Asclepius. Short dossier. Cultivation and care
A bright garden plant of Asclepius is one of the largest perennials from the "planted and forgotten" group. Its flowering reminds many of the yarrows, and the beautiful mass of leaves in powerful paintings seems to be a grassy competitor to rhododendrons. Hardy and unpretentious asclepies belong to the most fashionable garden cultures of landscape type, but the talents of this garden plant go beyond just one “genre” of landscape design.
Name: Asclepius (asclepia, awarded in honor of Aesculapius for widespread use in folk and official medicine)
Nicknames: an ointment (his plant received thanks to the cotton-edged edge on mature seeds), “fragrant bouquets” (for the original fragrance); Syrian stoneware is known by the names of Aesculapius, Swallow and Milky Grass
Plant type: versatile herbaceous perennial
Diversity: about 80 species, of which only three species are used in decorative gardening; one species is a flyer
The best representatives: Syrian and meat-red offers
general characteristics: a powerful and tall herbaceous perennial with thick shoots, oppositely sessile or whorled large leaves of a lanceolate shape and multi-flowered umbrellas from medium-sized numerous small flower-stars
Decorative virtues: lush foliage, unusual long flowering and delicate aroma, causing associations with sweets and confectionery
Height: from 50 to 150 cm, most often about 1 meter
Leaf type: lanceolate, elongated ovoid or ellipsoidal, up to 12 cm long, with a sharp tip, prominent central vein, saturated color; leaves form a lush and dense mass
Type of flowering: multi-flowered umbrellas about 6-8 cm in diameter, loose, graceful; centimeter star-shaped flowers are collected in inflorescences
Color spectrum: white, yellow, orange, pink colors, often the outer side of the petals is darker, due to which the buds seem contrastingly saturated with respect to the blossoming flowers
Flowering time: summer or autumn, in most species - July-August
Status: partner-type landscape plant or landscape spot soloist
Scope of use: as a soloist or for group planting in landscape and modern styles, occasionally - in country gardens; the paddock is planted in landscape groups and to create spots and large arrays, in the background of flower beds, in the middle line of two-sided mixborders or in the background adjacent to the buildings, in the vicinity of terraces and recreation areas to create a fragrant flora
Principles for selecting partners: they are selected only from among large, not afraid of competition and dense plantings of perennials that can "withstand" a powerful and large partner
Companion plants: high bells, Miscanthus, veronikastrum, aconite, reedweed, high barley, physostegia, echinacea
- a honey culture that attracts bees and butterflies;
- medicinal plant;
- creates a fragrant background;
- the quilted coat was grown as a technical crop in the 17-19 centuries.
Exactingness: unpretentious plant that requires virtually no maintenance
The difficulty of growing: low, even an inexperienced gardener can grow a stonework
The soil: any water and breathable, prefers loams and slightly acidic soils
Lighting: as bright as possible, sunny location
Watering: only during severe droughts
Top dressing: 1 time per year in early spring with complex mixtures
Other care components: pruning flower stalks after flowering, a single top dressing, weeding
Winter hardiness: high, requires only a winter mulching
Breeding: separation of bushes, seeds or segments of rhizome
Precautions: Milk juice is irritating, especially if it comes into contact with the skin in combination with sun exposure.
The specifics of growing and care
Selection of growing conditions for Asclepius
Without exception, all ovaries are sun-loving plants, which, for normal development, need to choose the brightest, most open area. With light shading, only one type of asclepia can be reconciled - meat-red quiver. When choosing a location for this plant, it should be borne in mind that the coopers are large, powerful, constantly growing crops that are prone to suppressing medium-sized plants that grow nearby and need enough free space. The Syrian scion grows most aggressively, giving shoots at a distance of about a meter from the bush itself.
It is very easy to pick up the soil suitable for grooms. It is believed that asclepias can be grown on almost any soil, except for dense, marshy, moist, extremely calcareous and rocky. This plant will grow and bloom in any cultivated and at least slightly fertile soil. The most capricious to the soil is meat-red quack, preferring moderately humid conditions. For acidity, it is better to choose sites with neutral or slightly acidic soil. The Syrian paddock is able to settle on sandy soil.
Adult growths are not afraid of drafts or winds, but young shoots as a result of strong winds can fall. Therefore, it is advisable for the swimmer to choose sites without active winds.
Asclepius rightfully earned the title of one of the most unpretentious perennials. Caring for it comes down to minimal procedures.
Watering these plants is necessary only during drought, and even then all the stocks, except for meat-red, additional watering is necessary only during extremely prolonged periods without precipitation during the flowering period. But it is better to water meat-red asclepius more often, during even short-term droughts.
Foragers feed only on poor soils and only once a year, at the very beginning of the season in early spring, applying complex mineral fertilizers to the soil to restore the nutrient content in the soil. If asclepius is planted in fertile soil, top dressing can be omitted during the first 3-5 years of cultivation.
Pruning these plants comes down to cutting flower stalks after flowering (if you do not want fruit boxes to decorate the composition and are not going to stock your own seeds). The quiver does not like cardinal pruning, but to curb or rejuvenate the curtain, you can cut it “under the root”. This is one of the most resistant to pests and diseases of perennials. All quilts with gratitude will respond to the timely weeding and mulching of the soil, but even they are not considered mandatory components of care.
Asclepias in one place without transplantation can grow for at least 10 years, which can greatly simplify the maintenance of the garden as a whole.
For a successful wintering, for most growers it is enough to provide mulching of the soil or easy hilling with dry leaves. Only varietal specimens with unknown frost resistance (foreign selection) for the winter are better to cover in the first two years of cultivation.
Propagation of Asclepius
The most convenient and productive method of propagation of the seedlings is the separation of the bushes. Due to the rapid growth of these plants are easily adapted to new places and will constantly receive new planting material. The optimal time for dividing is considered the second half of summer.
Asclepia can also be propagated by the seed method (sowing seedlings in March in the usual way and transferring to the garden in May) and by rhizome segments (rooting like cuttings).