Lewis - a competitor to magnolias
When you see blooming Levizia in the garden, associations with the rhododendrons, then with the branches of blooming magnolias, then with the beautiful godets, lush elite flyers flit in your head. But you can’t remain indifferent to this beauty. Levizia is an original and certainly unique plant. Belonging to miniature herbaceous perennials, levizia, despite the modest size of the bushes, flaunts huge five-centimeter flowers, not one competitor can compete with its beauty. This crumb is grown in pots and in soil. And admiring its flowering, it is difficult to believe that this plant, albeit demanding, but hardy and hardy.
The lush flowering of a true aristocrat of levisia
Unique perennial with luxurious flowering - endemic to North America. At the same time, one cannot meet Levisia in nature on any continent. All levisia develops quite specifically, plants depend on humidity in the summer and can completely disappear and then also reappear unnoticed.
Most levisia actively develops from spring to flowering, beginning in May-June and lasting until July-August, after which the foliage dies. But there are species in which foliage develops in the fall, and flowering occurs in early spring, and crops that retain leaves at a comfortable humidity.
Levizia will not exceed 30 cm in height and in most cases is inferior in size to even undersized azaleas. The plant develops in the form of a rosette of elongated leaves and with a beautiful bluish fringe, which can be whole linguistic, lanceolate, and beautiful dentate. Thick and leathery, they blend perfectly with stone chips and the textures of large boulders.
The main feature of Levisia, which turns the plant into a truly unique garden view, is its luxurious flowering. It is not just decorative, but incomparable in aesthetic characteristics. Complex inflorescences with a bright yellow center and rounded or elongated "petals" are more like chamomiles, then luxurious lilies or magnolias.
Levizia flowers reach 5 cm in diameter, which, given only 5-6 times the large size of the bush, makes them seem even more huge. Of course, there are much more modest in size Levisia flowers, but even centimeter flowers of tiny species against the background of bushes seem large and shining.
The beauty of flowering seems even greater due to the duration. After all, levizia blooms relentlessly throughout literally the whole summer. How such a crumb can tirelessly bloom remains a mystery. True, the answer to it is very simple: Levizia will arrange a three-month show only with proper care, which should provide the plant with the necessary nutrients in large quantities.
The color scheme of Levizia includes various variations of bright shades of pink and orange, as well as rich tones of the white-yellow spectrum. At the same time, color variations cannot be called anything other than watercolor: either bright and bold, sometimes tender and pastel, salmon, fuchsia, apricot and other always looking favorably tones conquer with freshness and purity.
Most Levisia have complex colors, with darker spots and veins. And the difference in color saturation between the buds that have just blossomed and already mature flowers makes the colorful decoration even more elegant.
Species and varietal diversity of Levizia
To the genus Levizia (Lewisia) combined more than 20 species of these miniature, but delightfully vibrant plants. In the modern appearance, Levizias are almost never found in nature: in garden culture, various hybrids are mainly used, the flowering of which, in terms of massiveness and beauty, is similar to that of rhododendrons.
But the main division of levizias concerns the type of foliage. Among these plants are:
- evergreen species and varieties;
- deciduous species and varieties.
They require a slightly different approach to growing, because specimens with winter-green foliage are much more moody, especially in terms of wintering
When choosing levisia for your garden, first of all, focus not on the assortment of species plants, but on the range of hybrids available to you. Usually it is hybrid levisias that bloom most spectacularly and colorfully, and it’s easier to grow them. Focus on the color, not the name, and the usual growing conditions. Here are just a few of the most common hybrid varieties:
- “The Magic of Fuchsia” with a dazzlingly bright color of a deep pink-purple color;
- soft pink Levizia "Pinky", which perfectly tolerates dampness;
- pearl-white, abundantly colored levisia "Pearl of Ashen";
- snow-white variety with flowering "Roy Elliott" lasting almost 3 months;
- orange, dazzling bright variety with a large leafy Matthew rosette;
- bright orange Sunset Strain;
- “Norma Jin” variety with dozens of rosettes and hundreds of flowers with pastel pink color;
- "George Henley" with the brightest fuchsia shade of flowers, under which rosettes are not visible;
- the Levizia of "Trevoziya", unique in terracotta pots, with its sunny, melon-apricot color.
Most hybrids begin to bloom in May, and it lasts until at least August, and most often continues even in September.
But even out of 20 species levizias, a greater number of plants are overdecorative.
The easiest to grow and most affordable and common type of Levizia is levizia cotyledon (lewisia cotyledon) and various hybrids based on it. This is an evergreen perennial with very long, up to 15 cm smooth leaves with an unusual red border along the wavy edge. Under different conditions, this levizia forms leaf rosettes of excellent shape and density. But the bright flowering remains unchanged. In May and June, Levizia cotyledon produces magnificent inflorescences of flowers with 6-15 petals in each.
The colors vary, mutate during seed cultivation and can either represent motley orange, red, pink, yellow combinations, or white with dark stripes and wide strokes-streaks of a contrasting color. The plant, unique in its brightness, seems to be hand-painted. Of all the cultural forms of cotyledon, the snow-white Alba earned the most popularity.
Deserves attention and levizia long petal (lewisia longipetala), which blooms from June to July. a beautiful rosette of long, tapeworm leaves serves as an excellent backdrop for thin “petioles” up to 10 cm long and four-centimeter flowers resembling tiny water lilies in shape and pink color.
Short-cup revision (lewisia brachycalyx) is a beautiful and very delicate Arizona species with a deciduous crown, long leaves up to 10 cm covered with a bluish coating. This levizia blooms all spring, and the crown actively grows in the fall after a short summer dormancy. The color of the flowers is watercolor, with delicate pink at the tips of the petals and white in the center, although it may vary within the framework of the pink and white colors depending on the growing conditions.
Colombian revision (lewisia columbiana) is an evergreen species with a compact rosette of tongue-shaped leaves and a high thin peduncle, crowned with white-pink flowers with bright veins. This levisia has a wonderful variety of Rosea with fuchsia, bright pink flowers and half the size. Colombian Levizia blooms from May to August.
For large, wide and very fleshy leaves Levizia Tweedy (lewisia tweedyi) not in vain earned the nickname "flowering cabbage." Bright green or purple, these beauties decorate stony gardens with extremely attractive leaf rosettes, against which flowers of bizarre colors seem even more touching.
Reaching 5 cm in diameter, the flowers of this revision are painted almost exclusively in fruit shades - melon, orange, apricot with the obligatory watercolor blur along the edge of the petals. In this case, the color varies and changes, often hybridizes. This species is considered one of the most catchy and spectacular levis. For the winter, it is better to dig out the Tweedy levizia and transfer it to the hotbeds, because it does not tolerate winter damp.
Sierra revision (lewisia sierrata) is an evergreen species with very beautiful serrated leaves of a grayish color and surprisingly large five-petalled flowers for such thin peduncles. Against the background of the basic pale white-pink color, contrasting dark pink veins brightly appear on them. Beauties bloom with somewhat lily-like flowers from May to July.
The size of the plant itself will not exceed 6 cm, and the flowers - a little more than a centimeter. But this miniature miracle can charm anyone against the background of rock. Outwardly, it is similar to the rarer levisia cantelou (lewisia cantelovii), in which shoots grow to 30 cm and rosettes are formed by more serrated leaves.
Unusual Levizia Nevada (lewisia nevadensis) the eye would seem to be a relative of the nivyanik, if not for its thick, fleshy leaves with a deformed, curved shape. Snow-white flowers with green-yellow stamens bloom only on sunny days, but flowering lasts from May to the end of August. This is an unusual, seemingly fresh plant that can quickly and actively spread by children.
Dwarf revision (lewisia pygmaea) is a real dwarf succulent, which releases late spring from 10 cm long leaves from the underground root, creating a very peculiar and as if buried rosette. Inflorescences-umbrellas from 7 white or pink flowers with a diameter of up to 2.5 cm seem weightless, touching, beautifully wilted, and sometimes lie on the ground. In the summer, this levisia hides. And with the advent of autumn, the outlet again begins to grow leaves.
Rare and very valuable levizia of Kongdon (lewisia congdonii) is a species with high flower-bearing shoots and a powerful rosette of leaves. Reaching a height of 60 cm, it is crowned with inflorescences of pastel, fawn-pink flowers with classic touching dark veins. This levisia blooms from mid-spring to the end of June. But it can bloom again in the fall.
Also extremely rare are:
- two-semicellular levisia (lewisia disepala), in which leaves in a rosette up to 5 cm in diameter disappear during flowering, and pale pink flowers appear luminous and reach 2-3 cm in diameter;
- levizia of kellogg (lewisia kelloggii), also dying after a lily-like white bloom in July and again waking up in the fall;
- levisia lee (lewisia leeana) with very thick leaves, cylindrical in section, and inflorescences collected in panicles, up to 20 cm high;
- Levizia of Maguire (lewisia maguirei) with short leaves and snow-white flowers in complex umbrellas;
- blooming only when the soil remains wet in the spring after snow melts (March-May) levizia (lewisia oppositifolia) with a loose inflorescence of 5 white flowers and flexible shoots, as well as its dwarf form “Richie”;
- levizia updated (lewisia rediviva) with luxurious 5-7-centimeter flowers, offering to admire all the shades of the pink spectrum from almost white to the most saturated. Her flowers bloom over a rosette of leaves only on sunny days (very capricious to humidity in winter);
- able to bloom only 5 years after sowing stebbins levis (lewisia stebbinsii) with shoots spread out around a tiny leaf rosette and touching watercolor-pink flowers with a beautiful center.
In decorative gardening and floriculture Levizia use:
- as an exquisite accent for an alpine hill, decoration of the eastern and western slopes;
- for piece accents in rockeries;
- as a crowning touch to the design of compositions with sprinkling soil with rocky crumb;
- as an elegant, festive potted culture, for portable rock gardens;
- as a touching stroke or accent in the design of front gardens, "ceremonial" flower beds or mixborders.
Levy can be grown:
- as a perennial for open ground;
- like a potted plant, which is cleaned for the winter, and all the warm season is grown as a garden crop in the open air (or used to decorate a balcony).
Conditions comfortable for levies
Choosing the perfect venue for Levizia is very difficult. They wonderfully combine tenderness and sunlitness. They need to be planted in sunny areas, but with light shading at noon and the hottest lunch hours, with light scattering. And Levitin’s gifts can’t stand, preferring moisture and coolness.
It is not easy to fulfill these requirements, but it is possible: the plant is combined with a higher partner (or placed near a boulder, wall, elevation), which will create an openwork shadow at the height of the day and prevent the soil from overheating intensively. But at the same time, the place should still remain well lit. Before landing, be sure to observe the movement of the sun and appreciate the change in light mode from morning to late evening.
The process of selecting lighting, comfortable levis in many ways resembles the selection of conditions for indoor plants: this crumb will feel good on the eastern and western slopes, in places with an oriental orientation. It is considered a win-win placement of levizia between two boulders, in a kind of crevices with a laid layer of thick drainage.
Potted levisia needs the most vivid but diffused lighting: these beauties are afraid of direct sunlight. In the open-air terraces, balconies or relaxation areas, potted levisia of hybrid varieties will colorfully bloom even in partial shade.
This plant is not the most heat-resistant perennial. During extremely hot days, levizia may stop developing (which does not mean a complete stop of flowering, because it can continue after a quick restoration of comfortable temperatures).
In levis growing in open soil, such a phenomenon is rarely observed, only when the plant receives almost no care, but in potted levizia it is quite typical. Species levisia after flowering or dryness can completely go into rest mode, without even leaving leaves. The disappearance of sockets does not indicate the death of the plant.
We select the soil for levisia
Soil for levisia is much easier to pick up. This plant needs the highest quality garden soil - loose, well-drained and fertile. Particular attention should be paid to acidity: Levizia prefer to grow only in acidic soils. An admixture is not only peat, but also crushed stone, sand, humus, and preferably cow manure. But there is one critical parameter - drainage.
Container inspections also need to select high-quality earth mixes. Usually they use universal substrates, consisting of garden soil with additives of sand and compost. But if the soil is suitable for almost any of the quality ones, then you need to pay special attention to tanks.
Levias will bloom colorfully only in small containers and pots, because an excess of free soil can cause active vegetation to the detriment of flowering. Please note that it is better to plant this perennial in a container with several drainage holes. And at the bottom it is necessary to lay a powerful layer of drainage.
No matter how good the soil, planting a levizia is a very specific process.For this, plants dig deep landing pits, at the bottom of which a drainage about half a meter high is laid. Only in such conditions can levizia grow on a flower garden or in a front garden. But laying the drainage, the specifics of the Levizia landing are not exhausted.
After installing the seedling and carefully filling the planting hole with soil, the root necks will need to be carefully grained, and the soil should be mulched with crushed stone, gravel or stone chips, which will reliably protect sensitive American women from overmoistening.
Levizia Care Secrets
In order to enjoy the luxurious flowering of Levizia, it needs to provide more or less stable growing conditions. Caring for this plant is not difficult, but Levizia will have to pay attention to the flowering stage.
Watering this culture is needed, but only rare and responsive to the vagaries of the weather. Levizia is watered during a drought so that the plant is not too long in a completely dry soil. The procedures should be moderate and very accurate: when watering, one must not allow moisture to fall not only on the buds and flowers, but also on the leaves of levisia.
Potted levizias are watered so that the substrate always remains slightly moist, but the soil dries between treatments in the middle layer. If growing levies in pots show a stunting, a pause caused by heat, watering must be stopped, but the plant should be constantly sprayed until the development resumes.
Feeding is an essential component of care. It is from the correctly applied fertilizers that both the beauty and the duration of the flowering of levizia will depend. But, fortunately, top dressing for this crop is not at all similar to the fertilizer system for pilots. Levizia is fed only in the summer, with a frequency of 1 time per month, fertilizing the soil.
At the same time, do not rush to use mineral mixtures: levizia loves organic fertilizing more, in particular, fermented manure diluted in water. Even if you have the time and opportunity, more than 3 times in the summer should not be fed levizia. When overfeeding, it will not bloom more magnificent, but it will start to hurt, the process of laying the kidneys and winter hardiness will suffer.
The levizas are so beautiful that even slugs cannot resist them. These pests love to feast on not so much the leaves as the flowers of the plant. In the vicinity of diseased shrubs, levisia can also suffer from aphids, but in general it is a fairly resistant crop. It is necessary to deal with problems, including rot caused by waterlogging, using combined methods, correcting misses with care and spraying bushes with insecticides and fungicides.
Preparation for wintering is needed exclusively by evergreen levizias. These beauties in winter will not tolerate wetting in any form, so before winter they are covered with caps (usually glass) or create a dry shelter. Deciduous levisia winter even without mulching. And the rest of the plant will not need any preparation for frost and snow. If you buy a rare or species levisia and have received recommendations for digging for the winter to protect it from getting wet, strictly follow the instructions.
But potted plants will need a different approach: they should be approached with the approach of the first frosts to a cool, but frost-free room with good lighting. Depending on how much the earth lump is filled with roots, the plant can be transplanted before carrying or wait with the procedure until spring. An earthen lump for levisia is preserved completely without destroying, handling the plant into a container of a slightly larger diameter.
Propagation of Levisia
This magnificent plant reproduces beautifully, even if it takes a new generation of Levisia and requires some effort. Levizia seeds must be sown immediately after harvest, because they lose germination literally exponentially. There are 4 methods of breeding levizia:
- Sowing seeds in open ground. It is carried out in the winter, on rational ridges, from above mulching the soil with a thick layer of peat or compost. Seeds will germinate only by April, while they can be dived, acting very carefully, and not touched for strengthening during the year, and only then planted in a permanent place. After a month of stratification, you can sow in the spring, but in this case it is better to sow the seeds of levisia for seedlings, and not in the soil.
- Sowing seeds for seedlings. They will germinate after a month of stratification in cold, but not frosty conditions. In this case, stratification should be carried out after sowing. Sow the seeds in a moist and loose substrate, slightly covering with soil and tightening with a film or covering with glass. In a refrigerator or other place with a temperature of 0 to 5 degrees Levizia is kept for a month, after which the containers with crops are moved to a warm and bright place. Plants can not be touched until the release of the second real leaf, after which you need not to tighten the picking. Seedlings can be transferred to the open soil after the disappearance of the threat of return frosts and night cooling. Such levizia will bloom only for 2-3 years.
- Cuttingsor rather separation of lateral plants. Levines in a healthy state and after several years of lush flowering begin to form lateral rosettes. They do not have their own roots and the planting process is similar to cuttings. Sockets must be carefully cut with a sharp knife, being careful not to harm the shoots of the main bush. After separation, the sections are sprinkled with charcoal, dried, and the shares are planted in pots or containers with a loose substrate. The containers should be set in a cool place and maintain light humidity. Cuttings of levizia can be transferred to soil or to a permanent pot and habitual conditions only after quality rooting and the beginning of active growth. The best time for separating children is considered spring.
- Use of self seeding as a source of quality seedlings.
As an alternative method, a method of cutting the roots is occasionally used (in the early spring, rhizomes are made notches at the top that stimulate the formation of new growth points), but for countries with severe winters this method is quite risky.