Levisia: planting and care in the open field

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Levisia: planting and care in the open field
Levisia: planting and care in the open field

Description of the levizia plant, recommendations for planting and care for garden cultivation, advice on reproduction, how to protect plantings from diseases and pests, curious notes, species and varieties.

Levisia (Lewisia) belongs to the genus of plants belonging to the Montiaceae family. There is also slightly outdated information according to which this genus is still included in the Portulacaceae family. The natural habitat is in the western regions of the North American continent. There are about 20 varieties in the genus of botanists. Many of them can be located at a considerable height, since these indicators directly depend on the species, the height fluctuation is possible within 800-4000 m above sea level. They prefer Levisia to grow on gravelly or rocky soil in arid areas.

Family name Montium or Purslane
Growing period Perennial
Vegetation form Herbaceous
Breeding method Seed or vegetative
Landing period June July
Landing rules Be sure to gravel the root collar
Priming Light, loose, sandy or fine gravel
Soil acidity values, pH 6, 5-7 - neutral or 5-6 slightly acidic
Lighting degree Good, but shaded at noon from the rays of the sun
Humidity parameters Watering is needed only for young plants, but so that moisture in the soil does not stagnate
Special care rules Drought tolerant
Height values 0.1-0.35 m
Inflorescences or type of flowers Single growing flowers or paniculate inflorescences
Flower color Purple, snow-white, yellow or pink, occasionally, red or lilac, veins of a darker shade may appear on the surface of the petals
Flowering period April to September
Decorative time Evergreen or deciduous
Application in landscape design Rockeries and stone gardens, flower beds and flower beds, behaves well in cutting
USDA zone 4 and more

The plant bears its scientific name in honor of Meriwader Lewis (1774-1809), who was one of the leaders of the expeditions of Lewis and Clark, during which the lands of Louisiana were explored. It was there that Levisia was discovered at the beginning of the 19th century (this time dates back to 1806).

All levisia are perennials with a herbaceous form of growth and are succulent plants. They are characterized by a strong root system, which is characterized by the presence of nodules that go deep into the rocky soil and allow the flow of moisture and nutrients. A distinctive feature is thermophilicity and non-falling evergreen deciduous mass, but there are species in which the leaves die off after flowering. In evergreens, leaf plates are pleasing to the eye from mid-autumn to March, and from mid-spring to late September, buds bloom on the stems.

The aerial part of the levisia is small, so the average height can vary from 10 cm to 35 cm. The rosette, which is very close to the ground surface, is composed of leaves with oval or lanceolate outlines. The shape of the leaf rosette is rounded, its diameter can be measured 40 cm. The edge of the leaves is smooth, the surface is dense and leathery, their color is dark green. Since this plant is a succulent, a lot of moisture is stored in the stem and leaves, which helps to survive the dry period, so the foliage has a plump shape.

A straight flowering stem rises above the leaf rosette, which extends up to 20 cm in height. It bears a large number of buds, the diameter of which reaches 2–2.5 cm when fully opened, but hybrid garden species boast a flower diameter of 4–5 cm. The petals in the flowers are elongated and narrowed, but the top is pointed or torn. Their indicators are no more than 5 mm wide, with a length of almost 2 cm. The corolla core is medium-sized, its surface is covered with ten stamens, crowning with long filaments, which really resemble thin threads. Among them is a single pistil.

The color of the flower petals directly depends on the type of levisia and can take inky, snow-white, yellow or pink shades, but there are plants with red or lilac flowers. Often on their surface, veins of dark cattail or purple color are well delineated. With their contours, the flowers are very reminiscent of multi-colored daisies. Mostly flowering occurs in the period from May to June and stretches for 1–1, 5 months. There are some specimens in which leaf development occurs in the autumn months, and flowering occurs in early spring. Among other things, there are evergreen species. After the flower withers, a seed with a rounded shape takes its place in the sepal. In the middle of the seed there is a hole that resembles a snail shell. Seeds average about 2–4 mm in size. Their color is black or dark brown with a shiny surface.

The plant is not capricious and it is easy to grow it in a garden in a flower bed, since this succulent can not be transplanted for many years and even decades. The greatest growth comfort will be in the frost resistance zone 4–5. To do this, you just need to adhere to the rules below.

Recommendations for planting and caring for levisia in the open field

Levisia blooms
Levisia blooms

Since all varieties of Lewisia are characterized by division into evergreens and those in which the deciduous mass dies off with the arrival of cold weather, the rules for caring for plants are slightly different.

Evergreen succulents of this genus respond negatively to excess moisture and are more prone to decay, but their appearance is more effective and decorative. Plants with deciduous foliage do not have any special growing requirements.

  1. Choosing a place for landing Levisia. Since in nature such succulent bushes prefer slopes and crevices in the mountains, it is worth choosing appropriate locations for growing in the garden. The best place would be on the eastern or western slope of a natural or man-made hill. If the species has a rosette with evergreen foliage, then such plants are planted, filling the spaces between the pebbles, with a significant bias. This condition is necessary so that moisture that enters the outlet does not have the opportunity to accumulate there and provoke decay. If the variety has the peculiarity of forming curtains - dense flower beds or flower beds, then both stone talus and flat terrain are suitable. It is preferable that the place in which the levisia will be planted is open, with good lighting, but shaded in the midday heat. It is important that drainage is provided, which will prevent the leaf outlets from drying out. Also, do not plant powerful flowers with strong shoots nearby, which easily crush succulents with themselves. Prolonged rains will not contribute to cultivation, therefore, the planting of succulents will need to be protected by organizing sheds. If the place for the location of the levisia was chosen initially correctly, then it can not be changed for more than 10 years. There is information that there are specimens that have stepped over not only 40 years, but even more, growing in the same flower bed. If the region in which it is planned to grow Levisia is distinguished by severe winters, then it is better to plant such plants in garden containers and bring them into the room with the onset of cold weather. Since the root system of Lewisia is fleshy, oblong and elongated, it is better to choose the right location for planting right away, since subsequent plant transplants are very difficult to tolerate.
  2. Soil for plants should be selected, also taking into account natural preferences. The soil should be light, with good permeability to air and water, but at the same time be fertile, contain nutrients and minerals. It is advisable to add fine gravel or coarse river sand to the substrate. It is best that the acidity of the soil is neutral (pH 6, 5-7) or slightly acidic (pH 5-6). You can independently mix a soil mixture based on river sand, humus, gravel and peat. Some growers add crushed cow dung for nutrition.
  3. Landing levisia. So that the plant does not suffer from waterlogging of the soil in the future, a significant layer of drainage is placed in the planting hole, which can reach 50 cm. It is possible to transplant seedlings or seedlings with the arrival of the warm season (June-July). After planting, it is necessary to cover the necks of the leaf rosettes with gravel to protect them from moisture.
  4. Watering. These plants, like all succulents, are characterized by drought tolerance. If leaf rosettes or seedlings are only recently planted, then it is recommended to moisten the soil to maintain them, but it is important to monitor so that moisture does not stagnate in the substrate.
  5. Fertilizers for succulents, it is recommended to apply twice during the period of vegetation activity, using organic matter (for example, a solution based on cow dung). These dressings are performed before budding and after flowering. At the end of summer, you need to apply superphosphate fertilizer, released in the form of granules, which are laid out near the Lewisia leaf rosettes.
  6. Wintering levisia. Since the plant can most of all suffer from waterlogging of the root system, it is necessary to cover the plantings with non-woven material (for example, lutrasil or spunbond) to protect against snow melting in the winter months or the spring thaw. Some flower growers recommend putting young rosettes of leaves under inverted glass jars for the winter.
  7. Pruning for levisia carried out when the flowering process ends. In this case, completely dried flower stems must be removed. Some growers simply pinch it off.
  8. The use of levisia in landscape design. It is clear that the most advantageous place for growing such a succulent plant is rockeries or alpine slides. Cuff and buckwheat, delicate bells and persistent saxifrage will become good neighbors. The selection of plantings that will be located next to this succulent is carried out on the basis of the following requirements: if there is no likelihood of a damp microclimate and if foliage from other plants will not fall on the sockets.

Read also tips for growing purslane, planting and care in the garden.

Breeding tips for levisia

Levisia in the ground
Levisia in the ground

To obtain such a flowering succulent, it is recommended to use seed or vegetative propagation methods. The latter includes the separation of daughter rosettes or rooting of cuttings.

Seed propagation of levisia

With this method, you can sow seeds both directly into the soil, and grow seedlings. Seeds are best placed in open ground before winter, around October-November. If the winter is snowy, then a snow "cap" should be thrown over the seedbed to protect it. With this cultivation, young succulents will delight with flowering only two years after the moment of sowing.

When growing seedlings of levizia, it is recommended to carry out stratification before sowing. To do this, the seeds are mixed with sand, and then placed in a container, which is placed for 2-3 weeks on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, where the temperature will be 0-4 degrees. After that, the seeds are removed and sown in a seedling box on a peat-sandy substrate. The seeds can not be covered, but sprinkled on top with a 3 mm layer of soil. Then the container is covered with a plastic bag or glass is placed on top so that the humidity indicators are high. In this case, seedlings will appear uncommonly. After a pair of real leaves unfold on the seedling, a dive is performed in separate pots (you can take peat ones, which will facilitate the subsequent transplant) with peat-sandy soil. When weather conditions permit (around June), the seedlings are transferred to the flowerbed in the prepared holes. Flowers of such Levisia will open as early as next spring.


For any planting outdoors, young plants should be carefully inspected as they are severely damaged by slugs.

Reproduction of levisia by cuttings

This method is recommended to propagate varietal types of succulents. When daughter sockets are formed in an adult plant, they must be carefully separated with a sharpened knife, dried a little so that liquid stops oozing from the cut point. After that, treatment with a fungicidal agent is carried out, which will prevent any damage by rot, and then with a drug that stimulates root formation (Kornevin or Heteroauxin). Such daughter outlets are planted in loose and poor soil (you can buy soil for succulents, take river sand or perlite). Rooting is carried out in a cold greenhouse, lighting should be diffused. For outlets to root successfully, a humid and cool climate is required. After the appearance of root shoots, which look like brushes, is noticed, the Levizia seedlings can be planted in open ground, slowly accustoming them to sunlight.

Occasionally growers use leafy cuttings for propagation.

Read more about breeding smolens

How to protect levisia from diseases and pests when caring for the garden?

Levisia is growing
Levisia is growing

If the growing conditions are not violated, then the plant shows an excellent result of resistance to diseases and pests. Most often, when the soil is flooded, in humid and warm weather, levizia can be affected by various types of rot. Then the leaf plates become soft to the touch, lose their turgor and their surface is covered with brown spots. To prevent the death of the succulent, it is recommended to dry the soil and not disturb the watering regime. In more difficult cases, the plant is removed from the soil, the damaged parts are removed, and the sections are sprinkled with crushed coal and then treated with a fungicidal preparation, for example, Fundazol. Then the bushes are planted in a new place, but there is no guarantee that they will be able to survive such manipulations.

Of the pests that like to attack the succulent leaves of Levisia, aphids and slugs are emitted. Against insects, insecticidal agents, such as Aktara or Fitoverm, should be used, metaldehyde (for example, Meta-Groza) is recommended for gastropods, or they should be collected by hand.

Read also how to deal with diseases and pests when cultivating rudbeckia

Curious notes about the Levisia flower

Blooming Levisia
Blooming Levisia

Another version of the origin of the name of the plant is that it bears the name in honor of the researcher who studied the nature of North America - Merivetra Levi. This prominent scientist was the official representative of Great Britain on the territory of America, where he dealt with problems related to jurisprudence. But in addition to this honorable mission, Levy enthusiastically studied questions of botany and research in the field of flora of the North American lands.

Levisia of only a few species were brought to the territory of Europe, where they quickly won the love of amateur flower growers, especially those who were engaged in landscaping rockeries and rock gardens.

Types and varieties of levisia

All varieties of this succulent are usually divided into two groups: deciduous and not losing its deciduous mass (evergreen).

In the photo Levisia cotyledon
In the photo Levisia cotyledon

Levisia cotyledon (Lewisia cotyledon)

also referred to as Levisia blunt-leaved … It is the most popular variety. It is represented by a perennial with evergreen leaves that have a fleshy shape, a smooth surface and a wavy edge or a red border. In length, they reach about 3-15 cm. The outlines of the deciduous basal rosette may differ in shape, but they are usually symmetrical.

From the central part of the rosette, flowering stems are formed, the number of which can reach 8–15 pieces. When blooming, buds of small size, numbering 15 petals, open. Their color can be very diverse, which includes a snow-white, orange color scheme, but often their shades are red and pink. At the same time, there is a pattern of beautiful stripes of a darker color on the petals. Flowering begins in May-June and the flowers open gradually in such a way that each peduncle bears 3-4 flowers. The fruit of this variety is a box with very small seeds. The best varieties are considered such as:

  • Alba (forma Alba) characterized by flowers of a snow-white color, opening up to a diameter of 6 cm. Recommended for planting next to the same evergreen representatives of the flora.
  • Heckneri - the owner of fleshy sheet plates with a dense surface, adorned with notches on the edge. The flowers have petals of a bright color, reminiscent of flames.
  • Haveli (Howellii) - the natural area of distribution falls on the forests of the southern regions of Oregon and in the north of California, where it occurs in the form of wide stripes. A characteristic difference is the corrugated edge on the leaves.
  • Comet possesses colors, painted in all shades of yellow color scheme.
  • Sunny Sunset (SunsetStrane) or SunsetStrain this includes specimens with orange and yellow flowers.
  • Red (Red) it is clear that when blooming, bright red flowers are revealed.
  • Rose Splendor or RoseSplendor owner of flowers with bright pink petals.
  • Constellation (Asterism) - Plants with petals in pinkish-orange colors, but at the same time there is a light strip along the edge.
In the photo Levizia Liana
In the photo Levizia Liana

Lewisia leeana

it is distinguished from other representatives of the genus by the unusual outlines of the leaf plates. If you make a cut, then across the sheet has an almost cylindrical shape. The height that the stems can have varies in the range from 10 cm to 20 cm. A large number of buds open at the tops of the peduncles, which form paniculate inflorescences. The color of the petals in the flowers is snow-white, the full disclosure of the corolla is no more than 5 cm.

Sierra levisia (Lewisia sierrata)

represented by an evergreen succulent with dense foliage. The leaf plate is decorated with jagged edges. The flowering stems are refined, stretching up to a height of 20 cm, crowned with numerous flowers. The petals in them are cast in shades from snow-white to pale pink, while on the surface there is a pattern of veins of dark pink color. The buds of this species open from May days to mid-summer. Recommended for growing in hotter climates.

Pictured by Levisia Tweed
Pictured by Levisia Tweed

Lewisia tweedyi

characterized by its miniature size, the height of the succulent does not exceed 15 cm. The flowers have glossy petals combined with a silky surface. Their color can vary from creamy pink to pale pinkish. Suitable for cultivation in partial shade and naturally occurs in depressions between stones (gorges, potholes, etc.).

In the photo, Levizia is long-petaled
In the photo, Levizia is long-petaled

Levisia long-petal (Levisia longipetala)

The height of such a succulent together with flowers rarely exceeds 15–20 cm. But at the same time, the height of the rosette consisting of leaves is no more than 7 cm. The color of the blossoming flowers is very intense and includes shades of lilac, raspberry, red or pink. The opening of the buds falls on the period May-June. You can enjoy flowering already in the first year from the moment of sowing the seeds. Winter hardiness falls on the 4-8 zone.

In the photo, Levizia is updated
In the photo, Levizia is updated

Renewed levisia (Lewisia rediviva)

This representative of the genus is considered the smallest, since its total height is in the range of 4–5 cm. The height of the peduncles is also small. Flowers have a lilac or pink tint of strongly elongated, narrowed petals. The plant is characterized by edible roots that have long been familiar to the Native American population.

In the photo Levizia Nevada
In the photo Levizia Nevada

Levisia nevadensis (Lewisia nevadensis)

is a succulent plant, the foliage of which tends to fall off if a drought begins. When cold weather comes, a transition to a state of rest occurs, in which the entire above-ground part stops in development. The root system does not cope well with frosts, but during these periods active formation of seed material was noticed. It differs in aggressiveness, since with the arrival of spring, multiple self-seeding can occur, in which the plantings adjacent to the site will gradually be displaced.

The height of the bush is small, the color of the flowers includes white, pinkish, lilac tones. The flowering process takes the period from May to the last month of summer. However, full opening of the buds is possible only in bright sunlight; in cloudy weather, the flowers will remain unopened. The USDA zone is 3–8 for this species.

Read more about the species of Rhodiola

Video about growing levisia in the garden:

Photos of Levisia:

Photo of Levisia 1
Photo of Levisia 1
Photo of Levisia 2
Photo of Levisia 2
Photo of Levisia 3
Photo of Levisia 3
Photo of Levisia 4
Photo of Levisia 4
Photo of Levisia 5
Photo of Levisia 5

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