Honeysuckle berries, planting, care, cultivation
This is perhaps the most popular and earliest berry in the north. Honeysuckle berries are very healthy and usually ripen a little earlier than strawberries. This is not the most attractive, but quite ornamental plant, in nature it can be found on the slopes of hills, in mixed forests and in ravines. It takes root well in forests with coniferous and deciduous trees.
Honeysuckle belongs to the honeysuckle family, it unites about a hundred species of plants. There is inedible and edible honeysuckle.
Honeysuckle: the pros
An unpretentious plant that will not require special care. Honeysuckle berries are the earliest edible berries. Flowers attract bees due to their melliferousness and high pollen content.
Honeysuckle has medicinal properties. Scientists have found that honeysuckle berries can contain up to eighty-five percent vitamin C, as well as rutin, quericin, and so on. Honeysuckle berries contain a fantastic amount of nutrients that help with various diseases, such as colds and hypotensive conditions.
Also, these fruits are popular in cooking. Compotes, jelly and mashed potatoes are prepared from them. Very rich in vitamins raw honeysuckle jam.
This plant is also used in home medicine, as an antiseptic, diuretic and a substance that helps the gastrointestinal tract.
Honeysuckle is used for decoration. The beautiful yellow wood is used for various jobs.
Honeysuckle in the outside world
On the territory of Russia, it can be seen in Siberia, in the Far East and in the Leningrad region, also in the Moscow region, in the Urals and the central black earth region.
This northern berry has spread all the way to the Arctic Circle. The plant tolerates cold well, but poorly thaws and sudden increases in temperature. Because of this, it is not very common in the south of our country, in Ukraine and further south, the living conditions are too uncomfortable.
Biological description of honeysuckle
There are several types of honeysuckle in Russia and the CIS countries, but only one is edible - blue honeysuckle.
The berries of this plant are very tasty and, after ripening, acquire a blue-black color with a slight waxy bloom on the surface. This type of honeysuckle is constantly used by gardeners. In the northern regions and not only it is one of the favorite berries for people of all ages. The ripening period ends in early June.
Blue honeysuckle is presented as a bush, usually no more than one and a half meters high.
The plant has a root system resembling a rod, in the horizontal plane the roots extend sixty centimeters, the bushes should be planted at a distance of at least one and a half meters. Most of the roots are at a depth of sixty to eighty centimeters.
Only the planted honeysuckle has a small fluff on the stems, sometimes slightly blue-violet. As they age, the stems become covered with bark, which gradually begins to flake off. The aged branches are about five centimeters thick.
The leaves are the most common, rather short petioles grow together with round stipules. The leaves themselves are oblong with dense pubescence.The top of the bushes is usually rounded, the bush itself is quite small.
The flowers of honeysuckle are small, the inflorescences, as a rule, are colored in various shades of ocher. Flowers resemble funnels, different varieties have a different number of flowers, from two to five. Honeysuckle usually begins to bloom in late spring, at the beginning of summer there are already fruits ready for consumption.
Honeysuckle berries are long, an average of ten to twelve centimeters, a characteristic dark blue color with a slight bluish bloom. Boron-colored pulp with a large amount of sour juice.
Various varieties of honeysuckle berries for summer cottages
Breeders are constantly developing new types of honeysuckle.
For giving, varieties of blue honeysuckle are often used as:
Morena, Kamchatka, amphora and nymph are suitable if you live in a cold climatic zone.
Early, gourmet, Kamchadalka, Cinderella will take root well in all climatic conditions and give a big harvest.
The most productive variety is considered Lakomka; during the season these plants can produce three kilograms of berries, despite the relatively small size of the bush, on average one and a half meters.
Amphora species can boast of a similar yield, its berries do not fall to the ground.
The blue spindle is also fruitful, but on average it already yields two kilograms. The bushes are tall, the berries are sour.
A similar yield is given by the blue bird variety, the berries are more tart and seem to melt in the mouth.
Another popular variety is Nymph, it is already of medium ripeness and is usually exploited as an ornamental one. The leaves are large and bright, the crown is ellipse-shaped. Suitable for decorative planting, decoration of fences and edging. The berries are again sour and blue-violet.
Planting a plant on the site
A place for a bush
Despite the cold resistance and excellent tolerance of frost by bushes to minus fifty degrees, the plant is more suitable for places well-lit by the sun throughout the day. Only ripe buds and the plant itself are able to survive temperatures of about minus eight degrees.
The productivity of the bushes directly depends on the heat of the sun, in a shady place the plant will grow, but the berries will give less. Winds will not harm the culture.
It is recommended to plant several species side by side with the same flowering period. This will promote better pollination of the flowers.
How to choose the soil in the country?
Soils with standing water are not suitable for honeysuckle. Under these conditions, the roots will begin to rot and the bush will die. Despite this, honeysuckle is good for moisture. Grows well in areas with humid air. If the soil acidity is high, the plant will gradually die.
The ideal soil is loam with humus or peat fertilization. On others, the soil will have to be fed with biofertilizers.
When to plant honeysuckle berries?
Seedlings are usually planted from late summer to mid-autumn, this must be done due to the early growing season. In places where the snow leaves quickly enough, seedlings can be planted at the very beginning of March. No later than two weeks.
Starting from the second half of March, the plant will already begin to bloom and it is not recommended to do anything with the plant. This can lead to susceptibility to disease and poor engagement. If you have a small plot, it will be better to plant the honeysuckle next to the black currant.
Important! When planting seedlings, do not cut or trim them. Some varieties will produce berries in the first year of flowering.
For honeysuckle, care is watering, fertilizing, pruning, getting rid of the surrounding grass and protecting it from various damaging factors.
For the first two years, the plant only needs to be watered and weeded. The soil should remain slightly damp, but never wet.
You can fertilize from the third year of the plant's existence; it is better to use plant dressings. Nitrogen-containing fertilizers are fertilized only by first dissolving them in urea.
When the buds open, plus or minus three liters of compost or other organic matter is poured under the plant. The second portion is introduced towards the end of summer.
Pruning can be carried out from the fourth year of the plant's existence, it is recommended to carry out it every year. Sanitary pruning is best done early in the fall. At this time, dried and bent branches must be removed. In the next six years, the bush will grow again.
From the age of six, every year, a couple of branches are removed near the base of the plant, which no longer bear berries, instead of them, about three young shoots are left. By about twenty years of life, the bush can be renewed to the end.
Honeysuckle berries: reproduction
Possible methods of reproduction vegetatively and by seeds. It can be propagated vegetatively by cuttings, dividing the rhizome, sometimes by layering. Seeds are propagated only by breeders to invent new species.
You can propagate by division when you reach seven to eight years, the bush is cut into pieces with an ax, and each of them should be with a root, several branches and a couple of shoots. Planted in a prepared hole with preliminary cutting at a height of thirty-five to forty-five centimeters.
The most effective way is propagation by cuttings.
Initially, slightly woody cuttings are harvested from twigs with a diameter of eight millimeters. Cut the cuttings about sixteen centimeters long closer to the beginning of April. Then they are planted in the beds, if the soil has thawed, or in greenhouses, this is more reliable. Two buds should remain above the ground when disembarking. The plantings are covered with polyethylene and the ground is periodically watered. In a month, the first roots will appear on these branches.
It is possible to carry out this operation using combined cuttings, they are cut immediately after the flowering of the honeysuckle. A shoot left over from last year is specially selected, with this year's shoots. A branch of the plant is divided so that each new shoot has a part of last year's.
Such cuttings are planted in holes three to five centimeters down. From above they must be covered with polyethylene and watered at least twice a day. Periodically it is necessary to spray from a spray bottle. Shoots will begin to sprout in half a month.
Before planting, all branches for grafting honeysuckle are kept for about an hour in a special solution containing preparations for better root formation in cuttings. Cuttings that are already rooted? planted in the fall, as plantings.
The soil above such seedlings should remain slightly wet. The plantings should be planted in already fertilized soil. It is necessary to use top dressing based on ash or special for flower seedlings.
Honeysuckle berries: pest control
Honeysuckle is almost not exposed to diseases, but pests attack it quite often. Usually pests are aphids and caterpillars. It is forbidden to use pesticides for plant protection because of the fast flowering period of honeysuckle. But you can turn to the help of insecticides that do not harm the plant itself and the environment. The most commonly used drugs are Bicol, Bitoxibacillin, and Verticillin.
If powdery mildew suddenly appears on the branches of honeysuckle, you can easily get rid of it with a biofungicide solution.
Honeysuckle berries photo