Description of the Pushkin flower, how to properly organize planting and care in the open field, how to reproduce, how to deal with diseases and pests, curious notes, species.
Pushkinia (Puschkinia) belongs to the subfamily Scilloideae, which is part of the vast Asparagaceae family. However, there are sources in which this representative of the flora is included in the Liliaceae family, apparently because of the outlines of its flowers. The genus is quite small, since it includes a small number of species (only two) and several of their garden forms. The native area of natural distribution of these plants is in the lands of Asia Minor and Western Asia, as well as in the Caucasus, giving preference to humid slopes with stony ground, in meadows in mountainous areas and in shrub thickets.
|Breeds||Seeds or bulbs|
|Open ground transplant terms||Early summer or autumn (September-October)|
|Landing rules||The bulbs are planted 10 cm apart|
|Priming||Loose, permeable to water and moisture, enriched with nutrients|
|Soil acidity values, pH||6, 5-7 (neutral)|
|Illumination level||Tall, well-lit flower bed, occasionally light shade|
|Humidity level||Regular watering, especially during foliage growth|
|Special care rules||It is advisable to use mulching, spring feeding|
|Height options||15-20 cm|
|Flowering period||March-April, occasionally in May|
|Type of inflorescences or flowers||Racemose inflorescences|
|Color of flowers||White, pale blue|
|Fruit type||Meaty box|
|Fruit color||Light green|
|The timing of fruit ripening||Spring|
|Application in landscape design||Flower gardens and flower beds, rockeries and stone gardens, when landscaping paths and borders, in the foreground of shrubs and trees|
The genus got its name thanks to the scientist who first discovered and collected plants on Mount Ararat - Apolos Apolosovich Musin-Pushkin (1760-1805), engaged not only in research in the field of botany, but also studying chemistry and mineralogy. Pushkin is often called a dwarf hyacinth, since it has a lot in common with the last representative of the flora.
Pushkinia are herbaceous plants with a root system in the form of bulbs, as well as an early and rather short flowering period, that is, they are ephemeroids. The bulbs are characterized by an ovoid shape, their surface is covered from the outside with thin scales of brown color. At the base of the stem, the formation of leaf plates of linear-belt-like outlines occurs. The color of the leaves is dark green, the surface is smooth. Usually only 2-3 leaves are formed.
Due to flowering, which occurs between March and April (sometimes in May), the plant is recognized as a primrose. Usually, its buds begin to open a few days after the leaf plates unfold - after 10-12 days. The flowering time can stretch from 10 days to 3 weeks. At the tops, the color of the flower stems is formed from the buds of the inflorescences in the form of brushes. The height of the peduncles varies between 15–20 cm. All inflorescences do not exceed 12 cm in length. Each inflorescence can have up to 30 buds.
In Pushkinia, the perianth takes on a snow-white or pale blue hue.The corolla petals themselves are decorated with a longitudinally running dark blue stripe in the central part. The rim is composed of six lobes, which have grown together at the base into a shortened tube and formed its bell-shaped shape. The outgrowths of the petals inside the perianth formed a short crown with teeth. Inside the corolla, you can see a long column with an ovary, surrounded by stamens.
Despite all the external tenderness of flowers, their aroma can hardly be called pleasant, but for insects such as bees, bugs and flies, it is attractive. After the inflorescences are pollinated, the fruits ripen, which in Pushkinia look like a fleshy box filled with rounded seeds. Seed color is light brown. After the fruits are ripe, the whole plant begins to wither quickly and begins a dormant period, until the next spring arrives. So, by summer, the place where dwarf hyacinths grew can be landscaped with other plantings.
The plant is quite beautiful and since it blooms much earlier than other garden flowers, it is very loved by gardeners as a primrose. Like the "relatives" of hyacinths, Pushkinia brings joy after winter days, decorating rockeries or flower beds is no worse than other primroses or perennial representatives of flowering flora. It is worth making only a little effort and you can enjoy such delicate colors in your garden with the arrival of warm days.
Planting Pushkinia and caring for a flower in a personal plot
- Landing place dwarf hyacinth can be located both in an open place, from all sides, illuminated by the sun's rays, and in a slight shade. Since, when the vegetation of the plant is in full swing, there is still no dense foliage on the trees and you can successfully plant such primroses under their crowns. You should not place bushes in lowlands or where there is closely located groundwater, since waterlogging will negatively affect care.
- Soil for Pushkinia it is recommended to choose a nutritious, sufficiently drained, with good permeability to air and moisture. Neutral acidity is recommended - pH 6, 5–7. If the substrate in the area is heavy and clayey, then sand (for looseness) and leaf humus are mixed into it for enrichment with nutrients.
- Planting Pushkin. The best time for this operation is autumn. Before planting, the bulbs must be inspected again and treated with insecticides. Before this, it is recommended to prepare the site - to provide high-quality drainage, and if the soil is very dense or poor, then it should be mixed with peat chips, river coarse sand and leaf humus. After sowing seeds or planting bulbs, it is necessary to mulch the beds with peat to protect the sprouts and bulbs from frost for the winter. The mulching layer will help the soil not dry out too quickly, which will free the grower from unnecessary care. Also, the mulch will prevent weeds from actively growing, which can drown out the delicate and weak shoots of Puschkinia.
- Fertilizers when growing dwarf hyacinth, they are introduced in early spring, when the soil is still covered with unmelted snow. For top dressing, complete mineral complexes are used, containing nitrogen and phosphorus, which will help the growth of deciduous mass and further flowering. You can take a nitroammophoska and scatter it over the flower bed at the rate of a couple of handfuls of the product (about 50-60 g) per 1 m2. In the middle of spring, when the shoots of Pushkinia are easy to notice, and the substrate has thawed by this time, it is recommended to carefully loosen the aisles.
- Watering when caring for pushkinia, it is recommended to carry out it regularly, especially if the spring period is dry. It is when the plant begins to grow leaves that it really needs a sufficient amount of moisture. Irrigation is carried out with a small amount of water.
- Wintering and the autumn months will not be problematic for this primrose, if the gardener carries out simple preparatory measures. After sowing seeds or planting bulbs, Pushkinia goes into a dormant state in the summer. But such seedlings will be able to survive the winter if the flowerbed is mulched with leaf humus (which is poured 2-3 cm) or a layer of peat chips (its thickness should not exceed 5-7 cm). With the arrival of spring days, you should not immediately remove the mulch, as it will continue to protect against drying out of the soil, as well as prevent the growth of young and aggressive weeds.
- Forcing Pushkin held in the winter in the premises. After the separation of the babies from the mother bulb has been carried out, they can be planted at the end of autumn in planting containers with a diameter of 13-15 cm and a height of about 7 cm. Such a pot is filled with a prepared soil mixture from a sod substrate, river coarse sand and leaf humus in a ratio of 2: 1: 1, respectively. The planted bulbs are then transferred to a dark and cool place, such as a basement. The temperature in such a room should not exceed 10 degrees, and the humidity should be in the range of 85–90%. There, the bulbs planted in pots will spend 2–2, 5 months without watering, after which the containers are transferred to warmer conditions - with a temperature of about 15 degrees. Then you can resume soil moisture. When 14–20 days have passed, you can enjoy the blossoming of Pushkinia. After the inflorescences wither, you should not get rid of the bulb, it can be used for forcing, it will again throw out the flowering stems with proper care.
- General rules for care. The dwarf hyacinth, like any representative of the flora, needs loosening of the soil after watering or rain. This is due to the fact that if the upper part of the soil turns into a crust, then the access of water and air will be blocked to the roots of the bulb. When the inflorescences wither, you need to cut them off in order to exclude self-seeding from ripening fruits and so that the plantings do not look sloppy. Also, when the soil next to the plants is loosened, it is necessary to weed out weeds, which can not only clog the pusher, but also serve as carriers of certain diseases. When the inflorescences of dwarf hyacinth wither in summer, it is necessary to continue caring for such plantings, weeding from weeds and loosen the soil between the rows. If specimens appear in which the foliage has undergone diseases or turned yellow, then it is recommended to remove them immediately so that the infection does not spread to healthy specimens. The sick need to be dug up and burned.
- The use of Pushkin in landscape design. The plant, like any primrose, can be successfully planted in rock gardens, rockeries or stone gardens, among picturesquely placed stones. Such a dwarf hyacinth looks great both in isolation and in group plantings. Delicate inflorescences can be used for cutting when making bouquets of spring flowering plants. The best neighbors for the pygmy hyacinth are recognized as anemones and hazel grouses, real hyacinths and crocuses. You can plant late-flowering representatives of the flora nearby so that the flowering smoothly replaces each other. Also, in summer, they will protect the Puschkinia bulbs from direct sunlight with their leaves.
Read also about growing eukomis.
How to breed Pushkinia?
In order to have such a delicate primrose in the garden, it is recommended to sow seeds or plant bulbs.
Propagation of Pushkinia using bulbsUsually, over a period of 4–5 years, an adult maternal bulb grows up babies - small bulbs. It is important to separate them in a timely manner, since these small bulbs will draw on the plant's nutrients, and flowering will become more scarce over time. Usually, by the indicated date, 5-7 babies appear in the dwarf hyacinth bulb, through which a bulbous nest is formed.The age of the children in it is different, soon it becomes a little cramped for them, which leads to the loss of decorativeness of the entire plant.
It is recommended to carefully remove the nest from the ground in summer and separate the small bulbs, which are placed in a cool place until autumn. When planting, it is recommended to leave about 10 cm between the bulbs, which will allow subsequent growth. The depth should not exceed 5–7 cm. It is best to divide the dwarf hyacinth bulbs again when at least 5–6 years have passed.
ImportantWhen digging and dividing the bulbs of Pushkinia, it is necessary to correctly determine this time - the foliage must dry completely.
This is due to the fact that the bulbs dug out too early will be poorly stored, since they will not have time to ripen. Late digging threatens with the fact that when the mother bulb is removed from the soil, the babies easily break off from it, and can be left unnoticed in the soil, which will lead to clogging of the flower bed. When the leaves dry out, you need to carefully remove the bulbs of the dwarf hyacinth from the soil, remove the remnants of the substrate and roots from its surface, and then separate all the children. Sorting them by size is carried out in order to plant small ones in a school (preliminary or training bed) for growing. Large bulbs are prepared for subsequent planting in a flower bed or used for forcing indoors. Such storage should be shaded and cool, using wet sawdust, and adequate ventilation should be provided in the room.
Propagation of Pushkinia using seedsThis process is quite time consuming and requires a lot of experience. At the same time, it is important to remember that the resulting seedlings will undergo bulb build-up, therefore, it will be possible to enjoy flowering only 4 years after the moment of sowing the seeds. Seeds are sown directly into open ground with the arrival of autumn and until October, or immediately after they were collected in early summer. Before sowing, it is recommended to store the seeds in the refrigerator on the lower shelf for vegetables (there temperatures are in the range of 0-5 degrees), wrapped in a damp cloth that will protect them from drying out.
ImportantOften, Pushkinia can multiply by self-seeding, only this process must be controlled so that afterwards you do not have to deal with sowing seeds and growing seedlings.
With the arrival of spring, you can see the first shoots of the dwarf hyacinth. At first, they will be very small and weak, since the plant will spend all its strength on the bulb. It is recommended to immediately mark the place of their appearance, so as not to weed out later, confusing them with weeds.
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How to deal with diseases and pests when growing Pushkinia in the garden?
Like many bulbous hyacinths, the dwarf hyacinth is susceptible to diseases caused by high humidity and the environment, as well as prolonged low temperatures during such a period. These diseases include:
Gray rotwhich is provoked by the botryx fungus, the symptoms in this case are the formed spots of brown color on all parts of the plant that are above the soil surface. The danger of this fungus is that it can easily be transferred from a diseased plant to a healthy one. As a preventive measure against gray rot, it is recommended to irrigate very carefully so that drops of water do not fall on the foliage, and also not to be zealous with dressings containing a large amount of nitrogen. If affected leaves are seen, then they should be removed immediately.
When the presence of botryx is accurately determined, then in the initial stages of the disease it is necessary to carry out treatment with fungicidal agents. These can be Bordeaux liquid or Champion, Topaz or Cuproxat have also proven themselves quite well.When the damage to the plant is very large, then all plantings of Pushkinia, after removing the affected parts, should be treated with Skor or Fundazol, Previkur is also suitable.
Bulb rotalso presents a rather big problem in the cultivation of dwarf hyacinths. The disease can be triggered by various types of fungi, in which the leaf plates at the base turn yellow. From there, the infection begins to penetrate the bulbs and spots of a reddish-brown color become visible on their surface. As a result, the bulbs rot and die. With this disease, there is the possibility of re-infection of bulbous plants, which will be planted in the same place, since the infection is able to persist in the substrate. The best method for the fight is the timely treatment of the bulbs and the entire plant as a whole with preparations containing copper. Also, when planting, it is recommended to carefully inspect the bulbs of Pushkinia and, if suspicious spots on the surface are detected, do not use such material.
Achelenhoides- a disease in which bulbous scales begin to turn brown, as ring decay occurs. Then, on the surface of the bulb, near the very bottom, specks of necrosis can be seen, taking on a light brown hue. Affected primroses are far behind in development and their decorative features are reduced. There is no cure, and all damaged bulbs must be destroyed. All the rest of the planting material is recommended to be soaked in hot water, with a temperature of 43 degrees, before planting.
Mice are recognized as pests that are a problem in the cultivation of pygmy hyacinths. These rodents, breaking their holes in the soil, spoil the bulbs (their bottoms are gnawed out), also feeding on the inner scales. The bulbs, in turn, begin to dry out and rot. To combat mice, it is recommended to use traps and pesticides, and also to treat the bulbs with insecticidal agents before planting. The latter remedies will also help with root mites.
Root miteis a pest, for the appearance of which certain conditions are necessary - constant dampness and elevated temperatures. It is the humid environment that stimulates the rapid reproduction of ticks. Pests from infected flora representatives growing nearby can be transferred. Ticks can only be detected by removing the plant from the soil. When viewed from the bulb, the parasites are immediately visible. Ticks infect the bulb by gnawing at the inside of the bulb. When you press on the bulb of Pushkinia, brown dust will begin to pour out of it. Inside the bulb, you can find not only adults, but also their larvae.
In order to prevent infestation of the bulbous plants already in the garden, a thorough examination should be carried out when purchasing bulbs. Storage of purchased planting material is carried out in cool and dry conditions. As mentioned above, before planting, as a preventive measure, perform an insecticide treatment, such as Karbofos, Aktara or Actellik.
Read also about diseases and pests of Bessera
Curious notes about Pushkin
The plant became famous thanks to the geologist Count Musin-Pushkin, who, during an expedition to Armenia, saw a colorful and delicate flower, dug it up and brought it to Russia. The advantage of this plant was its earlier and abundant flowering, which distinguishes Pushkinia from other primroses. It was this circumstance that served to popularize the plant among flower growers, as well as its unpretentiousness in the choice of place and soil.
Types and varieties of Pushkinia
Pushkinia hyacinthus (Puschkinia hyacinthoides)This species is found naturally in the northern regions of Iran and in the east of the Caucasus. Prefers mountain slopes and rocky ground. The plant does not exceed 15 cm in height.The leaf plates are fleshy, its length parameters also reach 15 cm with a width of about 1 cm.The diameter of the bulbs rarely exceeds 2 cm.After the leaves unfold, flowering stems begin to stretch, which also make up 15 cm. The flower stalks are characterized by strong outlines.
The inflorescences crown the tops of the peduncles and can reach a length of 12-30 cm. There are many flowers in the inflorescence, which is why it differs in density and density. The shape of the inflorescences is oval. The petals of flowers are a delicate bluish shade, practically whitish. The diameter at full opening of the corolla reaches 1.5 cm. On the back of the petal there is a stripe of bright blue color. Each bulb becomes the source of up to four flowering stems. The flowering process can take from 10 days to three weeks.
Pushkinia scilloides (Puschkinia scilloides)prefers meadows, forest edges among shrub thickets in the Caucasus and Turkey, and can be found at similar locations in Lebanon and Iran. The plant has a small height, in the spring it acquires a pair of leaf plates placed in the root zone. The color of the narrow-linear leaves is dark green. The foliage is fleshy, its length varies in the range of 12-15 cm. Leaves usually tend to grow at the same time as flowering stems. The height of the latter is 20 cm.
The tops of the peduncles are decorated with the arrival of May for 20-25 days, inflorescences formed by fragrant flowers. The outlines of corollas in flowers are bell-shaped, the color of the petals is pale bluish. The central part is decorated with a deep blue stripe. When fully opened, the diameter of the corolla reaches 1.5–2 cm. The inflorescence formed by the buds is low-flowered, reaching 12 cm in length.
This species has a variety that is popular with flower growers. Albawhich is considered to be quite rare. The color of the petals in the flowers is pure snow-white, and there is a blue line on the vein. The plant can grow both in shade and in the sun. The diameter of the bulb is 2 cm. The dark green leaf plates do not exceed 15 cm in length, and not more than 1 cm in width. Their shape is linear. The racemose inflorescences take on oval outlines, and usually have 12-15 buds, but in some specimens this number reaches 30 units. Flowers drooping in the inflorescence. The bulb can carry a couple or two flowering stems.