Aquilegia, or Shoes elves
Shoes of elves - so aquilege is called in Europe. Aquilegia - catchment, orlik. Motherland - Europe, America. The genus includes about 20 species, of which in flower cultivation are used garden hybrids of different origin, combined under the name Aquilegia Hybrid (A. c. Hybrida Hort.).
It is a herbaceous perennial with erect stems up to a meter in height. Leaves openwork with a blue bloom. Roots go deep into the soil to a depth of 60 cm. Flowers in aquilegia are large, up to 11 cm in diameter, but more often 3-5 cm, drooping, very recognizable - bell-shaped, with and without spurs, are terry and simple. Coloring red, white, purple, yellow, often bicolour.
Of most interest are varieties such as red and white Aquilegia Crimson Old (Christmas Star), pink Terry Nora Barlow, Alaska white with exceptionally large flowers. Most often Aquilegia seeds are sold in mixture, and then the bags with her seeds will be photos from the many varieties, matched together on the same date of flowering and aligned in height. Now the world is gaining popularity varieties of the so-called paraquilegia is sadsbury with besspornymi Terry drooping flowers original shape with almost round petals.
How to grow columbines
The plant is very undemanding, but prefers moderately moist light and friable soil with added sand, compost and peat. Likes a rich food — making compost and wood ash. Despite the name (Aqua in Latin means water), does not like the abundant irrigation and close groundwater. Can grow in sun and partial shade, in the first case to be watered more often, so flowering is not stopped prematurely.
Aquilegia is very well suited for planting multi-colored groups on lawns in semi-shade of trees and shrubs, as such it can often be seen in city parks. For example, in the Alexander Park in Moscow, groups of watersheds with incredibly large flowers blossom annually on the lawn. In the cut, aquilegia is short-lived, although it can be used in a limited way.
How to plant columbines
Valuable varieties can be propagated by dividing the bush. The bush needs to be dig out entirely, to cut off all leaves except for 3-4 youngest, roots to wash from the ground. The root of the catchment resembles a root crop, it needs to be cut with a sharp knife along to get the 2-3 buds of renewal on each. Slices powdered with crushed charcoal, then planted in the nutrient soil, deepening the neck by 3-4 cm. Thus, the bushes are divided early in the spring or late summer.
Seed propagation — how to stratify and sow the seeds of Aquilegia
The stratification of the seeds of aquilegia, without which they will not germinate, is carried out as follows. The crops are lightly sprinkled with a moist substrate, covered and held for 2 weeks at a temperature of + 10C. Then germinate at + 20C. Seedlings appear after 3-4 weeks and grow well at a temperature of +12 - + 15C. Seedlings of aquilegia are dived when the first real leaf appears and is planted in the ground, when the threat of nocturnal frosts passes. Sown in the spring, the catchment will blossom in the same year.