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Willow loosestrife (Lythrum Salicaria) is a perennial that has decorative and medicinal properties. It is mainly a wild plant, but there are also varieties that are grown in the household. They differ in characteristics and appearance. But, what is most valuable, they inherit the medicinal properties of wild willow loosestrife. Varietal plants can be grown on your plot for decoration and for the preparation of medicines.
Description of willow loosestrife
The loosestrife is also called "plakun-grass" - because of its characteristic feature, which is manifested in the fact that excess moisture from rain or dew collects on the leaves in drops and flows down, resembling dripping tears.
In nature, the loosestrife is found in damp places, river banks, damp meadows, near swamps, it is unpretentious, can grow on all types of soils, and grows quickly under good conditions.
Willow loosestrife is a herbaceous perennial, belongs to the Derbennikovye family. It has straight 4-sided stems that extend to 0.8-1.4 m and branch out in the upper part. The root of the plant is thick and woody, located shallow in the ground. The leaves, located on the stem below, are mainly opposite, the upper ones are alternate, 10 cm long, oblong in shape.
It blooms in July-August, its flowers are small, up to 1 cm, in the form of an asterisk, numerous. They sit tightly in spike-shaped inflorescences. The flowers of the willow bush are colored from dark pink to purple. The seeds ripen in August, they are in small oblong-oval capsules.
The willow loafer loves open, sunny places.
The best varieties of willow loaf
On the home site, you can plant various varieties of loosestrife. From the descriptions of some of them, you can get an idea of what variety you would like to plant.
Loosestrife Rosy Gem
Flowering begins in late June and lasts until August. Derbennik "Rosy Gem" (Rosy Gem) grows in height 0.6-1.2 m, in width reaches 0.7 m.
The variety "Rosy Gem" is unpretentious, tolerates drying out of the substrate well
Perennial approximately 0.8 m high. The plant blooms in July and August. The inflorescences of Swirl are loose, airy. They are not like those found in other varieties. They are considered to be the distinguishing feature of the variety. In reviews of the Swirl loosestrife, flower growers say that it is easy to determine the varietal affiliation of plants by them.
Variety "Swirl" grows well on wet soils, it is recommended for rabatki
Flowering occurs in July and August, like other crop varieties. Stems "Lady Sackville" (Lady Sackville) average height, within 0.6-0.8 m.
"Lady Sackville" is used in group plantings, various flower beds and near water bodies
The buds bloom from July to August. The height of the variety "Gypsy blood" (Zigeunerblut) of bushes is up to 1.2 m.
The "Gypsy Blood" variety can reach a height of up to 120 cm
The plant reaches a height of 1.2 m. Blush blooms, like other varieties, in July and August.
In spring and summer, the "Blush" variety has green foliage, and in autumn it turns red
The plant is tall, taller than 1 m, with dark green foliage. Flowering occurs in July and August.
At the end of summer, the "Candle Fire" variety forms seed pods in the place of wilting flowers.
This variety is one of the most common. Plants have elongated leaves, erect dense inflorescences. The height of the Pink Pearl loosestrife is 1-1.2 m. It grows rapidly and forms large clumps.
"Pink pearls" in a cold period of time does not require special care
The height of the Robert bushes is 0.6-0.7 m, the width is up to 0.7 m. Flowering occurs in July and August.
The "Robert" variety is best planted in the sun and near water bodies
Application in landscape design
The willow loosestrife in the garden is most often used in compositions with other ornamental plants, the flowers of which are painted in cold blue tones, for example, with catnip, geraniums, snow catchers and mordovniks. They look good next to the shrub of barberry, bladderwort, mock orange, deren, or against the background of astilbe, helianthus, sloths, daylilies, asters and Japanese spirea.
Due to the fact that the varieties of loosestrife differ in height, width and color of flowers, original compositions can be created from several such varieties. At the same time, plants should be planted so that there are no abrupt transitions from one color to another, on the contrary, they should be smooth. Then the flower arrangement will look more beneficial.
Breeding methods of willow loosestrife
Willow loosestrife grown in home gardens is propagated in three ways: by cuttings, dividing the bush and seeds. Cuttings are cut from the lower parts of the stems, cut them in the first half of summer. Rooted in a moist substrate, under a film. The cuttings are watered, keeping the soil moist, and the soil is loosened after irrigation. The loosestrife is planted in a permanent place in the fall, a month before the onset of a cold snap. By dividing the bush, adult specimens are propagated. In the spring before the beginning of the growing season or in the middle of autumn, they are dug in, a part of the rhizome is separated with a sharp shovel, which is immediately transplanted. The cut at the root is sprinkled with ash, and then covered with earth.
Planting with seeds of willow bush in the open field is carried out in October. During the winter, they will undergo natural stratification and will sprout in the spring when needed.
Attention! When propagating by seeds, it must be borne in mind that such plants bloom only after 2-3 years.
Growing seedlings of willow loosestrife from seeds
Seeds of willow bush are harvested after they ripen, sown in a fertile substrate in February-March. Seedlings should appear within a month. Seedlings are grown at a temperature of 15-20 ˚С, lighting for 10-12 hours.
Planting willow loosestrife in the ground
Plants grown from seeds are transplanted to a flower bed or to other parts of the garden. This must be done within a certain time frame.
Seedlings are planted in open ground in May, when they will definitely not suffer from a temporary cold snap. It is undesirable to transplant later, as it outgrows.
Site selection and preparation
The willow loaf prefers moist soil, so it is best to plant it in gardens near artificial reservoirs, as it likes to grow in moist soil. But, if there is no water nearby, the plants will feel good in ordinary soil.
Soil preparation for willow loosestrife of any variety is standard: the site is cleaned of plant residues, dug up, organic matter or mineral fertilizers are applied. The soil is mixed with them and the surface is leveled, holes are dug in it at a distance of 0.4 m. Such an interval must be maintained between the bushes so that they can develop normally and do not interfere with each other when they bloom.
Planting willow loosestrife in open ground and initial care for it consists of the following actions:
- The holes are watered and planted in one plant at a time.
- Sprinkle with earth and lightly compact it around the stems.
- You can sprinkle the surface of the soil with a thin layer of mulch.
In the photo you can see the planting and the first stage of caring for the willow loosestrife.
Seedlings of loosestrife for planting on the site must have at least 4-5 true leaves
Like other plants, willow-like loosestrife needs to be watered, fed, pruned and prepared for wintering in the fall. All these works are included in the complex of agrotechnical measures for the care of him.
Watering and feeding schedule
Plakun-grass does not tolerate drought well, so watering should be taken seriously. In the absence of rain, irrigation should be carried out regularly so that the earthy clod does not dry out. If the loosestrife grows near water, you can water it less often.
Willow-like loosestrife is fed every spring with complex mineral fertilizers for flowering crops. Additionally, the soil is covered with peat or humus, which also provide useful substances.
Weeding, loosening, mulching
After watering, after a day or two, you need to loosen the soil. This is necessary in order for air to pass to the roots. To preserve soil moisture, it is necessary to cover the soil surface with mulch. You can use peat and old humus.
Despite the fact that the loosestrife bushes are very tall and voluminous, they will not grow in weeds. All unwanted vegetation should be removed during routine weeding.
After the end of flowering, most of the peduncles are cut off. This will prevent the formation of seeds and prevent self-seeding, as well as give the plants a more attractive appearance. Several inflorescences are left to obtain seeds from them, if needed. In the fall, remove all dry shoots by cutting them out at the root.
After the flowering of the loosestrife, all peduncles are cut off
The willow loafer does not need special shelter. It is enough to sprinkle the plant with peat or humus, leaves or straw after pruning. In the spring, after the snow melts, the mulch must be removed.
Pests and diseases
The most common pest of the willow bush is aphid. It settles on the leaves and tops of the stems and sucks the juice out of them. To prevent the appearance of a pest, plants are sprayed with garlic, tobacco, onion or citrus infusions. If the loosestrife is severely affected, synthetic insecticides can come to the rescue.
The composition and value of the plant
Willow loosestrife (or willow-like) contains glycosides, alkaloids, resins, tannins, carotene, pectin, essential oil, organic acids, flavonoids and vitamins. Traditional medicine has found application for the roots and herb of the plant. In addition to medicinal, the loosestrife has a decorative value, it is also a good honey plant.
The plant has the following actions:
- wound healing;
As you can see, the medicinal properties of the willow loosestrife, which is shown in the photo, make it possible to use it to treat many problems in the body. It heals and prevents diseases, infections, stops bleeding, relieves pain, tones and strengthens the body.
Application in traditional medicine
Planting and caring for willow loosestrife (pictured) is beneficial not only because it is an ornamental plant, but also because the funds from it can be used to treat and prevent diseases.
Gruel from leaves and fresh rhizomes is applied to the wounds to stop bleeding. Decoctions and tinctures will help with inflammation of the digestive tract and upper respiratory tract of a chronic nature, as well as with nervous diseases, epilepsy, as an antidote for insect and snake bites. The broth is also used externally - they take baths with it, make compresses and rinses for skin diseases, including purulent ones. Alcohol tincture is used for pain in the head and stomach, for colds, rheumatism and toxicosis.
The leaves and flowers of the willow bush are used to treat a wide variety of diseases.
The description of the preparation of products based on loosestrife will help to make them at home. This will require fresh or dry grass, flowers, and roots.
For 100 ml of water, take 2 tsp. dry herbs, steamed it in a water bath for 30-45 minutes. Then keep wrapped up for another 20 minutes. Drink 0.5 cups three times a day.
It is prepared from 1 tbsp. warm water and 1 tbsp. fresh or dry raw materials. Insist for at least 6 hours.
It is prepared from 50 g of raw materials and 0.5 liters of vodka. Insist on the remedy for 10 days. Drink 40 drops 3 times a day.
Loosestrife tea is prepared by brewing 1 tbsp of boiling water in one glass. leaves and flowers. Insist 0.5 hours and drink a quarter of a glass 30 minutes before eating.
For the treatment of diseases of internal organs, freshly prepared decoctions and infusions are drunk, they can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days, and heated to a comfortable temperature before use. Tea should be prepared for 1 time, drunk fresh. The rubbing alcohol tincture also needs to be kept in the refrigerator. Apply 1-2 times a day.
Limitations and contraindications
If we talk about the medicinal properties of willow loosestrife, its contraindications should also be noted. These are hypertension, atherosclerosis, a tendency to develop blood clots, diseases characterized by increased blood clotting, old age. Pregnant and malignant children, children under 12 years old, before using loosestrife products, need to consult a doctor.
Collection and procurement of raw materials
If stems and leaves are needed, then they are harvested before the flowering period, inflorescences - when most of the buds will open on them. At this time, most of all medicinal substances accumulate in them.
You need to cut the inflorescences and grass of the loosestrife before or during flowering.
The roots are dug out after flowering or in the fall, when the plant ends its growing season. They are cleaned of earth residues, washed, cut into small pieces and dried. The herb is also dried in the shade or in a ventilated area until completely dry. Store raw materials in a dark and cool place, in linen or paper bags. The shelf life of the herb is no more than 1 year, the roots can be stored for a season longer.
The medicinal properties of willow loosestrife make it possible to use it as a medicinal raw material for the preparation of folk remedies at home. They can be used to treat some common diseases of various origins. In addition, this plant is simply beautiful and can enhance the appearance of the site if planted in the garden.
Maria Litvinova, 52 years old, Saratov
I grow the loosestrife in the country next to other perennials, but I also use it to treat diseases. It is very convenient to have both a flowering plant and a source of medicinal raw materials. It is not difficult to grow a loosestrife, it is unpretentious and requires almost no maintenance. It blooms every year in summer, forming long, bright, dark pink inflorescences. It can be easily combined with many famous ornamental crops that are planted in our gardens.
Natalia Melnikova, 27 years old, Yaroslavl
I chose the willow loosestrife according to the description and photo, it was also attracted by the fact that caring for it is quite simple. It grows in my garden near a small reservoir, as the agricultural technician recommends. Because of this, you do not need to water it, just weed and prune after flowering. As a medicine, I did not use it, although I know about its healing properties.