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Mertens are very popular ornamental plants that can often be found in gardeners' collections. Nevertheless, in the wild, in certain parts of the world, you can find different types of mertensia, which are no less decorative, charming the traveler.
- Mertensia in the gardens
- Sowing and care
- Plant varieties
Mertensia in the gardens
Mertensia, from the borage family, is an excellent deciduous ornamental plant. Many gardeners consider it a real gem in their flower-rich collections. Ideal for decorating an alpine slide. In the garden, from the very early spring, you can recognize mertens by its dense, beautiful leaves. They have a pearl blue tone; transfusion of shades looks elegant; they create the delight of the combination of sea water tones.
Abundant flowering occurs from May to July. The flowers are beautiful bells, which are distinguished by a blue color of special intensity with a slight lilac tint.
Midsummer is the peak of the decorative characteristics of mertensia. Nevertheless, up to the appearance of cold weather, the plant is able to maintain its neatness and showiness. Very undemanding to conditions. Feels good both in the sun and in partial shade. The same can be said for soil. The only thing that has a very negative effect on mertensia is stagnation of water.
If the gardener depends on the growth of mertensia quickly, then it is necessary to specially prepare the soil. It should be fresh, loose and have the necessary nutrients. Note one more important quality of mertensia - resistance to cold and frost. The plant does not need shelter.
Sowing and care
- Mertensia seeds are sown in special seedling containers - containers. The soil placed in them must have two main qualities: structure and looseness. Moreover, it is necessary to ensure that the soil does not thicken. If the sowing is autumn, then the containers are dug into the beds for the winter. The main thing here is not to get wet during the fall.
- Seedlings should receive regular watering. It is constantly necessary to ensure that the soil is sufficiently loose. Naturally, lighting is also important. The main thing is that the mertenzia should not be exposed to direct rays. Very often, gardeners resort to picking seedlings in order to move them into the soil with more optimal nutrient parameters.
- When the seedlings are already ripe, you should take care of planting them in open ground, already in their permanent place. The best time for this is evening; possible during the day, but in cloudy weather. It is important when disembarking not to forget to mulch the hole, before making a good strait. In the first year of planting in a permanent place, mertensia forms the bush itself, its foliage. Already in the second year, flowering should be expected.
Caring for mertensia, which has already been planted in a permanent place, also has some peculiarities. So, with the arrival of spring, it is worth taking care of feeding the plant. For this, they resort to a complete mineral fertilizer that has the necessary trace elements. Experienced gardeners are always advised to periodically feed the soil with wood ash. At the same time, it is not recommended to resort to organic fertilizers.
When the flowering period comes to an end, the peduncles are carefully cut off. With the arrival of autumn, the foliage is also cut off, by about 5 cm.It happens that gardeners at this time also use leaf humus for bedding, especially well rotted.
Mertensia vulgaris is a golden yellow flower that has a clear, bright orange border. The height of this plant reaches 0.6 m; width on average - about 0.38 m. The plant has sky-blue flowers in the form of bells. Leaves are fleshy, gray-green.
There are many types of mertensia. One of the most famous, besides the ordinary one, is the seaside mertensia. This perennial reaches a height of 15 cm.
Seaside mertens can be found in gardens with rocky soil. The flowering period falls in mid-summer, that is, mainly in July. The plant is able to maintain its decorative qualities throughout the growing season. The flowers are small, funnel-shaped, dark blue.
Leaves are bluish-gray, waxy, oblong. The stems are densely leafy, spread out. The plant has an optimally spectacular appearance in the spring. At this time, rosettes begin to form. Sowing of seaside mertensia is carried out twice: in spring or before winter. This process should be preceded by a preliminary stratification of 2 months under the condition of 0 + 4 degrees. Plant care consists in systematic watering.
Mertensia virginiana is another type of this plant. North America is considered her homeland. The plant is widespread along streams, more often in damp meadows. This perennial is characterized by a very powerful, fleshy rhizome.
The flowering period is spring. After this, the dying off of the vegetative part is observed. By the middle of summer, all life processes in the plant are suspended. Virginia mertensia is very frost-resistant. Withstands -40 degrees.
Siberian mertensia is a plant that reaches a height of 80 cm. It has a bluish tint, completely naked. Fleshy rhizome, thick, horizontal direction. The paniculate inflorescence has several curls. The flowers are blue; flowering period - late June - early July. The plant is found in the upper reaches of the Yenisei, the mouth of the Podkamennaya Tunguska, in Buryatia.
Mertens are very undemanding plants that can color any garden or flower collection. Besides the fact that for many gardeners they have become an integral plant in their gardens, mertens are found in the wild. Moreover, there are many of their subspecies. We stopped only at the main ones.
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