Many garden plants adorn the garden with their magnificent flowers and lush greenery. However, there are some cultures that do not have particularly attractive colors, which does not prevent them from remaining popular among amateur gardeners and professionals. They are used in the decor due to their lush greenery, which creates the effect of a green wall. One of these plants is an ornamental cereal called Miscanthus.
Description and use cases of miscanthus in landscape design
Miscanthus is a fairly tall plant that grows to 2 meters. Its characteristic feature is straight, fairly stiff stems and very long, narrow leaves. It grows in warm areas with a temperate climate on almost all continents. Miscanthus genus unites 40 specieswhich are successfully used in decorative gardening. All of them belong to the Cereal family, so the plant is often called an ornamental cereal or fan for its characteristic appearance. It forms inflorescences, panicles, which are quite different in length in different species (from 10 to 30 cm). The ears themselves are small (within a centimeter), usually one full flower grows on them.
Since miscanthus in most cases grows well in width and forms high erect stems with ears, they use it in landscape design in such variants:
- Creating a green hedge from tall plant species - for this they are planted at a distance of at least 40-50 cm from each other. It is important to plant only 1 grade, as they will give the effect of a green wall with approximately the same height.
- It is very appropriate to plant tall miscanthus on 1 bush in elevated areas or in the corners of the garden, because due to their large size they will be able to emphasize the natural boundaries of the site or to separate some plants from others.
- Low miscanthus are widely used to create borders along country paths - they are very lush, and due to this they are able to smooth corners, sharp turns and create the effect of a real green carpet.
- Finally, a very successful option is to plant high Miscanthus along the country pond. Using this design move, you can create the effect of a real natural lake, along the banks of which a small forest grows.
Features of growing Miscanthus
Characteristics and varieties of Chinese Miscanthus
One of the most common species of this plant in Russia is Chinese Miscanthus (often called Chinese reed). Almost all of its varieties are quite frost-resistant, so they can often be found in the Far East and Eastern Siberia. It also grows in Japan, Korea and China, where its name comes from. There are quite a few varieties of this species, the cultivation of which is carried out almost throughout the country.
Unlike his brothers, this variety grows to a height of one and a half meters. Its inflorescences are outwardly similar to white feathers that look good when several bushes are planted in a row. It blooms at the very end of summer (if autumn is warm, then until October).
This variety is often used for planting in rockeries and along the edges of paths. Especially young plants need shelter for the winter, as the variety has medium winter hardiness. However, this variety is very resistant to pests and diseases.
This variety on the contrary is a real giant, he grows to 3 meters in height. They are most often planted separately or around the perimeter of the garden, because otherwise they will grow greatly and hide other plants. At the beginning of flowering, the inflorescences acquire a pale pink color and hang beautifully, then closer to the second half of summer they begin to turn pale. This variety has a special love for moisture; the growth rate largely depends on the quality of irrigation.
Miscanthus Zebrinus strictus
The zebrin variety is not inferior in height to Cascade, but in width it does not develop so much (within 80-90 cm). It is distinguished by flowers of red hues, which appear at the very end of summer and bloom throughout September. The variety also loves moisture, therefore, regular watering is essential for its successful growth. But in winter hardiness, it is quite moody and needs additional warming measures.
Among other varieties that have gained distribution, Miscanthus gracilimus, blondo, flamingo, and silberfeder are known.
- Gracilimus different orange-copper color inflorescences and weeping leaves that turn yellow in the fall. The plant has a spherical shape and high height (about 2 meters), due to which it is used in tapeworm plantings along the edges of the site or along its roads.
- Blondo differs in sufficient frost resistance. Its inflorescences are creamy light shades densely covered with ears. In height also reaches about 2 meters.
- Flamingo got its name thanks to the beautiful colors of soft pink tones. The variety is quite frost-resistant.
- Silberfeder has flowers in silver hues that are very similar to feathers. The height of the stem with inflorescences can be up to 2 meters.
Features of sugar-flowered miscanthus
This variety has fairly tall and thick panicles with densely dotted flowers with milky hues. All this creates a feeling of sugar sprinkled on greens, from where its name comes from. It begins to bloom in July, and loves the sun very much, so it grows especially well in the warm summer season.
Description of giant miscanthus
The name of this variety exactly corresponds to its size - up to 250-300 cm in height and up to 2 meters in width. This is one of the few varieties of Miscanthus that loves light shading - it can be planted in places where the sun's rays do not fall open during the heat of the day.
Branches with weeping flowers, rather strongly bend in an arc. When the flowers bloom, they have pink hues, but quickly fade and turn into silver. Such a variety is beneficial to plant alone, especially near a reservoir over which he will beautifully spread his branches.
Types of Miscanthus
Miscanthus planting in open ground
In general, the fan is rather unpretentious in care, but when planting a plant, it is necessary to take into account several conditions in order to ensure sufficient growth rates already in the first season.
Site selection and preparation
The choice of place for planting must be approached with particular responsibility, since the plant is perennial and it is undesirable to move it. The place is selected in the open sun, since the fan is photophilous. Also the earth should not be dry - It is best to plant Miscanthus near a pond or in a lowland where water will flow after rain. At the same time, there is no need to plant cereal where water stagnates constantly - moisture should be in moderation.
Important! The plant can be propagated by seeds, but most often it is bred vegetatively. Moreover, in order for it to take root well, it is necessary that there are at least 6 shoots on the stem.
Technology and landing dates
Most often, cereal planting (as well as transplanting) is carried out in mid-April, when the earth has already warmed up a bit. In the climatic conditions of Russia, only already grown bushes (up to 30 cm) are planted, because otherwise there is a big risk that the fan will not have time to take root. The rules of landing technology are simple:
- The depth of the pit should be from 30 to 50 cm, depending on the volume of the rhizomes of the plant itself.
- The pit should be noticeably wider than the root system of Miscanthus - its roots like to grow in the ground.
- After planting, it is better to fill the hole not with the same soil, but with a layer of fertile soil.
- Immediately after planting, you need to water the seedling well.
Miscanthus Care Secrets
The veernik grows for many years (up to 25-30) and does not need special care. However, it has several features that distinguish it from other plants. They are associated with the features of top dressing and preparation for the winter period.
What plants to plant next to the ornamental cereal
Since miscanthus is quite spreading and high, it is not worth planting it with other plants
Watering and feeding the fan
The fan is quite hygrophilous, therefore, in dry times, it needs abundant watering. If the earth on the surface of the plant is dry to the touch - this is a clear sign of the need for watering. And it is absolutely impossible to allow dry cracked soil. You need to water in warm weather, at the same time, it is better not to allow water to get on the leaves - so they can be burned by the sun and dry quickly.
As for feeding, the fan has a feature that distinguishes it from many garden plants - in the first year they don’t feed him at all, and starting from the second season, small portions of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus fertilizers are introduced. Of organic fertilizers, a weak solution of urea is well suited. If you overfeed the soil, then the leaves of the cereal can fly on the ground.
Disease Prevention and Pest Protection
Near Miscanthus weeds like to settle, which take water and nutrients from it. It is necessary to prepare for the fact that in the first year or two, weeding the site will be a permanent occupation. But starting from the age of 3, the roots and foliage grow so much that almost all the weeds die due to the strong shadow of the fan.
In order to prevent weeds from strangling young shoots, it is necessary to treat the soil with special solutions of herbicides at the very beginning of the season (April-May).
As for pests or diseases, the fan has a fairly strong immunity to them.. However, it is still necessary to process the green with a solution of fungicides, since Miscanthus is often affected by rust - a leaf disease that is triggered by fungal microorganisms.
Preparing the plant for winter
Since the plant is found in the wild in warm places, in the conditions of the Russian winter it needs additional protection from frost. This is especially true for varieties that do not have sufficient frost resistance.
In autumn, you need to especially monitor the weather forecast, since sudden frosts can destroy the roots of the plant. Prepare it for a cold period in advance. To do this, follow these steps:
- Before you begin to work, you need to mulch the surface and put a rather thick layer of loose soil (it is possible together with fallen leaves) - this way you can reliably protect the roots from freezing.
- Cover the plant with a film so that the overlap between different fragments is at least 30 cm.
- Fasten the film fragments with a stapler, thread or tape.
- Put stones, bricks or any other solid objects on the base so that the wind cannot carry the structure.
How to prepare miscanthus for winter
Thus, the use of miscanthus in a summer cottage interior is an investment for many years: by observing the simple rules for caring for a plant, you can ensure its successful growth for more than one decade.