Liriope is a large groundcover plant that is a perennial. It is considered part of the Lily family. The rhizome of this groundcover is short and the drooping leaves are oblong and narrow, and they are also slightly bent at the top. This plant has no stem. Liriope bushes are medium-grown, they are about 0.
7 m high. There are also low-growing varieties that reach a height of about 20 centimeters. The good thing about the low-growing varieties is that they have dense, showy foliage.
The Liriope plant was named after the nymph. This is because its graceful and narrow leaves resemble the figure of a mystical creature.
Liriope is grown in the garden as a decorative spectacular groundcover plant. During flowering, the bush is decorated with delicate inflorescences of purple color. Because of this, this perennial can become the main decoration of your garden in autumn. This groundcover combines beautifully with all other fall flowers and is therefore widely used in landscape design.
Liriope Muscari, or Liriope muscari
This species is the most popular among gardeners.
Breeders have derived a large number of different varieties and forms from this species. This plant has a vertical root system, which consists of rhizomes and small roots, all intertwined with each other. Rigid leaves of dark green color are quite long and have a sword-shaped shape. The leaves are either longer than the flower stalk or the same height as it. Leaf blades may be decorated with a stripe of yellow in the middle, but this is only observed in some varieties.
The whorled flower stalk is about 0.7 m long and bears spectacular purple or white inflorescences. It blooms in the fall.
Liriope colossata or Liriope acuminata
This unpretentious species is quite frost-resistant, which is what most gardeners like. The superficial root system of this plant is taprooted.
Unlike other species of this genus, the leaves of this flower are twisted. As a rule, the leaves are longer than the flower stalks and can reach about 0.4 m, they are colored in a dark green shade and have a sword-shaped shape. In appearance, the leaves of such a plant are very similar to the leaves of cereals. The short flower stalks may be colored purple-gray or white.
Spike-like inflorescences are pale blue. Flowering is observed in September-October.
Low-growing clumps grow wide and long leafy plates. Bright greens set off the inflorescences. The flower stalks are short and densely studded with rich blue buds.
Planning and care in the open field
Liriope is shade-tolerant so it is recommended to grow in shaded areas as well as in the shadow of trees and tall bushes. There are some varieties of this groundcover that also grow well in sunny areas. The best site for Liriope is one that is fairly well lit, but the light should be diffused. If the light is bright enough, then the bushes will form larger inflorescences, the color of which will also be more saturated. As a rule, in spring and in the first half of autumn the plant does not get enough sunlight.
Because of this, experienced gardeners strongly advise against planting Liriope in excessively shaded areas.
Selection of location
This plant reacts very negatively to draughts. You should therefore plant it in an area that is well protected from the wind. A light, airy and nutrient-dense soil is best for Liriope. It can be neutral or slightly acidic.
Before planting, you should first dig out the ground and add sand or compost to improve its air- and water permeability. The fact that this flower extremely negatively reacts to stagnant fluid in the root system. If the soil on the site has a high acidity, then during the digging a little lime is introduced into it.
Liriope planted in pre- prepared holes of small size, and the distance between them should be about 0.4 m.
The plant is planted in the garden in early spring.
This flower needs systematic watering, especially during hot, dry periods. If there is cooler weather in the summer, watering twice every 7 days will be sufficient. The plant is tolerant of drought, and it reacts very negatively to stagnant liquid in the root system. If the soil is regularly overwatered, rot appears on the roots, and the bush dies.
To avoid this, when planting the plant in the open ground, a drainage layer of leaf humus mixed with river sand should be made at the bottom of the hole. In order for the soil to pass water and air better, after each watering its surface should be carefully loosened. Also such groundcover responds well to moistening from a sprayer in the evening, warm water is used for this.
Light nutritious soil, which should be neutral, is best for growing Liriope. When about four weeks are left before planting the shrubs in the open ground, recultivate the area and add river sand and humus to the soil.
If the soil is too acidic, a small amount of lime or wood ash should also be added.
When planting Liriope in the open ground after three years, it should be replanted. If you neglect this procedure, the bushes will eventually begin to wither and they will not form inflorescences. Transplant this perennial in the spring, and more precisely, in the first days of May. Remove the parent bush from the soil and divide it into several parts.
After that, the divisions are planted in new holes and well watered. The liriope will take root in its new place after about 15 days.
For the growing season, such a flower is fertilized once every 15 days, for this purpose both organic and mineral fertilizer are used. Before the bush blooms, it is recommended to use nitrogen fertilizers for its feeding. And when the plant is blooming, it is better to feed it with a fertilizer containing a lot of phosphorus and potassium.
This perennial blooms in the fall time. As a rule, the flowers appear in September and the shrubs bloom around the last days of October. This flower has a rather high flower stalk, on which panicles are formed, consisting of small bell-shaped flowers that look like lily of the valley. Depending on the variety, the flowers may be colored white, lilac, purple or blue. When the flowers fade, purple seeds are formed in their place and can be used for propagation.
Liriope only needs to be trimmed to make the bush look spectacular and neat. In order to do this, the inflorescences that have fallen off should be cut back in time to encourage the growth of new buds as well as the leaves that have begun to yellow.
Liriope does not need to be covered when overwintering in the open air only if there is much snow in this region during the winter time and no severe frost (below minus 15 degrees). If winters are harsher, plants need to be covered. To do this, they are covered with dried fallen leaves, and also covered with non-woven material on top.
After the snow cover melts with the onset of spring, the cover should be removed from the bushes.
The generative (seed) method as well as bush division can be used to propagate Liriope.
Growing from seed
Gardeners very rarely grow this flower from seed because this method is relatively difficult and time consuming. Seeds from the previous year are suitable for sowing. Sowing is carried out directly in the open ground, and it is done in the first days of May.
Seed material is subjected to pre-sowing preparation, for this purpose they are kept in warm water for 24 hours, and then sown immediately. Before sowing, the plot is subjected to recultivation, and the necessary fertilizers are introduced into the soil. Make not very deep furrows and sow the seeds in them, the distance between them should be about 10 cm. After the newly emerged seedlings are stronger and grow up, conduct their picking, with all the weak bushes thrown out. Keep a distance of about 40 cm between the bushes.
Produce the Liriope in the first days of May, and this procedure should be combined with transplanting. Water the bed and dig up the mature plant, then you can begin dividing the shrub. Each of the divisions should have a strong root system and at least 10 leaves. After that, the dividers are planted in holes, which are prepared in advance. The distance between the bushes should be approximately 0.
45 m. The planted seedlings need to be watered, after which the surface of the bed, if desired, you can cover with a layer of mulch (dry peat). For faster rooting, you should fertilize the seedlings. Fertilize regularly for two months and every 15 days.
Diseases and pests
Snails, aphids and scale may infest Liriope.
To exterminate them, treat the shrubs with a solution of an insecticide such as Actellic (follow the instructions on the package).
Root rot can harm such a plant. This disease can develop due to regular fluid retention in the roots. If this problem occurs, then the diseased shrub will need to be replanted, with all the rotten areas on the roots cut out.
But most often the plant suffers from improper care.
The following problems may arise with it:
- Irregular flowering or its complete absence. This occurs when the soil on the site is depleted and the bush lacks nutrients.
- Dry leaf tips. This problem is caused by irregular watering when the flower lacks liquid.
- Loss of stiffness on the leaves.
The drooping foliage indicates that there is rot on the roots due to regular overwatering.
If you care for the liriope properly and choose the most suitable site for its planting, your plant will not get sick and pests will not settle on it.
Liriope muskari Big Blue. Brief overview, description of the characteristics of liriope muscari Big Blue