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Video: Forsythia: Species, Varieties, Agricultural Technology
Forsythia - a flower fit for a queen
Features of culture
Forsythia is amazing. Anyone who sees her once, will forever remember the name and want to land on his site. This shrub can be easily photographed in an orange juice advertisement, because from a distance it looks like a large canister of orange liquid suddenly shattered into small pieces.
Forsythia is a holiday plant, first of all, it is a spring holiday, because yesterday bare shoots suddenly adorn today with bright yellow flowers that bloom sometimes when it's still chilly outside.
Few people know that forsythia is a plant of the Olive family, and it got to our edges from distant China, Japan or the Korean Peninsula. All of its species, with the exception of one - European forsythia, whose homeland is the Balkans, originated from there. The name "Forsythia" was given to the plant in honor of the chief gardener of Kensington Palace, who simply adored plants, devoted most of his life to them and eventually founded the Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain. It was he, William Forzit, who brought this shrub to the European continent from China.
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By itself, forsythia is an upright shrub, albeit sloppy in the shape of the crown, it reaches four meters in height in warmer regions, while in the center and in the north of Russia it rarely exceeds one and a half meters. Forsythia has simple or trifoliate leaves that have small notches. And the flowers provide the highest value in this plant: they consist of four bright yellow petals and appear on the bush long before the leaves open.
Types of forsythia
There are quite a lot of forsythia species in nature, they all differ from each other in the degree of drought resistance and winter hardiness. Naturally, the ones that are less capricious and more resistant to sudden changes in temperature are suitable for our region. Of these, the most widespread and used in ornamental gardening are the following:
Forsythia is European. In its homeland - the Balkan Peninsula - it sometimes forms impassable thickets. Imagine how delicious they are during flowering! The shrub is low (one and a half to two meters) with a very compact crown. The leaves are oval in shape, located singly, it seems, this is in order not to interfere with the appearance of golden-yellow flowers, which, however, rarely survive until all the leaves on the plant bloom. This type of forsythia is successfully used to decorate gardens and parks in the warmer regions of our country, well, and in the center of Russia and a little to the north it easily tolerates winter under cover.
Forsythia Giralda. She came to us from China, she is well adapted to cool climates and can be grown both in the center and in the south of Russia. This shrub is similar in growth and crown shape to European forsythia, it differs from it only in yellow-brown shoots and elliptical dark green leaves, reaching a length of ten centimeters. Forsythia Giralda blooms in May - it is then that graceful light yellow flowers bloom for almost a month, which, like the plant itself, are resistant to recurrent frosts.
Hanging forsythia. Its homeland is Central China. This species is characterized by high growth and a very dense and spreading crown. The branches of plants are rather thin and drooping at times to the very ground. In the spring, they seem in an instant to be covered with magnificent golden-yellow, large flowers, reaching a diameter of three centimeters. Hanging forsythia is great as a trellis plant, it can braid gazebos, fences and even the walls of buildings in an unusually effective way, such a carpet in bloom is simply amazing. Forsythia hibernates without shelter with difficulty, often freezes to the level of snow, but under the usual lutrasil it will withstand the Petersburg and Moscow winters without problems.
Forsythia is dark green. This species was brought to us from Eastern China, where it grows only on mountain slopes. On good nutritious soil, the shrub can grow more than three meters and dissolve its gorgeous crown like a peacock's tail. The leaves are no different from other species, they are elongated, jagged and bright green, but the flowers are characterized by an unusually bright color with a share of green. They are also collected in small bunches of 2-3 pieces. This species is quite drought-resistant, it can be recommended for growing in summer cottages, where it is not possible to water the plants daily. Forsythia dark green also requires a mandatory shelter for the winter.
Forsythia is ovoid. It was brought to the European continent more than 70 years ago from the deciduous and humid forests of the Korean Peninsula. It is the most winter hardy forsythia species. In the center of Russia it hibernates without shelter and freezes only in the most severe winters with little snow. Plants of this species also have good leaves - pointed, bright green in color, more than seven centimeters long. The flowers are also remarkable - bright yellow in color, located singly, but very densely, blooming as soon as the snow melts. Its flowering is quite long - more than two weeks, and even after flowering, the plants remain decorative thanks to the foliage acquiring a dark purple color. This type of forsythia is ideal for use in squares and parks, it will be attractive both in single and in group plantings.
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However, not only is forsythia rich in species, it also has varieties. The best of them, in my opinion, are the following varieties:
Dresdner Forfrühling, with a dense crown and light yellow flowers, reaching four centimeters in diameter;
Tetragold is a low and very compact bush, during the flowering period it is covered with dark yellow leaves, reaching three centimeters in diameter;
Spring Glory is a rather tall shrub with rich green leaves that change color to pale purple in autumn;
Gold Sauber is a very widespread variety with large flowers of intense golden yellow color, it is highly winter-hardy; Parkdecor. The name itself speaks for this variety - it is ideal for parks and squares, as it is distinguished by abundant flowering and large dark green leaves.
Of the new varieties, the cultivars Melissa and Weekend should be noted, both have a compact crown and large golden-yellow flowers that bloom in early spring.
Both species and varieties, like the culture itself, are not demanding on the place of growth, they can put up with a little shade, although the flowering will be abundant and lush only in an open and well-lit place.
In the choice of soils, forsythia is more picky, the most suitable for it is a mixture of humus, leafy earth and sand in the ratio 1x1x2. Forsythia adore calcareous soils, but they cannot stand the acid in the substrate, even in small quantities, they will wither and bloom weakly. They are afraid of forsythia and moisture stagnation. To avoid rotting of the root system, it is necessary to put a drainage from broken bricks at the bottom of the planting hole, or pour crushed stone with a layer of 15-20 centimeters, covering it with a small layer of river sand on top.
Forsythia is planted in planting pits to a depth of 50-70 cm, pit sizes are 50x50 or 70x50 cm.Choosing a place for planting, it should be borne in mind that in a few years adult plants will grow up to 2 meters wide and 3 meters high, so the distance between them you need to leave 1.5-2 m. The most suitable time for planting is autumn, before the first frost. In the spring, you may not be in time, and the plants will begin to bloom, and this is always a risk, and the probability of survival is lower.
Before planting in the soil for digging, it is advisable to apply fertilizers. It can be a complex mineral fertilizer at a dose of 40-50 g per square meter, you can repeat feeding next spring, increasing the dose by 10-15 g.
As for watering, you need to take into account the weather conditions. If spring and summer turned out to be rainy, then you can not water at all, but if precipitation is rather rare, then you can water, but not more than once a week - in the evening in the near-trunk strips. After watering, to avoid moisture evaporation, the soil can be mulched with humus or non-acidic peat.
Do not forget about removing weeds: about once a month, the near-trunk circle must be rid of them, and the soil must be loosened. In relation to forsythia, the rule applies: it is better to loosen twice than to water once, because this culture is very negative about an excess of moisture and does not like compacted soils.
Pruning forsythia bushes
To make the crown of your shrub look smartly "combed", and not disheveled, it is necessary to prune. Forsythia is very resistant to pruning and shaping; you can give it a bush the shape of a ball or rectangle; make of these plants a picturesque flowering hedge or decorate the borders of the lawn, controlling the height of the plants. Don't be afraid to experiment. As a rule, the vegetative mass of the shrub grows very quickly. If pruning and shaping is not your strong point, then at least take care of the annual removal of all dry, broken, frozen branches or shoots growing inward, strongly thickening the crown.
With age, forsythia does not bloom so abundantly, the growths become short, the plant begins to wither. To help your pet, you should apply a cardinal rejuvenating pruning - cut off all the shoots to the soil level, leaving only "stumps" no more than three centimeters high. Usually, after such pruning, active growth of young shoots is observed, and the bush will quickly renew itself.
In autumn, in order to eliminate the risk of freezing, the shrub must be slightly bent to the ground and covered with spruce branches or lutrasil. All shelters must be removed in early spring.
Reproduction of forsythia
If you are planning to propagate forsythia, then well-proven methods are suitable for this: sowing seeds, dividing a bush, vertical or horizontal layering. You can also use the now very popular green cuttings.
Nikolay Khromov, Researcher, Candidate of Sciences, State Scientific Institution VNIIS im. I.V. Michurina Russian Agricultural Academy, scientific secretary of ANIRR
Photo by the author