When planning the site’s decoration, pay attention to such an amazingly beautiful primrose as Hepatica, even after it has blossomed, the eye will be delighted by the lush carpet of leaves. Cultivating liverwort in the open air will not burden you with any extra trouble.
All species of this perennial plant, and about 10 of them, look very decorative. The miniature beauty is especially good in mass planting. Flowering begins in April, with intense bluish, azure, pink or snow-white petals fully open for two weeks.
The most common type is the noble Hepatica, which gives excellent self-seeding. Its leaves are acuminate, flowers can be of various shapes, bushes 10-20 cm high.
The Transylvanian Hepatica lobe has unusual rounded leaves with a jagged tip and larger flowers. But this species reproduces only vegetatively.
Сultivation of Hepatica
Small white flowers of the Asian species will be an original decoration for the garden if planted in groups. The culture does not give seeds, the shrubs grow slowly and there is no need to divide them before the fifth year of life. The leaves of this species die off in winter and new leaves will appear after the flowering period.
Non-emochrous flowers of primrose are more common. Terry petals gather up to 50 petals, they are mostly of pink colour, only occasionally cultivated blue and white.
For a spring perennial, a shaded area is the right place. In the summer sun, the leaves are likely to turn black, but the plant will renew next spring. The soil has to be loose and moist.
The easiest way to multiply is to have a noble and Transylvanian Hepatica. In general, it is recommended to choose the European varieties, with the rest sometimes have to work, but all the problems are solved.
There are three Hepatica breeding options:
1. By seeds. After collection, they are stored in a cool place, in a bag with wet vermiculite or sphagnum, otherwise, when dry, they will completely lose germination. Seeds are sown immediately after ripening or already under the winter and buried about a centimetre in the soil.
With cold weather it is desirable to cover a site with a stalk. In spring, seedlings will appear, and young bushes are actively growing. Seedlings will bloom only for the third year. When the group is isolated from other forms, the liverwort, grown from the seeds, will give maternal coloring. When the varieties are next to each other, the shades can be mixed.
2. Splitting. Terry forms of seeds do not form, we have to divide curtain walls, which are 4 years old. These bushes already have a strong enough root system. The plant is dug out before flowering (autumn) or after (summer), gently shook off the ground, separated and planted in fertile soil. It is then mulched and regularly irrigated.
3. The rosette is mainly used for exotic varieties. At the bottom, a small cut is made which, after being treated with a stimulant (e.g. root), is planted in a container. It is possible that the bush will not take root, but the method usually works.
The shrubs are planted in the off-season, i.e. in spring and autumn. In this case, the buds should remain on the surface. Add compost or some fertiliser to the sinkhole. In one place, the culture grows long enough, after transplanting it adapts well in any phase of development, but too often it is not worth it.
Tips for care
Hepatica will not die when the soil dries, but she will lose her leaves, so do not forget to water, especially in the second half of summer. There should be no moisture stagnation. As in nature, a perennial will need mulch: spruce bark, oak leaves, peat, pine fall.
Spring frosts are not afraid of the plant, even if there is hoarfrost underfoot and the grass freezes, the primrose feels comfortable. But this perennial can die from aggressive weeds, so the area will have to be loosened and systematically weededed. By the way, if you plan to multiply by self-sowing, then weed very carefully. In early spring, plantings are fed 2-3 times, you can use a complex fertilizer.