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Video: Schisandra Chinensis - Biological Features, Planting And Care. Plant Of The XXI Century - 2
The most characteristic feature of lemongrass is its multi-cavity: both monoecious and dioecious plants come across in its populations. On dioecious specimens there are flowers of only one sex (on male plants - male, on female - female), and on monoecious specimens, there are male and female flowers at the same time.
In lemongrass, monoecious and female dioecious individuals are relatively rare in natural conditions and during cultivation in culture. As a rule, its populations are dominated by purely male specimens or plants with variable sexualization over the years (i.e., in some years, only male flowers are formed, in subsequent years - male and female). It is almost impossible for an amateur gardener to accurately determine the sex of the acquired lemongrass before its flowering, and therefore I was lucky at one time that I immediately acquired a monoecious plant.
It is important to note that young plants, just entering the fruiting period, initially form mainly male flowers, and in subsequent years, as they grow and develop, female flowers. In an adult lemongrass, flowers are arranged in tiers: in the lower part, more often male, in the middle - male and female - from one mixed bud, and in the upper part - female. It should be borne in mind that the presence of flowers of one sex or another in a plant is an unstable trait, which depends on the age of the plant, the place of growth and environmental factors (on the light, nutritional conditions, temperature and soil moisture).
During vegetative propagation, Schizandra has such a characteristic biological feature, when plants corresponding to the mother plant are observed from the seedlings. By seed propagation, plants of four types are obtained: monoecious, female, male, and with inconstant sexualization. According to scientists, the ratio of these groups of plants in natural and seed populations is 1: 3: 8: 8! The first two types (male and female types) annually constantly confirm their dioeciousness: they form, respectively, either male or female. In monoecious plants, an unstable ratio of female and male flowers is observed: in one year there may be both those and others, and in the next - the majority, or only female flowers are possible.
It is believed that such a phenomenon does not contribute to the annual guaranteed yield if only monoecious plants are grown on the site, therefore some authors recommend, along with monoecious, planting dioecious individuals. However, when growing lemongrass in culture, monoecious individuals that do not require additional pollinating plants are still of greater interest. Often from gardeners we hear that lemongrass blooms annually on their site, but there is no harvest. This may mean that there are only female or only male plants in the garden. On females, fruits are not set for the reason that there are no male plants nearby.
To summarize the above: it is very important to choose the right quality planting material in order to guarantee a good annual harvest. When planting plants from an unknown mother plant in a garden, it is difficult for yourself, until 3-4 years have passed, to determine exactly what form they belong to - monoecious, dioecious, or with a sex alternating over the years. Ripe fruits of lemongrass have soft pulp, are very tightly attached to the receptacle and are separated from it with a rupture of the skin. The berries hang in bunches on the vine, not falling, until the very frosts, in some years we had to observe them even before the New Year and later. Inside them there are seeds (2-3 mm in diameter), round-kidney-shaped, yellow-orange with a shiny surface, they are covered with a dense shell, have a bitter-burning "coniferous" taste.With aging, the surface of the seeds loses its shiny appearance and takes on a dull shade.
From a perennial bush with good plant care, the berry yield reaches 3-4 kg; the maximum (up to 5-7 kg) is obtained from a plant in the 12-16th year of its life. But by the beginning of active fruiting, lemongrass approaches, as a rule, by 6-7 years of age. To obtain a stable and sufficiently high yield of lemongrass in a garden plot, it is advisable to keep 2-4 fruiting plants (I keep 4 of them, all of them are obtained from the same branch from the Minsk Botanical Garden); the distance between plants, if they are placed side by side, is at least 1-1.2 m. When harvesting, the brushes with ripe berries should be removed from the plant very carefully so as not to damage the vine. When collecting, storing and reassembling fruits, do not use easily oxidizing (metal) dishes.
Planting Schisandra Chinensis vine
The best place to plant lemongrass is a part of the site protected from cold winds, elevated, well-drained, since it does not tolerate stagnant water and waterlogging. It can be great for vertical landscaping of garden buildings, buildings. It is located at the facade of buildings (retreating 70-80 cm), preferably from the west or south-west side, as well as along the garden paths.
Sometimes lianas are placed along the hedges installed along the periphery of the site. In summer, their foliage creates a pleasant shade and coolness around arches, trellises, pergolas, arbors and trellises. Pale green leaves of plants, collected in bunches on thin hanging, as it were, "air" vines, are easily translucent by the sun's rays, which gives them an openwork look.
Lemongrass prefers fertile soils of light texture. A planting pit is prepared with a diameter of 60-70 cm and a depth of 40-50 cm. Half a bucket of pebbles, broken brick, hard sand or crushed stone (10-15 cm layer) are brought to the bottom to create drainage. Then it is filled with fertile soil, consisting of sod soil, leaf compost, rotted manure and mixed with mineral fertilizers. Fresh manure is not applied under lemongrass. On heavy clay soils, the size of the planting pit is increased to 70-80 cm, drainage is laid on the bottom with a layer of 15-25 cm and 10-15 kg of sand is added. The beginning of flowering and fruiting depends to a large extent on the quality of soil preparation for lemongrass: the earlier, the better the soil is prepared. Lemongrass definitely needs a durable support 2.5-3 m high;in one place it can be cultivated with good care for up to 50 years.
If lemongrass is planted directly near the house, the support can be made in the form of a ladder that rises to the roof. When planted under fruit trees, lemongrass carries its foliage to their crowns and branches abundantly there, but still turns out to be darkened, which leads to a low yield of berries. In addition, the vine tends to climb to the very top of the tree, which makes it difficult to collect fruits. Lianas, pulled from one support to a new support, do not rise, and after a year or two, their stems die off. Lemongrass is very light-requiring. Mature plants feel better and bear fruit actively in open areas (but not in the sun). It's good when the very root system of plants is constantly in the shade.
Lemongrass Chinese care
At the first stage of growing lemongrass, before it enters active fruiting, all agrotechnical measures should be aimed at enhancing growth processes. For 1.5-2 years, it needs to rise to a height of 1.5-2 m. Its development (especially during this period) is very favorably influenced by foliar feeding (spraying the leaf surface), which serves as a source of additional nutrition for the plant. It accelerates the growth and development of shoots, enhances flowering and fruiting, which leads to an increase in the quantity and quality of berries, and also reduces the consumption of nutrients in comparison with root feeding. Foliar processing should be done early in the morning (before 8:00) or in the afternoon (after 18:00),when solar activity decreases and the outflow of plant sap with nutrients from the leaves to the root system and to the reproductive organs increases.
The solution is especially well absorbed in the evening and night hours. It should be noted that every year the vine removes a large amount of nutrients from the soil, so their supply in the soil should be constantly replenished. It is very useful to root top dressing with stove ash from hardwoods. During the growing season, weeding, shallow loosening, watering, adding loose earth to the root collar, feeding with organic and mineral fertilizers (necessarily with the participation of trace elements) is carried out, especially during periods of fruit setting and intensive shoot formation. Lemongrass is one of the fastest growing vines in the world. From the north, its range is limited by the temperature factor to the Leningrad region (60 ° north latitude). It begins to vegetate when the average daily temperature goes through 7 … 9 ° C. In Karelia, located a little north of the Leningrad region,the climate of which is characterized by short and cool summers, the heat is not enough for the successful ripening of lemongrass fruits, although the vine there may well form normal stems.
Schisandra is highly winter-hardy (withstands frosts - 35 ° C and below), but late spring frosts (-3.. -4 ° C) sometimes coincide with the beginning of flowering and can damage buds and flowers. However, shoots and leaves, as a rule, do not freeze under such frosts. Thus, even at the northern border of the distribution of Schisandra chinensis (Leningrad region), there is no need to cover adult plants for the winter. The drought resistance of lemongrass is low, therefore, during dry periods, it needs periodic watering and periodic spraying of the leaves (by the way, it always responds well to an increase in air humidity, therefore, 2-3 open containers of sufficient diameter with evaporating water can be placed under the plant).
According to a number of experts, in the conditions of the Leningrad region, despite the annual abundant flowering of lemongrass, plants can give good yields only once every 2-3 years. They explain this phenomenon by the influence of weather conditions.