Limonium (lat. Limonium ) is a genus of the Svinchatkovye family, which includes about 350 species of herbaceous annuals and perennials. Representatives of the genus grow throughout Eurasia. Some species have been found in sand dunes. In Russia, this culture is found mainly in the middle lane. It bears the second name “kermek”.
Inflorescences – corymbs or panicles, consist of small bell-shaped flowers with five petals.
The color scheme of limonium buds is diverse with a predominance of lilac, purple, pink, blue, white tones. Kermek begins to bloom in mid-summer, pleasing the eye with an abundance of buds until September. Fruit – achene ripens after flowering. Limonium seed retains its germination capacity for 5 years.
Species and varieties
Limonium Suvorov ( Limonium suworowii ). One year view. It is a sprawling bush with straight, slightly pubescent stems 50–60 cm high. It has pale pink inflorescences, shaped like plantain inflorescences.
Tartarian Limonium ( limonium tataricum ). Bush 70 – 90 cm high. It has a very long developed rhizome. Stem erect, branching, hairy. Leaf plates are linear, dense, dark green. Flowers five-petalled, white.
Limonium broadleaf ( Limonium latifolium ). This species got its name for large wide sheet plates. On the tops of branching stems, corymbose inflorescences with purple flowers are formed. The plant reaches 30 – 50 cm in height.
Description of varieties of limonium broad-leaved species:
“Violetta” – a branchy sprawling bush 50 – 60 cm high, with lavender-colored inflorescences.
“Blue Cloud” – a tall variety with purple flowers.
“Robert Butler” – during flowering, due to the abundance of buds, it resembles a lilac cloud.
Limonium Perez ( Limonium perezii ). Bush with widely spread branched stems 50 – 60 cm high. Paniculate inflorescences, consist of many small lilac flowers.
Chinese Limonium ( Limonium sinensis ). A type of Kermek common in the areas of domestic gardeners. In regions with a mild climate, it is grown as a perennial, in the middle latitudes, as an annual crop. It has a lush leaf rosette, which develops in the root zone and gives density to the bush. The leaves are lanceolate, dense, shiny, rich green. Inflorescences racemose, loose, openwork. The flowers are small, bell-shaped, cream color.
Among the popular varieties of this species:
“Elegant” – a bush 70 – 90 cm high. Valued for intense long flowering, during which it is completely covered with cream inflorescences.
“Confetti” is an ornamental plant, the height of which does not exceed 40 cm. It forms elegant white flowers.
Notched Limonium ( Limonium sinuatum ). A very popular type of limonium in ornamental gardening, on the basis of which many varieties have been obtained. It is a sprawling shrub up to 80 cm high. The basal rosette consists of oval elongated leaf plates of a light green color. Peduncles straight, slightly hairy, branched at the top. The flowers are bell-shaped, can be two-colored.
Popular varieties of limonium notched:
“Compinidi” – reaches 45 – 60 cm in height. Forms inflorescences of pink, white, cream, blue color.
“Iceberg” – a lush bush 80 cm high. Forms snow-white buds.
“Epricot” – valued for pink-coral buds. Reaches a little over half a meter in height.
Rosenshimmer and Emeriken Beauty is a beautiful expressive variety with carmine buds. Grows up to 60 cm.
“Blue River” – has bright blue flowers. Blooms until frost.
Kermek seeds have good germination, so getting seedlings from them will not be difficult. Since their shell is quite dense, stratification is carried out before planting, having stood for a day in water at room temperature.
When growing limonium seedlings for planting seeds, they take small disposable glasses or peat pots, fill them with a disinfected loose substrate. One seed should be placed in each container, deepening by 1 cm. Sprinkle earth or sand on top.
After planting, the crops are covered with a film, cleaned in a room with a temperature of 17 – 22 degrees. Sprouts can hatch in 7 to 10 days. Emerging shoots should be watered regularly using settled water.
After watering, you need to carefully loosen the top layer of the substrate. After the appearance of the second full-fledged leaf, the plants dive into slightly larger pots, taking into account the fact that the limonium root system develops rapidly, completely capturing the earthen lump.
After warm fine days are established, hardening of seedlings should be started. The first two days it is taken out into the street for a couple of hours, then every day the time the plants stay in the fresh air is increased and gradually brought up to 24 hours. After the seedlings have successfully spent the night in the open air, they can be planted on the site.
Planting seedlings in open ground
The planting of mature, strengthened seedlings in a permanent place should be done in early June, when the threat of a return of frost has completely passed. When choosing a site for limonium, it should be borne in mind that this flower is photophilous and will develop poorly with a lack of light.
The composition of the soil when growing kermek does not play a special role, but it grows and develops best on drained slightly acidic sandy or loamy substrates.
This culture reacts negatively to transplantation. Given this fact, the hole must be made of such a size that a plant with an earthen clod taken out of the pot can be freely placed in it. Seedlings after planting need moisture.
They are abundantly watered with water with a small addition of salt. The distance between planting holes should be 30 – 50 cm, depending on how much the variety grows.
As practice shows, it is not difficult to grow limonium – the plant, after proper planting, develops well even with minimal care.
- Watering. Watering the kermek will be required only in the absence of rain for a long time. The lack of moisture will be indicated by the leaf plates of the plant that have lost turgor. You need to pour water under the root, trying not to fall on the foliage. Water procedures are best done in the evening. If precipitation occurs periodically in summer, additional watering will not be necessary. After moistening the soil, weeds should be removed and the area around the bush should be loosened.
- Topdressing. Fertilization is required only if the soil on the site is poor. The first dressing is applied a week after planting seedlings in open ground. The fertilizer application interval should be 2 to 3 weeks. As a top dressing, a universal mineral composition is used. Fertilizers are needed only during the summer months.
- Preparing for the winter. Despite the fact that some varieties of limonium can withstand temperatures down to -30 degrees, the plant still needs to be prepared for the cold season. Then it will successfully endure even a frosty winter with little snow. After the bush fades and the foliage turns yellow, cut off the aerial part of it, leaving 2 cm from the stem. Sprinkle the area where the flower grows with a layer of dry foliage or straw, then cover with a dense non-woven material. Fix the shelter with stones or bricks, pressing it to the ground. With the onset of spring, immediately after the snow melts, the shelter can be removed.
- Fight against diseases and pests. In rainy summers or with heavily thickened plantings, the plant can be affected by a disease such as botrytis – gray rot. This disease affects the tops of the stems and foliage. Affected bushes must be treated with a fungicide.
White mold on parts of the flower indicates that it was struck by a disease such as oidium. To eliminate the disease, you need to spray the plant with a preparation containing sulfur.
If limonium grows in good conditions, there will be no problems with it. For 2 months or more, a flowering bush will decorate the garden, adding bright colors to it.
These photos show what Limonium looks like in a flower bed surrounded by other flowers: