Santolina ( Santolina ) - a decorative, lushly flowering shrub of the family Asteraceae. The plant is ideal for decorating green borders, alpine gardens and flower beds. Santolina is beautiful in the foreground of a mixborder or in the form of a low hedge. She looks nice on a sunlit balcony in a beautiful wide flowerpot. The stem of this evergreen perennial lignifies over time, and the crown is easy to shape, so many exotic lovers get beautiful bonsai from it.
Florists grow several varieties of santolina, which differ in the size of the bush, openwork and color of leaves, size and color of the flower.
Santolina Neapolitan ( S. neapolitana ) - the highest (up to 1 m) plant.
Cirrus santolina ( S. pinnata ) is a short bush (up to 60 cm) with narrow leaves and long peduncles crowned with milky-white flowers in the original hemispherical inflorescences.
Santolina greenish ( S. virens ) differs from other species in cream inflorescences and bright green foliage, from a distance similar to a cloud of green smoke.
Elegant Santolina ( S. elegans ) - a compact, whimsical and demanding temperature shrub.
Cypress Santolina ( S. chamaecyparissus ) is the most popular plant of this genus. The height of a compact dense bush is 40-70 cm. Decorative openwork leaves change color over time from delicate green to silver. On a long peduncle are spherical inflorescences of a yellow color, blooming in June-August. The flower has a pleasant aroma, and the leaves contain a lot of essential oil that helps fight moths. Due to the strong smell, santolina is grown in fragrant gardens next to lavender and catnip, so sometimes you can hear the second name of the plant - “cotton lavender”.
Santolina loves a warm sunny location. In bright light it forms a fluffy compact bush with bluish-gray leaves. With a lack of sunshine, the shoots stretch out, the bush thins, and the leaves lose their aroma. If the plant is grown as an indoor culture, then in summer it must be taken out onto a loggia, balcony, terrace or planted in the garden on the sunniest site. In nature, the flower grows on rocky slopes, so in culture it is not picky about soils. Prefers any loose soil with enough sand, but not waterlogged.
In the summer, santolina is watered more abundantly, but only after the soil has dried. With insufficient watering, the young stems wither, with excess moisture, they begin to turn yellow and rot.
During the growing season, the plant is fed a full-fledged fertilizer, but with a reduced nitrogen content. If there is a lot of nitrogen, santolin ceases to bloom and grows greatly.
The flower easily tolerates drought, sunflowers, but it is sensitive to lower temperatures. In the fall, before frosts, they arrange for him a dry shelter from straw, spruce branches, and dry leaves.
Santolin is propagated by seeds and cuttings in the summer. Seeds sown in April-June, at an optimum temperature of 16-18C, germinate in 18-24 days.
Cuttings are cut in the fall and planted in the ground under a plastic bottle. In the spring, they take root and begin to grow. When new shoots appear, remove the bottle. Plants cut in this way will bloom by the month of July.