rid of surprises with a grade. But in the future, the plants pereopylny remarkably to maintain the purity of the collection, the various varieties should be planted away from each other.
Medunitsya is moisture-loving, it requires regular watering, especially during the drought period, but you should beware of stagnant water. Despite the low requirements of plants to the soil, it is advisable to still introduce humus every season, and around July, when the foliage is actively growing, it should be fed with mineral fertilizers.
Old leaves can be easily cut off. After the bush blooms, it is better to completely cut off the peduncle. For the winter, the stands are mulched with peat, so they will easily endure frosts. True, the soft-leaf medunitsu and shaft-shaped are additionally covered with a layer of dry foliage, these species are more tender.
Sick plant rarely, but sometimes still suffers from powdery mildew. It is better to remove and burn very infected bushes immediately. If the disease has just begun to develop, it is enough to tear off the affected leaves and treat the plantations with special preparations. In addition, the bushes are not against eat snails and slugs. The less planting density and the more carefully weeds are removed, the less likely these pests will attack.
Lungwort in landscape design
In nature, perennial grows in groups, a similar arrangement is preferable for landscape design, for example, in mixborders. Excellent neighbors will be such plants as uvulyariya, hosts, khchlatka, ferns, kupena, various shrubs. Perennial foliage keeps decorativeness for a long time, so a modest beauty is just an ideal choice for decorating borders and rabatok.
As a ground cover plant, they use the narrow-leaved or red-lung beetle, and they will wonderfully decorate stony compositions. The softest medunitsa is suitable not only for the penumbra, it can be planted in more open areas.
Planting and breeding
Cultivation of lungfish is basically the lot of landscape design professionals. This plant is ideal for decoration of shady areas and areas with imitation of the natural landscape. In the garden, the lungwort is used as a ground cover plant, perfectly suitable for corners where there is no access to direct sunlight and where there is excessive moisture. It looks great in the foregrounds of shadow borders, under tall woody plants, among shrubs and grass, harmonizes well with geraniums, primroses, mountain plants, hooves, ferns.
Medunitsa is propagated by seeds, which are sown into the soil immediately after they mature. True, the flowering process in this case will need to wait two or even three years.
Another way of reproduction is to divide the bushes, leaving the renewal of buds on the rhizome. To carry out this method should be either in early spring, or after flowering in the month of July. The distance between the bushes during transplantation should be maintained in the range of 25-35 cm. This method does not cause a flowering delay.
It must be borne in mind that all varietal varieties of lungfish are very prone to over-pollination with the subsequent formation of hybrids. In this regard, it is not advisable to cultivate different varieties directly next to one another.
Plant care is quite simple and consists in removing old leaves and in peat mulching of the land on which the crop grows.
The process of leaving includes cutting out the peduncle with a sharp knife, on which the last flower ended its existence. This operation prevents seed production, which has a positive effect on the appearance of the plant, which will look brighter and fresher.
At one place the medunitsa can grow for several years, but over time the leaves will become shallow. For this reason, after four years, the four plants should be transplanted, previously divided by the method described above.
The winter colds of the middle zone of Russia are tolerated quite well even without any shelters. However, in the first year after planting it for the winter, it is better to cover it with either peat, or pine spruce leaves, or old leaves, thereby creating a more comfortable plant for wintering.
It should be added that in addition to the decor, the lungfish can successfully be used in other areas of human activity. For example, it has long been used in folk medicine for healing from many ailments and in cooking for preparing salads. In addition, it is a great melliferous plant, and, blooming very early.
Two main methods are used for breeding lungwort: vegetative and seed.
- The first method (vegetative) is most suitable for this plant, since as a result there is no loss of properties inherent in this particular variety. In nature, this breeding continues during the entire growing season, but in your garden it is better to divide the bushes in early spring or after flowering and do it no more than once every 3-4 years. Moreover, in the spring division young, not yet rooted sockets, it is better not to touch, but to separate the old bushes. The roots of a newly dug-out lungfish cannot be left in the open air for a long time. This greatly impairs the viability of plants.
- The method of seed reproduction will not allow you to save varietal characteristics, but if you do not strive for this, then new plants may surprise with unusual color and shape of flowers or leaves. And they may not surprise. Reproduction by seeds is a kind of “cat in a bag”, but if you like experiments, it will take root in your garden too. Just do not forget that with this method of flowers you will wait only for the second or third year.
Where and how best to plant a lungfish
Medunitsa - a plant with two undoubted advantages.
- It is very shade-tolerant and grows well where most decorative flowers will look sick and not sufficiently developed or even die. Moreover, due to the early start of the growing season and resistance to early frost, lungfish is much more profitable than other plants that prefer shade, like everyone knows the hosts. Under the conditions of a thick shade, the flowers of the lungfish will be large and bright, and an unusual pattern will appear on the leaves in more contrast.
- Another advantage of the medunitsa - its undemanding to the composition of the soil. Some varieties can grow even on sand, and most prefer sandy loam and loam containing humus. The main condition is the absence of strong waterlogging arising from the stagnation of water in the area.
In addition, it must be remembered that the lungwort does not tolerate the heat, and in the open sun its foliage loses its decorative effect, getting sunburns, which negatively affects the general state of health of the plant.
If you breed a bush in the spring, then it is necessary to provide for the presence of a kidney replacement on each of the small villages and plant them 25-30 cm apart, after cutting the roots and mulching with humus. You can cover the landing film for about a week.
The division at the end of flowering is an easier and more convenient option for the gardener, and for the plant less traumatic. Already grown by the middle of summer rhizomes have time to properly take root, so you just need to separate them with a shovel from the mother plant and transplant.
Do not forget that when planting should not be too deep in the neck of the plant.
How to use a medunitsu in landscape design
If your garden is decorated in landscape or rustic style, then the wild varieties of lungfish will fall in it very handy. They reproduce beautifully on their own and settle down all the comfortable places for themselves without your participation.
For a more regular garden, it is better to use specially bred ornamental varieties, planting them in groups in shady corners or placing a border along the paths, provided that they pass under the canopy of trees and shrubs.
The narrow-leafed medunitsa will be appropriate on the northeastern slopes of the Alpine hills, and the softest - suitable for fairly brightly lit areas of the garden.
The ornamental foliage of the lonaris in mixborders looks great, where hosts, ferns, or uvulyaria suit well for it as partners. Good looking blue flowers on monotonous spring flower beds next to forget-me-nots and periwinkles.
Spectacular leaves of the plant will be the perfect backdrop for bright phlox or daylilies.