When it comes time for flowering plants, the garden turns into a unique place of pleasure. Especially if it grows perennial shrub - Calmia. The plant belongs to the heather family. It was first discovered in North America. There is a shrub found on swampy areas, forest edges or dense thickets.
Under natural conditions, calcium grows to one and a half meters, although there are also undersized species - about 30 cm. The shrub got its name in honor of the Finnish environmental researcher Pierre Kalm.
In our time, Calmia adorns the gardens, not only in America, but throughout Europe. Thanks to the diligence and hard work of botanists, the plant appeared in the suburbs.
Shrub General Information
The charming branchy shrub has unusual oblong lanceolate leaves. Their length reaches up to 6 cm. From above they are green, and from below a bluish ebb is seen. Their tips are pointed, which resembles bay leaves.
With the onset of the summer season, delicate cupped flowers appear on numerous stalks. They are:
Interestingly, the buds are collected in small umbellate bouquets. Each of them reaches a diameter of 1 cm. When the shrub blossoms, a huge number of such delicate inflorescences appear on it. In this photo, the calcium is striking in its charm and beauty.
There are many different varieties of overseas shrubs that grow well in Russia. Many of them are quite winter-hardy, therefore they are used in summer cottages and in the Moscow region. One of these varieties is broadleaved calcium.
Description of the famous view
This type of calcium is a wide-spread plant, reaching a height of about 3 meters.
In the natural environment there are trees of calcium, which grow up to 12 m in height. At the same time, they are distinguished by a wide and branched crown. In the suburban areas are most commonly used shrubs.
The height of broad-leaved kalmia in the Moscow region reaches an average of about 80 cm. During the year it grows by 2 cm.
The leaves of the plant are elliptical, lanceolate. Outwardly, they resemble leaves of laurel tree. Their average length is from 10 cm to 50. The upper plate is painted in dark green color, the lower part - with a yellowish tinge.
Particularly distinguished saucer-shaped flowers, collected in umbrella inflorescences. The color of delicate buds is most often pink. Inside each flower are dark anthers, which are involved in the reproduction of the plant. During the flowering period of the shrub, the buds cover almost the entire crown of calcium.
If you carefully consider the individual flowers, they look like miniature porcelain cups.
The diameter of such a work of art is only 2.5 cm. The plant begins to bloom in the last month of spring or early summer. After that, fruits appear in the form of elegant boxes, tightly filled with seeds. By mid-autumn, they fully mature.
As biological studies show, flower buds form a whole year before the start of flowering. Therefore, it is not necessary to worry in vain if the young plant did not bloom immediately after planting.
There are some features of planting broad-leaved calcium and caring for it.
If you want to quickly dissolve the shrub in the garden, it is advisable to plant it in the spring. To do this, you can purchase seedlings that are grown in pots.
Plants should have leaves of dark green color, which indicates its vitality. If they are located only on the tips of the shoots, it means that the calcium is damaged, or the fallen root system.
The most suitable place for shrubs is a semi-shaded area in the country. It can be planted next to a tall tree, which will provide the plant with ideal conditions for growth.
Acidic soil with good water permeability is suitable for planting broad-leaved Kalmi. It may be sandy soil, fertilized with humus.
Immediately before planting the seedling in the hole, it is desirable to put peat. So the plant will receive a sufficient amount of useful minerals for growth.
Due to the fact that the root system of calcium is located close to the surface of the soil, it is not necessary to plant other plants nearby. They can stifle it, which will lead to disease or complete drying.
When caring for shrubs, you should follow these rules:
- Top dressing. Three times per season, the soil around the plant must be fed. In the spring, you can use a solution of urea (30 grams per 8 liters of fluid). In the autumn, mineral fertilizers are scattered under the bushes. When the plant is actively developing, the root system can be fertilized with slurry. For this, one part of the manure is diluted with 15 parts of water. Then, bushes are watered with this solution.
- Watering. To shrub well developed, it is necessary to provide competent watering. It is a moderate distribution of moisture under the bush. It is important that the soil dries out a little before the next watering. When preparing a shrub for wintering, it should be plentifully filled with water and mulched with bark and peat.
- Regular care of the branches. As soon as spring comes, the bushes of calcium should be cleaned from dry branches and inflorescences. Cut the plant is not necessary, since it always has a beautiful crown.
- Soil loosening. As a result of abundant spring precipitation, the soil under the bush hardens. Therefore it is necessary to gently fluff the ground. Due to this, the roots receive oxygen, and the plant develops well.
In addition to the broad-leaved kalmia there are other types of shrubs. Consider some of them.
This type of shrub grows up to 1.5 m in height. Also known and dwarf varieties growing to 40 cm.
The leaves of the plant are lanceolate oblong, about 6 cm long. Their upper part is colored green, and the lower part has a bluish tinge.
Narrow-leaved kalmia is distinguished by amazing cup-shaped inflorescences. Almost always they are pink, and only occasionally - white. Buds are collected in umbellate inflorescences. Each bud in diameter reaches approximately 1 cm. In general, the inflorescences have a chic appearance, especially when they are blooming simultaneously. Therefore, we can safely say that calcium is a real natural masterpiece at the dacha.
Decorative narrow-leaved shrubs began to breed since 1736 outside of Russia. Only a century later, the evergreen shrub was brought to Moscow. Since 1988, the plant grows in the Botanical Garden. There she blooms every year and pleases the eye for a whole month.
This variety of evergreen plant has a compact crown, raised up. The original lanceolate leaves of the multi-leafed calcium are painted in a dark blue-green color.
Buds appear on shoots in late April or early May. In form, they resemble miniature bells, which are collected in exquisite bouquets. Flowers are painted in pink color that looks original against the background of green leaves.
Competent planting of calcium and caring for a plant requires the following requirements:
- land only in loose drained soil,
- prevent stagnation of fluid
- during drought, water 1 time in 2 weeks with plenty of water (up to 10 liters per bush),
- if necessary, watering carried out in the morning or in the evening,
- timely fertilizer contributes to the rapid growth of shrubs.
These types of calcium multiply in two ways: by means of seeds and by separating the roots from the main plant. Choosing the appropriate option, you should consider your capabilities.
One of the simple methods of breeding calcium is the use of root shoots. For this, the offsprings are planted in containers, where they develop over 3 years. When the plant turns into a full-fledged sapling, it is transferred to the garden plot. There he occupies his honorable permanent place, where he will serve for many years to adorn the front garden.
In order to grow calcium from seeds, planting material should be collected on time. The most suitable period is the middle of autumn. After collecting the seeds, they must be dried and stored in a dry place.
For better germination, seeds are kept in the cold for about 2.5 months, and only then they are sown.
Sown in special containers of calcium, will ascend after 30 days. At first they grow very slowly, but with patience, we will receive a reward. When they grow to 4 cm, seedlings can dive, if necessary.
After 2 years, the seedlings begin to feed mineral fertilizers. Because of this, they will start to grow faster. When young Calmia begin to branch, it is better to transplant them into new containers, where they will be up to 5 years of life. Then the seedlings are planted in a permanent place in the garden. And then they will become the gentle charm of the summer cottage in the Moscow region.
When the weather is warm enough in spring, when the ground is already warmed up, a seat for the sapling is prepared: a pit 40-50 cm deep and 60 cm in diameter. A drainage layer of any suitable material except for crushed limestone is poured into the bottom of the pit. Next, almost half filled with fertile soil. For 7-10 days, the pit is covered with a lid or film to create the necessary microflora. After inserting a seedling into the well. If a young plant is in a flower pot, it is carefully removed by transfer, keeping the earthy lump. The pit is watered until the ground ceases to absorb water. The roots of the plant are covered with earth, tamped down, the whole earth near the trunk is densely covered with spruce needles or peat.
One of the main conditions for the care and planting of calcium is that the root neck must be flush with the level of the soil, otherwise the plant may experience drying or rotting of the roots from stagnant water.
Kalmia latifolia Pinwheel
Calmia is very sensitive to transplants. Experienced gardeners recommend well thinking up a place to plant a bush as a permanent one. But if, nevertheless, there is a need to change the “place of residence” of calcium, then a new place is prepared just as for a young sapling.
In the natural environment, all representatives of the species of calcium are found in North America, they are observed even in the northern regions of Alaska. They germinate in forests, on forest edges, along the banks of rivers and water bodies, in wetlands.
Plant Rooting Stimulants
In specialized gardening stores you can buy ready-made solutions of plant root-stimulants: “Kornevin” or “Ekosil”. However, natural stimulants prepared by themselves at home, which, unlike the purchased ones, do not contain chemicals and harmful substances, are no less effective.
One of the most effective stimulants is an infusion of willow branches, which is used both for watering seedlings and soaking seeds, and for keeping cuttings.
The potato tuber is an excellent stimulator of root growth: cuttings are inserted into half of the tuber and left for several days. So the cutting doesn’t dry out and get enough nutrients. Aloe juice, like yeast, is an excellent stimulator of root formation. No less effective water with honey.
Kalmia latifolia Peppermint
Kalmiya in medicine
Due to the presence of toxic substances in the plant, including andromedotoxin, it is not used in medicine in Russia. However, it is used to treat diseases of the digestive tract, skin diseases, syphilis, the indigenous people of North America.
In homeopathy, calcium is used in diseases of the cardiovascular system, rheumatism, and sciatic and intercostal neuralgia.