Centranthus ruber, better known as red valerian or lactarola, is a perennial herbaceous plant, also cultivated as an annual, widespread in Europe, Asia and North Africa.
This particular variety forms broad tufts, composed of long erect stems, sometimes arched, 50-90 cm tall, greyish-green in color; the leaves are oval or lanceolate, of the same color as the stems, slightly leathery, rough. In late spring at the apex of the stems small star-like flowers bloom, gathered in umbrella-like or semi-spherical racemes, of a bright pink, red or even white color. The flowering lasts for a few weeks, producing showy spots of color; with the arrival of the cold the leaves and the stems dry up, during the winter i centranthus ruber they lose the aerial part, which will start to develop again in the spring.
Lactarola plants are a perennial variety with a rustic character; for this reason, they are usually satisfied with water deriving from atmospheric precipitation; only if there is a very long dry period or if you have young specimens is it possible there is the need to intervene with the water supply, with the foresight to avoid soaking the soil too much, given that, in nature , the red valerian it also develops in stony and very dry places.Ground
This particular variety of plants, presenting excellent characteristics of resistance and rusticity, does not require particular cultural care and is cultivated in the common garden soil, provided that it is a well-drained and dry substrate. The lactar plants, in fact, fear water stagnation, which can quickly cause the death of the plant.
The multiplication of lactar plants to obtain new specimens takes place by seed in the spring season, sowing directly on the ground, without having to set up a seedbed where the new seedlings germinate, or by dividing the tufts in the autumn, to be placed directly, given the great rusticity and strength of this type of plant.
Red Valerian, Lattarola - Centranthus ruber: Pests and diseases
it may happen that the specimens belonging to this genus are attacked by aphids, which, if not opposed, can also lead to serious damage. Before the vegetative restart it is possible to intervene with the use of specific products for a broad-spectrum preventive insecticide treatment, so as to guarantee a right protection to the plants. If the presence of parasites is noted, it is also possible to use a water preparation in which garlic has been boiled, to be sprayed on the affected specimens.