A host or function is a winter-hardy perennial shrub native to the Far East. The main feature of the plant are large leafy plates and cystiform inflorescences. Among the variety of species and varieties of hosts, “Empress Wu” stands out. The size of the variety is almost gigantic in comparison with its relatives. We will analyze in more detail the description of the plant, as well as the activities for planting and caring for it.
Hosta "Empress Wu" - the largest variety, which among other varieties compares favorably with its size. The plant belongs to the large family of Asparagus and bears the name of the only female empress who ruled China. The shrub belongs to herbaceous perennials and prefers to grow near rivers, on the edge of the forest or at the base of the mountains. The giant bush reaches a height of 1.5 m, and in width it can grow up to 2.5-3 m. Upright leaves form an extensive rosette.
The structure of the leaf plates is corrugated, in the spring they are covered with a light waxy coating, giving them a dull green-blue tone, and in the summer they acquire a dark green color. "Empress Wu" has an inconspicuous, but at the same time elegant flowering. Peduncles are tall with racemose inflorescences, but the buds are in the form of neat funnels, often located on one side. They are painted in pale lavender color. The flowering is plentiful, mainly in July. The host looks most spectacular in the third year of life, when the rosette is fully formed, and the flower arrows are covered with numerous delicate inflorescences. After flowering, on the peduncles, fruits are formed - trihedral capsules, inside which black seeds are placed.
In order for “Empress Wu” to please her with her magnificent view for a long time, it is worthwhile to be very responsible for the choice of location and the landing itself. Basic host requirements:
- the plant is undemanding to the composition of the soil, but still prefers loamy soils;
- the soil should not be too wet;
- sandy soil is not very suitable for this variety, but if there is no other choice, then it is mandatory to introduce complex mineral fertilizing and humus;
- the landing area should be spacious, with light partial shade.
It is worth planting or replanting a shrub in early spring or late fall. They dig up the earth well, dig a spacious hole, somewhat larger than the root system of the bush. At the bottom, it is recommended to introduce a layer of drainage and a little mixture of Kemira Universal. Then they pour a little earth, on which the roots of the plants are well distributed in a circle, they fill it with soil and ram.
After landing, the host must be well moistened.
It’s easy to take care of the Empress Wu host, the plant does not put forward special requirements. All she needs:
- top dressing;
Due to the large size of the leaf blades, moisture evaporates quickly, with a lack of leaf edges dry out, and flower stalks wither. On the other hand, excess moisture also adversely affects the plant, so watering is necessary frequent, but not too plentiful. It is recommended to moisturize the host daily, especially during hot weather.
The plant reacts equally well to mineral fertilizing and to organics. To facilitate care and not to fertilize often, you can mulch the bushes with organics, in addition, this procedure helps to retain moisture. A mixture of mullein, potassium sulfate (1 part), nitrate (1 part) and superphosphate (2 parts) is well suited for the plant. During the formation of buds and after their flowering, it is worth feeding the plant potassium-phosphorus fertilizers with nitrogen. It is recommended to loosen the soil around the trunk often, so that there is no earthy crust.
Faded shoots and dry leaf plates should be cut. This will improve the appearance and help maintain the shape of the bush. There is no unity between gardeners about trimming the ground for the winter.
When planning pruning a leaf outlet, you need to do this before the onset of cold weather, but you must ensure that all leaves are already yellowed. Otherwise, the plant is likely to dry out.
If the foliage is left for the winter, it serves as an additional shelter, but in early spring it must be cut. With proper host care, Empress Wu can grow in the same place for 15 years without losing its decorative effect. This variety has frost-resistant properties and does not require shelter for the winter period. In cold regions, you can cover the bush with foliage for safety reasons and then sprinkle with snow.
There are several ways to grow a given host :
- dividing the bush;
Division is a very easy and efficient way to reproduce. If everything is done correctly, the time of the procedure is insignificant. Adult bushes older than 3 years are dug up and divide the rhizome into several parts with subordinate roots. They are planted for the rules of planting. Cutting is best done in the summer. The shoot with the “heel” is planted in light nutrient soil, you can immediately in the garden or in the container. The leaf should be cut, so the stalk will let out roots faster. The shoot is covered with a cap made of glass or plastic, and when the roots appear, the shelter is removed (for this, as a rule, it takes several days). Further plant care is familiar.
The seed method of reproduction is the most laborious and long. In order for the plant to acquire a decorative look, it is worth waiting 5 years, moreover, the seed germination is not too high. For those who decide to try, the breeding procedure is as follows:
- in February, the seeds are placed for a month in the refrigerator, on the lower shelf for stratification;
- after that they are kept in “Kornevin” for 20-30 minutes;
- then sown in sterile soil 6-7 cm in depth, the container should also be treated with potassium permanganate;
- the container is closed with a film or glass and kept in a semi-shaded place at a temperature of + 18-25 ° C;
- after 3 weeks shoots appear, after the formation of 2 true leaves, the sprouts dive into separate containers with a mixture of soil and sand (4: 1);
- watered through the pan;
- the shelter is gradually removed, and after 10 days the sprouts can be taken out into the open air;
- when the seedlings are fully strengthened, they can be planted at the place of growth.
With a little effort, you can get a magnificent shrub on the site, which will attract the views of all those present.
And with proper care, the plant will decorate the garden with its huge chic leaves and elegant inflorescences for many years.
In the next video, you will find additional information about landing and caring for the Empress Wu host.