Various types of bells are widespread almost throughout Europe and Russia. A worthy, but still modest place among all kinds of bells is occupied by an alpine bell.
- Description of the species
- Cultivation of an alpine bell in the garden
- Diseases and care
Description of the species
Perennial herb. The rhizome gives several stems, which form a compact rosette bush. The height of the stems is 5-10 cm. At the top, single or paired flowers are formed in the form of a drooping bell, up to three centimeters in length. Most often, blue or blue flowers. The green, pubescent sepals are elongated in long stripes along the entire bell, giving the color a striped, blue-green appearance. The peak of flowering occurs in June-July.
Under natural conditions, it grows in the European Alps, the Carpathian region, Transnistria., The Balkan countries. For the first time he came to garden culture from the Australian Alps at the end of the eighteenth century.
Due to its unpretentiousness, it has become popular in the design of alpine slides.
Cultivation of an alpine bell in the garden
Low-growing bushes of the alpine bell are grown by gardeners as ground cover plants. But most of all they are suitable for disembarkation:
- in the alpine slides
- retaining walls
- decorative compositions with stones
- combined with colored gravel
To get beautiful and long-blooming alpine bell bushes, you must follow some simple rules:
- good sunlight
- waterlogging protection
- slightly alkaline soil
Soil preparation before planting consists in the introduction of peat, humus, sand, lime - fluff. In its natural environment, it grows on calcareous rocky soils, so soil deoxidation is a prerequisite. Propagated both by seeds and vegetatively (by cuttings, dividing the bush).
For planting, small seeds are mixed with sand and evenly distributed over the surface. During autumn planting, in mid-October, they are covered with a layer of sand; during spring planting, in April - May, they are not covered with soil. When planting in spring, the first shoots appear in ten days. When three to four leaves appear, they are planted in a permanent place or dived and seated in a garden bed in a checkerboard pattern, at a distance of 10-15 cm.
To speed up flowering, in March, you can sow seeds in seedling boxes, a greenhouse, a greenhouse. The emerging seedlings dive, the seedlings are planted in the ground at the end of May, June.
If there is a strong adult four to five year old plant, then the bush can be divided. The mother plant is dug up in May or August, all ground shoots are cut off, and they are divided into several parts with a clean knife. A separated part of the plant is installed in a moistened planting hole, covered with soil. It is important to ensure that each part has roots and buds of renewal.
The bell can be propagated by dividing the rhizome. To do this, dig up a plant, cut off ground raids. Divide the rhizome with buds into parts. Place parts of the rhizome in the prepared groove so that the renewal buds are at the level of the soil. After their germination, the offspring are separated and seated.
Young shoots are separated into cuttings, planted in moist soil. It blooms all summer under favorable conditions: from early June to mid-September. After the first massive flowering, new flower stalks appear.
The rock garden neighbors can be:
- alpine aster
- obrietta cultural
- perennial carnation
- Erica grassy
- spherical phlox
- alpine edelweiss
Diseases and care
In the spring, after thawing the soil, but before the beginning of the flowering period, add ash and a small amount of rotted manure under the plants, no more than 0.5 kg per hundred square meters. In early summer, remove weeds and loosen the soil well. In a dry summer, water is very sparing, in a rainy summer - to prevent stagnation of water, to provide drainage for the outflow of excess moisture. Cut off the formed seed pods before opening. Gently remove dried flowers and peduncles after flowering. Despite the good frost resistance, it can be covered with spruce branches for the winter.
Alpine bell is resistant to many diseases, but if the growing conditions are violated, they are affected:
- Fusarium rot, gets sick when grown on acidic clay soils, it is necessary to treat it with Topsin-M, if possible, replace the soil.
- Gray rot, with strong soil moisture, affects the ground parts of the plant. Preventive measures - treatment with a solution of copper sulfate. If infected plants are detected, remove them from the site, treat the remaining bells with the Euparen preparation.
Unfortunately, at present, alpine bells are being squeezed out of the gardens by other, more aggressive and more accessible species:
- Carpathian bell
- crowded bell
- bell border
You can buy seeds or seedlings of alpine bells in special garden nurseries, find in private collections, or order online.
Admire the blooming bells in the video: