Lavender - the aroma of the mountains
Lavender is a decorative evergreen shrub. Narrow leaves of lavender - a beautiful silver color. Once having seen lavender at the peak of its flowering and feeling its cold refined aroma, it is impossible not to fall in love with this plant. About the features of growing lavender in the garden - this article.
- Botanical description of the plant
- Lavender Care
- Breeding lavender
- Diseases and pests of lavender
- Lavender in landscaping
Botanical description of the plant
Lavender (Lavandula) - a genus of plants of the family LaminateLamiaceae or Labiatae) Includes approximately 25-30 species. It grows in the Canary Islands, in northern and eastern Africa, in southern Europe, in Arabia and in India. Cultural forms are grown in gardens around the world.
Lavender root is lignified, branched, densely mossy, penetrates to a depth of 4 m. The aerial part of the plant, 60–80 cm in diameter and consists of numerous branches, forming a compact crown of a spherical shape. The leaves are opposite, sessile, linear or lanceolate, with solid, curved outward edges.
Lavender flowers are bisexual, located at the ends of branches and collected in spike-shaped inflorescences, consisting of 4-11 whorls. Color of corolla from white to dark purple. The mass of 1000 seeds is 0.8-1 g.
Real lavender is a mountain, photophilous, drought-tolerant plant. It belongs to the group of thermophilic cultures. At the same time, it is characterized by high frost resistance. Adult plants tolerate temperatures up to minus 26 ° C. At -5 ° C, lavender plants become dormant. For the normal course of the annual vegetation cycle, the sum of the active temperatures is a little over 3600 °.
Soil requirements. Lavender culture works well on light, sufficiently aerated soils with a neutral and alkaline reaction. In conditions of normal and insufficient moisture, sandy and loamy soils are best for it. Lavender does not grow well on saline, marshy, acidic, and heavy clay soils with close occurrence of groundwater.
Sowing / planting. Propagate real lavender seeds and vegetatively (cuttings, layering and dividing the bush). Cuttings are harvested on 1-2-year-old shoots. They are planted in greenhouses according to the scheme 5 × 5 or 6 × 4 cm. Rooting begins in the spring and lasts about 2 months. In autumn, the seedlings are ready for planting.
Presowing events. Lavender soil is plowed to a depth of 60 cm, and then cultivated several times. In European countries, plantations are planted in the autumn. The layout of plants is 120-140 x 35-40 cm. Planting density is 20 thousand plants per 1 ha. Plantings are used for 20-25 years, harvesting begins in the second year.
Lavender Crop / Plant Care. In the first year of life, plantation care comes down to removing inflorescences, repeatedly processing the aisles and restoring dead plants. Each year, it is recommended to carry out fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers. With a decrease in plant productivity, they are rejuvenated by cutting the bush at a height of 4-5 cm from the soil surface. In Bulgaria, this work is carried out on 10-12-year-old plantations.
In spring, lavender should be regularly cut. In dry weather, water abundantly. In the conditions of central Russia, it must be reliably covered for the winter (spruce, pine needles are suitable). If, however, the aboveground part is frozen, it is cut off, and the plant, as a rule, is restored. Bushes are regularly rejuvenated with the same pruning so that they are not exposed from below. It is important never to prune too much, to stiffened stems, as the plant may die.
Lavender is propagated by seeds, cuttings, dividing the bush and layering. Seeds require stratification within 30-40 days at a temperature of +5 ° C. Sown for seedlings in late February and early March to a depth of 3 mm. Seeds germinate in the light at a temperature of 15-21 ° C.
The treatment with gibberelin (100-200 mg / l) gives a stronger effect. When the sprouts of lavender grow up, they are planted in increments of 5 cm. In May, seedlings are planted in a permanent place. You can sow seeds on ridges in the fall, at the end of October. In this case, seedlings appear in spring, at the end of May.
For cuttings, lignified annual shoots are taken, cut into 8-10 cm long cuttings and rooted.
For propagation by dividing the bush in autumn, the plants are cut to a height of 8-10 cm and spud with earth, carefully filling the space between the stems. In the spring, the ground is still sprinkled to the bushes. During the summer, lavender gives abundant growth, which is well rooted. In the autumn, the bush is dug up and divided.
Another easy way to propagate lavender - layering. To do this, gently bend 2-3 shoots in the spring and lay them in a shallow (3-5 cm) groove, pin them, fill them with soil and water them. During the summer, the land here should be slightly moist. Usually next spring, the shoot can already live on its own and cut off from the mother bush.
Diseases and pests of lavender
Of the diseases, lavender can be affected by gray rot (Botrytis cinerea), and from garden pests it is exposed to pennies (Philaenus spumarius) Parts of the plant affected by gray rot should be removed and burned. Penicks love to lay larvae on lavender bushes. To protect them from predators, they cover the larvae with a layer of foam that looks like saliva. This, of course, spoils the general appearance of the plant, although it does not bring him exactly any harm. Drops of white foam can be washed off with a stream of water.
French and jagged lavender can be eaten by a rainbow beetle (Chrysolina americana), it must be manually collected from the plant.
Lavender in landscaping
Ideal partners for lavender are bushes or shrubs that prefer dry soils. Grows well with roses. Varied plants of fragrant gardens and many plants with yellow flowers (they perfectly shade the deep blue and purple colors of lavender) also combine very well with lavender.
For many years, different types and varieties of fragrant Santolina, which is also called "cotton lavender", with its yellow spherical flowers, have been considered traditional partners.
Lavender is a great plant for landscaping. It can be used in both formal and informal designs. From lavender create low hedges, which are used for urban landscaping and gravel gardens, they strengthen the embankments and slopes. Lavender looks great on the front and middle rows of the mixborder, in rockeries, in the garden of aromatic plants, as well as in pots and tubs.
Any lavender is an excellent honey plant and attracts a huge number of bees and butterflies to the garden, which curl around the shrub in whole hordes. Flying from flower to flower, they sway and bend flower stalks with their weight.
Plant lavender along garden paths or near the entrance to the house: from the touch, the bush exudes amplified waves of exquisite aroma.
Dutch and French lavender are good not only during flowering, but throughout the year: these evergreens add charming silver shades to the winter garden.
The strong smell of lavender baffles insect pests, so it makes sense to plant the plant in vegetable gardens, next to vegetable crops.
A magnificent smell along with beautiful inflorescences and appearance will undoubtedly become an adornment of any garden. Do you have lavender? Share your growing experience in the comments.