Honeysuckle variety Bluebird: description and care of the crop

Honeysuckle is a berry ripening on the garden plots of the first, already at the beginning of summer. But gardeners appreciate her not only for this. The fruits are very good for health, and the culture itself is characterized by extremely high frost resistance and unpretentiousness in care. Recently, honeysuckle has become the subject of close attention of breeders, who constantly breed more and more new varieties. But there are also time-tested varieties that still have not lost popularity. The Blue Bird variety belongs to them.

What does Bluebird honeysuckle look like?

Honeysuckle Bluebird (sometimes found in nurseries under the name 2-24) - one of the earliest varieties. It was developed back in the USSR, at the M.A. Lisavenko Research Institute of Horticulture in Siberia. This is a spontaneous mutation obtained as a result of pollination of seedlings of a variety of wild honeysuckle, known to botanists as “Kamchatka” (Lonicera kamtschatica). The variety entered the State Register in 1989, it was recommended to grow it in the Northwest region. But the Blue Bird was quickly appreciated in most of the territory of Russia, including in those regions that are justifiably classified as risky farming zones.

Honeysuckle Bluebird - a variety that has passed the test of time

The bushes of the Bluebird are quite large in comparison with most other varieties of honeysuckle. The average height is 1.2–1.4 m (under optimal conditions it can reach 1.8–2 m), the diameter is about 1.5–1.7 m. In general, the bush is massive, sprawling, the crown is thickened, practically shaped right ball or ellipse.

Bluebird honeysuckle bush you can’t call compact, besides it also needs pollinators

Shoots, as in all varieties of honeysuckle, without fringe, thin, fragile. They break very easily. On old branches, the bark peels off strongly, lagging behind in whole layers. For honeysuckle, this is a completely normal phenomenon, and not some kind of exotic disease. Annual shoots are painted in a pale green color, as it grows, it gradually changes to brick red. Leaves in the form of an elongated oval, gradually tapering and sharpening to the tip.

The berries of the Bluebird are medium in size (no more than 2 cm in length), in the form of a slightly angular barrel or spindle, weighing a little less than 1 g. A characteristic feature of most fruits is a small "roller" closer to the apex. The average weight of the berry is 0.75–0.8 g, but there are also individual “champions” weighing 1.2–1.3 g. The main tone of the skin is ink-purple, almost black. It is covered with a continuous layer of bluish-gray plaque, which is easily erased when touched.

The berries of the honeysuckle Bluebird are not too large, but they have a good taste and are very good for health.

The peel of the berries has a thin, delicate pulp of the fruits of the Blue Bird literally melts in the mouth. Her taste is very balanced, sour-sweet, somewhat reminiscent of blueberries. Professional tasters, he is rated quite high, at 4.5 points out of five. The pulp is characterized by a high sugar content (6.4%), so sourness is almost invisible. Berries also have a characteristic honeysuckle aroma and a piquant moderate astringency. The content of vitamin C in fruits is very high - up to 17 mg per 100 g.

Honeysuckle blooms very early, in general the vegetative period is much shifted compared to other berry bushes

Honeysuckle is extremely useful for strengthening immunity. In addition, in folk medicine, fruits are widely used to strengthen the cardiovascular system and prevent atherosclerosis.

Bluebird - universal berries. In addition to fresh consumption, they are widely used in home canning. Vitamins during heat treatment inevitably collapse, so it is recommended to grind honeysuckle with sugar and store in a refrigerator or freezer.

During heat treatment, the benefits of honeysuckle berries are significantly reduced, so it is best to store them fresh

The fruits ripen very early. Depending on how warm it was in the spring, the crop is harvested from 10 to 25 June. These are the first berries that can be enjoyed in the summer, they ripen even earlier than wild strawberries. The bush begins to bear fruit from the third year of its stay in the open ground, the productive life of the plant is 20–25 years. An average of 1–1.5 kg of berries is removed from one bush, and 2.5–3 kg during particularly weather-friendly years. But such a crop can bring bushes no younger than 6-8 years. The plant reaches its maximum performance by 12–15 years.

The berries of the Blue Bird, when ripe, often showered from the bush, but even on the ground they do not deteriorate

In the early years, the Bluebird does not differ in growth rate, but after fruiting everything changes. By the fourth year of being in the open ground, the height of the bush reaches 70–80 cm, the diameter is about 1 m.

Like all honeysuckle varieties, the Bluebird is self-infertile. In order to set fruit, it is necessary to have a number of pollinating varieties. The best options for her are Blue Spindle, Kamchadalka, Start, Titmouse, Morena, Cinderella. Most of them, like herself, are direct descendants of wild honeysuckle. At the same time, at least three varieties should be planted on the site, and if space permits, 10-15 bushes in general. Practice shows that with several pollinators berries become larger and noticeably sweeter. Honeysuckle is pollinated mainly by insects, so during flowering it is necessary to attract wasps, bees, bumblebees, spraying the buds with honey or sugar syrup diluted in water (40-50 g per 10 liters of water).

For fruiting the honeysuckle of the Bluebird, pollinators are necessary, one of the suitable options is Morena

Video: Honeysuckle Health Benefits

Advantages and disadvantages of the variety

A variety of honeysuckle Bluebird has successfully passed the test of time. To this he owes the following undoubted advantages:

  • high frost resistance. The variety without shelter successfully winters at temperatures falling to -40ºС. This allows you to do without shelter from the cold, even in Siberia, the Urals and the Far East. Good cold tolerance is possessed by flower buds and blooming buds, which rarely suffer from spring return frosts;
  • general unpretentiousness in leaving. Bluebird successfully survives and bears fruit even in those regions where climatic and weather conditions are very different from optimal for the crop, not for the better. Almost any soil will suit this honeysuckle;
  • early fruit ripening. The blue bird ripens when most fruit trees and berry shrubs have just fallen;
  • high immunity. Bluebird extremely rarely suffers from diseases and almost never from pests. In the first case, the gardener himself is most likely to blame - the variety is sensitive to waterlogging of the soil, this often provokes the development of rot;
  • palatability and universality of the purpose of the fruit. In addition, even if fully ripened berries are showered from the bush, they are well preserved on the ground. If you spread a newspaper, covering material, other fabric under the branches, you can collect almost unaffected fruits from it. It should be noted that unripe berries can also crumble if the bushes lack moisture.

Reviews on the palatability of honeysuckle Bluebird are mostly positive, but there are no friends in taste and color

The disadvantages of the variety of honeysuckle Bluebird, perhaps, include only not very high productivity. Also, some gardeners are not too satisfied with the taste of berries, but this is solely a matter of personal preference. There can definitely not be a common opinion here. In adult plants, sensitivity to sudden changes in temperature is noted. They react very negatively to strong summer heat and sharp winter warming.

The Blue Bird does not differ in high productivity, even if optimal or close conditions are created for it.

Another common problem for all varieties of honeysuckle is self-infertility. For annual fruiting, the presence of at least three varieties on the site is required. Accordingly, save space does not work. And this question is always relevant for owners of the standard "six hundredths."

Planting a seedling in the ground and preparing for it

Honeysuckle, with proper care, bears fruit for many years, so you need to choose a place for it, taking into account all the requirements of the culture. There are not so many of them.

The vegetative period in this culture begins and ends very early. Therefore, spring is not the best time for its landing in the ground. In most regions of Russia, air and soil simply do not have enough time to warm up until the end of March, when the kidneys are already awakening. If there is an urgent need for a spring landing, it is carried out exclusively by transshipment, trying as little as possible to damage the earthen lump.

In other cases, the seedlings are transferred to the garden about a month and a half after harvesting from adult bushes of the Bluebird. Even in regions with a temperate climate in this case, there is enough time left until the first frost. Plants will have time to adapt to the new habitat and gain strength for wintering. In the warm southern regions, landing can be planned even in the middle or end of September.

The survival rate of the Bluebird, planted at the end of summer, is about 80%. Practice shows that the "spring" seedlings are far behind in development from such plantings.

In no case should flowering plants be planted. Otherwise, all the flowers immediately showered on them, the shoots stop growing, and dry.

In order for the crop to ripen on time, berries need warmth and sunlight. Therefore, the honeysuckle is planted in an open area. But at the same time, it is desirable to have a barrier at a certain distance from the bushes of natural or artificial origin, sufficient to protect the plantings from gusts of cold north and west winds. The blue bird will suffer a slight shading, but the constant absence of the sun leads to the fact that the berries are smaller, become sour.

Honeysuckle is planted in open areas that are well warmed by the sun, providing seedlings with protection from cold drafts

The quality of the soil Bluebird undemanding. It successfully adapts and brings a crop, being planted both in light sandy, and in heavy clay or peat substrate. But the best option for it is quite loose, but at the same time nutritious soil (sandy loam, loam).

Only those areas where groundwater approaches the surface of the earth 1.5 m or closer are categorically not suitable. The moist soil of honeysuckle is vital, but it is difficult to tolerate waterlogging. For the same reason, lowlands are excluded. There melt for a long time melt and rain water, cold damp air.

Bluebird is very negative about the acidity of the substrate. Plants in such soil take root extremely poorly and produce a very meager crop. Therefore, the acid-base balance in the selected area should be clarified in advance, and if necessary, bring the indicators to the desired ones by adding dolomite flour, fluff lime, sifted wood ash, ground egg shells into powder (150-400 g / m²) .

Dolomite flour is one of the most popular deoxidizing agents; it is added to the soil every 2-3 years.

The bushes of the Blue Bird are quite large, therefore, when planting several plants, they leave at least one and a half meters between them. The presence of pollinating varieties is also mandatory - at least one plant for every 4–5 bushes of this variety. The bushes of the Blue Bird are placed not in a row and not in a checkerboard pattern, such as raspberries or currants, but in a small group around the pollinator plant.

Their root system is developed, but mostly superficial (despite the presence of a rod root), there is no need to dig a too large landing pit. Enough 45–50 cm in depth and 40–45 cm in diameter.

Honeysuckle landing pit Bluebird prepares in advance

It is always prepared in advance, at least 15–20 days before the proposed procedure. The fertile soil extracted from the pit is poured back, after being mixed with fertilizers. Those who prefer natural top dressing make humus or rotted compost (15–20 l), sifted wood ash (1.5 l). Other options are simple superphosphate (180–200 g) and potassium sulfate (150–160 g) or complex fertilizer (Azofoska, Diammofoska, Nitrofoska) in the amount recommended by the manufacturer. Usually, 300-350 g is enough. Before the disembarkation, the finished hole is covered with any material that does not allow water to pass so that the mound of the nutrient substrate at the bottom is not washed away by the rains.

If the soil is heavy, poorly penetrating water, the soil extracted from the pit is mixed with coarse river sand in approximately equal proportions. On the contrary, powder clay is added to a light substrate. Also, in the first case, drainage at the bottom is desirable - a layer of pebbles, rubble, expanded clay with a thickness of about 5 cm.

Saplings of the Bluebird at the age of two years are best taken root and begin to bear fruit as quickly as possible. Planting material is purchased only in nurseries or trustworthy private households. In all other cases, there is a real risk of acquiring something radically different from what is desired. It is best if the nursery is located in the same area as the garden plot. Its products are already adapted to the characteristics of the regional climate.

The right choice of place of purchase of honeysuckle seedling is the key to the quality of planting material

The height of the right seedling is at least 25 and not more than 60 cm. It is desirable that it is located in the container. A closed root system does not need to be protected from overdrying. But if the roots are visible - this is the very criterion that you need to focus on when choosing. The more there are, the faster the seedling will take root. Slightly flaky bark is no reason to refuse to buy. For honeysuckle, this is natural.

The more developed the root system of the honeysuckle seedling, the faster the plant will take root in a new place

There is nothing complicated in the landing procedure itself. Even a beginner gardener can conduct it correctly.

  1. Sapling roots are soaked for 18–20 hours in a solution of any biostimulant. It can be either a purchased drug (Epin, Zircon, Heteroauxin), or an absolutely natural remedy (aloe juice, succinic acid). For disinfection, you can stain the solution in a pale pink color with a few crystals of potassium permanganate.
  2. The plant is inspected, broken and dried shoots are pruned. Roots reaching a length of more than 30 cm are also shortened.
  3. A mound of land at the bottom of the landing pit is abundantly watered. When water is absorbed, a small indentation is made in the middle.
  4. The seedling is placed in it, bending down all the roots sticking up or to the sides. It is advisable to carefully untangle them as much as possible.
  5. The pit is covered with small portions of the earth, periodically gently compacting the soil. Honeysuckle seedlings are not buried - the root neck must be located 3-5 cm above the soil level.
  6. The trunk circle is thoroughly trampled. The presence of air "pockets" is undesirable. The seedling is abundantly watered, spending 7-10 liters of water. When it is absorbed, the soil is mulched with peat, humus, freshly cut grass, creating a layer about 5 cm thick. Sawdust is not recommended, especially fresh ones - they acidify the soil. Unlike the vast majority of berry bushes, shoots from honeysuckle seedlings after planting are not pruned. This procedure greatly inhibits the growth and development of the plant, pushes the first fruiting.

Even a not too experienced gardener will cope with the planting of a honeysuckle seedling

Video: how to land honeysuckle in the ground

Important nuances of growing crops

Honeysuckle is not least appreciated by gardeners for undemanding when grown. Caring for a variety of Bluebird also does not take much time and effort, even beginners can get a crop. Due to the high frost resistance, the plant does not need shelter for the winter, even in Siberia and the Urals. From diseases and pests, the Bluebird suffers extremely rarely. Therefore, care, in fact, comes down to proper watering and fertilizing. You will also need to pay regular attention to pruning, but there’s nothing complicated.

Honeysuckle Bluebird is notable for good survival rate, quickly adapting to new living conditions

The near-trunk circle, like other berry bushes, in honeysuckle approximately coincides in diameter with the crown. It is maintained in proper form, carrying out weeding and cleaning from vegetable debris (fallen berries, a foliage fallen, broken branches and so on). Still the soil needs to be loosened, but not too intensively, to a depth of 4-5 cm. The honeysuckle Bluebird has many surface roots that are easy to damage. Ideally, loosening should be carried out after each watering, at the same time as necessary, renewing the mulch layer, but if this is not possible, at least 3-4 times per season.

The honeysuckle The blue bird loves water, but categorically does not tolerate its stagnation at the roots

When honeysuckle is growing, the Bluebird should always be moderately moist, but this crop does not tolerate categorically soil that is like a swamp. Therefore, it is important to find a “middle ground”. The frequency of watering is adjusted depending on the weather on the street. If the weather is moderately warm and dry, an adult plant needs only 10-15 liters of water every 3-4 days. The best time for the procedure is early morning or late evening. Each time after it is advisable to mulch the soil. This will help to retain moisture in it for a long time and save time on weeding. The water is used settled and heated to a temperature of 22-25ºС.

Mulch in the near-stem circle prevents the weeds from growing and at the same time retains moisture in the soil

Do not forget about water-charging irrigation. If autumn is cool and rainy, it can be neglected. Otherwise, around mid-October, the plant is abundantly watered, spending 30-40 liters of water on an adult bush. This is necessary to prepare for the winter.

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If all the necessary fertilizers have been introduced into the planting pit, for the first two years the honeysuckle seedling does not need additional fertilizing. The first time the plants are fertilized for the third season of being in the open ground.

In the spring, as soon as the soil thaws enough so that it can be loosened, nitrogen-containing fertilizers are introduced. Urea, ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate (10-15 g) are dissolved in 10 l of water. On an adult plant spend 2-3 liters of fertilizer. Every 3-4 years, in addition, in the near-stem circle they distribute natural products - humus, rotted manure, compost (15–20 l).

Urea, like other nitrogen-containing fertilizers, stimulates the honeysuckle bush to actively build green mass

Nitrogen-containing fertilizers are applied exclusively at the beginning of the growing season. At this time, they are very needed, helping the bush to intensively build green mass. But then an overabundance of nitrogen can lead to the fact that the plant begins to “fatten”, it simply will not have the strength to form fruit ovaries and ripen berries, everything will go to the nutrition of the leaves.

10-12 days after flowering, Bluebird is fed with any complex fertilizer for berry shrubs (Agricola, Fasco, Forte, Zdrazen, Ogorodnik and so on). From natural remedies infusion of leaves of dandelion, nettle, wood ash is used.

Nettle infusion - a natural source of potassium and phosphorus, these macronutrients are necessary for honeysuckle for ripening fruits

The last top dressing is introduced after 1.5–2 weeks after harvesting. In order to properly prepare for winter, the plant needs phosphorus and potassium. Top dressing is applied in liquid form, diluting 25–30 g of simple superphosphate and 15–20 g of potassium sulfate in 10 l of water. You can also use complex phosphorus-potassium fertilizers (ABA, Autumn, Azofoska, Nitrofoska), preparing the solution according to the instructions given by the manufacturer in the instructions.

The Bluebird does not need special shelter from the cold. Nevertheless, if winter is expected to be abnormally harsh and not snowy, it is advisable to protect the roots by building a mound of peat or humus with a height of 15–20 cm.

Honeysuckle Bluebird tolerates even severe Siberian frosts without much damage

Video: honeysuckle care tips

The adult bush of a honeysuckle differs in ability to intensive branching. Therefore, pruning for this crop is a must. The bush is thinned annually so that it is evenly lit by the sun. Otherwise, the entire crop will ripen on its periphery. The first time this procedure is carried out for a plant that has reached the age of 4-5 years. A properly formed bush consists of 15–18 branches.

Honeysuckle pruning Bluebird is carried out either in early spring, before the beginning of the active vegetation period (approximately in mid-March), or closer to the end of October, when the sap flow stops and the plant “hibernates”. And in that, and in another case, the temperature on the street should be above 0ºС.

The basic rule of honeysuckle pruning is not to remove the shoots to the point of growth. It is imperative to leave a “stump” 25–40 cm high. It does not form root shoots, like many other berry bushes, therefore, “stumps” can be used to form substitution shoots if necessary.

The honeysuckle bush is thinned so that it is more or less evenly lit and warmed up by the sun

Thinning pruning contributes to a plentiful harvest. Achieving maximum performance is possible only if the growth of shoots per season is at least 15–20 cm. And for this, adequate nutrition, sunlight and heat are necessary. A third of the existing skeletal branches are not touched, the others cut off that developed lateral shoot that is located above the others.

Rejuvenating pruning is performed for the first time when the plant reaches 12-14 years of age. First of all, they get rid of the oldest shoots, which will definitely not bear fruit. This applies to all branches older than 10 years. Also cut off the most poorly located - growing too low (berries ripening on them lie on the ground), twisted shoots directed deep into the crown. Do the same with broken and dried.

If pruning of the honeysuckle bush has not been carried out for a long time, you cannot take and cut most of the green mass at one time. For a plant, this is a very strong stress, from which it may not recover. It is better to gradually get rid of 3-5 oldest branches in a year over several seasons.

Most of the Bluebird crop ripens at the ends of the shoots. Flower buds are concentrated mainly on the upper third of the branch. Therefore, trimming them unless absolutely necessary is strongly discouraged.

For cutting use only sharpened and sanitized tools (secateurs, scissors of a suitable size). To sterilize, they can be held, for example, in a saturated violet solution of potassium permanganate. If the cut diameter exceeds 0.5 cm, “wounds” are covered with garden varnish or covered with oil paint in 2-3 layers. It is preferable to rinse them with a 2% solution of copper sulfate.

Honeysuckle pruning tool must be sharp and sanitized

Video: how to trim the honeysuckle

Diseases of honeysuckle Bluebird is extremely rare. Nevertheless, for prevention - before the leaves bloom and after fruiting - you can spray the plant with a solution of any fungicide. Copper-containing drugs effectively destroy the vast majority of pathogenic fungi. The most common of them are Bordeaux liquid and copper sulfate, but there are many more modern means (Abiga-Peak, Skor, Horus, Topaz, Kuproksat).

Bordeaux liquid is one of the most common fungicides, it can be purchased at any specialized store or made independently

Pests, too, for the most part bypass the Blue Bird. Effective prevention - dusting the bush once every 1.5–2 weeks with sifted wood ash, colloidal sulfur, crushed chalk. Most insects effectively repel pungent infusions. As raw materials, you can use onion or garlic arrows, marigold leaves, tomato tops, wormwood, peel of oranges, tobacco chips, hot pepper and so on. The frequency of processing is once every 5-7 days.

Wormwood produces volatile products that effectively repel most pests.

Gardeners reviews

From the honeysuckle Bluebird I will not build a hedge, it is in the second row, for pollination. Together with the remaining stunts. Although she’s got the biggest increase for the season - 30 cm! But planted in the heat. We thought she was going to die, even two more bushes were planted nearby, so that at least something would grow. And she, apparently, was just cramped, went so well that she had to urgently plant a second bush.

Cruel

Honeysuckle varieties Blue Bird, Tomichka, Bakcharskaya and Kamchadalka in central Russia sometimes suffer from sudden changes in temperature in autumn and winter. The fruits of the Bluebird are oval in shape, 2 cm long. Weight - 0.75 g. The taste is sweet and sour, with little astringency. The skin is thin, the flesh is tender. Productivity - about 1 kg per bush. Shedding is average. The bush is thick, with a round crown, 1.8 m high. Shoots are straight, without pubescence. The leaves are elongated-oval with a pointed apex and a rounded base. Pollinating varieties: Blue Spindle, Titmouse. For universal use.

Argunova

Honeysuckle variety Bluebird. The fruits ripen in the first half of June. A dense bush of rounded shape with elongated oval, spiky leaves. Honeysuckle Bluebird has oval, sweet and sour, slightly tart fruits with delicate pulp (yield about 1 kg from the bush).

Lisko Anatoly

A variety of honeysuckle Bluebird is very productive, very good for processing! Ripe berries crumble from the wind, but are stored in the grass for a long time and can be easily picked. I also have the Start variety, which is inferior in yield, size of berries and bush height significantly, but, as you know, is the parent for many varieties. The best way to process, in my opinion, is to freeze berries triturated with sugar. It is interesting that such a solution freezes at significant subzero temperatures (-10-15 ° C). I suppose this is a sign of frost resistance of the whole plant.

Alexandra.

If honeysuckle is bitter, then this is forever. No top dressing will help. You can pick and freeze these berries. Frost nails the bitterness. And then make jam or put it on fruit drinks. Do not buy the Blue Spindle. Old grade and bitter. The Blue Bird is also bitter. Leave them as pollinators and plant new varieties. All there Giants and Daughters of giants.

Gost385147

I had the Nizhny Novgorod early and the Bluebird - both terrible sour meat and bitterness. I got rid of her, gave her to a neighbor. She loves that.

Bambarbia

The loose blue bird turned out to be very. I have another kind of honeysuckle, also berries with a barrel, but only it did not end well, the berries seem to be directly glued. It is not known which is worse.

Veruska

From the old owners I got three honeysuckle bushes in the summer cottage, I think they are 30–40 years old. The berry is not large, but without bitterness. In the fall I took three more varieties: Sibiryachka, Bluebird, Selginka. The first landing site was chosen incorrectly - the shadow from lunch, the soil is waterlogged. Saplings almost did not grow. The next year, the honeysuckle transplanted to a sunny, dry place, the bushes grew, there was the first crop of several berries. The next year, the harvest was much larger, the bushes were already 50–70 cm high. I covered the ground under the bushes with black agrotex - and weeding is not necessary, and the moisture lasts longer. Now about the berry. The shape of the berries in Sibiryachka and Selginka is similar - elongated, up to 3.5–4 cm; the Bluebird is more rounded, up to 1.6–2 cm long, but the yield is higher. Taste. Bitterness is absent in all varieties. There is no sweet honeysuckle - there is always sourness, but the Siberian seemed to me less acidic. The blue bird has some special flavor - blueberries or something.

Rosi

In my area there are ten varieties of honeysuckle. Nymph, Morena, Amphora, Leningrad giant, Nizhny Novgorod, Gourmand - these varieties are similar in taste, sweet with a pleasant acidity, without bitterness, the berries are large. And also there is a Bluebird - sour, fruitful (3 kg from a bush). If you take into account that honeysuckle is useful for diseases of the stomach and liver, then these varieties are very useful.

Zamazkina

Bluebird is a honeysuckle variety, quite popular among gardeners, despite the presence of many achievements of modern selection. It does not differ in high productivity, but its undoubted advantages include frost resistance, undemanding care and a long productive period. Do not forget about the extreme health benefits of berries.

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