Thrift is one of the most non-capricious ornamental crops, so it can often be found in garden plots: in flower beds, along paths and next to other flowers. Despite the unpretentiousness, this plant looks very elegant and has its own zest.
For flower growers who once decided to grow perennial armeria, for many years it remains indispensable in the design of garden compositions of varying complexity.
Characteristics of the colors of armeria
According to its characteristics, armeria is a perennial herbaceous rhizome plant 10-30 cm high, with a smooth, straight, slightly pubescent stem. The leaves are numerous, linear-lanceolate, entire, sessile, dark green, collected in basal rosettes.
Rod root, short. The flowers are small with a pleasant aroma, pink, white or purple, 4.5-5 cm in diameter. Collected in dense beautiful globular inflorescences, surrounded by dry, membranous bracts. Peduncles straight, thin, pubescent. Flowering begins in May – June and lasts throughout the summer.
The description of armeria has been supplemented with a photo to better represent this culture, because it is one of the most popular perennials among gardeners:
The genus includes up to 50 species, 10 of which are cultivated in floriculture. Almost all species are distinguished by high decorative merit and can be used for planting on alpine slides.
The name of the plant comes from the Celtic “ar” – near, near and “mor” – the sea – according to the habitat of one of the species of the genus. According to another version, from the old French name of the bearded carnation – “armoires”, which some armeria look like.
Among the wide variety of species of this crop, the seaside armeria is in special demand among gardeners, which in its natural environment prefers to grow near water bodies. This property of the plant can be successfully used by decorating with it a pond on a personal plot.
Gardeners will find useful tips on how to plant and properly care for an armeria flower in this article.
Types and varieties of armeria with a photo
Seaside armeria (Armeria maritima). Her leaves are linear or narrow-lanceolate, dark green, with a well-defined median vein and cilia along the edges. At the ends of leafless peduncles, pink, purple or carmine-red flowers are formed throughout the summer, collected in capitate inflorescences.
There are garden forms with white flowers. The life span of this type of armeria is limited to 3-4 years, after which the old plants die, giving way to young ones.
Numerous varieties of seaside armeria are distinguished by rich colors and splendor of inflorescences:
“Alba” – white flowers;
“Bloodstone” – burgundy flowers;
“Louisiana” – pink flowers;
“Rosea Compacta” – bright pink flowers;
“Vindictive” – red flowers;
“Dusseldorfer Stolz” – dark red flowers.
Alpine Armeria (Armeria alpina = Armeria maritima).
Motherland – alpine meadows of mountainous regions of Europe. In culture since 1768. The plant is perennial, forming dense cushions 20–30 cm across and 8–15 cm tall. Leaves in a rosette, linear-lanceolate, 12–15 cm long and 0.3 cm wide. Part of the leaves overwinter.
The photo of the flowers of the armeria of this species shows that they are small, light pink, collected in a capitate, axillary inflorescence up to 3 cm in diameter:
Peduncles 20–30 cm tall, leafless. Blooms in June 25-35 days.
Varieties of Alpine Armeria:
“Rosea” with carmine-pink flowers;
Laucheana with carmine-red flowers.
Armeria welwitschii (Armeria welwitschii) differs in long (up to 20 cm) leaves and pink flowers. It should be borne in mind that the height of the peduncles can exceed 30 cm, so the species is rarely used in the creation of alpine slides. Flowering continues from early summer until the first snow.
Armeria soddy (Armeria cespitosa) -flowers growing in natural conditions in the highlands of Spain and Portugal, where they settle at an altitude of up to 3000 m.
Perennial plant forming a dense cushion 5–15 cm tall, 15–20 cm across. Narrow linear leaves are collected in a rosette.
The flowers are red or pink in capitate inflorescences surrounded by dry, membranous bracts, creating such abundance that they completely cover the green rosettes.
Peduncles 5-6 cm tall. Blooms from July 40-50 days. Old pillows usually fall apart starting from the center. In culture since 1893. Due to its winter hardiness, soddy armeria is excellent for planting and care in the open field in the conditions of central and north-western Russia, while ensuring good drainage. Does not tolerate stagnant moisture.
Varieties of armeria soddy:
“Brno” – a low-growing variety with double flowers of a lilac hue;
“Bevanz Variety” – Terry light pink flowers.
Armeria beautiful (Armeria formosa = Armeria pseudarmeria “Formosa”). Plant 12-18 cm tall. Forms compact evergreen rosettes of green narrowly linear leaves. Stems are rounded, rigid, erect. Inflorescence 4-5 cm in diameter. Mass flowering occurs in June, individual flowers appear until October.
Inflorescences of different shades of white, pink, carmine. Long flowering and attractive foliage make the plant suitable for growing in rocky gardens and containers. Successful cultivation requires an open sunny position and sandy soil with good drainage. Frost-resistant. In a wet winter, rotting of the root collar and death of the plant is possible.
Armeria pseudoarmeria (Armeria pseudarmeria) is a plant with strong stems up to 40 cm tall, which forms compact evergreen rosettes of green linear leaves. Stems are rounded, rigid, erect. Inflorescences are spherical of small white or pink flowers.
Mass flowering occurs in June, individual flowers appear until October. Long flowering and attractive foliage make the plant suitable for rock gardens and containers, excellent for cut flowers and winter bouquets. Successful cultivation requires an open sunny position and sandy soil with good drainage. Frost-resistant. In a wet winter, rotting of the root collar and death of the plant is possible.
Below are brief descriptions of the varieties of this type of armeria, which are best suited for growing on a personal plot:
“Red Planet” – spherical inflorescences, red flowers, peduncles about 30 cm in height;
Thrift – dwarf variety up to 20 cm high;
“Joystick White” – spherical inflorescences with white flowers;
Those who are interested in the types and varieties of armeria can look at the photos below, where all their distinctive features can be traced:
“Bees Ruby” – rich pink flowers, bush height about 60 cm.
Armeria vulgaris (Armeria vulgaris). The leaves are narrow, linear, bluish-green. The shoots form soft cushions 20-30 cm high. The flowers are pink, collected in a capitate inflorescence. There are cases of repeated flowering in the fall.
Armeria Siberian (Armeria sibirica). Height up to 30 cm. Flowers, as a rule, pink, up to 0.5 cm in diameter, collected in a capitate inflorescence.
Tips for caring for armeria flowers
Location. Armeria is a herbaceous plant for open ground, the care of which is very simple, it is enough to follow some recommendations. This is a light-loving crop, so it is better to plant it in an open sunny area in light sandy or sandy loamy damp soil, preferably with an acidic reaction. It can be planted in stony soil, as well as among the stones of the retaining wall. She can’t stand the news.
Armeria soddy the most whimsical – it should not be planted under the direct rays of the sun, and in winter it is necessary to cover it, it does not tolerate winter moisture.
Watering. When caring for armeria, it should be borne in mind that this flower is drought-resistant, however, in hot and dry weather, watering is required, but it cannot be flooded.
Topdressing. Armeria is responsive to liquid top dressing with a complete mineral fertilizer, which is best done 1 time before flowering and 2 more times during abundant flowering.
Faded inflorescences are removed so that the plant has enough strength to form new buds.
Transfer. Armeria flower care includes a transplant required for adult specimens, it is carried out once every 5-6 years. To do this, the bush is dug up, divided into parts and planted in a new place. Such a transplant is obligatory for the army, otherwise it will lose its decorative effect, since all its forces will be spent on the formation of green mass, and not on the formation of buds.
Wintering. Most species hibernate without shelter, but do not tolerate snowless winters. Armeria soddy for the winter is covered with spruce branches, straw or overripe leaves.
Growing armeria from seeds and cuttings
There are several ways to propagate this crop, but the most effective is growing armeria from seeds. Seeds are sown in open ground before winter (October) or spring (April). In order to germinate as many seeds as possible, 7-10 days before planting they are kept in the refrigerator, and the day before sowing they are kept in water at room temperature with the addition of the Zircon preparation for 7 hours.
The treated seeds of armeria are planted in fertilized, loose soil, with a slight deepening, after which they are covered with a small layer of earth. Then watering is carried out. With warm weather and periodic watering, the seeds will sprout within 2 to 3 weeks. When the seedlings have the first pair of leaves, they need to be thinned out, leaving a distance of 15–20 cm between plants. Further care for young individuals will consist in moistening the soil in hot weather, loosening and weeding.
Many gardeners grow seedlings to propagate this crop. Traditionally, the cultivation of seeds for seedlings of armeria is carried out in greenhouses in boxes in February – March. Before sowing, they are also kept in warm water with the addition of “Zircon” for 7 hours. Then they plant in a light, nutritious substrate to a depth of 0.5 cm. The containers are covered with film or glass and cleaned in a warm, well-lit place. After planting the seeds of armeria, care is taken before the emergence of seedlings: the greenhouses are ventilated daily, the soil is watered.
Under such conditions, most seeds usually germinate. When the seedlings have the first pair of leaves, they dive into separate containers and continue to care for the plants. When the seedlings get stronger and pass frosts, they are planted in the ground in a permanent place. Planting should be carried out so that the root collar is closer to the soil surface, and the leaves do not sink into the ground. After planting, the ground around the seedlings is lightly tamped and watered.
If the gardener plans to grow armeria as a single crop, the distance between the bushes should be at least 30 cm, but if the task is to make a carpet of flowers that will completely cover the ground, then it is enough to plant flowers at a distance of 15 cm from each other.
As for the vegetative method, it reproduces especially well by dividing the prickly armeria bush (Armeria pungens). Cuttings from spring to autumn. Small sprouts are taken on cuttings, which begin to break through the ground.
Young individuals who have not reached the age of 5 are dug up and divided into 2 – 3 parts. After that, they are seated in small holes, the size of which should be slightly larger than the diameter of the flower roots. It is necessary that the roots are well straightened when planting. Upon completion of the planting of the perennial armeria cuttings, care is needed: the soil around the plant is compacted, watered and mulched. Mulching will help keep moisture in the soil further and prevent weeds near the flower.
How to use armeria in the garden
Since this culture in nature grows in the mountains, rocky terrain and rocky areas, it is used in rock gardens and rockeries. It harmoniously looks among the stones, creating bright spots on a gray background.
The perennial armeria flower is often used in the design of lawns on the territory of a personal plot, flower beds, rabatok. This culture is effective in group plantings. Undersized species are indispensable for decorating the border around flower beds and along garden paths.
Due to the dense herbaceous rosettes that retain their greenery in winter, the culture fits well into groups of large creeping plants. Armeria in the garden goes well with saxifrages, sedums, low creeping phlox, Carpathian bell, sapling, creeping thyme.
It is also suitable for forcing.
Some gardeners create flower beds entirely from one armeria, as it is a beautiful and low-maintenance flower. Numerous species and varieties of this crop with a wide variety of shades of flowers will help to design original flower beds and make the garden spectacular without much time and effort. After all, the uniqueness of this plant is also in the fact that flowering lasts from May to September, that is, throughout the summer season.
The photo shows how the armeria plant looks in the garden as an independent culture and in combination with other flowers: