The radermachera (Bignonium family) came to Europe as a houseplant in the 80s of the twentieth century from the southeastern regions of Asia. A decorative evergreen tree with an openwork crown and emerald-colored leaves is unpretentious, easy to care for, so it is popular as an excellent addition to the interior of a home and office space, revitalizing and brightening it.
It is impossible to give a general description of the radermachera, since each variety has its own characteristics, which depend on the region of growth and climatic conditions.
At home, they grow only the Chinese radermacher (titmouse) – not high, it takes root well.
In an artificially created environment, depending on the type of pruning, it is a tree or bush, from 1.5 to 2 m in height. The trunk is straight, woody, covered with grayish-brown bark. Drooping, woody at the base of the branches at the tip are soft, with a greenish bark. On a long (25-40 cm) leaf there are small (3-5 cm) leaf lobes with a serrated edge and a pointed tip, forming a dense openwork crown. The color of the leaf is rich, emerald, the surface is smooth, glossy.
In nature, flowering occurs according to development cycles. Small yellowish or pastel pink flowers, reminiscent of bells, form cluster-like inflorescences that emit a clove scent. The plant is pollinated by moths, so the smell intensifies in the evening. Indoors, flowering occurs, most often, upon reaching the age of 15 years.
Planting and transplanting
It is recommended to replant young radermachera at home every year, and those who have reached the age of 5 – every 2-3 years, if the pot has become cramped.
After buying in the store, it is recommended to transplant the flower into a new pot, changing the soil, but first give time for acclimatization (7-10 days) by quarantining in a separate room. In the presence of infection or pests, quarantine will protect neighboring plants.
If roots are visible in the drainage hole, then the pot is already small and a transplant is necessary. It is better to spend it in early spring – the first or second decade of March.
The diameter of the new container, necessarily with a wide drainage hole, should be 2.5-3 cm larger than the previous one. Growth will continue when the root system takes up the entire volume, and if the pot is too large, it will take a lot of effort to develop the space. The soil in such a container turns sour, the tree begins to ache.
The main requirement for the soil is light, nutritious. In heavy soil, poorly permeable to moisture and air, the roots stop developing, the growth of the bush slows down. A ready-made universal primer for flower crops or primer for palms and citrus fruits is suitable. You can prepare the soil yourself.
Potting mix options:
- 1 part of the top layer of fertile sod (10-15 cm), peat crumbs, humus + 2 parts of leaf land;
- 2 parts of universal soil, sod land + 1 part of humus and river sand each (you can add small pine bark – 1/5 of the total volume);
- 2 parts of leaf earth, perlite or vermiculite, peat chips or humus + 1 part of small pieces of charcoal.
The transplant procedure (planting is carried out in the same way) consists of several stages, the correct implementation of which guarantees good survival.
How to transplant:
- moisten the day before the transplant so that the lump does not crumble;
- pour drainage (3-4 cm), add soil to 1/3 of the volume, moisten, loosen;
- pinch the tops of the shoots, remove the bush along with a lump of earth;
- shorten long roots by 2-3 mm, cut off dry and rotten ones, treat the cuts with coal powder;
- leave to dry for 2-3 hours;
- put a lump in the center of the pot, add soil, compact slightly;
- pour over the edge of the container, keep in shade for several days, then put in the old place.
Conditions of detention
For any cultivated plant, the conditions of keeping are important and they should be as close as possible to the conditions of the natural environment – to choose the right place, taking into account humidity and lighting, to maintain a comfortable temperature.
A tropical culture retains its decorative effect in good lighting – the length of daylight hours should be at least 12 hours. When choosing a place, it should be borne in mind that direct sunlight causes a leaf burn, therefore, western or eastern windows are preferable. It is permissible to place a large tree near the window. The crown will develop evenly if the pot is rotated regularly.
In winter and on cloudy days, the lack of light is compensated for by illumination, otherwise the internodes will stretch, the branches will take the shape of a liana. When placed on southern windows, protection from bright rays should be provided.
The flower does not tolerate the smell of tobacco smoke, air fresheners, perfume and reacts by dropping leaves. The kitchen is not the best place for him.
At home, a tropical tree adapts well and adapts to room temperature, easily tolerating summer heat and high temperatures in winter. In this case, you need to put a container of water next to it.
It is not necessary to artificially lower the temperature in order to create conditions for sleep, because the radermachera does not bloom. But sometimes they provide her with coolness in the winter, less often watered (once every 3-4 days), do not feed her and give her the opportunity to rest. After a dormant period, the tree begins to grow actively, it is less sick. It is impossible to lower the temperature below 11 ° C – the flower can get sick.
The homeland of the flower is the Asian regions with a moderately humid climate, so it does not tolerate excess moisture, but it will tolerate heat and heat well with sufficient moisture.
To maintain a normal humidity level, it is enough to place containers with water next to it, put moss, expanded clay in the pallet and regularly moisten them, spray the crown.
Advice! When the heating devices are turned on, it is recommended to “bathe” the flower under a warm shower, covering the soil with a film. After that, wait for the drops on the leaves to dry and take the pot out of the bathroom. The procedure, in addition to moisturizing, is hygienic in nature.
Home care consists of simple watering, feeding, and pruning procedures. They need to be carried out taking into account the needs of the culture so as not to cause harm.
How to water
In the warm season (early spring – mid-autumn), watering is carried out only when the soil dries up from above. The amount of moisture and the frequency of watering should be commensurate with the weather conditions and room temperature. For a flower, both dry soil and too “wet” are equally destructive – the roots do not breathe in it.
It is recommended to use water settled and softened with the help of several crystals of citric acid. If possible, water it with rain or melt water. Its temperature should be slightly above room temperature.
Fertilization begins at the beginning of the period of active growth, that is, in early spring. Mineral complexes for decorative deciduous crops, for example, Kemira Lux, can be used as fertilizer. First, formulations with a predominance of nitrogen are used, from mid-July they are fertilized with phosphorus-potassium fertilizers. The variegated variety should not be overfed with nitrogen – it will lose its color.
To ensure adequate nutrition, root and foliar feeding should be carried out every 2-3 weeks, focusing on the instructions. By October, they are stopped, giving rest until spring.
You can find out more information about caring for this plant by watching the video:
Pinching and trimming
With the help of pruning, you can form either a tree or a bush. To obtain a tree, you need to cut off all the side shoots on the lower part of the trunk as they appear, if a bush is required, then this procedure is not carried out.
The shape of the crown is maintained by pinching the tops of the branches 2-3 times a year, and to add splendor, it is necessary to prune in May or early June. With proper care, the tree grows quickly and without pruning it stretches strongly, the crown becomes shapeless, loses its decorative effect.
Pruning consists of removing the last point of growth on 3-4 shoots above the previous leaf sinus. It is not recommended to remove more than 1/5 of the total green mass – this is a great stress for the plant.
If you plant several plants in one large, stable pot, you can get a voluminous, lush, beautiful bush.
An unpretentious radermachera adapts well at home, but if the rules of care are not followed, it becomes unattractive. To get out of this situation, you need to know what you can do.
Possible problems and their causes:
- leaves fall – lack of lighting, moving the pot to a bright place, setting the backlight will help;
- leaves droop without changing color – there is not enough moisture;
- leaves nod and become light – excess moisture;
- a large gap between the leaves – the soil is incorrectly selected or feeding is not carried out with a simultaneous lack of light;
- stretching the crown up, a thin trunk – create conditions for rest by moving the pot to a cool, bright place;
- black tip of the leaf – high humidity or direct sunlight;
- the appearance of rot in the lower part of the stem or on the upper part of the shoots, a yellow-brown border along the edge of the leaf – heavy soil combined with abundant watering.
Advice! If all the leaves of the radermachera have fallen off, then you can try to save the flower, continuing to care for it in compliance with all requirements. He, if you help him, will cope with such a problem.
At home, reproduction occurs by layering, cuttings, seeds. The most convenient and common way is grafting. After spring pruning, there is always a suitable planting material.
Cuttings are cut from a plant that has reached 3 years of age in late May or early June. The length of the cutting is from 8 to 12 cm; it must have at least 2 internodes. Treat the cuts on the shoot and tree with charcoal powder, chalk or fungicide solution (1-1.5%). Cut off the lower leaves on the handle and dry it for 3-4 hours.
- Fill small containers with a substrate – 1 part of peat chips, perlite (vermiculite) sand, moisten;
- stick in the handle, deepening by 1.5-2 cm;
- cover with a bag, a jar – you get a mini-greenhouse;
- put in the light in a warm (up to 24-26 ° ) place;
- ventilate the greenhouse daily, moisten the soil by spraying as it dries up (you can use a root formation stimulator);
- after the appearance of strong roots (1.5-2 months), transplant into a pot.
Instead of a substrate, water, a solution of a rooting stimulator is suitable. Place the handle so that it does not touch the bottom.
The formation of roots with this method of reproduction occurs on the lignified trunk (shoot) of an adult plant. Flower care is usual.
How to get a cut:
- make an annular cut on the trunk (old shoot), with a depth of 1 to 1.5 mm, wrap with wet moss or coconut fiber, fix the film on top;
- remove the film and spray the moss every 2-3 days;
- with a root size of 3-5 cm, cut off the stem and plant it in a peat-humus mixture in a small container;
- transplant into a pot in the spring.
It is impossible to obtain seeds at home, therefore purchased ones are used.
- fill a shallow container with a vitamin substrate made of peat and sand, moisten;
- plant 2-3 seeds at a shallow depth, cover with a jar, put in a warm (22-24 ° C) bright place;
- airing, as the top layer dries, moisten the soil;
- transplant seedlings in the presence of 2-3 leaves into separate containers, plant in pots in spring.
With proper care, the radermachera will become a decoration of the home for many years. If desired, at home, it is easy to propagate it and get trees of different heights and with different crown shapes.