Pittosporum - curly miracle
Among large pets, shrubs or trees, the appearance of which at the same time would seem exotic and classic, are not often found. This is what the pittosporum looks like. From afar, a thick crown seems to be neat, but once you get closer to the plant, you will also see a whorled arrangement of leaves, giving it curls, and the beauty of shades of green, and gentle flowering. This is a great and hardy soloist for those who seek originality even in landscaping.
Flower Tree Pittosporum
Thistles are one of the most beautiful evergreens of our planet. Compact enough: even in nature, they grow up to only 2 m in a bushy form (up to 5 m in the form of trees). The density and ornamentality of the crown in these plants is unparalleled, and it does not change not only when grown in open ground in countries with a mild climate, but also in a room or greenhouse culture.
Pittosporums are plants of dry subtropics, the conditions for which are easy to recreate. Japan and China are considered the birthplace of the pittosporum, which is easy to guess from the "eastern" appearance and picturesqueness of the plant.
Under the true name, pittosporums are almost unknown. The Latin name is significantly inferior in popularity to the simple name of the anemis. Plants are considered the hallmark of the entire Smolosemyannikov family.
Representatives of the genus Smolosa, or pittosporum (Pittosporum) - evergreen shrubs, less often - trees with a dense crown. Indoor seedlings are limited to a maximum two-meter height, and even then they reach such sizes only in the absence of formation. The bush grows rather slowly, adult throat plants grow per year only a few centimeters long. Strong, flexible shoots of pittosporum with smooth bark are combined in a plant with densely arranged, glossy, leathery, obovate leaves. The shiny leaves at the ends of the branches are collected in bundles of whorls, which gives the plant a special ornamentality and elegance. The tops of the shoots with their "floral" pattern of leaves remind of rhododendrons, as well as the general effect of the density and curl of the crown.
The flowers of the pittosporums for indoor shrubs are quite large, up to 2.5 cm in diameter. When blooming, they change their color to creamy light yellow, due to the gradual change of color in one inflorescence, you can admire the flowers of different colors. Pittosporum surprises with a pleasant, delicate and delicate aroma reminiscent of oranges and sweet citruses. Pittosporum flowers are often used to produce natural flavors and make tea and alcoholic beverages. The plant does not let out single flowers, flaunting convex, dense guards of inflorescences from April (and sometimes March) to the end of June. For the first time, flowering can be observed only at the age of five, and sometimes the pittosporum blooms even later.
After flowering, you can observe the process of gradual maturation of three-nested capsules. Pitsporum seeds coated with a gummy resinous secretion are painted in a fairly bright shade of orange.
Types of Pittosporum
Out of more than fifty species of strawberry, only two species are grown as a potted plant.
The most popular indoor thistle is rightly called Tobira Pittosporum (Pittosporum tobirawhich is also known as common throat and pittosporum odorous) Is a compact and amazingly dense evergreen shrub. The plant never reaches its natural multi-meter height in room culture, being limited to a maximum of 150 cm. The shoots are strong and thin, form a flat crown. The obovate, elongated, with a keeled base and a rounded tip, leathery leaves of this type of pittosporum flaunt a muted brilliant gray-green color, against which the central vein is translucent.
Flowering at the Tobira pittosporum starts in mid spring and lasts until July. The apical shields attract the eyes to the beauty of white or cream, rather large fragrant flowers with a diameter of about 2.5 cm. In addition to the base plant, on sale you can find variegated nameless varieties of Tobira pittosporum.
Pittosporum thin-leaved (Pittosporum tenuifolium) in everything resembles Tobir's pittosporum, but its leaves are much smaller and lanceolate, with a wavy edge. Flowers are also inferior in size to competitors (only up to 1 cm), but they are painted in a unique cinnabar shade of red and seem precious against the background of dark green shrubs.
Pittosporum care at home
The asterisks of pitosporum flowers against the background of elegant shiny foliage and a dense curly crown seem to be a unique sight. But the unusual appearance does not mean at all that this plant is difficult to grow. The Pittosporum does not like extremes, it needs careful watering, constant attention and care. But there is nothing complicated, except for a cool winter, in caring for the plant. And the ease of formation and beauty compensate for the thoroughness of care. Pittosporum is best chosen by experienced growers who can provide ongoing monitoring and systemic care.
It is difficult to call sun-loving strawberries, but they are definitely photophilous indoor plants. Shading does not affect the attractiveness of foliage, but at the stage of budding and flowering, any reduction in light is reflected in the process of laying and developing flower buds and buds. Leaves of the shrub should be protected from direct sunlight (too intense lighting causes them to curl), but it is better not to set the pittosporum away from the windowsill.
The eastern and western windows are rightly considered the best place for the plant, but the pittosporum will feel good on the windowsill of the northern orientation. Light shading will not hurt, but in the middle penumbra, the seeder will feel uncomfortable.
The throat should light evenly. It is better to turn the crown regularly in relation to the light source.
Variegated rosaceae are more sensitive to stability and light intensity than green leaf forms.
Pittosporums belong to houseplants that prefer to grow and develop in coolness. They do not tolerate heat, fluctuations in air temperature. In living rooms, they feel good enough, but only if the temperature does not exceed 23 degrees. Optimum temperatures - from 18 to 21 degrees.
Plants achieve maximum decorativeness only if they provide a cool wintering. For the winter period, pittosporums are best moved to rooms with a temperature of 10 to a maximum of 13 degrees Celsius. Deviation from the recommended parameters leads not only to the absence or deterioration of flowering, but also to a slowdown in growth. Lowering the temperature below 10 degrees is detrimental to the root system, but the aerial part can withstand even light frosts. Therefore, during the entire dormant period, the temperature of the substrate is primarily controlled by the temperature of the substrate and, if necessary, measures are taken against hypothermia of the pots by exposing the plant to stands.
Pittosporum is very sensitive to stagnation of air and lack of fresh air. The rooms in which this shrub is located should be ventilated regularly, protecting the plant itself from cold drafts.
Watering and humidity
Pittosporums need moderate, moderate watering. They do not tolerate stagnation of water and waterlogging of the soil, too abundant watering. In summer, at ordinary temperatures, pitsporum is often watered, but without excess, and in the winter dormant period, watering is significantly limited, reducing the moisture content of the substrate by half compared to summer. It is undesirable to allow complete drying of the substrate for the strawberry. Estimated frequency of irrigation - 1 time per week in spring and autumn, 2 times a week in summer and 1 time in 1.5-2 weeks in winter.
Thistles well tolerate dry air, but the decorativeness of greenery suffers significantly from this. It is best to grow pittosporum at least with average air humidity. At high temperatures or a drop in these indicators, spraying is carried out. Periodic fragrance, in addition to the stage of budding and flowering, has a positive effect on the attractiveness of the leaves. Greens can be wiped or washed from dust and use special polishes.
Fertilizers for pittosporum
Resin seeds need additional top dressing throughout the year, even during dormancy, to maintain stable substrate characteristics. Pittosporums can be fed only in spring and summer, but rare winter dressings maintain a high decorative crown throughout the year.
In the active period of growth of dressing make with a frequency of 1 time in 2 weeks. In autumn and winter, top dressing is carried out once a month.
For pittosporum, you need to choose complex fertilizers for flowering indoor plants. If desired, conventional top dressing in the summer can be alternated with top dressing with organic fertilizers.
Like many other indoor shrubs, the resinous throat is highly decorative only if it is regularly formed, supporting both the contours and the density of the crown. Over time, the lower leaves fall off, exposing the branches, and pruning also stimulates the renewal of the crown. Plants tolerate almost any haircut very well, which allows to expand the possibilities of their use in interiors of various styles.
On the plant carry out several types of scraps:
- tweezing or pinching of the tops of young twigs;
- easy shortening of branches twisting out from the contours of the crown;
- trimming to 1/3 of the length of the shoots to give a more rigorous silhouette;
- cutting side shoots and forming a central trunk to create stem and wood forms.
If desired, pittosporums can be grown in the form of bonsai. For the formation and direction using a wire frame and a frequent haircut.
Pittosporum transplant and substrate
Thistles are transplanted regularly and often. Until four years of age, plants are transplanted annually, in early spring, after 4 years - every two years, changing the top layer of substrate in containers in the year when the transplant is not carried out. If the plant does not need a transplant, the roots have not yet fully mastered the entire substrate, then the transplant is best done as rarely as possible. Resin throats react painfully to the capacity change procedure, adaptation lasts a long time.
Pittosporum does not like peat and its content in the substrate should be minimal. A universal earth mix is quite suitable for a plant. The optimal soil reaction is a pH of 5.5 to 6.0. If the substrate is mixed on its own, then for pittosporum it is better to use one of the light earth mixtures:
- a mixture of sand, humus, sod, deciduous soil and peat in a ratio of 1: 1: 4: 2: 1/2;
- a mixture of equal parts of sand, turf and leafy soil.
For pittosporum, only one transplant method is permissible - transshipment with the complete preservation of an earthen coma. Contact with the roots can lead to the death of the plant. At the bottom of the new tank must lay a high layer of drainage. After transplanting, the plant must be placed in mild, controlled conditions with high humidity.
Pittosporum diseases and pests
Pittosporums are one of the most hardy indoor plants. Only with a significant violation of care, the accumulation of dust on the leaves, improper lighting and excessive watering, they can suffer from the spread of rot, spider mites or other insects actively spreading in dry air. The fight against these problems is best started with a simple correction of the care and removal of insects from the plant, resorting to insecticide treatment only when simple measures do not help.
Common growing problems:
- fading of leaves in low light;
- stretching, painful appearance in full shadow;
- twisting and drying of leaves under direct rays of the sun;
- loss of motley color in variegated varieties with an excess of nitrogen or poor lighting;
- natural loss of lower leaves.
Indoor pittosporums are propagated mainly by cuttings, but if it was possible to collect or acquire seeds, then beautiful plants can be grown from them.
For rooting, it is preferable to use not green, but semi-lignified, summer shoots just beginning to wood in the lower part. Rooting can be carried out in a mixture of sand and substrate or in clean sand, in large common containers. Buried in the soil cuttings at an angle. Growth stimulant treatment is desirable but not required (on average, this process takes a little over a month).
Prior to rooting, it is necessary to maintain stable light soil moisture (for pittosporum, it is also necessary to create high air humidity by covering the container with cuttings with a glass or film hood, but such measures will accelerate rooting). Immediately after rooting, the cuttings are planted in individual medium-sized pots using a standard substrate for seedling plants. Caring for young plants is similar to caring for adult pittosporums, but the formation in the form of pinching of the tops must begin from the first weeks of cultivation.
It is possible to get a strawberry from seeds. Sowing is carried out in standard peat-free substrates (earth mixtures containing only sand, turf and leafy soil). Sowing should be carried out immediately after the collection of seeds, because they very quickly lose their germination. Sowing is carried out superficially or with a light cover of sand, on a moistened substrate. Shoots under the film or glass appear long enough, diving can be carried out only after the formation of a full pair of real leaves, in individual pots. Plants develop very slowly, in the first year they practically do not grow in the aerial part, growing roots.
Plants obtained from seeds and cuttings bloom almost simultaneously - in the third year after sowing or planting for rooting. Very rarely, cuttings can bloom after 2 years.