The loosestrife, spotted loosestrife or Lysimachia punctata, as the bright yellow flowering plant is also called, is a striking highlight and easy to care for. So that the yellow loosestrife is really a splendor and does not become a nuisance, a few things have to be considered when it comes to culture.
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Choose the right location
The yellow loosestrife feels most comfortable in a very sunny location with sufficiently moist soil. The best place is therefore the bank of a garden pond or a place where the soil remains moist despite the sun.
However, the yellow loosestrife also thrives in light shade, but then shows significantly fewer flowers.
In the right location, the Lysimachia punctata can reach a height of up to one meter and is also quite space-demanding in scope. When choosing the planting site, it is therefore also important to ensure that there is sufficient space in all directions.
The Lysimachia punctata needs a humus-rich, nutrient-rich soil that can store water well. A mixture of ordinary fresh garden soil, rotted compost and mulch is suitable for this.
Well mixed together, this combination forms the ideal basis for the roots of the yellow loosestrife. And also makes frequent watering and fertilizing unnecessary.
Once the location has been found and the substrate mixed, all you have to do is find the right time to plant the yellow loosestrife. This can either be in late spring, after the last frost, or in early autumn.
The planting hole should be adapted to the rootstock but at least ten centimeters deep. This is the only way to provide appropriate protection against frost and for the plant to be able to anchor itself sufficiently in the ground before winter.
After inserting and pressing down the soil, the spotted loosestrife needs to be watered copiously. In the spring, the alluvial watering should be done for the first two weeks. Quiet in autumn until the first frost.
Prevent uncontrolled spread
Due to its rapid growth and robust nature, the yellow loosestrife can become a real plague within a few years and spread unchecked everywhere.
Once the root system has spread unhindered, even digging up does not always have an effect. Anyone who brings the plant into the garden as a new addition should therefore ensure appropriate protection with a root barrier.
In addition, it is helpful to transplant the perennial every two to three years. On the one hand, this procedure makes fertilizing superfluous because the plant will find nutrients at the new location. On the other hand, it avoids a too strong and wide spreading of the roots.
If the plague is already there, you must dig up the plants and sift the soil. Preferably to a depth of half a meter. It is only through this effort that all the remains capable of sprouting are really removed and the yellow loosestrife can be stopped permanently.
Only a few measures are necessary for the care of the yellow loosestrife. Basically, it is limited to watering and an annual blend. Fertilizing can be neglected under optimal conditions.
However, in the case of diseases, an infestation with pests or if the conditions at the location are not right, the necessary maintenance effort can increase. As a hardy plant, however, the yellow loosestrife is usually able to fully recover.
As already mentioned, Lysimachia punctata requires large amounts of water and should be kept constantly moist. If he stands on the edge of a pond, he can draw the water without additional watering.
At other locations, however, regular watering that is adapted to the weather is essential. The following must be observed.
- Ideally use stagnant water
- Use collected rainwater
- Avoid drying out the substrate
- To protect against drought, apply a layer of bark mulch to the substrate
- Do not water in frost
Of course, in warm, dry weather and during the flowering period, more watering is required than when temperatures are falling. In addition, it can also become a problem for the otherwise water-loving Lysimachia punctata if it is exposed to constant waterlogging. So it’s better to give it a light weekly watering than endure a deluge every two weeks.
If the location is right and the substrate has been prepared as described above, fertilization is usually not necessary.
However, for a lasting bloom, it is still advisable to enrich the nutrients in the soil every two to three years. To do this, either compost and fresh mulch can be worked in, or the plant can be transplanted. Apart from these occasional gifts, however, the yellow loosestrife does not require any other fertilizer.
A topiary is not necessary for the yellow loosestrife, but an annual radical pruning is.
This can either be done in spring, before budding, or in autumn after the flowers have faded. Pruning in autumn is recommended. The yellow loosestrife is completely cut down, only a length of about a hand’s breadth remains.
In addition, of course, the shoots that have been attacked by pests or diseases, damaged, died or dried up must be removed. This cutting can and should be done as soon as possible to keep the plant healthy. Clean cutting tools should be used for this.
Yellow loosestrife as a cut flower
The yellow, jagged flowers and the bright green leaves are a decorative ornament in the garden – and the stems can also be in the vase.
They are wonderful fillers, especially in large bouquets, or can even make up the eye-catching center. Individual branches can be cut from the perennial for this purpose. Partial blending can also take place during flowering. The pruning before winter does not have to be carried out immediately, so that several bouquets can be obtained from the cuttings.
The yellow loosestrife is extremely robust and frost hardy in local areas. Therefore, no protection needs to be applied to safely overwinter the plant.
Proper preparation is all that matters. This basically only includes the timely watering stop. As soon as the first frost occurs, Lysimachia punctata must no longer be watered. It is even better to stop watering when the thermometer drops below 8°C.
As an additional preparation, the pruning mentioned above should be carried out after flowering. As a result, nutrients accumulate more in the roots, which better prepares the plant for the winter. In most cases, however, it is also possible without any problems to only carry out the cutting in the following spring.
If the Lysimachia punctata is transplanted every two years and introduced into the prepared substrate, additional fertilization is unnecessary. In addition, cutting off the roots can at least reduce uncontrolled spread. Because the yellow loosestrife propagates via root runners and spreads very quickly if it is not stopped.
There are no special features to be observed with this conversion. The plant is dug up again in spring or autumn and brought to the new location. The soil should be enriched with compost and mulch as with the initial planting. Then the yellow loosestrife should be watered generously.
Relocation is the ideal time for the propagation of the yellow loosestrife. If the propagation is planned, it is important to get as many roots as possible.
For this purpose, the rootstock should be excavated generously, i.e. with a lot of remaining soil.
The steps from there are summarized below.
- Carefully remove the roots from the soil. For example by tapping or rinsing.
- Divide the rootstock as centrally as possible so that two strong root sections remain. Use a sharp knife or mechanical pruning shears or hedge shears. The blade should be smooth to avoid lacerations or frayed ends.
- The resulting plants are to be taken to the new location and planted like the original Lysimachia punctata.
- Finally, a flooding watering should be carried out for two to three weeks so that the roots can recover and grow.
Propagation can in turn be carried out in spring or autumn. Depends on when the conversion takes place.
Typical diseases and pests
The yellow loosestrife is robust and uninteresting for most pests. Only snails tamper with the young and tender shoots.
Against this it helps to set up appropriate snail fences. If only small traces of damage are found, this step is not even necessary. The plants usually recover well from light attacks.
The same applies to caterpillars and aphids, which are only rarely found on the yellow loosestrife. With these, you should generously remove affected parts of the plant and destroy them immediately afterwards.
The Lysimachia punctata is resistant to diseases. Only rot can become a problem if the plant is permanently too wet, too cold or too dark. So the trigger here is a wrong location. In order to heal the current outbreak and prevent a new infestation, the plant must be transplanted.
For this purpose, withered, rotten or discolored sections must be thoroughly cut off and destroyed again.
Is the yellow loosestrife poisonous?
The Lysimachia punctata is not poisonous and can even be used as a medicinal plant, which, among other things, has an anti-inflammatory effect.
However, it can still be dangerous for small animals if they ingest too large amounts of it. Rabbits usually avoid loosestrife, but their run should not be positioned directly next to such a shrub. The same applies to guinea pigs.
However, it is not dangerous if children, cats or dogs tear off leaves while playing and even put them in their mouths. As long as only small amounts are ingested, neither irritations nor other health consequences are to be expected.
The yellow loosestrife is an extremely easy-care plant that can be a real beauty in the countryside. If you choose the right location and carry out the few maintenance measures, you can enjoy it for a long time – without having to put in much effort.