Ledeburia - motley silver
Among the decorative-leafy room stars, gray-silver colors are not so rare. But the delightful silver patterns on the leaves of the unique Ledeburia plant are difficult to confuse with other cultures. The appearance and growth pattern of the ledeburia are surprisingly combined with its unpretentiousness: this perennial is often compared with weeds in terms of endurance and vitality. Bright, modern, with clean lines and outlandish motley, the ledeburia claims to be one of the most spectacular leafy exotics.
Ledeburia - a non-standard plant with original leaves
Ledeburia is so unusual for many years that difficulties in understanding its character begin already with a cursory examination. The thing is that belonging to the family Asparagus (Asparagaceae) the plant actually forms fleshy roots and bulbs, and in fact can be reckoned with bulbous indoor crops. But, nevertheless, it is better to consider ledeburia as a grassy perennial - after all, it grows just like garden counterparts, constantly increasing the width and volume of “curtains”.
A considerable confusion with its status is also connected with the fact that earlier the majority of ledeburia introduced into indoor culture (in particular, the most popular species) were classified as scylae from the Lily family. Many today point out that the ledeburia belong to the Lily family, but modern scientists have long moved the plant to the Sparzhevs and changed its status.
Ledeburia (Ledebouria) develop in the form of a dense, constantly expanding curtain. "Bulbs" are small, up to 2 cm long, form numerous juicy white roots. Bulbs are densely located in a thick curtain, which creates the complete illusion of a herbaceous plant. Gradually, only a few plants grow so much that they completely fill the container with mixed “lace” of large beautiful leaves. Curbs of the ledeburia are often compared with nests.
The leaves are collected in basal rosettes, quite dense. Leaves are lanceolate, most often with a classic shape and a solid edge. In length they reach a maximum of 13 cm, but seem very large and spectacular. The most attractive part of the ledeburia, of course, is their color. On green leafy plates, spots and uneven stripes brightly appear, giving the effect of an “animal” pattern.
As a rule, a bright or dark green base color and silver spots, the area of which exceeds the base color and captures most of the leaf plate, are combined at the ledeburia. Despite the fact that ledeburia quickly form groups and colonies, creating dense curtains, each plant in the "nest" develops rather slowly. In a year, one ledeburia produces only up to 3 new leaves.
The flowering period of the ledeburia covers spring and summer. From the center of the rosettes rise juicy and quite powerful, curving and long peduncles, crowned with a loose brush of inflorescences. Openwork inflorescence of ledeburia (up to 50 buds) contrasts beautifully with rough-looking leaves. Pink or white elegant bells with a diameter of only about 0.5 cm seem touchingly fragile, and the flowering itself is strikingly delicate.
Types of indoor ledeburia
Despite the fact that about four dozens of ledeburia are found in nature, only three species have spread in house culture.
Ledeburia public (Ledebouria socialis) Is the clear leader among indoor varieties. With a modest height of only 10 cm, it stands out with fleshy leaves collected in wide sockets. Silver spots cover almost the entire surface of the dark green leaves (so that it starts to seem like dark spots cover the silver sheets). Leaves lanceolate, bend in an arc, form a fancy graphic curtain and dense bushes.
The longest peduncles seem to hardly glance through the leaves and bend in different directions. The loose panicle of inflorescences with lilac buds and pale narrow bells of flowers seems to support the color scheme of greenery and perfectly harmonizes with the whole plant, emphasizing its beauty with its delicate details.
Ledeburia Cooper (Ledebouria cooperi) - a very attractive look with an unusual "striped" greenery and bright lace inflorescences. During flowering, it is impossible to look away from this plant: large, up to 25 cm long brushes of inflorescences are quite dense, consist of fifty flowers with a bright lilac-pink color, an elongated narrow tube and magnificent stamens. Graceful and beautiful, the inflorescences seem catchy and weightless at the same time. But the leaves of the plant also want to admire.
Reaching a maximum height of 10 cm, erect, lanceolate-xiphoid leaves show off with pointed tips and longitudinal dark purple stripes contrasting with the bright green color. It is as if the greenery of this ledeburia was drawn “to the line”!
Ledeburia yellow (Ledebouria luteola) Is the only one of the ledeburia in which silver is combined with yellowish stains on the leaves. A plant with lanceolate leaves collected in dense rosettes seems colored, cheerful and very elegant. This is one of the miniature ledeburia with a nondescript openwork flowering, but very bright leaves.
Home Care for Ledeburia
Despite its amazing beauty, ledeburia is an easy-to-grow plant that can be content with minimal care. It is suitable even for beginner gardeners and those who often travels. This culture doesn’t really even need top dressing, not like measures to increase air humidity, which you can forget about ledeburia. Yes, and plants need rare transplants.
Lighting for Lobby
The ledeburia shows its beautiful patterns on the leaves only in good light. The plant is not afraid of direct sunlight (only midday, at the height of summer, are dangerous) and most effectively looks in the open sun or on the brightest window sills. Even slight shading negatively affects the brightness of the spots on the leaves. The shape of the growth of the ledeburia also depends on the lighting: this culture forms compact, thick, squat curtains only in bright light. The length of daylight also affects the formation of flower buds.
Southern or partially southern window sills are perfect for ledeburia. This beauty cannot be placed inside the interior, but the eastern or western window sills will suit her in a pinch.
Ledeburia can hardly be called both cold-resistant and heat-loving crops. The temperatures for keeping this plant should be moderate and restrained. In the spring and summer, the optimal indicators are limited to 21-24 degrees (an increase in indicators above 25 degrees is undesirable), and in autumn and winter it is advisable to lower the temperature to 18 degrees (the minimum value is 16 degrees heat). The minimum temperature that the plant can withstand is 8 degrees heat. But in the cold, the plant will lose its decorative effect.
In summer, ledeburia can be exposed to fresh air, to a balcony or even to a garden. But outside the rooms they will need protection from drafts and precipitation. Indoor plants are not afraid of drafts.
Ledeburia watering and air humidity
Watering for the iceburies is carried out very carefully, maintaining a stable but light soil moisture. Ledeburia is very susceptible to rot, and not even stagnant dampness, but a simple overmoistening can cause the spread of rot in the bulb. Therefore, watering the ledeburia is carried out when the upper layer of the substrate (from 3 cm to the middle of the pot) dries with a small amount of water.
Abundant watering the plant tolerates worse than frequent and scarce. If the plant needs more frequent procedures, it will signal you with its limp leaves. In winter, watering is reduced in accordance with the rate of drying of the substrate. Ledeburia is not afraid of a complete drought and will forgive misses in watering.
Unlike many indoor crops, there is no need for ledeburia to prepare any special super soft water. Normal tap water, which has been left standing for several days, is quite suitable for her.
Ledeburia demonstrates an enviable resistance even to extremely dry air and does not need any moisturizing measures. But at the same time, unlike many bulbs, it is not afraid of either wet leaves or water getting on the necks of the bulbs, it does not require over-irrigation.
It is advisable to regularly clean the leaves of the plant from dust.
Fertilizers for the lobeuria
Fertilizers for this plant are rarely applied, given the intensity of growth. If ledeburia develops actively and quickly releases daughter bulbs, then top dressing may not be necessary. If the growth slows down, then from spring to the end of summer with a frequency of 1 time per month, feeding is made for this culture.
For ledeburia, universal complex fertilizers are used in the standard dosage, which is recommended by the manufacturer on the package. More frequent top dressing can be dangerous.
Pruning and rejuvenation of the ledeburia
All these procedures for the plant are reduced to the removal of dried peduncles or leaves. With a loss of decorativeness of the ledeburia (usually not earlier than 8-10 years), the plant is simply divided and rejuvenated, removing the oldest bulbs.
Ledeburia transplant and substrate
The fewer plant transplants are carried out, the better: the change of containers for the ledeburia should be carried out only when necessary, with the full development of the space of the container. The optimal frequency is from 1 time in 3 years.
The soil for the ledeburia is selected by the lightest and most loose. A universal substrate is suitable for ledeburia. If you make up the substrate yourself, then mix the sheet soil with turf and sand in a ratio of 2: 1: 1.
For ledeburia, it is important to carefully select containers. The plant constantly grows in breadth, grows densely, the root system is shallow. Only wide, but low containers and pots with a sufficient supply of free space are suitable for this culture. The diameter of the times increases significantly, from 5 to 10 cm.
When transplanting a ledeburia, they maintain a level of penetration of up to 1/2 the height of the bulbs. It is advisable to lay a drain at the bottom of the tank.
Ledeburia diseases and pests
Only rot and fungal infections associated with improper care and overflow of moisture represent a danger to ledeburia. In the vicinity of infected cultures and in the open air, the plant is sometimes affected by aphids and fruit flies.
These amazing plants can be propagated either by dividing large nests into several parts or by separating individual plants with planting in new containers, or by seeds.
Sowing the seeds of the ledeburia is carried out after their collection in the sand-peat substrate, only slightly moistening it and not covering it with soil. Provided that the container is covered with glass or film and daily ventilation, seedlings can be expected after 2-3 weeks. The slow development of seedlings requires very careful care. Dive is carried out only after 4-8 weeks.
This plant produces only a few leaves a year, but it forms daughter bulbs amazingly quickly. When the bulbs are separated, they are "collected" along the edge of the curtain, without damaging the rest of the group. Since ledeburia grow very densely, it is better to separate the children with a sharp knife. When planting, the bulbs are buried in half. Before rooting and the growth of young leaves begins, the plant is kept under a cap.
In normal conditions, the separated children of the ledeburia are transferred gradually, opening the shelter for several hours a day and slowly increasing the airing time. When dividing the group into 2-3 parts, such precautions are not needed: they simply divide the curtain by hand or with a knife, trying to do as little harm as possible to the “extreme” plants, immediately plant them in containers and grow them as adult plants.