How to grow a magical edelweiss?
If you like low-key and not too bright flowers, then you will definitely like the mountain edelweiss. And growing it is not as difficult as it may seem at first glance.
What is this plant?
Edelweiss is a herbaceous dicotyledonous annual or perennial plant that occurs in the wild in the mountainous regions of Asia and Europe. They do not differ in beauty and brightness, but gardeners do not appreciate this, but some mystery and, of course, relative unpretentiousness. Edelweiss is shrouded in mystery and has long been considered a symbol of courage, loyalty, courage and love.
The scientific name of the plant (Leontopodium) from the Greek language is translated as "lion's foot", and apparently it actually resembles it. In height, edelweiss reaches 25-30 centimeters. The stems are somewhat curved, the lower leaves have a fleecy cover and a lanceolate form, they form basal rosettes. At the top of the leaves are silvery (due to strong pubescence), they accumulate in groups and surround baskets of yellowish or white small flowers.
How to grow?
How to grow flower edelweiss? Immediately it should be noted that it can grow only outdoors, and in conditions as close as possible to the natural. First of all, you should choose a suitable place. Since the plant is short and inconspicuous, it is not recommended to plant it together with other flowers, it can simply be “lost” against their background.
The ideal option is an alpine slide, because among the stones, edelweiss will feel as comfortable as possible. But if its construction is not planned, the flat place will be suitable. And it should be sufficiently lit, but a slightly shaded area will do. Direct sunlight and shade are undesirable. It is also not recommended to plant a flower in lowlands and depressions, as they usually accumulate water.
The second important point is the selection of a suitable soil in which cultivation will be carried out. The soil should not be nutritious, because in natural mountain conditions it is definitely not. But it must pass moisture well, that is, be sufficiently drained (the plant in question will not tolerate overwetting).
So a light calcareous soil will be a suitable option, and either crushed stone or coarse river sand should be added to it, this will provide additional full drainage. The acidity level should be in the range of 6-7.5 pH.
It is best to grow edelweiss from seeds, and a seedling is more preferable and simple. First, plant seeds at home in late February or March, but withstand temperatures not exceeding 10-15 degrees. Place the seeds in a mixture consisting of a piece of sand and two parts of hardwood, but do not deepen them excessively, and also maintain a distance of 10-25 cm.
Moisten the soil and cover the container with a film to create a greenhouse effect. When the first shoots appear (after about two to eight weeks), the film will need to be removed. After the last frost (that is, at the end of April or early-mid-May), move the seedlings to open ground to a permanent place.
You can also plant the seeds and immediately in open ground, and it is best to do it after the last frost, and better in the heat (for example, at the end of spring). Consider that the edelweiss grows extremely slowly, so you shouldn’t wait for shoots, let alone flowers, everything has its time.
How to care?
The plant in question is not whimsical at all, it can tolerate drought, is resistant to frost and does not require a large amount of nutrients. Caring for edelweiss involves compliance with the following rules:
- Watering should be regular, but do not pereuvlazhnyat soil, and even more so to allow stagnant moisture in it, because of this, the plant can die. Water the edelweiss moderately and as the soil dries out.
- In winter, the plant feels great under the snow cover, which protects the soil from freezing. If the precipitation in your area is a rarity, then the garden should be mulched. And remove the mulch will need in early spring.
- Edelweiss is not required to feed and even, on the contrary, can harm it, so no fertilizer should be applied to the soil.
- It is recommended to replant the plant every two or three years, as due to a long stay in one place it may lose its decorative effect and become completely ordinary-looking.
- Regularly remove weeds, because of them, edelweiss can stop growing.
- If there is a lot of precipitation in your region, you should protect the plant from rain.To do this, you can come up with something like an artificial cover that will divert water from the garden and the flowers themselves.
Edelweiss can be propagated not only by seeds (this method was described above in the chapter devoted to cultivation), but also by dividing the bush. It is neatly divided into parts and seated. It is best to do this in early spring or immediately after the end of the flowering period.
A few recommendations for beginners and experienced gardeners:
- You should not wait for a quick flowering, usually the buds appear only in the second year. But without flowers, the edelweiss looks very unusual, which draws attention to itself.
- If you choose a seedling method of cultivation, you should give the seedlings a little stronger. Wait until they reach a height of at least 2-3 centimeters, and only then move them into the open ground.
- After the first frosts, the terrestrial part of the edelweiss inevitably dies off, and this is a completely natural normal process. But approximately in the middle of spring, with the onset of the first warm and sunny days, the plant practically comes to life: in the center of the fallen off rosette, a small silver kidney is formed.And it is from it that new young shoots will begin to develop.
- In order for the flower to take root quickly and grow actively, it is recommended that the seeds be stratified for two or three weeks. To do this, place them in conditions of high humidity, for example, in a well-moistened soil (it is best to use sandy). And the container should be removed to the room, the temperature in which will be no more than 5 degrees. Thus, the so-called embryonic sleep will start, after which after falling into the ground, the seeds will feel warm and will actively develop.
Be sure to plant beautiful edelweiss flowers in the garden and enjoy their mysterious and interesting view.
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