Chamaecyparis lawsoniana – a North American species that grows in its homeland along the banks of rivers and wet gorges. It is named after the Scottish plant collector Lawson, who introduced the plant into the culture in 1854. On the American continent and in South Asia, its hard, rot-resistant wood, which has a pleasant aroma of ginger, is appreciated. Under natural conditions, it is a powerful tree up to 30-60 m high and five meters in diameter trunk, surviving up to 500 years or more.
In addition to the already named variety “Alumii”, on sale, you can find cone-shaped golden forms “Alumii Gold”, “Ivonne”, “Golden Wonder” and “Lane”, spherical shape “Globus”. For the middle band, dwarf varieties are most suitable, which overwinter more successfully under the snow than the classic cone-shaped ones. When choosing, you need to focus on the outstretched shape of the crown, as, for example, in the variety “Minima Glauca” with beautiful, curled in the form of a shell, bluish twigs, or the yellow-coniferous variety “Minima Aurea”. Chamaecyparis nootkatensis is also a North American species, in nature of large sizes, up to 30-40 m, with a pyramidal dense, but the uneven crown.
Growing in the garden
When buying a Chamaecyparis lawsoniana seedling, it is imperative to find out not only the specific name but also the varietal name. This will help determine how to care for the new plant, what growth rates and parameters it will have in adulthood. It is difficult to understand this by a young plant, and all of the above factors determine where to plant a tree and how much distance to keep to the nearest buildings or other plants.
The best time to plant specimens with an open root system is spring or autumn. This will help ease care and adapt after stress as soon as possible. If a young seedling is purchased in a tub or with an earthen clod, in which an intact root system is preserved, then transplantation into the open ground can be carried out almost all year round.
It is important to understand that the presence of direct sunlight throughout the day is not the best location option, especially for young specimens. It is advisable to find a place in partial shade, where the sun will appear only in the morning. You should also avoid lowlands in which excess moisture stagnates after rains or melting snow, and the air does not warm up for a long time. Site drainage should be satisfactory or good.
An area with loamy soil is ideal, and areas with a calcareous soil type should be avoided. Land rich in nutrients is preferred.
Planting pit preparation
Preparation is carried out six months before planting so that the earth has time to settle under the influence of rains or melted snows. It is important to remember that the roots of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana trees grow in a horizontal plane, therefore, an interval of about 1 m is left between adjacent specimens. If a group planting is planned to create a hedge, then the space between neighboring trees is reduced to 70 cm.
Dig a hole 60×60 cm in size and at least one meter deep. A drainage system is installed at the bottom. To do this, lay out a layer of 20 cm of coarse sand and broken pieces of brick.
To fill the planting pit, they buy a ready-made soil mixture for conifers or prepare it themselves. In the latter case, the following components should be thoroughly mixed:
- humus at least three years old – 3 parts;
- sod land – 3 parts;
- river quartz sand – 1 part;
- riding red peat – 2 parts.
One-third of the planting pit is filled with such a mixture and left to shrink.
Before planting, the land is watered with a large volume of water – at least 10 buckets per planting pit. At the same time, they water the lump or soil in the container in which the Chamaecyparis lawsoniana grew. At the last preparatory stage, the pit is poured with a root solution in a volume of 10 liters.
The seedling is placed in the center and the resulting voids are filled with prepared or purchased soil mixture, to which 300 g of nitroammofoska is added. When the hole is completely filled, the root collar should remain 10-20 cm above ground level, since after settling and filling with a substrate, it will fall into place. Then the seedling is again abundantly watered and, after the soil subsides, the voids are filled so that the root collar is flush with the ground. Then the trunk circle is covered with mulching material and the trunk is tied to reliable support. If this is not done, the tree bends to the side under the influence of winds or snow.
It is advisable not to transplant the Chamaecyparis lawsoniana tree without urgent need, since the horizontal root system is easily damaged when excavated and takes a long time to adapt to a new place.
But if there is such a need, then this should be done in early spring, before the onset of heat and long daylight hours. You need to dig up the root with a large earthy clod. The more it is, the better. Otherwise, the transfer rules remain the same as for the first landing.
When leaving, it is important to remember the most important factors: watering, air humidity and timely feeding.
The frequency of watering depends on the temperature: the hotter, the more often the tree needs to be watered. At one time, at least a bucket of water is poured under the tree, but in the summer heat, it is better to pour 2 or 3 buckets. For this, water must first be defended: firstly, it will heat up so much, and secondly, chlorine ions will be removed from it.
With insufficient air humidity, the needles can gradually dry out, which will negatively affect the decorative effect of the Chamaecyparis lawsoniana. In addition, in dry air, the plant is more susceptible to attacks by various insects, such as a spider mite, which can cause the death of even the healthiest specimen.
For recent plantings, daily spraying is used to increase moisture levels. It is best to do this in the early morning or after sunset. Sprinkling is suitable for tall trees. Mature trees should be sprayed at least once a week.
Mulching is carried out immediately after planting and then repeated annually in the spring or as needed. This measure will help reduce the amount of watering and keep the roots from overheating in the soil. High-moor peat, conifer bark, buckwheat husks, sunflower husks, etc. are used as material for mulch.
If the trunk circle is reliably mulched, then the need for weeding during the cultivation of this crop is minimized. In the opposite case, loosening of the soil is carried out every time the soil dries out after watering. In parallel, weed control is carried out.
After planting, the first feeding is carried out after 2-3 months, but the concentration of the solution is made two times weaker than for adult conifers. In the fall, they use autumn mineral complexes for conifers, which will help prepare for the upcoming frost.
The next year after planting, care includes periodic feeding from April to July every two weeks. Since July, the introduction of such complexes is completely stopped. Both soluble and dry complexes are used, for example, “Kemiru” is scattered over the surface of the trunk circle and embedded in the soil by loosening.
Systematic pruning is necessary during cultivation to ensure a lush crown without bald spots. In March-April, pruning is carried out, during which frozen ends and branches that are knocked out of the crown are removed. The first formative pruning is carried out no earlier than a year after transplantation.
Growing in the house
For a long time, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana trees were grown exclusively as garden plants, but since breeders have bred dwarf varieties, caring for them is possible in a house or apartment.
The main secrets of growing this crop at home are correct planting, watering, correct air humidity and seasonality.
As an indoor flower, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana looks very exotic. Abundant greenery allows not only fills the rooms with coziness but also purifies the air in the room.
For planting, take a substrate for conifers. A prerequisite is the arrangement of drainage at the bottom of the pot or container. The volume of the container must be chosen taking into account the fact that the roots of this species grow quickly, but an excessive volume for a long time can provoke stagnant water.
A transplant is required once a year. If you need to keep the size of the flower in those parameters that have already been achieved, then in parallel, trim the roots. You can trim about 2/3 of the part.
When choosing a place, it must be borne in mind that varieties with light needles need more light than dark ones. In this case, protection from drafts should be provided, but sometimes the room should be ventilated for fresh air.
The success of growing Chamaecyparis lawsoniana depends largely on the correct irrigation regime. It is impossible to allow the substrate to dry out, but you should also try to avoid liquid stagnation. Water should be softened, rain or meltwater is considered ideal, but you can simply use purified water.
In the warm season, the optimum temperature will be 23-26 °. It is great if there is an opportunity for this season to transfer the flower to the garden or open balcony. In the autumn-winter season, the Chamaecyparis lawsoniana must be provided with a cool room with a temperature in the range of 10-15 ° C. At the same time, watering is reduced, since moisture evaporation at low temperatures is much slower. With the onset of the warm season, the pot is returned to normal conditions.
The main problem with home growing and care is insufficient air humidity. This problem is solved using periodic spraying from a spray bottle. Even better is the use of ultrasonic humidifiers, which do not raise the temperature in the room, but create fine atomization.
The need for fertilizers is determined by the season of the year: at the time of active growth, the Chamaecyparis lawsoniana is fertilized with mineral complexes for conifers once every two weeks. If in winter the flower is kept in cool conditions, then feeding stops, but if wintering takes place in a warm place, then once a month, when watering, add ¼ of the required dose.