Calistegia (lat. Calystegia ) is a herbaceous perennial, widespread in many countries. Belongs to the bindweed family, has the second name “povoy”. Gardeners have mixed opinions about this plant. Some consider it an aggressor, displacing ornamental crops from the site, others appreciate it for its beautiful flowering and unpretentiousness in care.
Flowers solitary, may be single or double. They develop in the axils of the leaves. Their diameter is 3 – 8 cm. The color is white, pale pink. The fruit is a box with four wings. Contains a large number of small dark brown and black seeds. Flowering of this plant is observed for 2 summer months. Starts in June.
Species and varieties
In ornamental horticulture, a small part of the numerous types of hoe is used. Photos and descriptions of the most popular types and varieties of calistegia are presented below.
Fluffy calistegia ( Calystegia pubescens ). A plant with curly stems that reach 3 – 4 m in length. The leaves are heart-shaped, elongated in the upper part, dense, leathery, rich green. The flowers are funnel-shaped, wide open, 5-9 cm in diameter, white-pink color scheme.
Hairy calistegia ( Calystegia pellita ). Variety with a powerful long cord-like rhizome. It has a thin creeping stem, covered with a fine pile. The leaves are broadly lanceolate, elongated, pointed, wavy along the edge. Flowers simple, pale pink.
Calistegia fence ( Calystegia sepium ). Shoots of this species reach 3 m in length. Leaf plates are triangular in shape with a pointed elongated top. Flowers solitary, simple, may be light pink or white. The new fence develops very quickly, occupies large territories, it is difficult to uproot, so not every gardener decides to plant it. When growing this variety, you can not do without special limiters that restrain the growth of the plant.
Japanese calistegia ( Calystegia japonica ). Terry variety with shoots 150 – 200 cm long. Leaf plates are alternately arranged, small in size, heart-shaped. Inflorescences with a diameter of 7 – 9 cm, pale pink color scheme.
Popular varieties of Japanese calistegia:
“Flore Pleno” – with a stem length of about 3 m. The leaves are arrow-shaped, covered with a short pile. The flowers are large, pale pink, fragrant. The flowering of the variety begins in the second half of July, lasts until the middle – the end of September. The frost resistance of the plant is high, so it is suitable for growing in central Russia. Winters without shelter.
“French Rose” – a varietal group consisting of terry varieties of a soft pink hue with a pleasant rich aroma. The stems are thin curly, 3-4 m long. The leaves are broadly lanceolate, pointed, bright green.
“Multiplex” – a variety with shoots 3.5 – 5 m long. It has large fleecy leaves and lush multi-petal flowers with a diameter of 9 cm. Flowering begins in July, lasts until September.
Povoi is propagated by dividing the rhizome into parts. This work is carried out in the spring. An overgrown maternal specimen is selected, cleaned of the ground, with a sharp knife divided into parts so that the length of each of them is 7–10 cm.
When calistegia propagates, delenki are planted in a small container filled with a nutritious, oxygen-permeable substrate, and watered. Within a few days, the root system will grow in the delenka and they will grow.
When the plants reach 5 – 7 cm, you will need to pinch their tops for more branching and splendor of the bushes. Before planting in open ground, seedlings are hardened in the fresh air. After the soil warms up, they are placed in a permanent place on the site.
In one place, this culture can grow for 10 – 15 years, so it is important to choose the right site for it. It is better to plant a povoy in an area that is in the sun in the first half of the day, and in the second half in the shade or partial shade. If calistegia is constantly in full shade, you should not expect abundant flowering.
As for the soil for this crop, it will develop best on loose, fertile substrates. It is not recommended to plant a flower in places where groundwater runs close, as well as in lowlands, since the root system in the spring during the melting of snow will not withstand the onslaught of moisture and will rot.
A plot for growing calistegia is prepared in early autumn. The soil is dug up, humus, wood ash, dolomite flour, mineral composition are added. The seedlings are transferred to the site, carefully placed together with an earthen clod in the holes prepared for them.
In order to prevent the spread of the soil around the site, after planting, pieces of slate or plastic are dug in near the holes. Such a limiter is required to be dug in on all sides of the plant to a depth of 50 cm.
Near the seedlings, it is also necessary to install supports along which the shoot will crawl. Flowering begins in the first year after planting. Its intensity depends on the lighting and soil composition. The plant reaches its maximum beauty in lighted places with fertile soil.
When properly planted, caring for calistegia in the open field is easy. However, in order to get a profusely flowering bush, you should follow simple recommendations for growing a plant.
- Watering. This flower does not need frequent watering and is able to withstand drought for a long time. If the sun bakes for several days and the heat does not subside, you need to irrigate the bush every 3 days. Otherwise, the buds and foliage will wither, the plant will lose its attractiveness. After water procedures, you should loosen the area around, but this work must be done very carefully so as not to damage the roots that lie close to the surface of the earth. To keep moisture in the substrate longer, the gardener will need to pour a layer of mulch near the plant. For this, cut grass, sawdust or peat are suitable.
- Topdressing. Povoy responds well to top dressing, thanks to which it abundantly forms buds and actively grows foliage. For this culture, any mineral compositions are suitable. They need to be added to the soil every 15 days. It is useful to periodically add an ash solution to the substrate.
- Pruning. To maintain a neat appearance of the bush and lush flowering, it is necessary to remove faded buds in a timely manner. Instead, new inflorescences will begin to form in the axils of the leaves. With the onset of autumn, when all parts of the plant dry up, the aerial part is completely cut off. In the spring, young shoots will appear from the ground.
- Fight against diseases and pests. Due to improper care associated with excessive watering, as well as with a lack of light, the bush can be affected by powdery mildew. You can recognize the disease by a white coating on the leaves and stem of the flower. The affected parts of the plant are cut off, the bush is sprayed with fungicides.
During prolonged rains, calistegia can be attacked by slugs and snails. Gastropods are harvested by hand or chemical preparations are used.
Application in the garden
Many varieties of calistegia are widely used in garden landscape design. They are planted along the hedges, bred in empty areas of the garden. By planting several different varieties, you can get a beautiful colorful flower bed.
For the ability of this culture to braid any fences, they are grown near building structures that need to be decorated. Calistegia braid arbors, fences, arches, transforming the surrounding space in the backyard.
An excellent solution to using a shovel would be to use it as a hedge. Solid flowering walls will transform the garden, hide unattractive areas. Verandas and gazebos are decorated with noble varieties by installing decorative trellises near the plants.
This culture is in harmony with plants such as clematis, climbing roses, kampsis, coniferous crops.