Secrets of landing a thuja and proper care of it
- Type: conifers
- Flowering Period: May, June
- Height: 100-7000cm
- Green color
Plants from the cypress family have long been used to decorate the urban landscape and suburban areas. Particular love of summer residents enjoys the noble thuja - a frost-resistant beautiful long-lived plant, distinguished by an unusual leaf shape and suitable for forming living fences and alleys. Consider why the propagation of thuja by cuttings is more preferable and what are the rules of plant care.
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What is the best way to breed thuja?
There are three main ways to breed thuja:
- prepared seeds;
- cuttings (twigs);
- seedlings ready for planting.
You can experiment with various methods for a long time, but in any case, you will focus on the most rational and practical - reproduction using cuttings.
Growing from seeds: long and troublesome
Why is it not customary to grow thuja from a seed? It's simple: for a seedling to become suitable for planting in open ground, it will take at least 5 years, moreover, in the process of growth, the tree will lose all its varietal characteristics and turn into an ordinary wild plant. The only plus is the maximum preparation of the seedling for local, specific growing conditions.
Thuja seeds are unpretentious to the soil, but for planting it is better to use loose and nutritious soil, consisting of a mixture of sand, coniferous and leafy soil
For planting, we choose strong healthy seeds that have lain throughout the winter period under the snow, since the stratification process tempers them and prepares them for further development in such climatic conditions. In the spring we place the seeds in boxes with nutritious soil, sprinkle with a layer of earth mixed with coniferous sawdust. Young seedlings must be carefully monitored: cover from direct sunlight, clean from weeds, regularly moisten, feed with a weak solution of fertilizer. And only in the fifth year, grown seedlings can be planted in a permanent place.
Thuja from cuttings - the most effective way
Experienced summer residents know that most conifers reproduce perfectly by cuttings. Among them are various varieties of juniper, fir, pine - that is, plants that feel great even in the harsh northern climate. It is also important that when propagating by cuttings, trees retain their belonging to a particular variety.
April is usually chosen to separate the shoots. Ideal cuttings are obtained from the shoots of a 2-3-year growth, from the top of the crown. It’s better not to use a pruning shear, but try to tear the stalk out manually. The length of the detachable part is about 20 cm. When tearing out at the end of the twig, a piece of last year’s wood will remain, a small “heel” rich in nutrients. June is also suitable for collecting planting material, when the plant is experiencing a second growth period, but the June harvest will be ready a season later, as they simply “sleep through” the current year.
The needles and small twigs from the bottom of the cuttings must be removed so that in contact with moist soil or sand, rot does not occur
To disinfect young shoots, we lower them for several minutes in a weak solution of manganese, and then soak for a day in “Kornevin” or a similar growth stimulator.
For planting, boxes with river sand or a mixture of sand and garden soil, placed in limbo, are suitable (placed as an option on bricks, stones, boards). We perforate the bottom of the boxes so that the water drains easily and does not stagnate, and oxygen is constantly supplied to the roots. Then we lay out the drainage layer of fine pebbles. Sand before use is better to boil in a galvanized bucket or tank, and then soak in a 3% solution of potassium permanganate. We deepen the cuttings by only 1.5-2 cm, carefully compact the ground and soak in water. We make sure that after each subsequent watering, the water does not wash out the soil, and the stalk remains in place.
For summer or winter growing thuja seedlings, boxes and ordinary flower pots of the appropriate size are suitable - the volume should be enough so that the roots are not crowded
The room in which the boxes with seedlings will winter will be shady and warm. Rooting of shoots well occurs at a temperature of + 18-22ºС, in a humid environment. If frost is predicted, a plastic greenhouse film can be used for insulation. The first two months require daily spraying, in particularly hot conditions two times a day - in the morning and in the evening.
The beginning of autumn is the time for planting rooted cuttings in open ground on a specially designated bed or in pots installed in a greenhouse. The roots by this time reach a length of 8-10 cm. Pay attention to the soil - thuja prefers acidified soil mixed with peat. Growing seedlings takes 2-3 years, the minimum care is watering, removing weeds, regular weeding.
How to choose ready-made seedlings?
If you don’t have time, do not have enough time or you can’t wait to decorate the area around the house with beautiful plants - get ready-made seedlings. Sometimes they offer specimens grown in neighboring cottages. If you trust the sellers, you can safely buy from them, but it is better to purchase high-quality varietal products in professional nurseries. Among hundreds of samples you can choose a healthy, hardened, disease resistant, accustomed to local climatic conditions plant.
Nursery seedlings differ in age and size: you can buy the smallest ones and “bring them” to the planting period yourself, or you can buy large ones, ready for decorative work on the site
Pay attention to the conditions in which the plants are kept: whether the temperature is adequate, whether the soil in the pots is sufficiently moistened. Perhaps regular watering is not carried out, and the sold samples are watered only for the species on the day of sale. The needles should sit firmly, not crumble, look bright and strong. On the stem and branches there should be no spots, stains and other signs of disease.
Having delivered the seedlings home, try to transplant them on a shaded area and water as soon as possible.
Features of spring planting in the ground
The unpretentious thuja perfectly takes root at any time of the year convenient for gardening, but experienced gardeners recommend planting the thuja in the spring, thereby tying the plant's life cycle to the biological clock.
Before planting, first determine the place convenient for the plant. When developing a landscape project, remember that the thuja loves slightly shaded places. In brightly lit areas, it languishes and is more difficult to tolerate cold; in dark places it develops poorly and loses its decorative qualities. Light shade, a place closed from the wind, closely located groundwater are factors that contribute to the proper cultivation of arborvitae.Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
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Step-by-step landing instructions:
- we dig out a deep hole - about 70-80 cm in depth and 90-100 cm in diameter so that a lump of earth with a seedling freely enters into it;
- pour some soil with organic fertilizers at the bottom of the pit, for example, a often used mixture - 2-3 kg of wood ash per 1 m³ of soil;
- we place the seedling in a hole, trying not to damage the earthen lump with roots and placing the root neck at the level of the earth's surface;
- mix garden soil with peat and sand in equal proportions, fall asleep, easily tamp.
The interval between plants depends on the variety, as the cultures of different varieties differ in size. Miniature species are best placed at a distance of no more than 1 meter, large - up to 5 meters. Suppose the Brabant variety reaches a height of 10-15 m and a crown diameter of 4 m, that is, for the tree to develop fully, a maximum of space is required. When planting hedges, regardless of variety and size, plants are planted with an interval of 1 m.
Brabant is a real find for landscape designers. Using special techniques and haircut options, you can adjust the shape of plants, create hedges and combined compositions
After planting, watering and primary dressing are necessary. Natural fertilizers such as Epin and its analogues are often used as fertilizers. The substances that make up the stimulants help plants take root faster, protect them from diseases. In the spring, two-time feeding with potassium and phosphorus is effective with a break of 10-14 days.
The watering regime in the spring depends on the weather and the amount of rain. In a hot and arid period, the plant needs watering at least twice a week, in a cool spring - once only. If the season is rainy, additional watering is not required.
Consider the main points of growing thuja, which you need to pay special attention to - watering, top dressing, cutting and preparation for the winter period.
Watering and sprinkling mode
Adult plants, like seedlings, are very fond of a humid environment, and it is better if the water will come from all sides, and not just from the soil. Regular watering is a necessary condition for maintaining the plant in “good physical condition”. A sufficient amount of moisture is immediately reflected in the appearance of the thuja - the branches become elastic, and the needles become shiny, with a more saturated shade.
The minimum irrigation regime is one bucket of water (about 10 l) in the basal area once a week, in the dry period - 2-3 times a week. In a drought, the thuja reacts instantly to a lack of moisture: the crown tip turns yellow, a large number of cones appear, which is not always appropriate for a decorative effect. The best time of day for watering is early morning or twilight.
Watering thuja, especially its seedlings, should be very carefully so as not to wash the ground from the area of the root neck, which is on the same level with the soil surface
Thuja loves sprinkling no less than plentiful watering - spraying the crown from a spray bottle or hose with a special nozzle. Water washes away the dust, the appearance of the tree is updated, the thuja becomes fresh and clean, and a pleasant coniferous smell appears in the air. Do not be afraid to spray the thaw once again, irrigation 1-2 times a day is only good for her.
Fertilizing with fertilizers and mulching
Thuja, like many ornamental plants, needs regular feeding. It responds to fertilizer application with faster growth (although thuja is one of the slowest growing crops), splendor, luster and bright color of needles. Often fertilizing plants is not required, 1-2 times are enough - at the beginning of the season or in the summer. In addition to traditional compost, special mineral fertilizers for conifers can be used.
Fertilizing thaw is economically profitable: a 100-gram bag of Fertika complex mineral fertilizer for feeding conifers in the summer costs 90-100 rubles
Experienced summer residents recommend the universal Fertika product for evergreens of a Finnish producer. "Spring apron" is introduced into the soil when loosening - scattered in the trunk area and carefully digged along with the topsoil. Dosage - 35-40 g per 1 m² of soil. The summer version is dissolved in water and used during watering.
The trunk circle needs additional cleaning and loosening. To protect against weeds, retain moisture and increase fertility, the area around the trunk is mulched with compost or sawdust. For decorative purposes, the soil is covered with painted wood chips or nutshells.
Trimming and cutting
The first two years, the thuja must be left alone to give it a final root, to monitor the growth rate, to determine its needs. In the third year, you can start trimming the crown.
First of all, the crown is freed from dried, sluggish branches that suffered during the wintering, and then they decide whether additional thinning is necessary: the loss of density also affects the decorative properties
There are several rules for trimming correctly:
- the main procedure is carried out in April, then throughout the summer, until the cool days, the shape of the crown is adjusted;
- dry weather is suitable for trimming;
- before cutting, dry or diseased twigs should be removed, and in order to improve air circulation, thin out the plant slightly, sacrificing healthy shoots;
- to maintain the stability of the chosen art form, all shoots of annual growth should be removed;
- if growth is only necessary in width - cut off the top of the crown.
An artistic haircut is to give the plant a specific, most often regular geometric shape - a ball, pyramid, cube, column.
Often found in suburban areas composition with the participation of conifers - several design options for thuja surrounded by flowers and ornamental herbs
Skilled craftsmen manage to turn conifers into figures of animals or fairy creatures. Inexperienced, beginner summer residents should start with simpler compositions - low hedges, lawn "balls" or simple two-tier cascades.
A thuja hedge in the country house performs several useful functions: it protects a summer cottage from uninvited guests, is a decorative element and absorbs street noise
Thuja preparing for winter
In the middle and northern latitudes of Russia, western thuja varieties, the most frost-resistant and unpretentious, are chosen for decorating suburban areas, however, they also need to be prepared for cold and snowy winters. Development, albeit slow, in the harsh period provides abundant autumn watering.
The young fragile trees in the first few years need additional insulation. As a covering material, non-woven spunbond or a thick greenhouse film is used - a transparent cocoon, while retaining heat, transmits sunlight, necessary for photosynthesis. In specialized stores you can buy special covers. To protect the roots, use fallen foliage, which is cleaned in the spring, after thawing the top layer of the soil.
It is enough to protect mature trees from snow and strong wind. So that snow does not accumulate on the branches, they are neatly pulled to the trunk. Snow deposits favor mold, therefore it is better to remove them in a timely manner.
If you learn how to properly care for the arborvitae and skillfully use its slow growth, you will get a wonderful plant for decorating alleys, rockeries, alpine slides and flower beds.