The dazzling blue of autumn gentians
Gentians - plants are unique not only in the beauty of their inflorescences. Thanks to the intense and vibrant shade of blue, which even received the name of geanzian by their botanical name, they are always and everywhere evident. But in no other season do gentians enjoy such popularity as in the fall. After all, their fragile beauty is so spectacularly emphasized by fiery-purple flashes of the end of the season. Gentians require careful selection of growing conditions, but caring for these crumbs is not at all difficult.
Stars among the autumn gentians
Among the numerous representatives of the gentian family, not so many species bloom in autumn. But all of them are indispensable for landscape design. The most popular autumn gentian - Chinese decorated - fully deserved its magnificent name. After all, this plant really flaunts - and a bright color, and the shape of a flower, and the ability not to pay attention to the whims of the weather.
Chinese decorated gentian Belongs to miniature garden perennials and usually forms thick carpets with a height of about 15 cm with a double diameter. She has surprisingly thin shoots pressed to the ground and even more incredible needle-like leaves, which are pressed to the shoots like tarragon or rosemary.
The whole plant seems miniature, almost dwarf, and its huge flowers look more amazing on the pillow. Perky and cheerful, the bells are graceful and look up. They bloom in huge numbers, literally hiding greens beneath themselves like a scattering of luxurious stars. Bell-shaped flowers with a diameter of 5-7 cm are decorated with a light stripe, making the whole color motley.
The palette of this gentian as if created to contrast with the autumn garden. The blue, dazzlingly bright color seems an illusion. And the white spots underlined with a blue border on the outside of the corolla only add to it impressiveness.
The flowering of Chinese decorated gentian begins in September and covers the whole autumn until the first snow. This beauty blooms, not afraid of either frost or the first snowfall, and often goes into the winter straight with shining bells of flowers.
But not only amazing resistance and beauty distinguish this plant. Chinese decorated gentian also surprises with its ability to take root in internodes: where shoots come in contact with the soil, rooting takes place and a full-fledged daughter plant is formed.
In addition to the Chinese decorated gentian, autumn blooms include:
- gentian ciliated up to 30 cm tall with thin cilia-like outgrowths on the petals of single, bright blue and very large flowers up to 6 cm in diameter, blooming only in late August and relentlessly pleasing until October.
- gentian special (amazing) - an elegant perennial with blue flowers, which seems porcelain against the background of fallen autumn leaves (it has many varieties with the original color - pink, white or yellow);
- gentian cold - a perennial not exceeding a height of 35 cm with a direct stem and leaves collected in a basal rosette, in which the flowers are painted in the original light green-white, with a golden tint color;
- black gentian with white dots along the edge of a bright blue corolla, unusual oval leaves;
- gentian hardening - a relatively high variety up to 40-50 cm, with lilac bells collected in small brushes;
- gentian farrera with a sparkling turquoise color inside the corolla and a paler outside, decorated with green stripes, surprisingly echoing the white “eye”.
Do not forget about gentians, the flowering of which begins only in August. They capture in their bloom and September, and sometimes October, and in regions with severe winters can bloom later. The beautiful Daurian gentian, a dazzling blue pulmonary, and ganch, will again open their flowers. For the second time in the autumn, the narrow-leaved gentian will bloom, creating amazing beauty. But nevertheless, blooming almost all the beginning of autumn belong to the best September species:
- Gentian Kolakovsky with open, densely covered leaves shoots. The greens of these gentians are shiny, dark, becoming more and more narrow to the ends of the branches. Flowers with a corolla reaching 5 cm and a narrow funnel-shaped tube, with a pale color of the corolla and azure tone on the fringed lobes. One of the most drought tolerant species among gentians.
- Three-flowered gentian with very tall shoots up to 80 cm long, fused with lower and lanceolate stem leaves and bundled bell-shaped flowers with sharp “teeth” blooming in tufts on the tops of shoots.
Conditions comfortable for autumn gentians
Gentians are surprisingly plastic in their requirements for growing conditions. Among them, there are plants that require radically different acid and dry soils. But still they have similar requirements.
Autumn gentians, like other species, are often ranked among cultures for the Alpine hills, but in fact, exposures that are too dry for them are far from the most advantageous. And you need to choose for them not southern locations, but western or at least eastern ones, where temperatures will be lower. No gentian loves the scorching midday rays of the sun and excessively sparse soil. In the garden, if you doubt the conditions, it is better to provide them with a semi-shaded location.
Chinese gentian decorated - a plant that adores good lighting, but only in summer and autumn. In the spring, she needs partial shade, so the gentian of this species is most often planted with spring bulbs, with the death of which the gentian gains access to more light.
Gentian Farrera shade tolerant. For the rest of the gentians, also choose the right neighbors for them: they adore the combination with cereals and spring bulbs, which will shade them at the beginning of the year.
When choosing a place, pay attention to air humidity: all autumn gentians adore high humidity without exception and will happily settle near water bodies - streams, ponds, fountains.
Gentians are best planted not in rocky, but in ordinary garden soil. For gentian chinese decorated moist, acidic soils, well-drained, water- and breathable in structure, but still quite moist, should be selected. And here gentian ciliated loves calcareous soils and dry places. The remaining gentians are not sensitive to acidity. As for the characteristics of the texture of the soil, loose, light, nutritious soils are suitable for gentians. Drainage and good water permeability are critical.
In the holes when planting autumn gentians, especially Chinese decorated, it is necessary to lay a small drainage of gravel. Planting pits make large - they should be three times as large as the volume of earthen coma seedlings.
The optimal landing distance is from 15 to 30 cm.
Care for gentians blooming in the fall
Gentians with autumn bloom do not require special attention. Caring for them comes down to drought watering, but it is better to prefer systemic, regular watering, which will maintain constant light soil moisture. Chinese gentian decorated does not like lime and requires soft watering.
It is better to mulch the soil between the growing bushes and pillows from autumn gentians. Chinese decorated gentian prefers mulching with coarse-grained sand, for the rest any materials are suitable.
Wintering gentian autumn
Gentians do not need preparation for wintering. Many species with late flowering leave blooming in the winter, which does not damage the plants themselves and does not affect the ability to bloom next year.
Gentian diseases and pests
Autumn gentians practically do not suffer from pests and diseases, the only thing that threatens them is rot from waterlogging of the soil. Sometimes autumn gentians attract slugs.
Autumn gentians propagate by several methods:
- Seedswhich are best sown immediately in open soil under winter (for seedlings - after harvesting and cold stratification for 1-3 months in warm soil, with constant high humidity and without shelter with glass or film).
- Separation of bushes in early autumn or spring, with a very large lump of soil and with constant watering to compensate for the plant’s dislike for transplants.
The use of autumn gentians in the design of the garden
- along the tracks and in the curbs:
- in the foregrounds of mixborders and discounts;
- large carpets, clearings and spots;
- in autumn flower beds;
- in pottery gardens and container compositions;
- to complete flowering in compositions at reservoirs, rockeries and rock gardens.
The best partners for autumn gentians: heathers and erica, begonia, cyclamens, sedge, etc.