Planting and caring for Chinese Schisandra in open ground
"Evergreen perennial plant that gives the human body strength" - this is the definition that has been attached to lemongrass in Chinese culture for many centuries. In Europe and Russia, this plant began to be cultivated in the 19th century, and during the Second World War, its dried berries were used to treat the wounded and restore their strength. The cultivation and care of healing Chinese magnolia vine is discussed in detail in this article.
Description of Chinese Schisandra
The plant is a Far Eastern deciduous vine, which is able to reach a length of 15 m and entwine surrounding objects. Dense leaves of saturated green color have a wedge-shaped shape, up to 10 cm long and up to 5 cm wide. The bush blooms in May with small white flowers, which become pinkish during flowering. Fruits are bright red in color, collected in clusters and resemble viburnum berries in size and color.
Schisandra root system
The description and properties of the root system of the plant are typical for lianas - it is located at a shallow depth (up to 30 cm) and goes to the surface of the soil to form new shoots. Around the root stem there are many roots with buds that are able to form shoots at a distance of about 0.5 m from the main plant.
Important! The roots of Schisandra chinensis are very delicate and do not withstand being outdoors. Therefore, seedlings are stored before planting only in a moistened earth coma.
What year does lemongrass bear fruit?
Depending on the method of cultivation, the vine begins to bear fruit for 3-4 years with the vegetative method of reproduction, and for 5-6 years - seedlings. It is also very important to have a support for the bush, since a lying plant will annually produce new stepsons without developing existing branches. When grown in the shade, this “loach” does not produce fruit buds up to 10-14 years. After the beginning of fruiting, only small clusters of berries are formed that do not reach the state of technical ripeness.
Growing a plant is not a difficult process, since it tolerates well not the most favorable conditions.
Agrotechnical subtleties are as follows:
- soil selection;
- preparation of planting material and its landing;
- installation of trellises, trimming, transplanting;
- winter care.
It is possible to plant the described species in open ground in areas with a mild climate in early October, and in more severe conditions (for example, in central Russia) in the spring, in the second half of April.
What soil is needed
For planting crops, select areas of soil with low or neutral acidity. If the soil is acidic, a large pit is prepared for cultivation, in which a substrate of humus, leaf compost and sod land is laid in equal proportions.The pit needs to settle down for at least two weeks, during which the introduced soil will settle and normalize the acidity of the surrounding soil. Before forming the soil layer, prepare a drainage: broken brick or vermiculite is poured onto the bottom of the pit. The layer thickness should be at least 10 cm.
Important! Before planting, you can add 200 g of superphosphate and 500 g of wood ash to the pit.
Preparing planting material
In order to get beautiful plantings of medium height with a properly developed root system, it is recommended to soak the rhizomes in a weak solution of potassium permanganate before planting for 20 minutes. This will help in the fight against parasites and harden the lower part of lemongrass. All injured or painful roots are also removed, and too long are cut with a sharp secateurs to the middle of the length.
Experienced gardeners recommend planting in one plot at least three bushes at a distance of one meter from each other in a row or in a checkerboard pattern. Two or three year old seedlings are planted, which have a height of only 15 cm. It is worth paying attention when falling asleep a hole with a vine, so that the root neck is at the same height as the level of compacted earth.
Do not plant a plant at a distance of less than 1.5 m from the walls of the house or other outbuildings, as well as from fences and tall thickets. Rainwater may drip from all of these objects under the magnolia vine or excess solar heat may be reflected.
Despite the undemanding nature, this garden bush has some wishes for care in the growth process. For the summer resident, these manipulations are not difficult, so even beginners can take care of the plant.
Did you know? With all the richness of useful substances in berries, leaves and stalks of lemongrass contains a large amount of vitamin C. It is from the foliage and shoots of the plant that make medicinal tea.
What Chinese Schisandra loves
After planting, the plant is abundantly watered, and to exclude the possibility of fluid spreading around the near-trunk zone, a small radial roller is made from the soil. After the first watering, the soil inside the roller is mulched with humus, sawdust or hay.
Bushes are very fond of moisture, they need to be regularly and abundantly watered.and in dry periods you can organize daily spraying of green mass. In this case, water is used, which was preheated during the day, and all water procedures are performed at sunset.
What kind of supports are needed
Given that Schisandra chinensis is a vine for its growth and development, it is necessary to establish supports. These designs will allow the plant to receive more heat and solar energy, which favorably affects the formation and filling of berries.As the vines grow, it is necessary to tie the stems to the wire with a keeper tape or stripes of bandage or gauze.
As trellis using wooden, steel or even concrete poles with a height of about three meters. 50-60 centimeters of the total length are buried in a prepared hole, where they put a boot, gravel, small stones to ensure stability. The distance between the posts should be three meters. They are installed in the same period (autumn or spring) when young bushes are planted.
Several rows of wire are wound onto the supports at approximately such heights:
- 0.5 m;
- 1.2 m;
- 1.8 m;
- 2.5 m.
The first pruning is done for 2-3 years after the plant has been planted at a constant place of growth. Choose 4-6 of the healthiest stems, and cut the rest with a sharp knife or secateurs on the very surface of the soil. Do it in the deep autumn, after the end of leaf fall. Pruning from excessive thickening of the crown can be carried out in the summer.
Did you know? Liana Chinese lemongrass always wraps around the support clockwise.
Winter pruning of vines is strictly prohibited. The fact is that at this time there is an active movement of the juices and the shortening of the stems will lead to the drying of the branches or the death of the whole plant.
Sanitary pruning is performed as necessary - damaged, diseased or underdeveloped shoots are removed. Long shoots are shortened to 10-12 buds. For rejuvenation, it is necessary to systematically cut off shoots that are already 15 or more years old.
The plant is very difficult to transfer the transplant to a new place. If the bush is dividing, the transplanted fragment will be very difficult and take root for a long time.
But there are circumstances when transplantation is indispensable. In this case, the landing pit is prepared in advance, drainage is poured into it, humus, superphosphate and ash are added.Dug lemongrass should be moved to a new place as soon as possible, sprinkle the roots with soil, compact and water.
In winter, the plant can be wrapped with agrofabric or tied with spruce branches. This will not hurt young bushes, and adults can do without such a procedure. So that hares and other rodents do not damage the bark and wood of the trunk, the site should be carefully fenced with a fence from boards, netting netting or at least a medium-sized plastic net.
Pest and Disease Control
Pests bypass lemongrass, so this plant has no pests. But diseases sometimes affect the bush.
The main diseases:
- Ascochitosis - manifests itself in the form of brown dots and foci on the foliage, and is due to either fungal nature or bacterial. In both cases, the bush is sprayed with preparations containing copper sulfate.
- Ramulariosis manifests itself in the form of rounded spots on the leaves. Treatment with a fungicide will help get rid of this fungus.
- Powdery mildew forms a loose white coating on the leaves and shoots, which darkens over time and becomes dense. Help in the fight against the disease can be soda ash or vitriol.
Propagation of Chinese Schisandra
The plant can be propagated by seeds, undergrowth and cuttings. Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages.
Propagation by seeds is carried out in the fall by the newly harvested material.
You can grow according to the step by step instructions:
- seeds are cleaned from the pulp of the berries and laid in sphagnum or peat for 6-8 weeks;
- after stratification, planting material is planted in containers with soil, which are covered with paper to protect from bright sun rays and create a greenhouse effect;
- in 1-2 weeks sprouts will appear that need to be watered with a weak solution of potassium permanganate, planting containers must be removed from the “sunny” window sill;
- after the appearance of the fourth leaf, the sprouts are transplanted into separate larger pots;
- Before planting in a certain place for growing in early summer, seedlings are tempered by taking containers with seedlings for several hours to a balcony, garden plot or garden;
- seedlings are planted after 10 cm from each other, having created, previously, in the place of the location of young growth a sparse shadow;
- for the winter, seedlings are covered with coniferous spruce branches or agrofabric;
- transplantation to a permanent place is carried out after 2-3 years.
The shoots can quickly grow through the soil from the root buds on their own. You can grow new seedlings by propagating by layering. For this, a quality shoot is pressed to the ground, strengthened and sprinkled with peat. After 2 years, the formed seedlings can be cut and planted as a new plant.
A plant branch can be cut and planted in a separate container with nutrient soil. After two months, the roots will appear and it will be possible to transplant the sprout in a large container or in a protected ground. After 2-3 years, the seedling is ready for planting in the open.
Schisandra chinensis is an interesting and unpretentious plant that takes root well in almost all types of soil and bears fruit in clusters of healthy berries. Many summer residents grow and propagate this berry shrub, praising the quality of fruits and other parts of the plant.