Summer residents who design their flower beds use a variety of cultures. Among them, the mountain gerbil deserves attention, which is used to decorate borders and rocky gardens. A modest plant allows you to maintain the integrity of the composition and arrange a smooth transition between poorly combined cultures.
Description of culture
Mountain gerbil or arenarnia is a herbaceous plant of the clove family. Among the different forms of culture, there are annual, perennial and biennial specimens. The height of the gerbil ranges from 3 to 30 centimeters. The leaves of the plant are oval in shape and can reach a length of 2.5 mm to 1.5 cm. The culture pleases gardeners with flowering from late April to June. Small flowers can be painted in pale purple or pale pink tones. Plants delight with abundant flowering, after which small boxes with seeds are formed.
It is worth saying that the mountain gerbil genus includes more than 220 varieties. Most of them grow in the north and in regions with a temperate climate. culturecommon in the Northern Hemisphere, but some species can be found in mountainous areas and even in the tropics.
Not all varieties are of interest for decorative floriculture, as many have too small and inconspicuous flowers.
Among the variety of types of culture, there are undersized forms and those that are taller. In addition, some varieties have more prominent and larger flowers. Of no less interest are plants with interesting leaf shapes.
Mountain gerbil is the best known and most common species. Plants can be easily found on sale. The culture reaches a height of 15 cm, and the size of the flowers is 2.5 cm (for this plant, these are large sizes). It is noteworthy that this species can withstand frosts down to -35 degrees. In the wild, the culture grows in Portugal, France and Spain.
One of the best ornamental mountain gerbil varieties - Blizzard and Avalanche.
Large-flowered forms of the crop are very similar to the mountain species, but have larger flowers.
Thyme-leaved gerbil is common in North America, Central Asia and Europe. Plants usually grow in fields, forests and meadows. They are represented by annual and perennial forms.
The side-flowered gerbil is a relatively tall species, plant height reaches 40 cm. Among other forms of culture, it is also worth highlighting: Balearic, tetrahedral, round-leaved and others.
Arenaria Balearic refers to undersized species. ATthe height of the plant reaches only five cm, and the width of the bushes grows up to 45 cm. This species is highly frost-resistant, since the bushes tolerate frosts down to -35 degrees. The evergreen culture has small white flowers that bloom in late autumn. The life span of the plant reaches five years. His homeland is the Balearic Islands and Corsica.
The four-sided arenaria comes from the Spanish Pyrenees. Under natural conditions, it grows high in the mountains. The plant has a very unusual appearance, due to the shape and arrangement of foliage. The culture belongs to undersized forms, since it does not exceed four centimeters in height. Arenaria blooms in May and June. This species is of interest to gardeners, because it retains its decorative effect even after flowering. Outwardly, it seems that the ground or stones are covered with beautiful moss. But in reality it is a carpet of their tetrahedral arenarii.
Use for decorating areas
Mountain gerbil is usually used to decorate alpine slides. Planting plants between rocks. Outside the rock garden, it is preferable to plant the culture in well-lit areas. Bushes can grow in partial shade, but with a lack of lighting, their flowering period is reduced. For gerbils, choose sites with sandy, well-drained soil.
Culture does not like stagnant moisture. It looks great not only in rock gardens, but also between the tiles on the paths. A feature of the plant is the good tolerance of trampling. The gerbil is hardyculture, but may freeze in winter due to excess moisture.
Which plant pairs well with gerbil?
Mountain gerbil cultivation is popular because the culture covers the soil thickly, hiding unsightly areas. Plants are almost impossible to trample, so it can be planted anywhere, including next to paths. Gerbil is planted in rockeries, rock gardens, near curbs, paths, on slopes. With tall cultures, the mountain gerbil is planted in islands. Small plants look good in pots.
Experienced flower growers recommend combining arenaria with lithophytes, alpine toadflax, gentian, saxifrage, tenacious, armeria, juniper, periwinkle, bluebells.
Mountain gerbil (photo is given in the article) feels good in conditions close to natural. Plants prefer sunny places. However, not all species like the south side. Some grow well in partial shade. Culture does not put forward special requirements for the soil. But it is worth taking care of good drainage of the soil. Plants grow well in alkaline soils, but can also grow in acidic soils.
The gerbil loves compost. In hot weather, plantings should be watered several times a week so that the roots do not dry out. The culture is resistant to diseases and pests. After the end of the flowering period, dried inflorescences must be removed. WhenIn springtime, the branches of the plant can be pruned, giving the plantings the desired shape. Planting a mountain gerbil and caring for it, according to gardeners, is not difficult. Therefore, the culture is called unpretentious.
Growing from seeds
Most often, gerbils are grown from seeds. They are sown from January to June. The planting depth of the seed should not exceed 0.5 cm. If the air temperature is 20 degrees, the seeds germinate in a month or a half. In the event that the crops do not hatch after six weeks, the pots must be wrapped in polyethylene and placed for 1.5 months in a cold place where the air temperature does not exceed 3-5 degrees.
After the end of the stratification period, the pots can be returned to germinate on the windowsill.
You can also use another sowing method. Seeds are planted from November to January and kept at room temperature for several weeks. After the pots are taken out to a secluded place in the garden until the arrival of spring. With the onset of March, the containers are transferred to the house or to the greenhouse for germination. Shoots dive only once, after which, after 20 days, they are planted on a prepared site. The planting time of the mountain gerbil fully depends on the period of sowing the seeds. Seedlings are planted at a distance of 30 centimeters from each other. Young plants need frequent weeding. Otherwise, weeds can drown out the gerbil. Plants bloom only in the second year.
Vegetative propagation methods of mountaingerbils
Arenaria blizzard, like other species, can be propagated not only by seeds, but also vegetatively. You can get young plants by dividing the bush and cuttings. The latter method is rarely used, since the shoots of the culture are very thin. They are cut and placed in a container with water and waiting for the roots to appear. And only after that the cuttings can be planted in the ground. Most often, the mountain gerbil is propagated by dividing the bush. The method is very simple. However, it cannot be used during the flowering period of the crop.
If you decide to propagate the plant, it is best to do this in late summer or early spring. The existing bush is dug up with a shovel, after watering the area. Then it is carefully divided into parts, each of which is planted separately. Young plants the first time after planting need more careful care and regular watering.
Water is an important part of care. It is necessary to moisten the plantings several times a week. It is not recommended to allow the roots to dry out. And at the same time, an excessive amount of moisture can lead to rotting of the root system. If the crop is grown as a house plant, then in winter it is necessary to reduce the amount of watering to a minimum. Sometimes a mountain gerbil can be sprayed.
Pests and diseases
Flower growers note that the mountain gerbil is an unpretentious crop that is resistant to pests and diseases. And yet, plants are prone to the following diseases:
- Rust. The appearance of the disease is evidenced by red tubercles on the foliage. To combat rust, use colloidal sulfur or Bordeaux liquid.
- Black leg. The appearance of a fungal disease is evidenced by a dark coating at the bottom of the plant. As a preventive measure, gardeners recommend treating the soil with a solution of potassium permanganate before planting. Most often, fungal infections appear due to improper care (excessive watering or drought).
- The spider mite is the most dangerous pest for the gerbil. White spots and the finest cobwebs testify to its appearance.
Instead of afterword
Mountain gerbil is a very popular culture, which is actively used by landscape designers in the design of plots. An unpretentious culture with small flowers can transform even the most unsightly parts of your flower garden. If you are not yet familiar with arenaria, try planting it in your garden and enjoy all the benefits of an unusual plant.