Synphocarpos, with this strange name is indicated a beautiful shrub of North American and Asian origin; about ten species belong to the genus, all very similar. They are medium-sized shrubs with deciduous leaves, with small, dark green foliage. They grow in a sunny or partially shady place, and do not fear the cold, being able to withstand temperatures of many degrees below zero without being damaged.
In summer they produce small white or pink flowers, gathered in bunches, very decorative. The flowers are followed by small berries that ripen in autumn; the berries of the synphoricarpos are produced in small heaps at the leaf axil, and generally when ripe they take on a white color, standing out notably between the leaves, remaining on the plant for many weeks. The berries of this plant are very pleasing to the eye, especially during the winter when the garden is gray and bare. On the market there are some species and varieties with particularly large berries, or even very showy colors, some in fact have white berries suffused with fuchsia pink, very lively.
How to grow it
The shrubs of Symphoricarpos do not present cultivation difficulties; they are planted in a rich and well-drained soil, possibly in the sun; they vegetate well but also in partial shade and tend to adapt to any soil, even if stony or not very fertile. To have luxuriant and well-developed plants it is good to put them in a good universal soil, enriched every autumn with mature organic fertilizer. From March to September we water the plant when the soil is dry, providing more water when the climate is very hot and dry.
At the end of winter we proceed to a trimming of the damaged or excessively long branches of Symphoricarpos, so as to favor a compact development of the plant.
If desired, it is also possible to place nearby specimens of different varieties, in order to have berries of different colors in winter.
The berries of sinforicarpo they are generally eaten by wild animals, such as birds or small rodents, but are toxic to humans.
Multiply the sinforicarp
We can get new plants by sowing the small seeds present in the berries; this operation is carried out in February-March, in a protected seedbed. We proceed by extracting the small seeds from the fruits, which we will leave to dry in the air for a few hours; meanwhile we prepare a tray filling it with a mixture of sand and soil in equal parts, we place the tray in a saucer and water the soil until it is completely wet, even in depth. We place the seeds on the soil and cover them with vermiculite, place the saucer in a transparent plastic bag, which is a closed ground, so as to always keep the ambient humidity high around the seedbed; periodically we vaporize water inside the bag, using a spray.
Sinforicarpo - Symphoricarpos: Cuttings symphoricarpos
THE Symphoricarpos they can also be propagated by cuttings, taking semi-woody cuttings in late summer, from branches that do not bear berries; the cuttings should be germinated in a tray similar to the one prepared for the seeds, in a cool environment.
These shrubs tend to produce more stems on the same bread than roots; when the shrub is small we can divide the bread of roots, obtaining more identical specimens.