Bells are flowers that are so beloved by the people that several poems and songs with a mention of these flowers come to mind at once. Bells are readily used by flower lovers in landscaping areas.
The name of the genus Bell received, of course, because of the shape of the inflorescence. It includes only herbaceous plant species, depending on size and other characteristics, each type has its own purpose. We will try to find out what a garret bell looks like, how to grow it and use it on the site.
- Bell of a porthole, description of the plant
- Site selection and use of the Portenschlag bell
- How to plant a garret bell in the garden, caring for it
Bell of a porthole, description of the plant
All types of bells can be conditionally divided into groups, depending on the height of the shoots:
In terms of the size of its shoots, the Portenchlag bell is one of the shortest representatives of the genus. The plant is perennial, grows in the form of small bushes, from 5 to 10 cm in height, but not more than 15 cm. The bushes grow in width to 30 - 35 cm. Shoots are glabrous, or with slight pubescence, creeping, sometimes slightly raised. Form cushion bushes.
The leaves are rounded. The edges of the leaf plates are serrated, the underside is lighter than the top. There are plants whose leaves are pubescent. The flowers at the moment of full disclosure become like stars, since the corolla consists of five, almost separated petals. The color of the flowers is purple. There are also plants with reddish flowers. Size up to 3 cm. Flowers are collected in loose inflorescences of 3 - 5 pieces at the ends of the shoots. The fruit is a capsule with very small seeds.
In the wild, it is found on the territory of the Balkan countries:
Prefers to grow on rocky slopes. For this area, the Portenchlag bell is endemic, although it successfully naturalized not only in England, France, but was also brought to New Zealand, where it also successfully took root. The plant has been cultivated since the first half of the 19th century.
Discovered while traveling in Europe and collected by the Austrian botanist Franz E. von Portenschlag-Ledermeier. For some time it was kept in his herbarium, after which in 1819 it was described by another Austrian botanist J.A. Schultes. From him he received the name associated with the name of Portenchlag. The plant has gained popularity as an unpretentious ground cover plant.
Site selection and use of the Portenschlag bell
Taking into account the fact that in the wild the plant develops the slopes of rocks with poor soil, then in the garden the plant is not very demanding on its composition. The only soil it does not grow on is wet, heavy clay soils. It is preferable to choose areas with light, preferably sandy, sandy loam or loamy soils with a reaction close to weakly acidic, slightly alkaline or neutral. The place must be dry enough.
To the illumination of the place, the bell-shaped bell is very demanding. For him, both a well-lit sunny place and partial shade are suitable. Winter hardiness is high, however, in damp places and with a close occurrence of groundwater, it can die in winter. In the garden, the plant is great for alpine slides. It creates bright, accentuating spots in them.
In addition, taking into account good growth, they can become the basis for landscaping vertical slopes, curbs. Due to the abundant and bright flowering, they look good in various combinations with the following plants:
- blue carnation
- felted splinter
- pinnate clove
- creeping thyme
How to plant a garret bell in the garden, caring for it
The bell of a portenschleg is propagated by dividing the bushes, seeds. In autumn or spring, you can sow seeds directly into the ground. Since they are very small, they can be mixed with sawdust or sand. When propagated by seeds, flowering occurs in the second year. In amateur floriculture, it is optimal to propagate the bell in the spring by dividing an adult bush, three to five years old.
Before planting, the site is dug to a depth of 30 cm. Weed roots and other plant debris are selected. In heavy soils, sand and peat need to be added. It is important to remember that fresh peat cannot be used for planting bells. In the prepared soil, make holes at a distance of at least 15 - 20 cm. In May, after the soil has completely thawed, dig out the mother bush and divide it into 3 - 4 plants. After planting the parcels in the holes, they are well watered, the watering site is mulched.
Every spring, a mixture of rotted manure mixed with wood ash is introduced under the bushes of the bell of the porthole. Enough 0.4 kg per sq. m. If the formation of buds is weak, the plant is fed with a complex mixture of mineral fertilizers at the rate of 15 g of the mixture per square meter. m.
You can extend the flowering period by cutting off the peduncles in time after flowering. You need to leave only those from which the seeds will be collected.
They are cut off as soon as the seed pod turns brown, without waiting for it to open and the seeds spill out. In September, the bushes are cut at the root. Bells rarely get sick. As a rule, the threat of infection by fungal diseases arises during long-term cultivation in one place. In this case, in spring and autumn, plantings should be treated with a fundozole solution. Long and plentiful flowering of the bell of a porthole, with its unpretentiousness, is gaining more and more sympathy from flower growers.
Video about the medicinal properties of the bell of a porthole: