The euonymus is a real autumn highlight of the personal plot! When choosing plants for decorating a garden, you should pay attention to it as a long-liver of the season, which will revive the overall dull picture of rainy weather on the site. When other ornamental trees and shrubs begin to lose their former beauty, the euonymus will flare up in all shades of red, transforming literally in a matter of days. Planting and caring for the garden is not difficult, since the euonymus is a resident of our region and in an uncultivated form, it can often be seen in the forests of the middle zone.
The plant of the genus euonymus is a winter-hardy ornamental shrub or a short tree. In the genus, there are deciduous and evergreen varieties, on the shoots of which, in most species, coarse growths are formed with age.
The plant is characterized by slow development, giving no more than 10-12 cm of annual growth. But euonymus can live in a garden up to 50 years and longer, the first 15 of which it will grow. At a more mature age, his strength will be spent on maintaining the crown and replacing non-viable shoots with young ones.
Important! The plant is poisonous and contains alkaloids, its fruits should not be eaten, and you need to work with it with gloves!
Flowering and fruiting
The difference between euonymus and most ornamental shrubs is that it is beautiful not with flowering, but with foliage and fruits. Flowers bloom on it small, nondescript brownish hue, which, moreover, smell unpleasantly of “mice”. In fairness, it must be said that this smell is very attractive to pollinating insects, which means it is useful for the garden. The shrub blooms in May, and in June the flowers fall off and the fruits begin to ripen. Until autumn, its appearance does not represent anything remarkable, and it modestly waits for its turn among other decorative cultures.
With the arrival of autumn, the deciduous crown of the euonymus is transformed, by this time the fruits ripen, which adds charm to the shrub. First, bolls ripen on the branches in a pink-carmine color palette, and then they open up, exposing large black seed grains, which are tightly framed by a contrasting orange seed plant. And the euonymus becomes the center of the landscape exposition. After the opening of the seed pods, 7-10 days pass and the gradual release of seeds begins, and the shrub still continues to revive the autumn area with its bright crown.
Interesting! Black fruits hanging on thin petioles are popularly called “wolf earrings”. They are very attractive to birds, which peck at them and carry them over considerable distances, multiplying the population. After the seeds pass through the digestive tract of birds, their germination significantly increases.
Varieties of euonymus with photos
The genus includes more than 140 varieties distributed in different climatic zones. Only 20 of them are the natural growing environment, and only a few especially decorative species are widespread in culture.
The most common variety in landscape gardening in the middle lane, is found everywhere in the mixed forests of the region.
Usually a Euonymus verrucosus up to 3m tall, less often a tree. A characteristic feature is a bark cracked as if covered with cork-like “warts”. In young specimens, the shoots have a flat surface and a green color, gradually forming black-brown outgrowths. The seeds are black or dark gray. Shade-tolerant and winter-hardy.
The homeland is the temperate latitudes of Europe. It is also most often a shrub, but under favorable conditions, it can grow into a tree of impressive size.
The general description of the Euonymus europaea is similar to the warty variety. It is not immediately possible to distinguish them in the photo. The branches are 4-sided, with cork outgrowths, with a high gutta resin content. Has, in turn, 5 decorative varieties, widely used in the design of fences, parks, etc. Drought-resistant. The seeds of this species are completely covered with an orange seedbed.
Homeland of Euonymus alatus is the Far East, where it grows up to 2m in height. In middle latitudes, it rarely exceeds a meter growth.
Shoots at a young age are green, round-tetrahedral in shape. Cork growths are formed in stripes up to 0.5 cm in width. The autumn color of the crown is bright red, the fruit pods are of a darker burgundy color. Grows well in the shade.
Originally from the Euonymus japonicus, the people received the name pseudolavra. In the southern regions, it forms a long liana up to 7m, in middle latitudes it rarely exceeds 0.5m.
This euonymus has many decorative varieties and is grown at home as a houseplant. Planting and care involve growing in a bright room without central heating. In room conditions with heating in winter, it can shed all foliage. Resistant to polluted air.
A Far Eastern variety of a tree-like, less often bush-like form, which, unlike many other species, loves light and, in the absence of shadow, forms a standard tree.
Home care of euonymus
In the wild, this shrub grows in forests of temperate and subtropical climates. The plant has become very popular, as planting and leaving it is not difficult.
Location and lighting
The choice of location depends on the type chosen. If the site is open to the sun, it is better to give preference to the Maak euonymus. The European or warty species feel great in partial shade or even in shade among rarely planted large-sized animals. And yet, where the sun practically does not look at all, winged or Sakhalin euonymus will feel best. It is also best to choose them when planting on a slope, since they grow well and eventually root the lower shoots, delaying landslides.
Lack of light for shrubs with poor shade tolerance will lead to the growth of a liquid and shapeless crown, which will significantly lose in decorativeness.
The plant is more sensitive to soil aeration than to its fertility and does not tolerate stagnant moisture at all. It is best to plant euonymus in neutral and slightly alkaline soil. If the acidity index is high, lime or ash must be added to the soil. On clayey soils, sand is introduced into the planting pit.
Almost all vegetative and seed methods are available, although not all are recommended or cost-effective.
Dividing the bush
Acceptable only for young specimens with a not very overgrown root system and easier adaptation. It is not necessary to dig up the entire bush, it is enough in early spring or autumn to chop off part of the rhizome with a shovel and remove it along with part of the bush shoots in order to plant it in the prepared hole.
Harvesting is done in June or early July. For grafting, semi-lignified stems of the current year of formation are selected, which are cut and divided into segments of about 7-8 cm. Each of them must have one internode. The apical part for grafting is not suitable as not sufficiently ripe for full reproduction. The cuttings are planted in fertile soil, the upper part of which is sand. It will take 1.5-2 months to develop a viable root system.
Requirements for layering – they should not be higher than half a meter, and the central root should not be thinner than 1.5 cm and not shorter than 25 cm. The bush is cut off from the parent, dugout, and transferred to the prepared hole. This should be done in the spring, as soon as the soil warms up, but before the start of sap flow. It is advisable to preserve the earthen lump as much as possible.
A detached seedling does not have to be planted right away in a permanent place. You can grow it on a training bed until fall or next spring.
It is long, troublesome and uneconomical. Can only be recommended in the absence of other options. You can wait 1.5 years for seed germination, only in the second spring. Only freshly harvested material is suitable for planting, which is immediately buried in the soil in the fall and covered with mulch. You can plant seeds in the spring using artificial stratification in the refrigerator in the winter. Before laying the seed for storage, you need to soak the seed in water for 2 days, then pour it into coarse sand or wet sawdust, wrap it in a bag and put it in the refrigerator in the warmest place. When the shell of most of the seeds bursts, the temperature is lowered to the lower positive limits and spring is awaited. In this case, shoots can be expected after 2 weeks. But only after 3 years, young seedlings will be ready for planting in their lifelong place.
When laying seeds for stratification, it is recommended to free them from seedlings.
Planting ready-made euonymus seedlings, features
Planting of ready-made seedlings purchased or grown independently is carried out according to the usual agricultural technology for trees and shrubs. Let’s just note the peculiarities of the culture.
- The level of the root collar should be strictly on the surface of the soil, therefore, taking into account its shrinkage, it should initially be located slightly higher.
- So that the soil mixture, which will fill the planting pit, gives less shrinkage, it is prepared in advance.
- Autumn planting of spindle trees is preferable to spring planting.
- Group planting (for example, with the aim of creating a living fence) is best done in a solid groove, and not in separate planting holes.
- The optimal density for this case is 20-25 seedlings per square meter or half of this amount per linear meter.
Never combine crown molding with replanting or dividing a bush.
The plant requires moderate moisture with the complete elimination of stagnant water. At the same time, the spill rate is 40 cm deep in the soil, so watering should be rare, but abundant. So that in this case there is no contradiction, it is very important to arrange high-quality drainage. Mulching works well in this case. On sandy or clayey soils cracking in the heat, the plant should be watered more often.
The spindle trees lend themselves well to forming, they can be given any desired shape. They tolerate the procedure painlessly. Sanitary pruning is mandatory for them. Old shoots must be replaced with new ones in order to prolong the life of the plant, but also to preserve their external attractiveness. It is necessary to work with the bush with gloves because of the poisonous sap of the plant!
When shaping the crown of a spindle tree, it should be borne in mind that, due to the slow growth, it will not be possible to correct the mistake made soon.
Diseases and pests
The culture is resistant to infections, but easily rotting in case of excess moisture in the soil. As for insects, it is extremely attractive for them, which is why many refuse to plant this beautiful shrub in their personal plot. But this fact also has a strong side. The euonymus itself can be completely entangled in the snares of caterpillars, and the adjacent decorative and fruit crops remain absolutely clean. The attractiveness to pests in this case serves as a protective function for other plantings.
At the same time, the treatment of the shrub itself is not difficult and can be done with any suitable insecticide. The work is facilitated by the accuracy of the defeat.
Most often, the culture is affected by the thyroid gland, apple moth, all kinds of aphids and mealybugs. If it is a dry summer, there is a high probability of being hit by ticks (more often red flat and spiderweb). Good results are obtained by prevention, for which it is recommended to use colloidal sulfur in the spring, and in the summer season – Aktar or Kofidorm.
Advice for landscape use of euonymus
When creating a plant composition on the site, many make a big mistake, not taking into account the seasonal characteristics of each of the planted ornamental crops and choosing them as a whole not from the factors of general interaction, but trying to plant the most spectacular and beautiful crops on the site. As a result, many of these “stars” turn into ordinary extras, finding themselves in the general “vinaigrette of masterpieces”. When planting euonymus, one should choose a place for him so that in the summer season he does not close other spectacularly flowering plantings, and in the fall he talentedly performed his role of a farewell autumn waltz in the garden.