Miscanthus - a decorative cereal for ceremonial and background compositions
Among ornamental herbs, Miscanthus are today's favorites. Gorgeous powerful curtains, the ability to grow quickly, luxurious panicles and beauty all year are their main advantages. Miscanthus adapt well to different conditions and are responsive to humidity levels. Their power, musicality, texture transform landscapes and set the tone for the whole design. And replacing miscanthus in a modern garden design is very difficult. The only thing Miscanthus can unpleasantly surprise is aggressiveness. But it can also be easily controlled.
In nature, Miscanthus can be found throughout Asia, Africa and Australia, among them there are both temperate plants and tropical herbs. Miscanthus got its name for an almost imperceptible characteristic - the method of fastening flowers (from the Greek "leg" and "flower").
Miscanthus (Miscanthus) - perennial large decorative cereals with very powerful, horizontal, creeping roots, on moist soil capable of creating thickets and massifs. Miscanthus are famous for their straight steady shoots and large, lush, rugged turfs.
The leaves are linear or lanceolate, very stiff, at least 5 mm wide (for the largest leaf varieties, the width of the leaf blade can exceed 2 cm). Leaves bend beautifully, often curl at the ends. The white strip along the middle vein is characteristic of almost all species.
Today, color variations of Miscanthus are not limited to dark and medium green colors. The color palette contains hundreds of variegated, spotted, striped, edged and “color” variations, in which white, cream, yellow, gold, brown, copper and all purple variations are added to green tones. In the fall, any Miscanthus is repainted in a yellow-burgundy-brown palette.
Fan-shaped panicles from spikelets of inflorescences with a short axis and long lateral branches, depending on the species and variety, reach from 10 to more than 30 cm in length. Spikelets are very beautiful due to long spikelets and silky hairs.
The color of graceful Miscanthus inflorescences varies from pink or white to all shades of brown-red, often also transforming with the advent of autumn.
Miscanthus panicles look great in a cut (the collection of inflorescences is carried out at the stage of full maturity - “fluffiness”).
Species and varietal palette of Miscanthus
Among ornamental herbs, there is no plant that could compare with Miscanthus in terms of variety of shapes and colors. In landscape design, 3 out of 40 species of plants are used.
- Giant miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus) - a hybrid species of miscanthus up to 3 m high with spreading sods, weeping, creating a fountain-like effect with dark wide leaves and pink panicles.
- Miscanthus Sugarflower (Miscanthus sacchariflorus) - a very aggressive species up to 2 m high with linear leaves in sloppy curtains and spreading purple panicles.
- Miscanthus Chinese (Miscanthus sinensis) - “Chinese reeds” with loose, compact, not so aggressively growing bushes up to 3 m in height, with rough leaves with a thickened rib and “air” panicles.
The following varieties are especially popular:
- Miscanthus giant: two-meter ‘Blondo’ with white panicles, ‘Hinjo’ with yellow striped leaves ‘Silverfeder’ with silver panicles, ‘Variegatus’ with white longitudinal stripes on the leaves, narrow-leaved ‘Gracillimus’ with copper panicles, ‘Flamingo’ with pink panicles, ‘Malepartus’ with red early panicles;
- Miscanthus Sugariferous: reaching 2.5 m varieties ‘Zebrinus’ with cream horizontal stripes, ‘Strictus’ with white strokes on the leaves and red panicles, ‘Grosse Fontane’ with a very dense "fur" bush;
- Miscanthus chinensis: undersized and suitable for containers ‘Nippon’ with narrow blushing curtains ‘Kleine Fontane’ with lush reddish panicles, ‘Morning Light’ with narrow white-fringed leaves and blushing panicles, ‘Rotsilber’ with pinkish inflorescences and orange autumn leaves.
The use of miscanthus in garden design
The status of Miscanthus as the most universal among all cereals indicates that it can be used literally as you like in the decoration of ceremonial compositions and background plantings. Miscanthus is good at solo parts, group landing and mixed ensembles - both in the role of a dominant and partner kind.
Miscanthus can be used:
- in the design of prairie gardens and the effect of wild thickets;
- in the design of reservoirs (especially giant miscanthus);
- for masking;
- as a separator;
- in the role of a high single accent;
- to create a lush background and a massive visual center of ensembles;
- in mixborders;
- for decorating lawns;
- in rockeries and at the foot of the alpine hills.
Miscanthus are perfectly combined with other cereals, including in prairie gardens, for example, reed grass. Great companions for miscanthus are loosestrife, echinacea, veronicastrum, asters and other species with “basket” inflorescences, as well as window sill, marshmallow, Rogersia, black cohosh, astilbe, cleanser, autumn anemones, sage, stonecrops, cows, yarrows.
Of the ornamental shrubs, miscanthus are better combined with tree and grass peonies, roses, hydrangeas, lilacs, barberries, privet, topiary, and conifers. For spring accents, tulips and daffodils can be used, for summer accents, lilies.
In giant Miscanthus, you need to think about planting partners who can hide beginners to die off from the second half of summer the leaves at the bottom of curtains.
The conditions for garden miscanthus
Choosing the right place allows you to control the growth rate of this cereal, because the more fertile and wetter the soil, the more aggressive Miscanthus grows. This cereal grows well on dry, and on ordinary garden, and on waterlogged soils.
For Miscanthus, any soil other than sandy and heavy clay soils is suitable, not even very fertile. It is desirable to improve the soil before planting with organics, but only a deep digging is required.
For Miscanthus, you need to select light or sunny, but not southern areas. In shading, the leaves do not dry out so much by autumn, but Miscanthus almost never blooms.
Miscanthus is an aggressive crop prone to sprawl and sprawl. To get dense turf-like green fountains, you should limit your space to a protective barrier around the perimeter of the landing fossa. The depth of protection is at least 20 cm, the barrier must be “solid” and rise at least 5 cm above the soil.
Miscanthus are planted in large planting pits (3 times wider and deeper than the size of the seedling rhizome). After planting, watering is mandatory.
Miscanthus care in the garden
Top dressing on fertile soils can not be carried out for several years, and in the future they should be used with caution, introducing full mineral or nitrogen fertilizers in a reduced dosage at the very beginning of growth and potassium-phosphorus mixtures before flowering (in July).
Watering is needed only in the early years and when growing on dry soils in long dry periods.
Pruning is reduced to "cleaning" the bushes from dry leaves and inflorescences, which is carried out only in the spring: dry miscanthus perfectly adorn winter gardens. If desired, shoots can be removed to maintain greater density and attractiveness of the main turf (in strict gardens).
Miscanthus should be rejuvenated as the center of the clump dies, with the separation of old bushes into large parts and the removal of "bald spots."
Despite the popularity and acclimatization of many varieties and species of Miscanthus for severe winters, most variegated varieties remain insufficiently hardy (especially varieties of Chinese Miscanthus). In order to avoid disappointment, it is worth choosing varieties adapted to local nurseries.
Even the most winter-hardiest of Miscanthus - sugar-flowered - for the winter is better to provide high mulching with a layer of up to 10-15 cm to compensate for snowless periods. In the first winter, any Miscanthus is covered with an air-dry method or a spigot with spruce branches.
Miscanthus is most often shared. It is better not to touch young bushes, using old large sods that need rejuvenation (not earlier than 3-4 years). Delenki should be large (at least 5-6 shoots), with powerful roots. After planting, it is better to water them for faster adaptation.
When grown from seeds, the plant will begin to show signs of familiar splendor not soon, in the early years the bushes need to be protected for the winter and actively watered. Seeds are sown before winter, in containers or boxes, planting in the main places after they get stronger and the frost disappears.