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Do you love blue flowers? Then the Chinese leadwort is just the thing for you. The flowering plant has few requirements and is therefore very easy to care for.
The Chinese leadwort (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) belongs to the family of the leadwort family and is also called the horn herb or scar. With its late bloom, the ground cover provides color accents in the autumn garden. The blue flowers contrast with the impressive, deep red autumn color. The Chinese leadwort feels particularly good in sunny and dry locations. It is a plant that requires little maintenance and is therefore very popular.
Origin of the plant
The plant's natural distribution area is in the East Asian region and in the Himalayan region. The plants were first sighted in the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Gansu, Xizang and Guizhou. The lead root can be found at altitudes of 3,500 meters. In Tibet, the locals even worship the plant as a symbol of wisdom.
Today, the Chinese leadwort is also at home in Europe. The ground cover grows preferably in warm and sunny locations, on the edges of trees, embankments or dry stone walls.
By the way:
The plant should not be confused with the Cape leadwort. This plant comes from South Africa, grows shrub-like, blooms in May and is able to catch insects with its sticky sepals. Both types of plants are not related to each other.
Use of the Chinese leadwort
The Chinese leadwort has become a popular crop in our gardens. This is not least due to the attractive and rather late flowering. The plant is also valued for its adaptability and low maintenance requirements. The plant forms nice upholstery, but spreads rather slowly. Chinese leadwort is particularly common in herbaceous beds or rock gardens, and the plant also sets colorful accents in flower boxes or planters.
When does the Chinese leadwort bloom?
You will need a little bit of patience until the Chinese leadwort begins to bloom, because the small, gentian-blue flowers will not be visible until the end of August at the earliest. The plant then adorns the autumn garden until October. The flower coincides with the reddish brown autumn color of the leaves, which provides additional eye-catchers. If you remove the faded parts of the plants regularly, new flowers will appear.
How to properly plant the Chinese leadwort
|Hedgehog myrtle 'May green' (Lonicera nitida 'May green')|
|Plant spacing:||25 cm planting distance|
|Location:||Sun to partial shade|
|Ground:||slightly dry to fresh, permeable. nutritious|
|Particularities:||copper to fiery red autumn colors|
|"Show more pictures and data|
If you follow some care instructions, the Chinese leadwort is a perennial flowering plant with low demands. You can plant the plant in spring. It prefers a dry and sunny position, but can also be planted on the edges of trees or at the foot of dry stone walls, as it can cope with longer periods of drought.
Since the Chinese leadwort spreads only slowly, you can also cultivate it in colonies of several plants. With its azure-blue flower heads and reddish autumn colors, for example, it forms a nice contrast to cinquefoil, roses or summer daisies.
The Chinese leadwort likes to sunbathe. The plant thrives quite well even in partial shade. However, the sun should be able to hit the plant at least four hours a day. The sunnier the location, the more abundant the flowers will be. The plant grows on the edges of trees, in rock gardens, in herbaceous beds, on gravel surfaces or on wall crowns. You can easily plant the ground cover on dry slopes. It is not only an ornament there, but also a protection against erosion. Since the branches can easily break in wind and rain, a protected location is an advantage.
The plant generally makes little demands on the soil. The soil should only be permeable to water because the plant does not tolerate waterlogging. Chinese leadwort would not feel comfortable in a heavy clay soil. You can prepare heavy soils accordingly by mixing in sand or gravel. A warm floor, often exposed to the sun, is also ideal. The plant also accepts a slightly calcareous soil. However, there is no need for an oversupply of nutrients. Loose and slightly mineral soils provide the ideal basis for growth.
During the gardening year, the Chinese leadwort does not require any cutting measures. After flowering in late autumn, you can prune the plants close to the ground. However, it is advisable not to cut back. Simply because the attractive red autumn colors of the leaves bring color to the rather dreary winter garden. The foliage of the plant also provides natural frost protection. You should only remove dried leaves, because they favor fungal attack.
How can the Chinese leadwort be propagated?
You can propagate the plant via seeds, offshoots and cuttings. You can sow seeds directly in the ground in spring. The plant also forms lateral runners. You can cut them off with a knife in autumn. Since the offshoots already have roots, you can replant them directly. The propagation via cuttings, however, is somewhat more complex. Proceed as follows:
❶ Cut cuttings after they have sprouted. These should already have several leaves and be 8 to 15 centimeters long.
❷ Remove the lower leaves. However, you should leave some leaves on the top of the shoot.
❸ Now scrape off the cutting at the lower end a few centimeters.
❹ Then place in damp earth, cover with plastic wrap and place in a bright location. But not in the direct sun.
❺ If the first new shoots appear, you can remove the cover and water normally.
❻ The plant can move outdoors in late summer. Wintering of the cuttings in the house in a bright and cool location is also possible.
How to properly overwinter the Chinese leadwort
Winter protection is particularly necessary in rough locations. The plant survives slight frosts, but is only considered to be partially hardy. Especially if you cut back the plant in autumn, you should give foliage or brushwood around the plant as a natural frost protection.
Container plants should rather spend the winter indoors in a bright room and at temperatures around 10 degrees. If the Chinese leadwort gets a darker winter level, the temperatures can drop to five degrees. Do not be surprised, however, because the leaves are thrown off in a dark winter quarter.
You need to check the Chinese leadwort regularly for dry bales in winter. Watering may be necessary.
Fight pests and diseases in the Chinese leadwort
As an extremely robust garden plant, the Chinese lead root is hardly affected by pests. Even snails do not pose a threat to the attractive ground cover. In spring, powdery mildew can occasionally spread in damp and cold weather. A fungus infestation can also cause problems for the plant.
❍ Powdery mildew:
If the plant is infested with powdery mildew, a whitish coating forms on the top of the leaves. Initially, this is reminiscent of flour and can be easily removed. However, the fungus quickly spreads to the other parts of the plant. The leaves then turn brown, curl up and fall off later. Dry plants are particularly at risk. The "fine weather" can spread quickly in dry and already warm weather during the day and when dew forms at night.
If there is an infestation, cut off all affected plant parts generously. The parts of the plant must not then migrate to the compost, as otherwise the fungal spores can multiply and other plants could also become infected. After pruning, these home remedies can then be used:
|milk||This method has proven particularly useful. Fresh milk contains microorganisms that use the fungal spores as a food source. Simply mix fresh milk in a ratio of 1: 9 with water. Then spray the affected parts of the plant with the solution. Repeat the treatment several times a week.|
|garlic||For the treatment with garlic you have to make a brew (make the garlic brew yourself). With the resulting solution, you should also spray the plant several times a week.|
|ladybug||The ladybug is seen as a predator of numerous pests. The larvae of the beetles not only destroy the fungus, they also feed on aphids. So here are some tips on how to lure ladybugs into the garden.|
❍ fungal attack:
To avoid fungal attack, you should take care that there is no waterlogging. The plants must not dry out either. If the Chinese leadwort is in the bucket, you should not place the individual plants too close together. The plants must also be able to spread. In addition, fungal attack is promoted if the plant does not feel comfortable in its location. Therefore, pay attention to the location and soil conditions when planting.
Overview of care tips for the Chinese leadwort
- sunny to partially shaded location
- fresh, well drained soil
- Plant loves warmth
- water regularly
- Avoid waterlogging
- Give slow-release fertilizers in spring
- protect from frost
By the way:
If there are no fresh shoots in spring, there is no maintenance error. The plant sprouts very late and sometimes the first fresh shoot tips do not appear until June.