Puschkinie; Puschkinia libanotica - care of the early bloomer

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The Puschkinia libanotica, actually Puschkinia scilloides var. Libanotica is also called Scheinscilla or cone flower. It is native to the regions between Turkey and Lebanon. It has been cultivated here since the beginning of the 19th century. Where Puschkinia likes it, they like to spread themselves. From the beginning of April, she upgrades the otherwise bare garden with its numerous delicate flower clusters. A fine, blue line game makes every single white flower a charming eye-catcher even in detail.
They prefer half shady to sunny locations. They thrive on the lawn and under light trees and shrubs that do not carry any leaves in spring. Also in the rock garden or in dry beds, they feel comfortable. The more perfect the location for the Pushkin, the less you have to take care of it. Even a hillside is well suited, because there the water can drain well. Because the small onions are sensitive to waterlogging. Together with winterlings, milk stars and crocuses, they return to their favored locations every year and not infrequently bloom into May.
Tip: Even on the terrace or on the balcony, the delicate cones, for example, combined with colorful Easter eggs, a delightful decoration in the Easter time.
The Puschkinia libanotica has no special requirements for the substrate. However, the soil should not be compacted, the water must be able to drain well. The most favorable is a loose and humus soil, with a pH value between neutral and alkaline.
Pushkinias are offered in garden centers as onions. Like all other onions, they are used in the fall. The planting depth should be 5-10 cm. Used in groups, they are best used. Once set, it spreads from year to year, provided she likes the place. If you like, you can put them in different places and then quickly see where an optimal place is. Set slightly dense, the cones are excellent as groundcover. The onions from the retailer should always be of impeccable quality. However, if you put onions that you or your neighbor excavated in the summer, they must be carefully examined for parasites and putrid areas before they are inserted. Only perfect, healthy onions may be used. If you combine the Puschkinias together with tulips or daffodils in a bed, you have a colorful sea of ​​flowers for a long time. The late bloomers can then cover the ugly, withered leaves of the Puschkinia.
Tip: When raking or loosening the bed or lawn over the year, you should not go too far in these areas, so as not to damage the onions.
Pouring and fertilizing
During the flowering season, some water must be given during periods of drought. In the summer, when the leaves retire, the onions do not need any more water or fertilizer. If the Puschkinias are in the direct vicinity of plants that need a lot of water and fertilizer in the summer, it is better to pick the bulbs out of the ground in the summer and reuse them in the autumn. In the spring, composting can be used to enhance the soil for the Puschkinias. Otherwise, they do not require further fertilization. If you do not remove the leaves that turn yellow and withered after flowering, the bulbs will regain their strength to be expelled the next spring.
As with all bulbous plants, the leaves die after flowering also at the Puschkinie. It is said that these plants are absorbed. The leaves turn yellow and withered and finally dry up. Only when they are completely dry on the floor, they should be removed. They can then be easily pulled off by hand.
The Puschkinia libanotica are hardy. Mostly the onions can stay in the ground and do not need further winter protection. Exceptions may be particularly frosty situations.
The Pushkinies multiply by:

  • even sowing
  • Onions (Brutzwiebeln)
If this early bloomer has found a good place, you need to worry about the increase hardly more. Some varieties even tend to go wild. If it gets too much, just remove some onions and give them away.
Diseases and pests
As a robust early bloomer, Pushkiniens hardly know any pests. It's just too cold for them at this early season. Only the onions are very sensitive to too much moisture. They then attract parasites or lazy throughout the year. Therefore, it is important to carefully examine stored onions before inserting them. Treatment of infested bulbs is not worth it, they should be disposed of (not on the compost).
In the specialized trade the small onions of the Puschkinien are usually offered in bags of 10 to 50 pieces.Many different types are not available:
  • Pushkinia scilloides: the natural form; Height up to 12 cm; does not bloom so lush; Hyacinths-Puschkinia or Hyacinths are also called cone-flower; This variety is very rare to find in the trade
  • Puschkinia scilloides var. Libanotica: also called Lebanon cone flower; it grows up to 20 cm high; on a panicle 6-12 small bell-shaped white flowers with light blue stripes grow out of the center; feral at favorable locations by brood bulbs and seeds;
  • Puschkinia scilloides var. Libanotica 'Alba': the same characteristics as the Puschkinia scilloides var. Libanotica; As the name suggests, this variety bears the pure white flowers
Beautifying the early spring with Puschkinia is not a big risk in terms of care and costs. Once established in the garden, every year it will be among the very first to nourish our spring longing and embellish drab garden corners. Also in the bucket they are good and bloom abundantly. Again, it is important to ensure a good drainage, so that the onions and roots are not in the water. In the nurseries are usually offered the pure white Libanotica alba and the Lebanon cone flower with the delicate blue stripes. The color of this variety depends entirely on the sun exposure at their respective location.

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