Sitnik, or Juncus - impudent modernity
Sitnik is a relative novelty for our interiors. But it is worth seeing them at least once in a flower shop, and forgetting will not succeed. Shoots which are fancifully twisted in a spiral or inimitably thin and long stems twigs in sods - to Sitniks there is nothing to surprise. Dzhunkus, as they also call the chytnik, is one of the most moisture-loving indoor plants. But growing it is not at all so difficult. And the outlandish beauty of modern beauties has long deserved much greater popularity.
Marsh Star Room Career
Among indoor crops there are many plants that are actively used in landscape design. But most of them still belong to the number of summers or plentifully flowering shrubs, but there are not so many decorative foliage crops. And among them, literally on the fingers of one hand, you can count exotic and extravagant plants - both in appearance, in form of growth, and in terms of requirements. It is just to such selected plants that the chytnik, or junkus, belongs.
This is a well-known inhabitant of water bodies and one of the best picturesque plants for decorating water bodies and wet beds in the garden. The status of a houseplant with him today seems more like a mistake than a rule. But the sitniks are so unique that there is no reason to be surprised at the attention of designers and florists to this culture. In terms of graphicness, only sansevieria can compete with them, and even then against its background, the chintel seems to be just an “alien”.
Sitniki, which is quite rightly called both the junkus and the junkus (Juncus), are representatives of the eponymous family of the Sitnikovye (Juncaceae). They got their name from the use of shoots for weaving both mats and baskets or shoes (from the Latin “weave”), which has been known since ancient empires. These are perennial short-rhizome cereals, most of which are characterized by low winter hardiness and extreme moisture loving. In room culture, junkus are limited to a height of 40 to 50 cm. At the base, thin stiff stems are dressed in scaly-shaped sheaths of brownish color that do not spoil the impression of turf.
Sitniks are able to bloom, like all cereals; when though small flowers in inflorescences appear on bizarre bushes, they still seem an unearthly vision. Brownish or off-whitish, they are collected in panicles with crowded asymmetric branches, as if tilted to the side of a bract of leaves, which seems to be a continuation of the stem.
In room culture, unlike garden culture, junkus cannot boast of an enviable variety. But the one and only species that can grow in pots is so unusual that it compensates for the lack of special choice. As a houseplant, only leafy chinton (Juncus effusus) is grown. And even then most often we are talking about a single variety, which today attracted universal admiration for its thin, leafless shoots twisted into spirals.
The chytnik branchy “Spiralis” (Juncus effusus 'Spiralis'), which we simply call spiral chythorn, and even sell in flower shops under this name, is an inimitable representative of cereal grasses that produces dense but spreading turf from thin and very long stems without leaves. The shoots of the junkus are not straight, but intricately twisted into spirals, as if they were specially artificially twisted by hand to obtain such an unusual shape.
But the representation of this bog cereal in room culture is not limited only to the legendary spiral print. Firstly, the variety ‘Blonde Ambition’ is very similar to it, only its spirals are straw-golden and with larger “turns”. Secondly, among the chytins one can also find upright varieties, the decorativeness of which is in no way inferior to the legendary "Spiralis":
- The junkus variety ‘Aureostriata’ flaunts with powerful, straight, motley-colored stems with alternating green and yellow patches.
- The junkus variety ‘Pencil Grass’ is a junkus with fairly thick straight shoots that form a sod that is most similar to green brushwood or resembling giant grass. Hollow leaves are painted in glossy dark green color, grow in a dense turf, reaching a height of more than half a meter.
- The junkus variety ‘Golden Line’ is a golden-colored variety that seems like an artificial decoration and strikes with the texture of straight thin hollow twigs and general elegance.
Sitniks are inimitable modern accents that can be used in the design of even the most daring and extravagant interior styles. They replace full-fledged large decor and sculptures. Junkus feel great not only in ordinary or living rooms, but also in bathrooms or greenhouses. These are one of the most beautiful "horizontal" space dividers that perfectly perform the zoning function. A visually graphic, consisting of all exquisite lines and “strokes” of the crown, creates inimitable optical illusions, expands the space and creates a feeling of “moving apart” the walls.
Junkus Care at Home
Sitniks are non-standard plants. This is not to say that it is very difficult to grow them, but in order to succeed, it will be necessary to satisfy the extremely high need of the plant for moisture and literally create and maintain marsh conditions for the rump. If you do not buy this plant for the paludarium, then the plant will need intensive and very unusual care. That is why it is worth deciding on the purchase of a chintnik for those who not only want to bring outlandish accents into the interior, but have enough experience and time, and are ready to create an appropriate environment for the chintik.
Lighting for the rider
This is a photophilous plant, which in room culture loves good lighting. The usual lighting level of the plant needs to be clarified upon purchase: some varietal sitniks are taught to partial shade specifically to expand the possibilities of exhibiting it inside the interior, but most room runners like bright diffused light, they only tolerate noon sunlight. If plants are accustomed to intense lighting, they will not be afraid of even the brightest southern location.
Sitnik responds well to additional illumination and can grow under completely artificial lighting. The plant feels best on the western and southern windowsills, but in well-lit rooms it can be set up and with some distance from the window.
In a room culture, the grass is an extremely thermophilic plant. He likes rather hot conditions from 24 degrees Celsius, but standard room indicators with an air temperature of at least 18 degrees Celsius will suit him. The minimum allowable temperature for the calyx is 15 degrees Celsius. It is better to avoid lowering the temperature indicators before winter: if there is a temperature fluctuation in the direction of lowering, then the chintel will go into a dormant period. Its growth will completely stop, and the shoots will dry out (the plant, like garden russes, will recover in spring).
If the russet is old, then the resting period is arranged annually, but short: for this it is enough to lower the temperature to 16-18 degrees for a couple of weeks in anticipation of spring, shortly before transplantation. Young plants can be grown without a resting phase.
Dzhunkusy poorly tolerate drafts and temperature fluctuations, especially hypothermia coma. It is better to place the plant on supports to avoid contact with the floor or window sill. In summer, the gowns can be taken out to the glazed balcony, to the protected areas of the terrace or garden.
Junkus irrigation and humidity
It is very easy to choose a watering strategy for a chytin. The plant is not watered with a certain frequency by the classical method: for the chinton, it is necessary to maintain water all the time at a level exceeding the drainage in the tank. If it is grown in double containers, deep pallets, then the water level is not allowed to fall below 8-10 cm. If the gingerbread is grown in hydroponics or in pots with automatic irrigation, then the water is often more often added to the tank. Even a slight drying of the soil to normal moisture can destroy the plant, and complete drying is completely unacceptable. Water can be added to the pan, and water the substrate directly (as for ordinary plants)
Water for watering the strainer should be soft and settled. For this cereal, it is better to use water at the same temperature as the air in the room.
Sitniki need the highest possible humidity. If the indicators in the room are below 50%, and even more so when the heating devices are working, the window needs regular humidification. But usually maintaining a high water level, frequent watering completely compensates for any dryness, and the water source itself also serves as a stabilizer for air humidity.
If the conditions are extremely dry, simply evaporating water is not enough, then raising the humidity indicators for this plant is not so difficult: a simple spraying method remains the favorite method for the rump. They conduct it not along the stems, but from a height and from a considerable distance, creating a “haze”. Of course, the junkus will feel good when installing humidifiers, and their artisanal counterparts, but simple procedures will be quite enough. But if problems with air humidity indicators appear regularly, it is better to install trays and containers with water, room fountains or other “permanent” humidifiers.
The hydrophilicity of the chinacea also has a reverse, very pleasant side: the chinton itself serves as an excellent humidifier. It actually equals the effect on the atmosphere in a room with indoor fountains, and when placed in a room it has a very beneficial effect on the cleanliness and stability of the environment.
Fertilizers for cotton
Fertilizers for ornamental-deciduous plants or universal preparations are applied only during the period of the most active growth, usually from spring to autumn, with a frequency of 1 time in 2 weeks. In winter, the chytons do not feed, but if growth does not stop, then fertilizing is carried out with the same frequency, but reducing the dose of fertilizers by half.
Pruning as such does not need plants to form. But some procedures still have to be carried out regularly:
- remove direct shoots from spiral plants and green shoots - from variegated varieties to the base;
- cut off completely dry or damaged branches;
- carefully cut off the dry ends of shoots affected by inadequate humidity or other problems.
Capacities, transplant and substrate
Chitniks can be grown not only in paludariums, but also by choosing containers for them, given that the plant needs to create marsh conditions. Either hydroponic method, or containers with a water tank, or double pots, in which a stable water level can be maintained in a high "pan", are chosen for a chinton. Despite the seemingly superficial root system, the chythorn releases not only fibrous, but also quite thin filiform lateral roots. And for him, you need to choose containers in which the height exceeds the diameter. The capacity should not be too tight, but it does not increase in diameter by more than 5 cm compared to the previous pot.
Sitnik prefers acid substrates. The soil should be moisture-resistant, but light and very loose. For the plant, you can use a special substrate for paludariums, soil for aquatic plants. If you prepare the soil yourself, then use garden or universal soil, adding marsh peat, sphagnum, sand, perlite, pebbles or other loosening additives to it.
A junkus transplant is needed only if the plant becomes thinner in the winter or is depressed in the summer, it fills the entire area of the pot. In fact, the active development of roots, the death of old roots, constant ultrahigh humidity create an environment for the spread of rot and acidification. And it is better to transfer the chintel plant to new soil annually, thereby maintaining a healthy environment for plant growth. Moreover, you should not be afraid of transplantation: the sealnik tolerates it well, is not afraid of removing the substrate and even allows you to check the roots, removing spoiled ones. If necessary, the chintel is well restored after an emergency transplant. But it is better to carry out this procedure in early spring.
Coarse-grained and high drainage is necessarily laid at the bottom of the tank. Expanded clay is preferable for a chintik, but other materials can also be used. After removing the plant from the old container, it is necessary to remove all the spoiled leaves and examine the rhizome. Plants set at the same depth at which it grew in the previous pot. The junkus transplant procedure must be completed by mulching the soil: even simple expanded clay or ordinary decorative stone soil will not only stabilize the moisture, but also prevent the drying of the top soil layer.
Junkus diseases and pests
Due to the lack of leaves, the Sitniks do not suffer from pests, and diseases, with the exception of rot, are not terrible for them. With the signs of any insects on the stems, a single spraying with an insecticide or fungicide is sufficient. With signs of decay of the roots, it is better to carry out an emergency transplant.
Common growing problems:
- drying and dying of the leaves of the junkus at low humidity, in cold or dry air (in winter these signs simply mean a period of rest, and in spring the plant will recover on its own, but the same phenomenon in summer indicates the spread of root rot);
- loss of leaf color, pale stems with strong shading.
Propagation of house rush plants
In room culture, this cereal is represented exclusively by varietal plants. And they can only be propagated vegetatively. Before transplanting, large bushes of cotton grass can be divided into smaller dividers, and it is not necessary to leave only 2-3 parts: the main thing is that at least a dozen stems remain in each dividend and there is a powerful, voluminous bunch of roots.