Characteristics of the reed plant, the rules for growing and planting cereals in the backyard, advice on reproduction, how to protect against diseases and pests, curious notes, species and varieties.
Weinik (Calamagrostis) is a representative of the flora, enclosed in a large family of Cereals (Poaceae) or as it is often called Bluegrass. The zones of natural distribution of this plant cover territories with a cold and temperate climate, but reed grass can also be found in the mountainous regions of the tropics, which are present in both hemispheres of the planet. The genus, according to the information provided by the Plant List database, includes 291 species, with about fifty of them growing on Russian lands, preferring damp meadows and coastal areas. You can meet its thickets in shrubs and forests of coniferous, deciduous and mixed trees. Reed grass also grow in peat bogs. If such clumps grow in clearings, then they can pose a problem for reforestation.
|Family name||Bluegrass or Cereals|
|Breeds||Seed and vegetative way|
|Open ground transplant terms||In the spring, after the retreat of return frosts (late May or early June)|
|Landing rules||Leave 60-80 cm between plants|
|Priming||Garden, light and loose, nutritious, sandy, loamy|
|Soil acidity values, pH||6, 1-7 (neutral) and up to 7, 8 (slightly alkaline)|
|Illumination level||Several hours of direct sunlight per day, west or east orientation|
|Humidity level||Moderate, 2-3 times a week, abundant watering is required|
|Special care rules||Undemanding, no fertilizing needed|
|Height options||0.3–1.5 m|
|Flowering period||All summer months|
|Type of inflorescences or flowers||Spike or paniculate inflorescences|
|Color of flowers||Snow white, yellow, pink, lilac, purple, crimson or green|
|The timing of fruit ripening||Late summer or September|
|Application in landscape design||Group and single plantings for flower beds, mixborders and flower beds, for strengthening crumbling slopes, for cutting|
The reed got its name in Latin thanks to a couple of words in Greek "kalamos" and "agrostis", which means "reed" and "field grass", respectively. This term is found even in Pedanius Dioscorides (40–90 AD), which directly indicates that the plant is between Phragmites and Agrostis. Among the people there are various names for this zalaka, which depends on a particular area, so you can hear a kunishnik and a brazier, a steppe reed and a reed, a firefighter and a forest broom and many others.
All reeds are perennials with a herbaceous form of growth. Rhizomes can be either short or elongated, so there are species that grow as dense bushes, while others are widespread thickened turf. Creeping rhizomes. The types of steppe reeds vary greatly in height, their values start at a mark of 30 cm (Holm reed grass - Calamagrostis holmii), reaching up to one and a half meter indicators and more (ground reed - Calamagrostis epigejos). But, despite the height of the numerous erect stems, they always grow quite strong and tough. The stems of the plant have different shades of green.
The leaf plates of the rewinder take arcuate curved outlines, and there are species in which they are located vertically. The shape of the leaves is linear with a pointed tip. The color of the deciduous mass is a rich bright green hue. The surface of the leaves is shiny. In the root zone, the deciduous mass grows very abundantly.
The flowering process extends throughout the summer months. The inflorescences of the reed grass take a spike-like or paniculate shape (the latter became the source of the popular name), crowning the tops of the stems. The length of such inflorescences varies in the range of 12–20 cm. Small spikelets that make up the inflorescences are one-color. They take white, yellow, pinkish, lilac, purple and even crimson colors, and there are species with a green tint of spikelets. On the spikelet spine there are hairs that lengthen during ripening and give the inflorescence fluffy outlines, therefore, the color of the inflorescences changes to silver by autumn days.
The fruit of the reed grass is an oblong weevil. This representative of cereals has no value as a fodder plant, but it has long been used to decorate gardens and park areas. This cereal is completely easy to care for, if you make a little effort, it will become a real decoration of your personal plot.
Rules for planting and caring for reed grass in the garden
- Landing place There can be any steppe reed, the plant will thrive both in an open location, illuminated from all sides by the sun's rays, and in the shade. Do not place firefighter bushes in lowlands or near groundwater, as this can cause rotting of the root system.
- Priming loose, garden, but preferably nutritious is suitable for reed grass. Also, such plantings of cereals will grow well, both in loamy and sandy soil. But the plant grows best in black soil or humus substrate. Soil acidity indicators should be in the pH range 6, 1-7, 8, that is, neutral or slightly alkaline compositions are preferable, but as practice shows, these plants can perfectly accept acidic soil mixtures, since they grow in nature in peat bogs.
- Planting reed grass it is carried out in the spring (preferably in May), when the vegetation activity is in full swing or in September. Before planting, it is necessary to dig up the soil in the selected area, remove all remnants of roots and weeds. If the steppe reed seedlings are purchased in a plastic container, where prolonged dressings are added (that is, with a long-term effect), then such plants will not be so susceptible to root damage and their engraftment will be 100%. A hole for planting a reed seedling is dug out based on the volume of the root system with the surrounding earthy clod. When planting, they try to deepen the rhizome by 3 cm into the soil. At the bottom of the hole, a layer of drainage material must be placed, for example, small expanded clay, pebbles or pieces of brick of the same size. A little soil is poured on top of the drainage so that it covers it, and only then the plant is placed. After the seedling is placed in the planting hole, soil mixture is poured around to the top, slightly compacted and abundant watering is carried out. The same moisture is recommended for two weeks, while the seedlings are adapting. In order not to have problems with the growth of the reed bushes later, when planting, you can provide limiters, for example, dig in slate sheets around the perimeter of the planting hole or use an old bucket without a bottom. It is recommended to transplant steppe reeds every five years, since the plant is prone to overgrowth and loss of decorativeness.
- Watering when caring for the reed grass, it will be required only within a couple of weeks from the moment of planting, in the future, the plant does an excellent job on its own during dry periods.Although it has been noticed that waterlogging is also maintained well, it is better to protect the firefighter from such tests.
- Fertilizers when caring for the reed grass, you will have to make it depending on the soil in which the plant is planted. If the composition is nutritious, then the steppe reeds will not need feeding. With poor soil, it is recommended to use complete mineral complexes 2-3 times during the growing season, such as Kemira-Universal or Fatika Plus.
- Pruning when growing steppe reeds, it is required to preserve its decorative effect. So with the arrival of spring or in April, the stems are cut in such a way that 10 cm remain from the soil surface. This is done to free up space for the growth of young deciduous mass. In the second half of July, you can also prune shoots to perform rejuvenation. And then the reed will take on a brighter and more youthful look.
- Wintering steppe reeds will not cause problems for the gardener, since the plant is characterized by high resistance to low temperatures and does not need shelter.
- The use of reed grass in landscape design. Since the plant is forming quite interesting turfs, the stems of which are crowned with spectacular panicle inflorescences, it is recommended to plant steppe reeds both singly, placing it in the central part on a well-groomed lawn, and in group plantings. Planting of seedlings is carried out in flower beds, flower beds and mixborders. Also, such a plant is introduced into the composition of cereal crops. It is possible to use the stalks with firefighter's inflorescences to form dry bouquets, after drying them beforehand. For greater decorativeness, such tussocks with high stems are planted in the background of flower beds, and in front of them are rudbeckia with yellow flowers. In addition, such bushes can be grown as a pot culture. Asters and phloxes, as well as echinacea bushes, are the best neighborhood for reed grass. The planting of hosts and astrantia, tall bells and garden geraniums, incense and rogers, as well as Japanese anemones and some types of burnet will look great next to them.
See also recommendations for caring for hedgehogs when growing on a personal plot.
Veinik: tips for propagating a herb in the open field
In order to grow young bushes of steppe reeds on their own, it is recommended to carry out seed and vegetative propagation. The latter option involves the separation of overgrown turf.
Propagation of reed grass by dividing the bushThis method is suitable for both basic species and varietal firefighter plants. This is because the seeds of varietal forms do not set, therefore the panicles are sterile. The best time for such reproduction is spring or autumn, when the reel is actively growing. But it has been noticed that the earlier the planting is carried out, the faster the plant will be developed in a new place.
To divide the bush, it is recommended to separate a part with a sharpened shovel, while the plant itself is not removed from the soil. The reed grass can have different sizes, but it is recommended that it has a part of the rhizome and stems extending from it. After the division is separated, a quick transplant is performed to a previously prepared place in the garden according to the rules of primary planting. Better to leave about 0.6–0.8 m between the seedlings.
Propagation of reed grass using seedsIt is noted that the seed material has rather low germination rates, therefore, when purchasing them in flower shops, it is recommended to look at the packaging date. Sowing can be done both in winter and early spring. Seeds are sown in pots and seedling boxes or directly at the growing site. After sowing, seedlings will not keep themselves waiting long and appear quite amicably. So that the root system of the seedlings is not injured, the dive is not carried out.To move to a permanent place of growth, reed grass seedlings are simply transferred from the seedling box to a prepared hole in the ground so that the earthy ball does not collapse.
When sowing in winter, the seeds are also tried to be placed in the holes in a heap. To make it more convenient, you can use a seedling box or pot in which seeds are sown and buried in a flower bed. This will also serve to limit the growth of the rhizome, or easily move the seedlings that have appeared to a new place where they will grow constantly. If spring sowing is carried out, then it will be necessary to perform stratification for a month and a half at a temperature of 0-5 degrees, for example, put the seeds in the refrigerator on a vegetable shelf.
Read more about haretail breeding
How to protect reed grass from diseases and pests when growing in the garden?
In principle, the steppe reed is a fairly resistant plant in relation to various diseases and pests, but rust is a problem, which is provoked by severe drought in the summer heat. This disease is caused by a rust fungus. It is possible to determine that the reed plantations are sick by the formed pads, which are called pustules on the leaves, stems, spikelets and even the awns of the turf. The form of such formations can be very diverse, as well as their size, reddish or coal-black color (at very late stages of the disease). When such pustules crack, then everything around is covered with a reddish-brown powder. This powdery substance represents the spores of the fungus, with which it infects all other representatives of the flora growing nearby.
Because of such red pillows, the leaf plates of the reed grass begin to fade, turn yellow and die, and if the infection is maximum, this will lead to the death of other parts of the bush. As a result, the frost resistance of plantings decreases, and decorativeness decreases, since the caryopses do not ripen. It is important, if the first signs of the disease are noticed, immediately take measures to combat it, since it affects not only the aerial parts, but also the root system and the steppe reeds will die.
As a preventive measure against rust, it is recommended to clean all plant residues when caring for reed grass plantings, and periodic digging of the soil is also needed. An equally important aspect is the fight against weeds, through which the spread of fungal spores occurs. Do not plant a firewoman near barberry, since this representative of the flora can also serve as a source of rust infection.
If trouble has already happened and pustules were found on parts of the reed grass, then it is recommended to treat cereal plantings like Alpari and Atlant, Altrum Super and Avakss, as well as other fungicidal preparations with a similar effect and composition.
When waterlogged, plantings of reed grass can suffer from root rot. To carry out treatment, the plant must be removed from the soil, remove all damaged parts of the root system and treated with a fungicidal preparation (for example, Fundazol). Then a transplant is performed to a new place with disinfected soil. Until the steppe reeds take root, irrigation should be scarce, and henceforth, they try not to violate the soil moisture regime.
Also, plants that have not been treated for pests can be affected by a scabbard or spider mite. The signs of the first pest are yellowing of the leaves and the formation of a thin whitish cobweb, the second insect can be easily identified by glossy brown plaques on the stems or on the back of the leaves. It is necessary to fight such pests by spraying the reed grass plantings with insecticides (for example, Aktara or Aktellik).
The may beetle, or rather its larvae, acts as a soil pest for the firefighter. When planting, it is recommended to soak the root system of the plant in insecticidal preparations as a preventive measure, or all cereal plantings are etched.For the fight, the above insecticides or the AntiKhrushch preparation are also used in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
The problem in growing reed grass is its unauthorized distribution through the root system. It is important to take timely measures to limit the seizure of territory. As the steppe reed bush begins to age, it crumbles. To restore its decorative effect, it is recommended to perform regular rejuvenation by dividing the turf.
If the leaf plates have stopped growing, but there is no reason to worry, since the reed grass belongs to the cold season crops. Therefore, the growth of such flora representatives is most active in the spring and autumn.
Read also about the possible difficulties when growing a lawn from chaff
Curious notes about the reed grass
Since the leaf plates and stems of the firefighter are characterized by high rigidity, it is not used as a fodder plant or is of low quality. Only in the north, in the arctic climate or in the highlands, due to the lack of a large number of other flora representatives, reed grass plantings are used for agricultural needs. Since some species have a long rhizome (for example, ground reed grass - Calamagrostis epigejos), they are planted on sandy slopes to strengthen the soil from destruction and shedding. In addition, the reed grass (Calamagrostis pseudophragmites) is characterized by the ability to form very dense thickets through the formation of strong turf.
Such a species as grayish reed grass (Calamagrostis canescens) is perfect for harvesting hay, only mowing is recommended before the flowering period, since by the end of July the stems and foliage are noticeably coarser. Despite the fact that this plant is of little value as a forage plant, geese can feed on its green leaves, and with the arrival of autumn or at the beginning of winter, hares eat them. Due to the branched root system, such plantings can also strengthen the banks of artificial and natural reservoirs. Due to the beauty of panicle inflorescences, which do not lose their decorative properties, they are introduced into dry bouquets.
Description of species and varieties of reed grass
Reed reed (Calamagrostis arundinacea)is widespread in Eurasia, growing in the forest zone. In nature, it prefers to settle in the felling of forests from coniferous or deciduous trees. Perennial with herbaceous vegetation, forming turf. The height of the stems reaches 1.5 m. Spreading rhizomes tend to move away from the turf. The color of the leaves is dark green, their surface is glossy. The width of the sheet plate is 4–7 mm. Along its entire length, the longitudinally extending grooved ribs are well distinguished. At the base of the leaf there are hairs that form a "beard".
The dense inflorescence of the reed reed has a panicle shape. Its length reaches 25 cm. During the flowering period, the panicle has spreading outlines, but as it blooms, it shrinks. The inflorescence is composed of green spikelets, in rare cases taking a pinkish tint. The spikelets are about 6.5 cm long. The lower floral scales have an elongated lanceolate shape. There is a serration at the top. Also, the spikelet is equipped with a cranked awn, its length is no more than 9 mm. Such an awn originates from the scales in its lower third. Spikelets are characterized by the presence of callus, which is represented by fused lower floral scales and the base of the spikelet segment. Callus has hairs 4–5 times shorter than the flowers themselves.
Gray Reed (Calamagrostis canescens)herbaceous perennial, coming from European regions and Asian lands with a temperate climate, it is also possible to meet this species in the Caucasus and Turkey, eastern and western regions of Siberia. In Ukraine, it grows everywhere, with the exception of the Crimea.Preference is given to loose and well-drained, but rather moist soils. Its turf grows on damp meadows in the floodplains of rivers or peat bogs, on waterlogged glades and in the interfluve. The rhizomes of this species are shortened, but still capable of forming turf. The shape of the horses is thin, but they are distinguished by their strength and a dense covering of root hairs.
Stems and leaves of grayish reed grass are painted in a dark green color. Branched shoots, erect. The height of the stems ranges from 0.7-1.3 m. The leaf blades have narrow-linear outlines, their width reaches 2.5-5 mm. The leaves are flat with a light roughness on the bare surface, or it can be covered with elongated thin hairs. The length of the reeds does not go beyond 0.5–2.5 mm, they are rather long, blunt at the apex.
During the period of June flowering, in the grayish reed grass, an inflorescence is formed on the tops of the stems, having the shape of a panicle. It is not dense and drooping. The panicle is 10–12 cm long. It includes elongated thin branches. The components of the inflorescence spikelets take a lanceolate shape, their color can be brown-purple or pure purple. The spikelets vary in length in the range of 4–5 mm. Spikelet scales are characterized by a lanceolate shape with a long taper at the apex. The length of the lower broad-lanceolate flower scales reaches 2–2.75 mm. Their outlines are broad-lanceolate. The awn is subtle or may be absent. In July, an oblong or slightly ovoid caryopsis, colored in a light brown tone, ripens.
Ground broom (Calamagrostis epigejos)mainly grows in mixed or coniferous forests. The height of the stems varies within 0.8–1.5 m. The rhizome is elongated, creeping. The stems are erect. The foliage takes on a bluish or grayish-green color scheme. Summer bloom. Inflorescences are very decorative and are used to create dry phytocompositions. The length of the inflorescences reaches 30 cm. They are composed of small and inconspicuous flowers that adorn the hairs.
Reed reed (Calamagrostis acutiflora)rather attractive perennial cereal, characterized by strong upright shoots. The height of the stems can reach one and a half meters. The leaves are formed in a narrow green color scheme. The length of panicle inflorescences is in the range of 20-30 cm. The color of the spikelets in them is golden yellow. The species is cold-growing, but its vegetative activity is at its peak when the temperature does not go beyond the temperature range of 12-25 degrees.
When there is a summer heat, the growth practically stops and its resumption occurs when the thermometer column drops to the indicated values. The growth rate of reed grass is significant, so by the beginning of summer days the stems can reach their maximum values. Flowering occurs in July, which is earlier than other representatives of cereals. The bush, like the inflorescences, does not lose its shape during the winter period, which contributes to its use in landscape design and becomes a decoration of the personal plot in the cold season. Due to the outlines of panicle inflorescences, they are used in dry bouquets.
The advantages of the species are resistance to frost and droughts, withstands planting, both in the shade and in the sun, and is also not susceptible to diseases. The disadvantage of reed grass is its aggressive distribution, since this is facilitated by a sprawling root system, which covers large areas. It is recommended to take restraining measures when landing.
The best varieties, in the reed grass, which are devoid of the features of aggressive distribution, are:
- Karl Foester which is a hybrid natural plant that originated from a combination of terrestrial and reed species.In nature, it prefers drained swamps and forests of their coniferous and mixed tree species. It is used in vertical gardening. The height of the stems reaches 2 m, while the width of the dense curtain can be equal to half a meter. The stiffness of the stems is so high that the plant withstands wind and snow in winter. The leaf blades have a tapered outline with spectacularly curved tops, but at first they grow vertically. The color of the deciduous mass is green, it is not lost until the end of November. This variety of reed grass does not creep and does not reproduce by self-seeding. The length of the inflorescence is measured at 0.3 m. The color of the flowers in the spikelets is initially pinkish by the end of summer, acquires a brown tint. When the inflorescences dry out, they turn golden. At the same time, their shape also changes from a loose panicle into a narrowed spikelet.
- Overdam has the ability to form dense and rather neat bumps. The variety is devoid of underground shoots. The maximum height that upright stems reach is one and a half meters. If the wind is too strong in winter, then there is a possibility of damage. The leaves are distinguished by a variegated color, which is a pattern of longitudinal stripes, which takes on a cream or whitish color. The shape of the leaves is elongated with a pointed tip. The flowering of this variety of reed grass begins with the arrival of summer. At the tops of the shoots, panicles are formed, composed of spikelets of a pink hue, gradually acquiring a brown color.
- Avalanche also has variegated deciduous color. The height of the stems does not exceed one and a half meters. On the leaf plates, a white stripe forms in the central part. Flowering occurs in June. Panicle inflorescences are formed by crimson-green spikelets, which become golden when ripe. In winter, all parts of the plant turn bronze. The variety is able to thrive on wet soils.
Related article: Rules for planting and caring for reeds, types, photos.
Video about growing reed grass in open ground:
Photos of reed grass: