Muscari (mouse hyacinth, viper bow): planting and care
Mouse hyacinth or muscari
Muscari (ground lilac, mouse hyacinth, ground onion) is very much like small hyacinths. Plants used to be part of the Hyacinth family, but now experts believe that they are from the Asparagus family. This is a perennial.
A brief description of
Family Asparagus (Asparagaceae)
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• unpretentious bulbous plants 10-20 cm tall;
• bulbs are ovoid, light, 1.5 - 3.5 cm long and up to 2 cm in diameter;
• leaves are linear, basal, 10-17 cm long, including 2-6, appear in spring, in some species in autumn and winter under snow;
• flowers with a barrel-shaped, cylindrical or tubular perianth, consisting of six fused leaflets with curved edges, from white to dark blue in color, 0.4-0.6 cm long and up to 0.4 cm across;
• inflorescences are dense, apical, racemose, 2-8 cm long;
• have a pleasant, strong aroma;
• fetus - a three-nested, winged capsule;
• seeds are small, wrinkled, rounded, black
Muscari is more familiar to amateur gardeners under the name mouse hyacinth. This bulbous plant of the hyacinth family has long won the sympathy of many home garden owners. And this is not surprising: it reproduces quite easily, is not demanding on the nature of the soil, and starts to bloom one of the first, forming real carpets of the purest sky-blue color.
Muscari flowers are similar to lily of the valley flowers, and they are located on the stem in the same way: hanging from the pedicels, like small blue bells. Known for mouse hyacinth and its aroma resembling musk. Hence, its Latin name is Muscari.
Mouse hyacinth bulbs are planted in September or October. Soon after planting the bulbs, green arrows appear, forming in a small bush. Then a stem with buds grows over the bush, which open and for a long time delight the eye with bright candles. Cautious transplant tolerates easily even in flowering condition.
Muscari is home to Asia, the Mediterranean, and North Africa. 43 species registered. In the culture, the most commonly used muscari is Armenian, muscari is cluster-shaped and muscari broadleaf. There are many varieties and varieties of muscari. In addition to the original blue, they can have a white, pink, purple, greenish color.
The easiest way to propagate murine hyacinth is with daughter bulbs, which develop after flowering, but you can also collect seeds when the fruit boxes ripen.
Muscari is grown as an element of an alpine hill, in flower beds, along paths. They always look spectacular both in large groups, and lined up in a row on a certain line. As a rule, they are planted in open spaces, for example, among a lawn, on a lawn or meadow. You can plant mouse hyacinth in the garden: it is quite hardy to shade, in addition, it blooms in April-May, when the trees are not yet covered with dense foliage and do not block sunlight. Nevertheless, the proximity of Muscari with evergreen shrubs should be avoided.
This flower is interesting not only in gardening, but also in indoor plant growing; blooming muscari looks beautiful when distilled in a pot, which is possible from the beginning of winter. Muscari are also good in miniature bouquets, which are not inferior to cut snowdrops and lilies of the valley with their touchingness and tenderness.
In Latin, the plant is called muscari. Indeed, this onion has a smell reminiscent of musk.
The mouse is called a plant hyacinth for some similarities with ordinary hyacinth, but its size is small in comparison with it.
In England, this plant is called grape hyacinth, since it looks like an upside down bunch of grapes. The French called it earthen lilac (lilas de terre) because of its resemblance to the flowers of this shrub.
Viper bow - why is it called that? The plant was named so because of its toxicity to birds. Another version is the frequent presence of vipers near. Of course, snakes do not feed on this plant, but crawl into glades warmed by sunlight, where mouse hyacinth often grows. Another variant of the origin of the name is the similarity of Muscari inflorescences with the tail of a rattlesnake viper.
Viper onion is a genus of small bulbous plants belonging to the Asparagus family. They are more commonly found in the wild. The dense dark blue inflorescence of the plant resembles the tail of a rattlesnake viper.
The genus has more than 40 species of plants, some of which can be found in garden beds and even in the house. In culture, they are usually grown as borders or for decoration of alpine slides. In home collections, the plant appeared relatively recently. It is appreciated by gardeners for their unpretentiousness, early flowering and attractive appearance.
Viper onion is an onion plant. It is characterized by a small ovoid bulb, sometimes round in shape. In the open ground in early spring (indoor conditions depend on the time of planting), thin-like leaves appear, forming a small rosette. Later, a direct flower-bearing stalk emerges from it, which ends with an spike-shaped inflorescence of small flowers of all shades of blue - from blue to dark purple.
In addition, many new varieties of shades unusual for the genus have been bred: white and pink, as well as beautiful terry forms. Such a Viper bow, despite the name, will become a worthy decoration of a house or a balcony.
The plant belongs to bulbous herbaceous perennials and is distinguished by species diversity. A larger number is grown as a decorative culture, these varieties are distinguished by the most diverse color. The flower bulbs are rather small, oval in shape, their length is approximately 15–35 mm. Basal leaf plates, they reach a length of about 17 cm, on one plant they can be up to 6 pieces. They form in the spring, although they may appear a second time in the fall.
In height, the viper onion is able to grow to a maximum of 30 cm. On a sturdy peduncle, flowers are formed with barrel-shaped, cylindrical or tubular perianth, which are formed from 6 connected petals. Stamens are attached to the perianth in 2 rows. The diameter, like the length of the bud, is approximately 5 mm. Their coloring can have different tones.
The inflorescence has a racemose shape about 8 cm long and is characterized by a rather pleasant smell. After flowering, a box-shaped fruit with tiny black seeds is formed, they conserve their germination capacity throughout the year. Viper onion belongs to the ephemeroids, that is, most of the time is at rest. Bulbs, in which the outer scales are light in color, have the ability to accumulate nutrients, and with the onset of the flowering period they are consumed. Muscari is widespread in nature in many territories: in almost all European countries, in the north of the African continent, in the western regions of Asia and in the Mediterranean.
Some species of muscari live even in highlands.
Muscari Armenian and other varieties
Is earthen lilac a cultivated or wild plant?
Mouse hyacinth grows in the wild: on the slopes high in the mountains, in the steppe next to other grassy vegetation, in meadows and forest edges, in thickets of shrubs.
In the genus of viper, 40-60 cultivated and wild species, the most widespread garden varieties:
- Armenian Muscari - quite a popular plant. He grows large blue and white inflorescences. This species is more frost-resistant than others.
- Blue spike with double flowers, up to 170 bells bloom in a bunch;
- Fantasy creation has bluish-green flowers;
- Christmas pearl with purple flowers;
- Azureu with azure buds;
- Cantab - These are compact plants with bright blue flowers;
- Sapphire - the inflorescences are blue, but, unfortunately, these plants do not have seeds, since all the flowers are sterile.
- Muskari Tubergen - it is bicolor, the flowers are bluish above, the bright blue below;
- Muscari with pinkish inflorescences - Carneum or white - Album;
- Pistoid Muscarithey have purple buds;
- Crested Muscari, flowers from blue to snow-white;
- Broadleaf (Latifolium) has broad foliage, several peduncles can grow from one bulb.
Breeding in the gardens
Many gardeners love mouse hyacinth as an ornamental plant. It is unpretentious and can grow in any part of the garden. The main thing is not to plant it under evergreen trees or shrubs, as the viper does not like shade. Muscari will feel great under the fruit trees - it blooms in spring, when there is still no dense greenery.
In gardens, viper onions are planted along paths, in dense group plantings, rockeries, flower pots, balcony boxes, and flower plantings are compacted with them.
It is better to plant this plant in large groups - so it will look much more spectacular.
The viper onion, the photo of which you see in the article, can be planted using the “sandwich” method - bulbs are planted on floors. Rows must be staggered so that the individual layers do not interfere with each other grow. Flowering plants planted by this method can be sequential or simultaneous.
Outdoor planting and care
Muscari is an unpretentious plant, so growing will not cause any problems. Likes to swim in the sun, so the site is selected illuminated. It does not suffer much from light shading. However, the neighborhood of evergreen high crops is undesirable. There are no strict requirements to the soil, but good breathability and fertility are welcome.
They recommend soil with a slightly acidic alkaline environment, but clayey and acidic can harm plantings. The compost or humus that they make before planting will correct the situation.
Landing in the regions of the middle zone is carried out in September, for others - 1 month before the first frosts. Planted in open ground in groups of 30-40 pieces, with an interval of 8-9 cm. Rows are placed at a distance of 20-25 cm. Depth is calculated depending on the size of the bulb, large deepen more. Small permissible to put a few pieces in the hole. They are pre-treated with a fungicidal solution.
Normally, it is permissible to land on 1 square. m of land about 100-200 onions. The optimum soil temperature for successful rooting is 5-7 ° C.
When lawn planting, the surface sod layer is 8–9 cm thick. After loosening, compost or humus is applied to the soil, Muscari bulbs are planted, and the sod is returned to its original place. Abundantly watered the sown area. Some varieties need mulching (broadleaf, Osh). Suitable peat, sawdust or humus. For winter, they usually do not shelter, but throwing leaves and pine branches from above will be useful.
Choosing the right Muscari landing site
This plant prefers well-loosened soil, which can qualitatively retain moisture inside. Experienced hosts like Muscari because its flowering phase occurs at a time when leaves on bushes and trees in the garden have not yet blossomed. Therefore, in the spring, Muscari do not require any specific conditions regarding lighting.
Since this flower belongs to the category of perennials, it is recommended to plant it next to crops of the same type. Then every year Muscari will not need to be transplanted to a new place. The flower feels most comfortable on small hills or elevations in the garden. But here you need to make sure that the plant is protected from sharp and strong gusts of wind.
An ideal option for growing muscari will be fertile loose soil. As for the composition, it is worth giving preference to slightly acidic soils. Clay earth is absolutely not suitable for these purposes, since the flower, most likely, will not take root here at all. As fertilizers, humus or compost can be added to the soil. Thus, it is possible to accelerate the growth of Muscari bulbs several times, and the flowers emerging from such plants will be large and lush, and will also delight their owner with luxury and chic. If you regularly feed the flower culture, then in the same place it can grow for more than ten years without the need for transplantation.
Diseases and Pests
Muscari has a fairly strong immunity, but it can sometimes hurt or be damaged by pests. Of the diseases, a mosaic is often manifested - a virus that carries aphids. The disease is characterized by a small growth of the plant, as well as deformation of the leaf plates. Infected bulbs cannot be cured - they are burned. To prevent this disease, it is necessary to prevent the appearance of aphids on the plant.
Most pests do not touch the muscari due to the poisonous properties of the bulb, but some are still capable of causing quite serious harm to the plant.
- Aphid it is dangerous because it carries diseases that are incurable for muscari. A strong soapy solution is used against it. If there are garden ants on the site, then there will be aphids, since they breed it. In this case, you should first get rid of the ants.
- Spider mite manifested by the appearance on the plates of a thin web. The insect eats the juice of the plant, making it weakened. The fight against it consists in processing the flower with the insecticidal preparations "Actofit", "Fitoverm".
- Slug appear on the plant from excessive moisture. They are removed mechanically and, if possible, correct irrigation.
How to properly care for a Muscari plant
Planting and caring for earthen lilacs are simple, the culture is placed in the open ground.
Plants love good lighting, but you can plant it in places with some shading. Muscari can be planted under trees, because when flowers bloom in early spring, the trees will not have foliage.
The mouse hyacinth flower looks great next to other primroses, for example, crocuses. Viper bow can also be planted between peonies.
When the culture fades, its foliage dries, so the plot is further sown with annuals.
Muscari care includes standard agricultural activities:
- Regular watering, without stagnation of water and in cloudy weather. The plant does not tolerate dampness, which causes rotting of the bulb. For this reason, areas flooded in spring with meltwater or after rain are initially excluded. Abundant hydration is necessary during the flowering period.. The jet is directed exactly to the base, eliminating the ingress of drops on the stems and other parts. After the death of the leaves, watering is gradually stopped. Bulbs are comfortable in a semi-dry state. In stable hot weather, in the absence of the possibility of frequent watering, the root space is mulched with bark or gravel. After each moistening, the soil is loosened.
- For abundant flowering in the spring make compost or humus. There is another feeding option when using mineral fertilizers and adhering to a certain pattern. The first feeding is in early spring, immediately after the snow melts. Mix: ammonium nitrate (30-50 g), superphosphate (60-70 g), potassium salt (20-30 g) per 1 square. meter. Distribute the resulting composition into grooves along the rows. The second time a similar procedure is done when the shoots grow a little above ground level. The composition is similar, with the exception of potassium salt. The formation of buds will signal a third recharge. A liquid mullein diluted in water in a ratio of 1:20 is mixed into a mixture of nitrate and superphosphate. The fourth time falls in bloom.
- Loosen and remove weeds regularly. If muscari is grown on the lawn, do not mow the grass during the growing season. Otherwise, the bulbs are crushed.Mowing the lawn is carried out after the leaves fade.
- Withered buds are torn off in a timely manner. This measure allows you to save most of the nutrients in the bulb. After all, ripening seeds will suck them out of the plant quite intensively.
Care is facilitated by the plant's persistent immunity to various diseases and insects. It is enough to set traps or repellers on small rodents that encroach on the bulbs. Once every four years, flowers are transplanted to a new place. It is more convenient to do a transplant during flowering, when the objects themselves are visible. Carefully undermine planting and transfer to a new place with a lump of land. Pre-sprayed with a solution of baseazole. As a prophylaxis of diseases and pests, the bulb is dipped for several minutes in a solution of malathion and dried.
If you plan to further distillation, apply thermal exposure. For 10-15 minutes, the onion is immersed in hot water at a temperature of 50 ° C. They dry well, but not in the sun. They are laid out in rows in a dry and ventilated room, where they are stored until disembarkation in containers.
Time to collect stones and dig up muscari bulbs after flowering
The next important point regarding muscari is when to dig out the bulbs after flowering for subsequent transplantation. Such finely bulbous crops like viper onions are planted once every 4-6 years. By mid-July, the plants stop growing, the leaves begin to dry out. The time of peace has come and you can remove the bulbs or collect stones, as the proverb says.
It should be dug with a bayonet shovel. Immerse the bayonet in the ground much deeper than the bulb. Carefully select all the bulbs and children from the ground. Carefully remove the ground from the bulbs by hand.
The aerial part of the onion does not need to be removed immediately. For a while, nutrients will flow into the bulb. Within 30 minutes, the muscari bulbs must be etched with a solution of foundationazole. We prepare the solution as follows: 10 g of foundationazole per 1 liter of water. Dip the onion in the prepared solution, then dry. There is another way to protect against pests and diseases. Rinse the bulb in running water and dip in a 0.3 percent solution of malathion, then dry.
For protection, heat treatment can be used instead of chemistry. This is especially true if you plan to distill. Place the muscari onion for 10 min in water at 50 ° C. Dry thoroughly.
Drying in direct sunlight can not be categorically. Dry no more than a couple of days. Store them in a drawer laid out in a single layer before planting. The room where the muscari bulbs are stored should be well ventilated.
Check stored bulbs once every 7 days. This must be done, in spite of protective measures. From diseased bulbs, the disease will easily transfer to healthy ones. Symptoms of the disease are darkening, the appearance of spots or softness, an unpleasant odor.