Belamkanda Chinese - leopard lily
One of the most striking garden exotics, perennials - Belamanda did not accidentally earn the nickname of a leopard lily. Her flowers are generally similar to lilies, even if their shape is more unusual. But the main thing in Belamkanda is the unique palette of orange colors "speckled", which is always perceived as original.
This abundantly flowering plant is not so difficult to grow, but the only whim of Belamkanda - its low winter hardiness - determines the status of a rare and valuable culture. Indeed, in order for the Belamkanda to please you from year to year, for the winter this beauty will have to be dug up and cleaned in pots indoors.
Domestic iris and its leopard flowers
The plant, known to most gardeners under the name of a leopard lily, is scientifically more correctly called iris domestica (iris domestica) After all, the plant has long been included in the genus of irises and is grown in many respects according to the same laws. But still the hearts of gardeners all over the world have an old name belamkanda (belamcanda) much closer. As this plant is not called, its status as a garden exotica will not change from this. Belamkanda is a catchy and vibrant culture, daring, with unusual details and requiring an unusual approach to cultivation.
Domestic Iris, or Home Iris (Iris domestica) - an ornamental rhizome plant of the Iris family (Iridaceae) Until the mid-2000s, the species was called Belamkanda Chinese (Belamcanda chinensis) and was considered as the only species of the genus Belamkand (Belamcanda).
The species diversity of Belamkanda is limited: only one species is grown in landscape design - Chinese Belamkanda (old belamcanda chinesis and modern name iris domestica). This plant is listed in the Red Book, is endangered. But if natural belamkands are a rare sight, then in horticultural culture their popularity is only growing. And it is worth hoping that the enchanting culture will be fully appreciated by us, and not just in the West.
Domestic irises today are ranked among the most spectacular garden perennials from among the accents. They are valued primarily for their unusual long flowering, but the foliage of Belamkanda is very good. In height, this perennial is limited to 60-70 cm, although individual species in nature can reach more than a meter height. The peculiarity of belamkanda is the arrangement of leaves exclusively in the lower half of the stems, up to 8 pieces on one shoot. Half-meter or shorter, they, with a width of 2-4 cm, resemble iris leaves in shape, broadly obvious, fairly light.
Luxurious Belamkand flowers are collected in inflorescences up to 20 "lilies" in each. Spreading, panicled and branched panicles allow you to appreciate the beauty of each individual flower. And they are only generally similar to lilies, in diameter reach 7 cm, very catchy and bright. The "petals" are oval, rounded. Widely open tubular flowers with 6 perianth lobes fused at the base are distinguished by asymmetry: the inner lobes are shorter than the outer ones. The flower is decorated with only 3 stamens. Like daylilies, Belamkanda flowers bloom for just one day, but this feature is almost imperceptible due to the ability to tirelessly form new buds. After flowering, on the Belamanda, fruit-boxes of about 3 cm long are tied, with the thinnest membrane-walls.
In central Russia, as well as regions with harsh winters in general, the flowering of white belkamanda begins in June, most often closer to the end of the month and ends in August.
The palette of colors of Belamkanda is not limited to orange tones. The plant has both a yellow-flowered form of a flav and a mottled form of purpurea. But the leopard lily always remains a fiery flower.
Belamkanda in decorative gardening use:
- to create spectacular spots on lawns;
- in the design of mixborders;
- in the role of an exotic emphasis on flower beds;
- in the design of the edges with spectacular decorative shrubs and tree;
- in compositions with a focus on the fiery scale;
- in the role of potty accent.
Belamkanda cultivation in regions with severe winters
Domestic iris as a classic perennial for open soil is grown only in the southern regions. In the middle lane, in areas where winters are harsh and summers are short, agricultural technology for Belamkanda is much like a strategy for growing Indian cannons. They are better to dig out for the winter.
Since this plant tolerates a limited amount of soil and blooms well in pots and containers, you can save yourself the trouble of digging and planting Belamkanda by initially growing this perennial in pot culture. Moreover, in this case, Belamanda can be grown both as a garden crop with a wintering in warmth, and as a purely indoor plant (care is very similar to amaryllis).
Conditions necessary for Belamkanda
Despite the status of the plant, it’s quite capricious and its actual role is exotica, the Belamanda is quite plastic, able to adapt to various conditions on the site. This plant has a wide range of soil requirements, but they can not be compared with the most sensitive garden crops.
Belamkands are light-loving plants, but capable of growing in a light shade. If you can provide the domestic iris with a sunny location, then you will achieve the greatest abundance of color from it, but the plant will not be afraid of shading.
Soil for belamkanda is suitable only if the condition of good drainage is met. Moderately moist, high-quality, nutritious garden soils with a loose texture and without the slightest risk of stagnation of water will help to avoid problems with diseases even in the rainy summer.
Domestic potted and container irises require high-quality substrates with a loose texture. Perfectly suited for this culture is a mixture of sand, peat and turf in equal parts. Lighting for belamkanda in pots should be the brightest.
The most important thing when planting domestic iris is the introduction of organic fertilizers into the soil. Belamkanda prefers humus, but you can use classic compost.
Belamkanda is planted in May, as soon as the threat of recurrent frosts disappears. When planting, it is worth keeping a distance of 15-20 cm between plants.
Even an exotic woman like Belamkanda will not need too hard care. It is enough not to forget to compensate for the drought, to feed the plant on time and not to allow the soil to become too compact.
Irrigation for belamkanda is needed only when the amount of natural rainfall does not satisfy all the plant's moisture requirements. Additional watering on hot days will allow Belamkanda to bloom relentlessly. Domestic potted irises need systemic, but also moderate watering, between which the substrate must be allowed to dry not only at the top, but also in the middle layer.
The feeding strategy also directly depends on the form of cultivation. In the Belamand soil, only a few procedures are needed per season:
- the introduction of organic fertilizers during planting;
- two top dressings with full fertilizers at the stage of active growth and before flowering.
Potted belamkandy are fed with full mineral or complex fertilizers during the entire growing season, every 2 weeks, using a standard portion of fertilizers. A strategy with more frequent top dressing (every 2-3 weeks) can be used for garden belamkand in the soil, completely replacing them with the second component of the classical scheme.
Digging and wintering of Iris Domestica
The legendary belamkanda does not tolerate unstable, snowless winters and severe frosts. In successful years, with a lot of snow, it can overwinter in the soil, but most often it does not survive winter in the middle lane. In order not to play “roulette” with the belamkanda, it’s better to dig a plant right away for the winter. Since the domestic iris does not like transplants, the excavation is carried out together with a large earthen lump, without destroying it and without touching the roots of the plant. The dug belamanda is simply placed in pots or containers and cleaned for wintering in the premises. But if you have a large collection, try experimenting and leave one plant in the soil: there are many gardeners in Kazakhstan and Ukraine who can boast of excellent growth of belamkanda without digging, even in the most unsuccessful seasons.
Ideal conditions for wintering Belamkanda - indoor. This beauty loves to winter in temperatures from 18 to 23 degrees. Plant care should correspond to the dormancy stage: Belamkanda is rarely watered, a minimal amount of water is used only to support the viability of the roots.
Belamkanda is returned to open soil in spring when the soil warms up.
Potted belamkands winter as well as dug from the soil. And the terms of transportation to the premises for this plant do not differ from the classical ones.
Pest and Disease Control
The only thing that threatens the Belamkands in the garden culture is rot. This plant is afraid of the slightest waterlogging, immediately leading to damage to the rhizome and the bases of the shoots. Pests for Domestic Iris are not scary.
Domestic Iris reproduces quite easily. For this plant, you can use:
- seed method;
- rhizome separation.
It is possible to divide adult, powerful bushes of Belamkanda both in spring and early autumn (as soon as flowering is completed). In each dividend, at least 2-3 shoots and a powerful bunch of roots should be left. Belamkanda dealers are planted immediately in a permanent place, not forgetting to add a classic portion of organic fertilizers when planting.
Belamkanda seeds can be found both in open soil in the middle of autumn (the optimal time is October) and in spring for seedlings. In the second option, for germination, the seeds of Iris domesticus will need stratification of the seeds for 1 month (it is better to carry it out after sowing, putting the containers in the refrigerator). The best time for sowing seedlings is February or March. For Belamkanda, any loose and well-moistened substrate, warmth and bright light will do. As the soil dries up, it is necessary to carefully water it, and when the plants let out 2 real leaves, they need to be diced into separate containers. In open ground, seedlings can be planted only in May.