Mirikaria: planting and care, species, growing in the garden
The shrub myricaria is relatively popular among gardeners due to its unusual foliage. It differs from most garden crops in that the main decoration of its dense spectacular bushes are scaly branches of silver color.
Features of myricaria
Mirikaria is a perennial that is part of the Grebenshchikov family. Outwardly, this plant is similar to heather. The name of this genus is the word form of the Latin name for heather “mirica”.
In nature, this plant can be found in Asia: from Altai to Tibet. The most widespread it was on the plains of Mongolia and China. It can also often be found on hills and plateaus at an altitude of up to 1900 meters above sea level.
The branching shoots of this shrub are painted in brown-yellow or pale red, and they are decorated with very small leafy plates, which are scales. In a temperate climate, the height of low sprawling bushes can reach 100–150 cm. However, sometimes wild specimens are found, whose height is about four meters. In diameter, the shrub can reach about one and a half meters.
Each shrub has from 10 to 20 main ascending lignified stems having a smooth surface. The surface of the short side shoots is covered with fleshy leaflets of small size, which are painted in a greenish-blue hue.
The vegetation period of myricaria begins in May, and ends with the first frosts. During the entire period of active growth, the shrub has an attractive appearance.
The bush blooms for eight weeks, and the opening of tender buds is observed in mid-May. It blooms for so long because its flowers do not bloom all at once, but gradually. The buds on the lower branches are the first to open. By the end of flowering, buds open on the top of the bush. The life expectancy of each individual flower is 3-5 days. The flowers are collected in inflorescences, spike-shaped, which rise on a long (about 0.4 m) peduncle. Flowers can form in the axils of the leaves and in the upper part of the shoots (depending on the variety). Inflorescences consist of many small flowers of purple or violet color, which are tightly pressed against each other.
When the shrub fades, seed boxes of elongated pyramidal shape are formed in place of the flowers. Seeds are very small, and their surface is covered with a pubescent whitish hue.
You need to store myricaria seeds correctly, otherwise they will very quickly lose their germination ability. They are stored for storage in a waterproof bag, which should be hermetically sealed. Air temperature should be moderate.
Sowing of seed material is carried out the next year after collection. He needs stratification. When 7 days remain before sowing the seeds, they are placed on the shelf of the refrigerator at this time, and the temperature should be from 3 to 5 degrees. Stratified seeds are highly germinated - more than 95 percent. If you neglect the preparation of seeds, then in the best case only 1/3 part will rise.
Fill the seedling box with a substrate and spread the seeds on its surface. From above, the seeds are not sprinkled with earth, nor are they buried in the substrate. It is recommended to water crops by the ascending or drop method. Seeds will hatch after two or three days, while the first seedlings will appear only after about 7 days. When the seedlings grow and get stronger, they are planted in open ground. They do this only after warm weather sets in, because even small frosts are harmful to plants.
Spend harvesting cuttings. To do this, you can use both lignified stems and young (annual).Myricaria can be propagated by cuttings throughout the entire growing season. The length of the segments should be equal to 0.25 m, and their thickness can reach up to 10 mm.
After cutting, the cuttings are immersed in a solution of a growth stimulating agent, for example: Heteroauxin, Epin or Kornevin. You need to get them after 1-3 hours and immediately drop them into cropped plastic bottles or individual pots. Despite the fact that the cuttings quickly take root, they keep the plants at home for the first year. The thing is that they will not be able to survive the cold winter. With the onset of spring, when it gets warmer on the street, one can plant cuttings in open ground.
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The myricaria plant is very resistant to both pests and diseases. It also differs in unpretentiousness. He is not harmed by both high (up to 40 degrees) and very low (up to minus 40 degrees) air temperature.
It grows well on a site with nutritious garden soil, or on peaty loamy soil. Earth should be slightly acidic or neutral.
This drought-tolerant plant is watered only in the dry period and then infrequently. However, on moist soil, bush growth is enhanced and it blooms more luxuriantly. On average, during a drought, it is watered twice a month, while one bucket of water is taken per plant. The stagnation of liquid in the earth, as well as short flooding of the soil, does not harm myricaria.
If every year we fill the surface of the near-trunk circle with a layer of humus or peat, the color of foliage and flowers becomes more vivid. During the growing season, the plant can be fed once or twice. A universal fertilizer for heather crops is suitable for this.
The shrub grows best in slight shading. But in sunny areas it can also be grown. However, scorching sunlight in the afternoon can leave burns on young shoots.
Over time, lignification of the plant occurs. When he turns 7 or 8 years old, his decorativeness is significantly reduced. However, systematic pruning of the bush will help prevent this. Spend it in 2 stages:
- in autumn - formative;
- in the spring - sanitary (remove dried and frozen shoots).
Strong gusts of wind can damage the spreading stems. In this regard, the myrikaria need a special shelter or for its landing, select areas protected from the wind. In late autumn, they carry out the garter of the shrub to the support. This is necessary so that the plant can withstand strong winds and snow drifts. In this case, young stems are recommended to bend to the surface of the soil and fix in this position.
Types of myricaria
Gardeners cultivate only 2 types of myricaria: foxtail and daurian.
Mirikaria daursky, or long-leaved
The species is most widely distributed in Altai and in southern Siberia. In young shoots, during the first year of growth, the bark is colored green with a yellowish tinge. Over time, her color changes to brown. The length of narrow leaves is from 0.5 to 1 centimeter, and their width is from 0.1 to 0.3 centimeters. They are painted in a bluish tint, and their shape can be ovoid or oblong. The top of each leaf plate is covered with small glands.
Peduncles are formed on one-year apical and adult lateral stems. Inflorescences can be simple or complex (branched). Initially, flower stalks grow shorter, but by the beginning of flowering, they noticeably lengthen. Across the bract, it reaches about 0.6 cm, and a small cup is formed on it ranging in size from 0.3 to 0.4 cm. Oblong pink-colored petals 0.5–0.6 cm protrude forward, with a width of about 0.2 cm. The capitate stigma of the ovary is decorated with stamens that are half fused. On the bush, elongated tricuspid seed bolls are formed.Inside them are small seeds 0.12 cm long, and the spine is partially pubescent.
Foxtail or Foxtail Mirikaria
It is most often found in nature in Central Asia, the Far East and Western Europe. The lateral stems of the low bushes are ascending and straight. They are covered with a multitude of regularly arranged scaly fleshy leaf plates, which are painted in a bluish-silver tint.
From the second half of May to the last days of August, the tops of shoots are decorated with racemose inflorescences of pink color. The inflorescences are lush, with the lower buds blooming first. Inflorescences are very heavy, so often the stems bend to the ground, acquiring an arched shape. Before the flowers begin to blossom, the peduncle has a length of about 10 centimeters and looks similar to a dense cone. But over time, its length increases to 0.3-0.4 m, and it becomes less dense.
The fruits begin to ripen in September. Seeds are located on the tops of branches and have a pubescence of whitish color. As a result, the long stems look very much like a fox tail with a fluffy whitish tip. This is precisely what influenced the choice of the name of this species.
Mirikaria in landscape design
Mirikaria is perfect for decorating artificial and natural ponds. It is grown both singly and in group plantings. The shrub looks best next to coniferous and deciduous crops of dark green color. He is also often planted in the rose garden.
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