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Hosta Albopicta is popular among both professionals and people who are taking their first steps on the path of gardening. The plant highlights a contrasting color of the leaves against the general background, and one of its advantages is the ability to cultivate the variety in shady areas of the garden.
Description of hosts Fortune Albopicta
In the botanical reference books of the world, the host "Albopicta" is referred to in Latin as "Hosta fortunei Albopicta". This culture has been known since the 19th century, thanks to two botanists: Nikolaus Host and Heinrich Funk. Each of the scientists studied the plant, however, the first description of the hosta "Albopikta" was made by the Austrian Host, in whose honor the variety got its name. Initially, the hosta was cultivated only in large botanical gardens, but over time it got into private collections of breeders. Today, you can meet the host "Albopikta" at dachas and household plots of central Russia, despite the fact that Southeast Asia, Japan and the Far East are considered its habitat.
The culture is a perennial herb, reaching a height of 40 to 70 cm and growing in diameter up to 80 cm. The leaf plates of the Albopikta hosta are elongated, heart-shaped, glossy, with a slightly wavy leaf structure. In length, they can reach 35-30 cm. Initially, the leaves are characterized by a yellowish-green tint with a darker edging along the edge of the plate. By the end of summer, the leaves take on a more uniform dull green hue.
The leaves of the plant are able to change color
The inflorescences of the hosta "Albopikta" are presented in the form of bells of a pale purple palette, which are located on a high pedicel. The height of the latter is 60-70 cm. The beginning of flowering is the first decade of July. The end is the last weeks of August.
Hosta inflorescences in the form of bells and funnels, have different colors
The host is classified as a shade-tolerant type of plant with low lighting requirements. One of the advantages of the variety is its simplicity in care. Hosta "Albopikta" is a cultivar with a slow growth rate. In the first 2 years, the color of the leaf plates of the variety does not have its own specific color. The leaves acquire their original texture only in the 3rd year.
Plants of the "Fortune" species are known for their good frost resistance. They easily tolerate low temperatures down to -35 ° C, which, combined with their unpretentiousness, makes them an ideal option for the middle zone and northern regions.
The following advantages of the Albopikt hosts can be highlighted:
- low lighting requirements;
- relatively high degree of overgrowth;
- simplicity of agricultural technology.
Disadvantages include a modest bloom in the form of pale bells and an average plant height.
Application in landscape design
Host "Albopikta" can be very organically fit into the garden "interior", which is used by landscape designers.
Bushes over 60 cm in height are planted singly. They are completely self-contained and do not require additional surroundings. Plants also look good in the zone of artificial reservoirs (pond, pool), harmoniously coexist with other types of moisture-loving crops.
When choosing "partners" for hosts, one should focus not only on agrotechnical requirements, but also on the color of plants. Contrasting compositions of yellow-green "Albopicta" and bright pink peonies look especially impressive. A successful tandem is created by hosts with blooming astilbe in a lavender or burgundy shade. The slightly rough masonry of the flower beds only emphasizes the charm and simplicity of this plant. The culture is organic and in combination with bright garden geraniums.
The plant is successfully used to decorate curbs, paths and garden paths.
From undersized hosts, you can create a beautiful environment for a variegated daylily. Leaves with a gradient on the background of conifers look great. In shady areas, "Albopictu" can be combined with ferns and thuja.
The host is planted separately or in groups near artificially created reservoirs and in flower beds
The host of this species often acts as a ground cover plant. To achieve a similar effect, "Albopict" is planted at the rate of 4-5 seedlings per 1 m².
You can also propagate the host yourself. For this, as a rule, 3 methods are used:
- reproduction by seeds;
The first method is more laborious and is used in most cases by breeders. The seeds are soaked in a stimulator, after which they are placed in tightly compacted soil to a depth of 5-7 mm and covered with perlite. The optimum temperature for sowing and sprouting hosts "Albopikta" is +20 ° С. The first shoots can be observed on the 14-15th day.
The most popular way is division. Use this method for 4-5 years after planting the plant in the ground. Divide the bushes in the spring, selecting the required number of "divisions". In this case, you do not even need to dig out the main plant. The main condition is not to damage the mother bush. The planting material is planted at the same depth as the main host, and actively watered until rooting.
You can plant cuttings or "cuttings" or use purchased planting material
Cuttings are carried out from mid-May to July. For this, young, well-separated shoots with small leaves are selected. Too large leaf plates can be cut by about a third. They are planted in the shade and also watered well until they take root.
Planting is carried out in the last months of spring or the first days of autumn. Hosta "Albopikta" is not demanding on the composition of the soil. However, it grows best on light, slightly moist loams, with a lot of humus. At the same time, too high humidity negatively affects the growth of the crop.
Hosta feels good in shade and partial shade, is not afraid of light drafts. Planting material can be bought in specialized nurseries or made by yourself by dividing the mother plant.
Algorithm of landing the hosts of "Albopikt" is as follows:
- Form landing pits up to 22-25 cm deep.
- Fill each hole with a mixture of fertile soil and fertilizers (superphosphate, ammonium nitrate and potassium sulfate).
- Plant the culture so that the root collar is on the surface.
- Mulch everything with peat or sawdust.
Important! Clay soil requires an additional drainage layer at the bottom of the planting hole.
The basic care of the host "Albopicta" is not much different from the standard agricultural technology. A lush bush also requires watering, feeding, and pruning.
The Albopikta variety is classified as a moisture-loving variety. However, it is very important not to flood the hosts. The best way out in this situation will be a well-organized drip irrigation. Water the culture under the bush, trying not to wet the leaves, which have a thin waxy coating. After watering, the soil is gently loosened.
After planting, the host continues to develop for another 2 years, and only in the 3rd year it acquires all the characteristic features of the variety
The appearance of the culture depends on competent feeding: the color of the leaves, their elasticity, the total green mass.
Fertilizers are applied under the bush in 3 stages:
- In the spring, the crop is fertilized with a large number of nitrogenous complexes that stimulate growth and development.
- In the summer, mineral complexes are introduced, for example, "Osmokot" and easily digestible chelates, which affect the intensity of the color of the leaves.
- In the fall, before wintering, the Albopikta variety is fed with phosphorus and potassium.
Mulching is necessary to regulate soil moisture and create good air conditions for the host's root system.
Used as mulch:
- chopped bark;
- leaves and dry grass;
- crushed cones;
Mulch provides the plant with nutrition and prevents the soil from drying out
Taking care of the Albopikta host is simple and not time-consuming.
Preparing for winter
The Albopikta variety is frost-hardy. However, in the northern regions, it is still necessary to carry out measures to shelter the plant.
Most experts are sure that there is no need to trim the bushes before wintering. However, some gardeners still carry out pruning as soon as all the leaves of the hostas turn yellow.
The plant is transplanted only at the end of spring
At the end of autumn, the last feeding is organized. The fertilizers used must contain phosphorus and potassium. Ready-made mineral complexes or a mixture of potassium sulfate with superphosphate are good options. Organic farming uses natural bone meal and wood ash.
In the middle lane, it is not necessary to cover the host "Albopikta" completely. It is enough to mulch the soil in the area adjacent to the bush. In the northern regions, agrofibre can be used.
Diseases and pests
In the heat, "Albopiktu" is often attacked by a spider mite. Rolled leaves are a sign of its presence on the plant. As means of struggle, you can use drugs such as Fitoverm, Actellik or Akarin.
Another enemy of the hosts "Albopikt" are snails. The fight against them is carried out using mini-fences, barley husks, wood ash and stone flour. From biopreparations "Bioslimax" is suitable.
To prevent insect attacks, you can sprinkle the bushes with tobacco or ash in the spring.
Unprotected hosts are prone to infection with powdery mildew or anthracnose. For prevention, the leaves are treated with "Quadris", "Skor", "Match" and "Aktara".
In 1996, the HVX virus was discovered in the state of Minnesota (USA), which infects all varieties of hosts. It is transmitted through plant sap, pollen or insects, and the incubation period takes several years. The virus cannot be treated, so the diseased culture is simply destroyed.
Hosta Albopikta is an unpretentious lush plant that can decorate any household plot. High frost resistance makes it possible to cultivate it not only in the middle lane, but also in the Urals and Siberia.
Most of the reviews about the Albopikta variety are positive.
Oksana Petrova, 38 years old, Yekaterinburg
Hosta "Albopikta" is very unpretentious. The main thing is to water it on time. It grows, which is important for me, in the shade and partial shade, so it is very easy to use it to ennoble the local area.
Elena Gavrikova, 45 years old, Murom
I planted the host not only in the flower beds, but also along the paths as natural borders. The variety is well adaptable, unpretentious and does not require much care, which is extremely important for summer residents.
Natalia Trofimova, 52 years old, Moscow
A friend gave me the Albopikta host. Having landed on the site, I gradually divided it, creating an unusual, more European landscape. What I love is that the hosts inhibit weed growth and do not require weeding. They are generally extremely easy to care for.