Dwarf lilyturf (Ophiopogon japonicus) is an oriental grass that blooms with small but tender spike-shaped inflorescences of white, pink-lilac and purple colors. Growing, it forms dense “uncombed” curtains of thin long leaves, the color of which varies from light olive color to almost black. Planting and caring for Dwarf lilyturf have similar requirements to cereal crops, but with some nuances regarding growing conditions. Evergreen varieties of Dwarf lilyturf can be grown at home, which is justified by their off-season decorativeness at all stages of their vegetative development.
Dwarf lilyturfus forms a very thick basal rosette with leaves of the same shape and length. Their length ranges from 15-35 cm in different varieties, in the basic version it has a dark green color. Sheet plates of medium hardness, softly curved in length and in relation to the central vein. The peduncles are dark, short, the inflorescence is also shortened, drooping type, about 5-7 cm. Buds are small, purple-red in tone, fused into a tube.
The best varieties of Japanese Dwarf lilyturf with photos:
- “Compactus” is a low variety with particularly narrow leaves.
- “Kyoto Dwarf” is a dwarf variety that rises no higher than 10 cm from the ground.
- “Silver Dragon” is a variegated varietal species with a white stripe along the edge.
Reproduction of Dwarf lilyturf
You can get new seedlings of the plant with the help of seeds or vegetatively.
Planting Dwarf lilyturf should be done only with freshly harvested seeds. To collect planting material, it is necessary to wait for the berries to fully ripen, when they take on a rich color and their pulp becomes soft and mature. The berries are crushed and washed under water to remove this pulp. After that, they should be soaked in water with its regular replacement for several days. After that, the seeds are laid out on the surface of the sandy-peat substrate, sprinkled with a small amount of the same soil or sand, moistened and covered with a film. But they should be kept not in the sun and not in the warmest place, but in coolness at a temperature of + 10 … + 15 C. The process of germination of seeds will be long, sometimes germination has to wait up to 5 months. After the sprouts rise by 10 cm, they can be transplanted to a permanent place.
The recommended planting scheme for medium-sized varieties of Dwarf lilyturf is 15-20 cm.
Since the plant actively forms lateral root processes, it is much easier to propagate it vegetatively than by seeds. The formation of an independent bush, which can be planted from the mother bush, takes several months. By the end of summer, it is usually already possible to select ready-made seedlings, which are cut off from the mother plant and planted in a permanent place.
Another vegetative method of reproduction of the Dwarf lilyturf is the division of the bush. This is done either in the spring or at the very beginning of summer. Having dug up a bush with as much as possible a lump of earth, its roots are washed from the ground and carefully cut along the central rhizome into several divisions. Each of them, in addition to part of the uterine rhizome, should contain at least 3 leaf rosettes. Parts of the divided bush take root better in light loose soil, plant them immediately in a permanent place. Adaptation usually takes several weeks.
During the rooting period, divisions require regular, but extremely careful moderate watering, since the cut root is very easy to rot in conditions of excessive humidity, and in dry earth it may not take root.
Dwarf lilyturf care, growing conditions
In care, the culture is unpretentious, specific conditions for its cultivation are not required. The crown of the Japanese lily of the valley calmly perceives both the open sun and partial shade. As for the indoor varieties, for them there is also no big difference between the orientation of the windows on the windowsill of which they will stand. It can even be a north window, but it is still not recommended to put a pot in the back of the room, where the lighting is very scarce. Or it will be necessary to provide additional lighting.
In terms of temperature content, the plant also does not require rigid boundaries, but it will feel more comfortable in the cool than in a stuffy room or in the garden in the heat. In summer, indoor specimens are best taken out into the fresh air, where they can safely grow until September or even October. Neither drafts nor night possible cold snaps are not afraid of Dwarf lilyturf, so you can not worry about seedlings of winter-hardy varieties planted before return frosts.
You need to water the lily of the valley often and abundantly. The soil under it should be permanently moist, but without stagnation of water – small radicular shoots are easily susceptible to decay in conditions of excessive dampness. When it gets colder outside, watering should be reduced accordingly. In the room, additional measures are required to maintain high humidity. Very harmonious for visual perception and useful for the plant will be its placement next to a home aquarium.
The maximum drying of the soil in the summer for Dwarf lilyturf is 1-2 cm.
Home specimens need to be transplanted every 2-3 years. Not much longer can grow in one place and street planting of Dwarf lilyturf. To maintain its decorativeness, bushes should be periodically divided and planted. The roots should be handled very carefully, they are quite sensitive to damage.
Regardless of where the Japanese lily of the valley grows, indoors or in the open ground, it should be fed only in the spring-summer period. The plant does not have a pronounced period of rest and retains its foliage all year round, however, it also needs rest and recuperation for flowering in the next year. The introduction of fertilizers will give impetus to new growth and take strength. For fertilizing Dwarf lilyturf, you can use both organic matter and universal mineral complexes (or compositions for decorative deciduous crops), alternating their introduction with a frequency of 1-2 times a month.
Pests and diseases
The culture has a high immunity to insect pests and diseases. Usually, the cause of the problems that have arisen are errors in planting and caring for the Dwarf lilyturf.
The plant has fungicidal properties. When grown indoors, it helps to purify the air from pathogens, inhibiting their reproduction and spread.