Bird Families

Mountain acanthus

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The arenaria can become a winning backdrop for more spectacular flowers in an alpine slide, it is good as a border near the paths, it is planted in meadows in mixborders and flower beds.

Arenaria or gerbil is a perennial plant, one- and two-year-old specimens are found. The height of the bush is 5-35 cm. The stems are actively branching, intertwining, forming a dense pillow. Leaves are small, oblong, narrow, can be subulate.

During the flowering period (May-June), the bushes are covered with five-petal flowers. They are painted in a pale pink or snow-white color with a dark pink or greenish eye, respectively.

Gerbil grows well in a sunny area and in partial shade. Water sparingly only in severe drought. It is enough to add 1 top dressing per season. It can grow in one place without transplanting for about 5 years. Resistant to diseases and pests.

Compact bushes can be grown in flowerpots and hanging pots, decorate balconies and verandas, hung in boxes on palisade fences, etc. More about the arenaria.

Description

Mountain acanthus is a tall species. Its erect stem stretches up to almost 200 cm in height. On a non-branching shoot, short-petiolized leaves are sitting. The leaf blades are dissected, deep green or with an admixture of olive color. Sharp thorns are located on the surface and along the edges of the leaves. The tip of the leaf blade is also pointed.

Mountain acanthus blooms from late spring for 1–1.5 months. White or pink flowers are collected in an apical spike-shaped inflorescence.

This species is thermophilic and grows better indoors and in greenhouses than outdoors. Differs in resistance to diseases and pests.

Other types of "Acanthus"

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Origin

  1. There is another name for the plant - arenaria. In the wild, it can be seen in the highlands of the tropics, but the plant also grows successfully in regions with a harsh climate, as well as in a temperate one.
  2. The area is wide enough: France, Portugal, Corsica, Pyrenees, Spain, Eastern Siberia, southeast and center of Asia.

Botanical characteristic

    Translated from Latin Arenaria means "sandy", therefore the second name is similar - gerbil.

After the flowering period, a seed box with jagged edges is formed, in which non-fleshy seeds of a very small size - only 0.5 mm - ripen.

Popular types

They are known in the world at least 270 (according to some sources 220). All of them are cute in their own way and are sometimes indispensable for decorating the backyard territory. Landscape designers often use the gerbil in rocky gardens or to decorate various types of curbs.

  • The most common type, the height of the plant reaches 18 - 20 cm, the diameter of the whole plant is about half a meter. Leaves are lanceolate, several centimeters long.
  • During the flowering period, small flowers are formed with a circumference of 2.5 cm, white, bright, with a yellowish core.
  • It grows naturally in Portugal and Spain. The advantage of the species is resistance to low temperatures (up to -35 degrees).
  • Important: when growing, calcium must be added to the soil as a fertilizer.

Balearic

  • If you need to plant greenery in an area between stones, where there is very little sun and a lot of humidity, then this view is ideal. Also, this arenaria perfectly tolerates frosts.
  • It grows naturally in the Balearic Islands, in Corsica, which is why it got its name.
  • In appearance, the plant resembles moss, the height is only 3 cm.It looks very decorative, has small green leaves - no more than 3 - 4 mm, white flowers in a circle of 1 cm.
  • Flowers are located on slightly elongated (up to 4 cm) peduncles. The diameter of one specimen of this species of gerbil grows with a radius of 50 cm.

Graceful

  • Refers to dwarf miniature species. Looks most impressive among stones or in a rock garden.
  • The leaves and stems are very small, and from the side they resemble a carpet of a rich, bright, dark green hue.
  • Against the background of foliage, large, in comparison with the green mass, white five-petal flowers bloom.

Florists also use such varieties to decorate their flower beds: Thyme-leaved, Large-flowered, Crimson, Bokotsvetnaya, Quadrangular, Two-leaved.

Gerbil Ledebour is still unknown to a wide range of gardeners. It is considered a rare species, available only to a small circle of rare plant lovers.

Planting agrotechnics

Before planting, you should read the basic rules. In landscape design, the neighbors of the gerbil can be bells, juniper, armeria, periwinkle, gentian, saxifrage, tenacious, alpine toadflax and lithophytes.

Where to plant?

  1. Some species (Crimson and Balearic) like shade and high levels of humidity. They can be grown under the crown of taller garden plants.
  2. The rest of the species grow successfully on rocky terrain, on slopes and among decorative stones on the site. They love the abundance of sunlight.
  3. If you want to grow as a pot culture, then get a roomy container, you can tub - shallow, but wide enough. The gerbil is growing rapidly and needs space.
  4. You can place it on a windowsill, terrace, balcony or loggia. Plants have no special requirements for bright or diffused lighting.

Soil composition

Arenaria is an undemanding plant. But the most comfortable soil will be alkaline. Acidified soils are also allowed. Arenaria grows well on sandy soil, to which humus is added.

Before planting, make sure the groundwater does not flow too close to the soil surface. Make a good drainage layer.

Some species naturally grow on mountain slopes and among stones, so swampiness and moisture accumulation for the root system can be destructive.

Seedling growing

There are several peculiarities here. Purchase seed first. Then select the landing dates.

Planting seeds in January

  • Plant your seeds in the middle of winter. It is important to maintain the temperature regime within +20 degrees.
  • The first shoots should appear in about a week and a half. Not all seeds can sprout. In this case, cover the container with plastic wrap and place in a cold place for 6 to 7 weeks.
  • Then pull out, peel off the film and grow further. All seeds after the stratification process must sprout.

Planting in November - early December

  • Plant the seeds in a container, sprinkle with a small amount of soil, moisten gently with a rain method. Make sure that small seeds do not go deep into the ground.
  • Then leave the container for 10 - 14 days and do not cover with anything. After that, put a film on the container, and put it outside for the winter. So the planting material will undergo a natural hardening procedure (stratification).
  • Bring indoors in early spring, continue germination.

Seedling care

After the emergence of young sprouts, it is important to regularly moisten the soil. Drying should not be allowed. Otherwise, the plants will die.

When several independent adult leaves grow on young shoots, then dive. Place the plants in separate cups or pots.

You can propagate the Brozzard gerbil using cuttings, which is rare. The twigs are too thin. If you want to experiment, dip the cut sprouts in the water. Then, when roots appear, transplant into the ground.

More often the gerbil is propagated by dividing the bush. But this procedure cannot be applied during the flowering period. Better to carry out the event in early spring or in August.

Planting in open soil

  1. After a few weeks, when the sprouts gain strength and become stronger, they can be transplanted to a permanent place.
  2. Prepare a site in advance on the flower bed, dig up the soil, remove debris and weeds.
  3. The gap between the gerbil bushes must be made at least 30 - 40 cm, if you want to subsequently get a large area of ​​the overgrown arenaria.
  4. The flowering period begins only next year.

Important: While the mountain gerbil is growing properly, it is necessary to regularly loosen the soil. If you ignore this procedure, then the weeds will not allow the seedlings to germinate properly.

Features of care - recommendations

  • If the weather is very hot, then you can moisten the ground 2-3 times a week. Spraying - in drought and heat. Do not let the root system dry out.
  • When the mountain gerbil is grown in a flowerpot, the amount of watering must be reduced in winter.
  • After the flowering period, cut off all faded flowers and dried leaves. Sanitary pruning will keep the bushes tidy. And nutrients will go to the development and growth of the bush.
  • Apply fertilizers only 1 time per season. There will be enough complex mineral dressings.

Conclusion

  • The mountain gerbil is a cute, pretty plant that can decorate any corner of the garden, especially rock gardens and rocky gardens. And also can be planted instead of curbs or along them.
  • Planting and leaving is pretty straightforward. Seedlings are grown in several ways, and the seeds must be stratified. During the growing season in the open field, you need to loosen the soil and water the plants in a timely manner.
  • Fertilizers are carried out only once during the spring and summer period. Cropping is required.

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