Asclepius. A Short Dossier. Cultivation And Care

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Asclepius. A Short Dossier. Cultivation And Care
Asclepius. A Short Dossier. Cultivation And Care

Video: Asclepius. A Short Dossier. Cultivation And Care

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Video: Asclepius 2023, February
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The bright garden plant of Asclepius is one of the largest perennials from the “planted and forgotten” group. Its flowering reminds many of yarrow, and the beautiful mass of leaves in powerful paintings seems to be a herbaceous rival of rhododendrons. Hardy and unpretentious asclepias are among the most fashionable landscape garden crops, but the talents of this garden plant go beyond just one "genre" of landscape design.

Syrian cotton wool
Syrian cotton wool

Brief dossier

Name: asclepia (asclepia, received in honor of Aesculapius for its widespread use in folk and official medicine)

Nicknames: cotton wool (its plant got it thanks to the cotton-like edge on mature seeds), "fragrant bouquets" (for the original aroma); Syrian willow herb is known under the names of aesculapian, swallow and milky grass

Plant type: universal herbaceous perennial

Variety: about 80 species, of which only three species are used in ornamental gardening; one species is an annual

Meat red cotton wool
Meat red cotton wool
Syrian cotton wool
Syrian cotton wool
Meat red cotton wool
Meat red cotton wool

The best representatives: Syrian cotton wool and meat-red

General characteristics: a powerful and tall herbaceous perennial with thick shoots, oppositely sessile or whorled large lanceolate leaves and multi-flowered umbrellas of medium-sized numerous flowers-stars

Decorative virtues: lush foliage, unusual long bloom and subtle aroma evoking associations with sweets and pastries

Height: 50 to 150 cm, most often about 1 meter

Type of leaves: lanceolate, elongated ovate or ellipsoid, up to 12 cm long, with a sharp tip, a prominent central vein, rich color; leaves form a lush and dense mass

Flowering type: multi-flowered umbrellas about 6-8 cm in diameter, loose, graceful; inflorescences collected centimeter star-shaped flowers

Syrian cotton wool
Syrian cotton wool

Color range: white, yellow, orange, pink colors, often the outer side of the petals is darker, due to which the buds seem to be contrastingly saturated in relation to the blossoming flowers

Flowering time: summer or autumn, in most species - July-August

Status: partner type landscape plant or soloist for landscape spots

Scope of use: as a soloist or for group planting in landscape and modern styles, occasionally in country gardens; The willow plant is planted in landscape groups and to create spots and large tracts, in the background of flower beds, in the middle line of double-sided mixborders or in the background of ridges adjacent to buildings, close to terraces and recreation areas to create a fragrant flair

The principles of selection of partners: they are selected only from among large, not afraid of competition and dense planting of perennials, capable of "withstanding" a powerful and large partner

Companion plants: tall bells, miscanthus, veronicastrum, aconite, reed grass, high barley, physostegia, echinacea

Nice cotton wool
Nice cotton wool

Other application

  • a honey crop that attracts bees and butterflies;
  • medicinal plant;
  • creates a fragrant background;
  • Vatochnik was grown as a technical crop in the 17-19th centuries.

Demanding: an unpretentious plant that requires almost no maintenance

Difficulty of growing: low, even inexperienced gardeners can grow cotton wool

Soil: any water and air permeable, prefers loams and slightly acidic soils

Lighting: as bright as possible, sunny location

Watering: only during severe droughts

Top dressing: once a year in early spring with complex mixtures

Meat red cotton wool
Meat red cotton wool

Other components of care: trimming peduncles after flowering, one-time feeding, weeding

Winter hardiness: high, requires only pre-winter mulching

Reproduction: separation of bushes, seeds or rhizome pieces

Precautions: Milky juice is irritating, especially when it comes in contact with the skin in combination with sun exposure

The specifics of growing and care

Selection of growing conditions for asclepia

Without exception, all vatniks are sun-loving plants, which, for normal development, need to choose the lightest, open area as possible. Only one type of asclepia can accept light shading - meat-red wool. When choosing a location for this plant, it should be borne in mind that vatniki are large, powerful, constantly growing crops that are prone to suppressing medium-sized plants growing nearby and need a sufficient amount of free space. The most aggressive growth is the Syrian wadder, giving shoots at a distance of about a meter from the bush itself.

Vatochnik, Askenia
Vatochnik, Askenia

It is very easy to select a soil suitable for cotton wool. It is believed that asclepia can be grown in almost any soil, except for dense, swampy, moist, extremely calcareous and stony. This plant will grow and bloom in any cultivated and even slightly fertile soil. The most capricious to soils is meat-red cotton wool, which prefers moderately humid conditions. For acidity, it is better to choose areas with neutral or slightly acidic soil. Syrian cotton wool is able to settle on sandy soil.

Adult wadders are not afraid of either drafts or winds, but young shoots can fall as a result of strong winds. Therefore, it is advisable for the wool grower to choose sites without active winds.

Fleece care

Asclepius has rightfully earned the title of one of the most unpretentious perennials. Caring for her is reduced to minimal procedures.

Watering for these plants is needed only during a drought, and even then all the willows, except for meat-red, need to be additionally watered only during extremely prolonged periods without precipitation during the flowering period. But it is better to water the meat-red asclepia more often, during even short-term droughts.

Nice cotton wool
Nice cotton wool

Vatochniks are fed 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 the asclepia is planted in fertile soil, feeding can be omitted during the first 3-5 years of cultivation.

Pruning these plants boils down to cutting off the flower stalks after flowering (unless you want the fruit pods to decorate the compositions and are not going to stock up on your own seeds). The wadder does not like cardinal pruning, but to contain or rejuvenate the curtain, it can be trimmed "at the root." It is one of the most resistant to pests and diseases of perennials. All wadders will gratefully respond to the timely weeding and mulching of the soil, but even they are not considered essential components of care.

Asclepias in one place without transplanting are capable of growing for at least 10 years, which makes it much easier to care for the garden as a whole.

Meat red cotton wool
Meat red cotton wool

For successful wintering, it is enough for the majority of weeds to provide soil mulching or light hilling with dry leaves. It is better to cover only varietal specimens with unknown frost resistance (foreign selection) for the winter in the first two years of cultivation.

Reproduction of asclepia

The most convenient and productive method for breeding woolly bushes is the separation of bushes. Due to their rapid growth, these plants can easily adapt to new places and will constantly receive new planting material. The best time for division is the second half of summer.

Asclepia can also be propagated by the seed method (sowing on seedlings in March in the usual way and transferring to the garden in May) and by segments of the rhizome (rooted as cuttings).

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