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Growing Chinese Schisandra
Growing Chinese Schisandra

Video: Growing Chinese Schisandra

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Video: Лимонник китайский (wu wei zi) 2023, February

Read the previous part of the article: Schisandra chinensis - medicinal properties and recipes for blanks

Features of agricultural technology of Chinese magnolia vine

The very name of this plant already speaks about where it grows. Although lemongrass is found not only in China, but also in the Primorsky and Khabarovsk regions. It is a woody liana up to 14 m high, the shoots of which twine around the support clockwise.

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Schizandra preferences

Schisandra chinensis
Schisandra chinensis

The success of growing a lemongrass culture in a backyard garden is largely determined by the correct choice of planting site.

• For the successful cultivation of lemongrass on the site, a place is suitable where the vines will be illuminated by direct sunlight for at least 7-8 hours a day. It should be noted that although lemongrass is photophilous, young plants withstand slight shading.

• For planting, you need a fertile, loose, humus-rich soil cultivated to a great depth (at least 50-60 cm).

• Schisandra does not tolerate flooding by flood waters, does not grow in swampy areas and areas with a close groundwater table (closer than 1.5 m). However, he does not like droughts, especially at an early age. The best way to keep the soil in a loose, weed-free condition is to mulch it annually with humus or leaf compost.

• In this case, the ideal condition is high humidity.

• Schisandra needs protection from the wind, especially from the north, which is harmful to young shoots, leaves, flowers.

• The root system of Schisandra is located close to the soil surface. Therefore, it is strictly forbidden to loosen the soil under lemongrass, especially to dig it up. The rhizomes are immediately damaged, and the plants then cannot recover for years.

• Schisandra chinensis annually removes a large amount of mineral nutrients from the soil, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, so their supply must be replenished. Schizandra has a very positive attitude to fertilizers - nitrogen fertilizers need to be applied in spring, and phosphorus-potassium fertilizers in early August.

However, in the Urals, potash fertilizers have to be applied much earlier, because they are not retained by our soils - it happens that already at the beginning of July we have to feed them with potassium sulfate (potassium chloride can not be used as a potassium fertilizer in any case, since lemongrass does not tolerate chlorine). Only you do not need large concentrations of fertilizers - it is better a little, but more often. In autumn, the soil under the vines must be mulched with humus or semi-rotten manure.

Reproduction of lemongrass

Schisandra chinensis
Schisandra chinensis

A very simple and reliable way to propagate lemongrass is by root shoots. The rhizome grows in the old lemongrass bush, many young shoots depart from it.

In early spring, you can choose the strongest shoot away from the base of the bush, carefully dig it up and cut it off with a pruner with a part of the rhizome and small roots. Immediately put in a permanent place and mulch. Such a shoot will begin bearing fruit in 2-3 years.

Can also be propagated by seeds. Schisandra seeds obtained from plants in the fall should be sown immediately after harvest (be sure to fall, as they must undergo natural stratification). They sprout in the spring.

You can propagate lemongrass by rooting green cuttings, but then you will encounter all the ensuing problems: the need for shading, constant moisture, fog, etc.

Plantation of lemongrass

Schisandra chinensis
Schisandra chinensis

Lemongrass can be planted in spring - in the second half of April and in autumn - from the second decade of September. When planting, a hole 60x60 cm in size and at least 50 cm deep is dug for each plant.

Better yet, dig one long trench under all the bushes at once. A ten-centimeter layer of drainage from gravel, crushed stone, coarse sand is laid at the bottom (if the soils are sandy, then this is not required at all). The pit is filled with a substrate of rotted manure, wood leaf - stale sawdust is added to increase looseness.

Acidic soils are limed (400 g of lime per 1 m2 of land). In addition, it does not hurt to add 300 g of superphosphate and three glasses of ash per running meter of the trench. Saplings are planted at a distance of 50 cm from each other.

A prerequisite for the growth of lemongrass is the creation of supports along which the shoots will curl. In the first year, these can be ordinary stakes, like for peas, and then you will need to build a real support. Moreover, based on personal experience, I can say that it is better if the base of this supporting structure is not wooden, because You plant lemongrass for life, and wooden structures rot too quickly.

In our garden, for example, a metal structure-lattice was made, carefully reinforced with metal pipes dug deep into the ground. True, the plant, of course, is not located on metal supports - at the very beginning, it was necessary to stretch synthetic ropes inside the structure. Now no effort is required in this regard - the vines have long been twisting over each other and forming a continuous carpet.

In the year of planting, lemongrass plants give weak growth. In the 2-3rd year, strong growth shoots are formed, especially with light shading of the plants. They are immediately directed upward, tied to a support, otherwise they slow down growth.

When planted at a distance of up to 1 meter from each other, the plants close in 3-4 years, forming a solid wall. In the Schisandra plant, under normal growing conditions, during the full fruiting period, intensive branching of vines occurs, while at the same time rhizome shoots are formed in large quantities.

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Pruning lemongrass

Schisandra chinensis
Schisandra chinensis

In general, from my point of view, if there is a regular freezing of fruit buds and there is no need to count on the harvest of berries, lemongrass does not require any pruning and grows well without it.

True, under normal conditions, when the fruit buds do not freeze, it is necessary to cut out the root shoots, because numerous coppice shoots thicken the crown, due to which the intensity of fruiting lemongrass decreases. But it should be borne in mind that this should not be done in spring, since in this case pruning causes the vines to "cry" - this greatly depletes the vine, it is better to prune the plant in summer and autumn.

In this case, during the formation of plants raised on a trellis, all rhizomatous growth (shoots from rhizomatous nodes formed around the stem of lemongrass) are removed annually, except for the strongest liana, which is tied to supports. Old, unproductive lianas are carefully cut with a pruner at the base. To combat thickening on young lianas, lateral mixed shoots are pinched in summer, leaving 10-12 buds on them.

Bloom feature

The flowers of Schisandra chinensis are rarely bisexual - mostly either female (pistillate) or male (staminate). Hence, there are problems with obtaining fruits. In addition, scientists have noted the peculiarity of lemongrass - "change the sex of flowers" if desired. The ability to make such changes depends on the age of the vine (male flowers prevail on young plants, female flowers appear later), on the conditions of the growing season and the place of growth. All this, for example, in the Urals, has a very negative effect on the harvest.

Schizandra has one more interesting feature. Typically, in other plants, each flower produces one fruit, berry or nut. And lemongrass from one flower gives a long cluster with 20-25 berries. Therefore, when you see several flowers in the spring, do not be discouraged: in the fall you can pick a hundred berries.

Flowers are pollinated by insects - small bugs and hymenoptera.

About flowers, frost and frost

In addition, lemongrass flowers, at least in my area, are very often exposed to spring frosts, and flower buds die in winter. When I lived near Yaroslavl, we had never seen anything like this, and the harvests were excellent. Here in the Urals, although I brought lemongrass from there, the picture is completely different. And I know very well that in the gardens, which are closer to the city, lemongrass quite often blooms and bears fruit normally.

And I had to come to terms with the fact that I would no longer see the abundance of its berries - therefore, for medicinal purposes, I actively harvest young shoots and leaves. You can, of course, cover the vines in the spring, and take them off the supports for the winter - I read about such examples in print. But I do not see a real opportunity to organize this, because lemongrass occupies a huge space and has long been located on the roof of the house. And I can't afford to take shelter of him.

Picking berries

The first harvest can be obtained 5-6 years after the plantation was established. It is theoretically possible to collect up to 4-5 kg ​​of berries from one plant, but, unfortunately, not with us. More often the yield from one plant is about 2-3 kg (this is how much I collected in Yaroslavl), in addition, the frequency of fruiting is often observed once every 2-3 years. You need to pick the berries 4-5 days before they are fully ripe, while they are still firm. Then they crumble in a thin layer, and in the air the berries ripen quickly.

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