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Butomus umbellatus is a rhizomatous perennial aquatic plant, native to Europe and Asia, now widespread also in the American continent. This plant, also known as flowering reed, is quite slow growing and has long dark green leaves, pointed and ribbon-like. Butomus umbellatus produces an umbrella-shaped inflorescence in summer, which blossoms at the axil of two oval bracts, at the end of a long stem. The flowers of this kind of plants are small and pink. Usually this plant remains smaller than 1350-170 cm. In late summer it produces small capsules containing dozens of seeds.
To get the best results from this species, it is good to know that the flowering reed likes sunny positions, but it also adapts to the partial shade; it does not fear the cold, even in the harshest winters, but instead it usually fears the scorching heat of summer, so in places characterized by very hot summer it is necessary to plant it in partial shade, to avoid that direct sunlight and high temperatures can completely ruin the plant.
This plant, being an aquatic variety, must be buried on the edge of ponds or small pools, it can possibly be planted even in a completely submerged area, as long as the water does not exceed 15-20 centimeters in depth; particularly likes the calm and calm water, in the places characterized by strong currents part of the leaves tend to remain immersed in water.
For Butomus umbellatus it is advisable to choose a soil very rich in humus, as it is poorly adapted to poor soils in organic matter.
In spring it is possible to intervene with a specific fertilizer for flowering aquatic plants, so as to provide the plant with all the nourishment necessary for better growth.
To obtain new flowering rush plants, in spring, the clumps can be divided, maintaining, for each portion practiced, some roots, so that it is possible to guarantee a rapid rooting.
The new plants obtained from the division of the tufts must be immediately planted in the place chosen for their cultivation. Usually the plant produces some cloves every year that can be divided from the mother plant and buried to form new plants.
In late summer Butomus umbellatus can also be sown in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts, the container with soil and seeds should be kept in a bright and protected place until the following spring, when the new plants can be planted.
Flowering rush - Butomus umbellatus: Pests and diseases
Sometimes this kind of plant can be attacked by black aphids that ruin flowers and leaves. To remedy, if any, the presence of pests is possible, it is possible to intervene both with insecticidal chemicals and natural compounds, which can be, for example, made with garlic or nettle. To prepare these compounds just boil the garlic or nettle in the water which will then be filtered and then vaporized. Sometimes even simple washing with running water can cause aphids to be eliminated.
In the spring season it is possible to practice preventive treatments with broad spectrum products, which allow greater protection.