Loosestrifera (Latin name Spiraea salicifolia) belongs to the large family Pink. The plant has the appearance of a not very tall shrub with a picturesque crown and elegant inflorescences. In addition to a bright appearance, the bush is unpretentious and easy to care for.
Loosestrife spiraea belongs to deciduous crops, its maximum height is 2.5 m. Her crown is dense, rounded in shape, with ribbed shoots of brown-yellow tone. Leaf plates have a lanceolate shape with a wedge-shaped base and pointed peaks. They grow alternately, on short petioles. The edges of the leaves are sharp-dusty, the surface of the plate itself is smooth.
The upper side is dark green, the lower is painted in a light green color. The length of the leaf is on average 5–7 cm, although sometimes it is 10–11 cm, and its width is 1–3 cm. The flowers have the form of bells, which gather in voluminous panicles with cylindrical or pyramidal outlines. Their length can reach 20-25 cm.
Flowering shrubs begin at the beginning or middle of summer and are characterized by abundance and duration.
Buds of spirea loosestrife are white or pink in color. The bush begins to bloom in 4-5 years after planting. After flowering on the shoots, small green fruits ripen with flat seeds of brown color inside. The roots of the plant are located near the surface. In the natural environment, spirea loosestrife has a fairly wide range of growth: this is almost the entire territory of Europe and Asia.
The species also spread in North America. He prefers clay and moist land near water bodies. Like willow, spirea often grows in coastal areas of rivers, lakes or marshes. Refers to frost resistant. This variety is characterized by rather rapid growth.
Loose spirea does not have a wide variety of varieties, but all its forms are distinguished by beautiful and lush flowering, as well as voluminous luxurious crowns.
Representatives of the variety have a height of about 2 m, the crown of the same size. It has the shape of a wide oval with elongated bright green leafy plates. The shrub is characterized by rapid growth, the roots also grow in a fairly short time. Alba (translated from Latin as “white”) is distinguished by snow-white panicle-shaped inflorescences, they appear at the end of June on young shoots. The bush blooms in abundance, buds delight the eye with its beauty for more than a month.
The plant lends itself well to pruning, while not losing decorativeness. The variety is suitable for ordinary garden soil.
It is better to choose a site well-lit or slightly shaded, in the absence of light, flowering will be sparse. Snow-white shrubs look beautiful in the form of a hedge, group planting, or just a separate bush on a green lawn background.
The height of the bush is 1.5-2 m. The shoots are erect, with a light brown bark, on young branches it is reddish yellow. Crohn's plants are quite dense, rounded in shape. Leaf plates have a solid surface, their size is quite large, unlike other varieties. The shape of the leaves is lanceolate, with a pointed apex.
The upper side has a more saturated dark green color, and the back is much lighter. In autumn, the crown acquires orange-red hues. The buds of Grandiflora (which means large-flowered) are large in size, they are collected in lush light pink cylindrical inflorescences. Panicles can reach up to 20 cm in length. Flowering shrubs lasts about 3 weeks.
The variety is characterized by rather rapid growth, but relative fragility. The life cycle lasts 15-20 years. The plant prefers sunny areas, but can grow in partial shade. Spirea does not require special conditions, but prefers well-moistened soil. The shrub is perfectly adapted to the conditions of the city and does not suffer from increased gas contamination.
It also has a high threshold of winter resistance. Use a grade for gardening of streets, parks and squares.
The Grandiflora is also planted with spirea in apiaries, because this plant is a magnificent honey plant.
The variety belongs to the late-flowering hybrids of spirea loosestrife. The bush can reach a height of up to 2.5 m. The shoots are straight, spreading, densely covered with leaves, the old branches are bare, with a pronounced ribbing. The leaf plates have dusty edges, the shape is elongated, lanceolate, their length is about 10 cm. The lower side of the plates is painted in grayish tones.
With the beginning of autumn, they acquire brown-red hues. The buds do not differ in special sizes, but have a pleasant sweetish aroma. Dense inflorescences panicles have a narrow elongated shape, reaching 20 cm, and a delicate bright pink color. Lush flowering begins in late summer and lasts almost until mid-autumn. Representatives of the variety are distinguished by their photophilousness, endurance and resistance to drought.
In addition, spirea is very resistant to frost and completely unpretentious in care. Shrubs are planted as a hedge, as well as in single and group plantings.
Loosestrifera spiraea is undemanding to the conditions of detention, but nevertheless, for normal growth, as well as lush and prolonged flowering, it is worth paying a little attention to it. In order for the plant to grow well and quickly, when planting a bush, some nuances must be taken into account.
- Dates for shrub planting should be selected in the spring, before the formation of buds on the shoots, or in the fall, after the plant discards the foliage. The best time is a cloudy morning or evening, as well as a rainy day.
- The choice of location mainly depends on the plant variety, but generally loosestrifera prefers well-lit areas.
- Soil preparation consists of mixing two parts of the earth, one part of sand and the same amount of peat. This mixture is well suited for rooting shrubs. It is also necessary to provide the plant with drainage.
- The landing scheme depends on its type: single or group, but the algorithm of operations is the same. Wells make a little more than a third of the seedling root system. The roots should be spacious in the recess, and the root neck should be on the same surface as the ground. The soil around the seedling is crushed and watered, it is also worth applying a layer of mulch. When group plantings or in the form of a hedge, it is necessary to take into account the size of the growing bushes and leave a distance of 0.5-1 m between them.
Loose spirea belongs to unpretentious plants and does not require special care, but nevertheless, like any culture, it needs certain conditions for normal growth.
The shrub likes well-moistened soil. An adult plant needs about 15-20 liters of water per week. During the heat, the amount of hydration is worth increasing. Young plants should be watered more often until they take root well. Although in nature the bush grows on moist soils, home crops should still be protected from stagnation of water.
Fertilize the plant in the spring, before laying the buds. For this, complex mineral and organic dressings are used: 10 liters of mullein are dissolved in 6 liters of water and 7-10 grams of superphosphate are added to the bucket of this mixture. If the bush is planted on fertile soil, it may well grow for several years without top dressing.
Shrub is easy to cut. Carry out the procedure in the autumn, after flowering or in early spring. Only bushes older than 4 years are pruned. It is worth remembering that the shoots that have bloomed cannot be cut, this will entail the formation of new lateral stems with small and faded inflorescences. Leave a 20-30 cm long shoot. If you do not trim this, the bush will lose its decorative shape, long shoots will slope in different directions and bend to the ground.
When cutting only the tops of the stems, very thin young shoots with small inflorescences will form.
All varieties of spirea loosestrife have good indicators of frost resistance and normally winter without shelter even at -40-45 ° С. But if winter is expected to be snowless and frosty, it is still worth insulating bushes, especially young ones. A layer of mulch is applied around the trunk, the branches of the plant are tied so that they stick together, and the bush itself is covered with agrofiber.
Propaganda spirea can be propagated in several ways.
- Plant seeds are sown on seedlings in March. After two weeks, seedlings should appear, and after another 2-3 months, the sprouts will dive and plant in open soil. Seedlings grow very quickly, flowering occurs in about 2-3 years.
- Spirea is propagated by cuttings quite often, this method makes it possible to preserve all the characteristics of the variety. In addition, shrubs grown in this way bloom much faster, the very next season. As cuttings, parts of slightly woody branches 10-15 cm long are used. The lower section is treated with drugs that stimulate root formation and planted in the soil. The procedure is carried out around July, then the root system of the seedling will have time to fully form by the fall.
- Shrubs are planted with layering, if there is no need for a large number of seedlings. To do this, strong side shoots are bent to the ground, pinned in this position and sprinkled with earth. Providing regular moistening in the autumn, the sprouts can be separated from the mother bush and planted in open soil.
- By dividing the bush, spirea can also be propagated. To do this, dig a bush in the fall, cut with a sharp secateurs into several parts, and plant each separately in its own place of growth.
Diseases and Pests
Loose spirea is quite resistant to various diseases, but can be affected by pests.
- The spider mite damages the inflorescences, causing them to dry out and fall off the leaves. Insects are especially active in hot weather. The fight against them is the use of insecticidal drugs "Phosphamide", "Karbofos" or "Acrex".
- Leafworm annoys the plant in May by eating the flesh of leaf blades. Pirimore is used against her.
- Aphids feed on spirea juice, from which the plant loses strength and dries out. They protect the shrub with a saturated soap or tobacco solution, and if there are a lot of insects, they use insecticides.
Landscape design application
Wavy spirea is used by gardeners more and more often due to its beautiful appearance and undemanding care. Its application is quite diverse. The bush looks equally beautiful both in single and group plantings, when planting in the form of borders or hedges. Combining different varieties with multi-colored coloring of inflorescences and leaves, you can create spectacular compositions. Beautiful spirea loosestrife in joint plantings with other shrubs, as well as flowering plants.
Spirea loosestrife with its unusual appearance will serve as a real decoration of any site, without requiring special care.
You can learn more about spire from the next video.