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Video: Decorative Almonds
Great hedge plant with colorful blooms
Amateur gardeners quite often strive to bring some novelties or plants brought from abroad on their site.
But in most cases, all these novelties are inferior to many beautiful plants known for a long time, for example, decorative plums - almonds and thorns.
I have been growing decorative almonds since 1983 on the Karelian Isthmus. In spring it is the most elegant plant. I want to share my experience of growing it in the North-West.
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Types of almonds
Almonds are one of the most beautiful ornamental plants in the wild. It is found mainly in the southern zone of the European part of our country, in the Caucasus, in Western Siberia, in the republics of Central Asia. Mostly common almonds are grown here. It ripens the fruits that are used in the confectionery industry. Second-class almond oil or bitter healing mineral water is prepared from the nucleoli.
For growing in the middle zone, steppe almonds (bean) are suitable - a shrub up to 1.5 m high, which turns into a fabulous pink cloud during the flowering period. It is a drought-resistant, frost-resistant, undemanding plant to the soil. It blooms in May with pink-red flowers. Its fruits are inedible.
Almonds are a decorative plum. It is also called tender plum, dwarf almond or bean. Tender plum (Prunus tenella) is a shrub up to 1.2 m high, blooming in May with red flowers.
The three-lobed almond (Prunus triloba) belongs to the Rosaceae family. This plant up to two meters high is one of the most beautiful shrubs. Homeland - China.
Its double shape with delicate or bright pink flowers, similar to small roses, is especially good. Thousands of flowers cover the spreading bush. Flowering lasts from 10 to 20 days. After the end of flowering, the bush begins to be covered with leaves.
In decorative terms, this shrub is so beautiful that it is often kept in a standard form, grafted onto thorns, plums, non-double almonds. The greatest effect will be obtained if the plant is grown in a place protected from cold northerly winds. In this case, flowers will be the first to bloom on branches that are more protected from cold winds. Three-lobed almond is a winter-hardy plant.
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Features of almond agricultural technology
Almost all Prunus plants grow well in moderately fertile soils, on almost any, but the best are not too heavy with abundant organic dressing and good drainage, in a sunny location. If necessary, transplant the plant after the leaves fall. The best time to plant is early fall to mid-October. In the planting pits you need to add 2-3 buckets of manure, about a glass of full mineral fertilizer. It is not recommended to deepen the seedling. After planting, attach it firmly to the stakes.
You need to feed the almonds once, in July, with superphosphate - 30 g under a bush. Such feeding will ensure better maturation of the wood and help the formation of flower buds. Plant care is usual - weeding, loosening the soil, pest and disease control.
Timely pruning causes abundant flowering. Cut dry branches in the spring, cut out the faded shoots immediately after flowering. In this case, young shoots will have time to grow and ripen, which will ensure lush flowering next year. First, remove dried, damaged and growing branches inside the bushes and thin out the thickened crown, then give the plant the shape you need by cutting.
Almonds are propagated by dividing bushes, root shoots, layering, green cuttings and budding. Root shoots are usually formed in large quantities after strong pruning of the bush.
It is better to separate it in the second year, when sufficiently strong roots are formed on the shoots. If the roots are weak, then expose the shoots in the ground. Make an incision on the underside near the base of the shoot and leave it in the soil until next year.
For propagation by layering, flexible shoots are used that can be pinned to the ground. They are hilled and left in this position until roots form. It should be noted that the formation of roots on shoots and layers takes a very long time. Sometimes they are not visible even after a year. But even if they appear after a year, do not rush to dig out a seedling. Wait for a good root system to form. Therefore, leave them in the ground to grow for another year. Only in this case can you get a good bush.
When propagated by green cuttings, they need to be harvested in July, then rooted in seedling boxes like a mock orange. Cuttings should be with 2-3 nodes, and when planting above the soil surface, only one node is left. For rooting, a soil consisting of well-moistened peat is used - two parts and one part of sand. After rooting, the cuttings are recommended to be planted in a "school" for growing. In the first winter, the cuttings must be insulated. For example, I cover them with lutrasil in several layers - it's convenient and easy. Many cover them with straw, dry leaves with a layer of 15–20 cm.
Almonds are propagated by budding in the second half of July - the first half of August, that is, during the budding of fruit trees and shrubs.
In this most reliable way, terry almond forms are propagated. The maximum decorative effect is obtained when grafting into a stem - 140–170 cm, in a half-stem - 70 cm, and for forcing plants - 40–50 cm from the base of the stock. Any plum aged 3-4 years can serve as a stock. Best results are obtained with yellow plums. For branching, cut off the eyepieces in the first year, and in the second year leave about ten of the strongest shoots 40-50 cm long.
Cutting of flowering shoots is usually carried out when the lower flowers are fully open and the buds in the upper part of the branch are colored. The branches are cut at the very base.
Ornamental almonds are widely used in Belarus. But this southern culture successfully winters in the conditions of the Leningrad region. In my Karelian Isthmus, for more than a quarter of a century of cultivation, almonds have never been frozen without shelter, even in the most severe winters. There were no diseases and pests on it either.
There are other forms of steppe almond - Gessler's almond, white-flowered almond, low almond. Ornamental deciduous almonds are mainly planted in both high and low hedges.
Growing this wonderful shrub will not require much work from you, but some patience will still be required.
I wish you all good luck!
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