Thuja is considered one of the less demanding forms of coniferous crops: it can grow on any soil, in any climatic conditions and does not require special care. But the reproduction of thuja is considered by many gardeners to be difficult, preferring to purchase ready-made seedlings in specialized nurseries.
In fact, self-cultivation of thuja is not such a difficult business, moreover, it delivers a lot of positive emotions.
- Reproduction methods
- Thuja propagation by seeds
- Thuja propagation by cuttings
Thuja is propagated in two ways: vegetative (cuttings) and seed. Seed propagation is used quite rarely, since in this case there is a loss of the decorative and varietal characteristics of the mother tree. In addition, this is a rather laborious and lengthy process (it takes 5-6 years to grow a seedling).
Therefore, the most expedient way to propagate the desired form of a plant while maintaining all its decorative qualities is cuttings. If it is necessary to grow ordinary thuja without preserving its decorative characteristics, then you can try to grow it from seeds.
Thuja propagation by seeds
To grow thuja, you should purchase ready-made seeds or collect them yourself from cones. Cones are harvested at the beginning of autumn, when they are already ripe, but the seeds have not yet had time to get enough sleep. Cut cones are laid out in a thin layer on paper in a room where the air temperature is constant (about + 7 ° C).
After the cones have dried, the seeds are husked from them, placed in fabric bags and stored in a cool room. As soon as the ground is covered with the first snow, the bags are placed on a prepared bed and sprinkled with earth. Thus, natural stratification will take place.
In the spring, seeds are sown on a garden bed with a step of 10 cm and to a depth of 0.5 cm, sprinkled with earth, on top of which coniferous sawdust is poured. Crop maintenance consists of regular, moderate watering and sun protection in hot weather. Seedlings in the first year grow up to 4-5 cm, in the second - up to 10-20 cm, by the end of the third year they reach 25-40 cm in height. At the end of the third year, the plants are picked, and after 1-2 years they are transplanted to a permanent place of growth.
Thuja propagation by cuttings
Cutting is a simple matter, any gardener can handle it. The main thing is to know the correct technology and strictly follow it.
Cuttings are carried out in greenhouses or in other rooms adapted for this purpose. In order for the cuttings to grow and develop well, certain climatic conditions are created in the greenhouse:
- air humidity - below 70%
- air temperature - + 20- + 23оС
- good illumination
To increase humidity, special air humidifiers are used, and to ensure good illumination, they make the greenhouse transparent.
Cuttings are carried out in the fall, in the summer and spring, they are not carried out as, as practice shows, most of the cuttings dry out without having time to take root.
For cuttings, two- or three-year-old lateral shoots of thuja with a "heel" are used (this is the name of a piece of old wood at the base of the shoot). To get such an escape, it is torn off with a sharp movement or cut in a certain way.
For cuttings, the strongest shoots are chosen, from which strong and healthy plants will be obtained.
Needles are cut from the bottom of the thuja shoots, placed in a solution that stimulates root formation for 10-12 hours, and then planted in a greenhouse. The optimal soil for planting cuttings is a mixture of peat, turf soil and river sand.
As a rule, they are combined in a 1: 1: 1 ratio. Before planting cuttings, the soil is disinfected with a solution of potassium permanganate, this is necessary to destroy pathogenic bacteria and pests.
Cuttings are planted in rows, deepening them by 2-3 cm. It is important to ensure that the needles that remain on the shoot are not covered with earth, otherwise this can lead to the development of decay, a life-threatening plant.
Caring for planted cuttings consists in regular watering and airing. It is advisable not to water the plant, but to spray it, this will not only prevent waterlogging of the soil, but also increase the humidity in the greenhouse. The plant is regularly aired and tempered.
When the plants take root, don't rush to send them to the garden. They need to be given time to build up the root mass. For wintering, rooted cuttings are covered with branches of coniferous trees or dry leaves, or transferred from the greenhouse to the greenhouse.
If the technology of reproduction of thuja by cuttings was followed correctly, then in the spring the first signs will appear that the plants are well rooted - the first green shoots will appear on the cuttings. Already in the fall, these cuttings can be planted in open ground at a permanent place of growth.
See how to propagate and grow thuja in the video: