Medlar is a fruiting plant of the Pink family with beautiful leathery leaves, fragrant flowers and edible fruits associated with oriental sweets and fairy tales.
Previously, this tree was grown only as an ornamental crop and learned about the edibility of the fruit much later. Close relatives for medlar are quince and hawthorn. Amateur gardeners often ask themselves: where does the medlar grow, is it possible to grow it in an apartment.
The fruits themselves are appreciated in countries such as Japan, Azerbaijan, Israel. Asia. The southern regions, the Caucasus widely use the plant in many dishes. And in ancient times, even the Romans and Greeks grew it.
- Varieties of medlar
- Where does medlar grow, how to plant it
- How to grow medlar
- Agrotechnical secrets of growing medlar at home, on the window
- What are the benefits of medlar
- Contraindications for eating
Varieties of medlar
There are two types of this exotic plant.
A tree of short stature 3-5 m with large leaves, a feature of which are round fruits with a sweet but tart taste. Possesses high winter hardiness. Brown colour.
In order for the fruit to be eaten, it is necessary to pick them only after the first frost suffered, or soak them in a saturated salt solution. Store no more than a few weeks, and the taste of the fruits is very similar to the usual apple puree.
The tree grows tall up to 7.5 meters, with white fragrant flowers and oblong leaves. Fruit in shape and color strongly resembles apricots, the same orange color and oblong rounded shape. The pulp is lighter inside, sourish and contains 3-4 brown seeds.
This type of medlar is grown in our Caucasus and the fruits are harvested from mid-spring to early summer; it is not necessary to soak and process it additionally.
Where does medlar grow and how to plant it correctly
This southern visitor is a fairly frost-resistant plant, withstands temperatures down to -15 degrees. He loves a lot of light, so the ideal place for growing it is the southern and eastern windows in the house.
In summer, it is necessary to water the plant with soft water often, avoiding overdrying of the soil. In winter, this should be done much less often, 3-4 times a month. Daily spraying of the crown is not required, it is enough to arrange a shower once a month and wash off the settled dust.
The tree is very fond of light and even direct sunlight, so you can safely put it on the most lighted windows. If there is a lack of light, additional artificial lighting must be provided.
The most optimal planting soil is one with a neutral ph. You can buy ready-made or make yourself by mixing in equal proportions sand, peat, humus and turf. It is recommended to transplant a young plant annually in the spring, and after reaching the age of five, this should be done less often, once every 4 years.
It is not required to observe a high temperature regime; in winter, a temperature of 8 degrees is favorable.
It should be done in June - July after harvesting the fruits. The plant does not require special special pruning; it is enough to remove dried dry branches and leaves in time.
They are fed from spring to autumn with ordinary mineral complex fertilizers for flowers, or they make organic fertilizers on their own and it is recommended to apply them the day before watering.
How to grow medlar
You can grow a tree both outdoors and at home. In the garden, this is easy enough. The plant loves light soil, sunlight and is not very sensitive to diseases and various pests. The tree is fed, like ordinary apple or pear trees.
One has only to think about how to protect it from cold winds and strong drafts and plant it in the place of the site where there is no nearby groundwater.
To see how the medlar grows in natural conditions, you need to germinate the bone correctly. For planting and germination, they take a bone of a large ripe fruit, peel it and sow it in open ground in October.
This method is suitable for southern regions, for areas with a temperate climate, the seed is germinated and grown until the height of the tree in pots reaches 35-40 cm, only after that it is transplanted into the soil, not forgetting to cover it in the first few years from frost.
You can try sowing unripe seeds. This is done in August or early autumn, before planting, the seeds are dipped in a solution of potassium nitrate until the upper protective shell softens. Then the seeds are washed and planted in the ground at a distance of 15-20 cm. Shoots should be expected in spring.
What is scarification and what is it used for?
If you want to sow seeds in the spring, you need to carry out seed scarification procedures, for this you need:
- Dry the seeds for several days;
- Cut off the top layer with sandpaper in a couple of minutes;
- Pour with ordinary warm water for several days and remove the seeds that have surfaced;
- Soak for 3 hours in a weak solution of sulfuric acid (1 teaspoon per liter of water), then rinse with water and dry.
Scarified bones are sprinkled with wet sawdust and placed in a refrigerator in a glass container for 15 days, and then left in a warm room for another 15 days. And only after that, in the southern regions, they are planted immediately in the ground, and in a temperate climate in separate containers.
Propagation by cuttings
The plant can also be propagated vegetatively using cuttings. To do this, cuttings of about 14-18 cm with several good buds are cut from last year's branches.
The cuts are made even, and the leaves are shortened in half. To root, such a stalk is placed in wet sand, after having lubricated the lower cut with charcoal. They incubate in an upright position to a shallow depth in an ordinary pot, at the bottom of which drainage is necessarily laid.
After planting, watered with settled water at room temperature. To speed up the process, we cover the stalk with a plastic bag, and after about 30-40 days, a good rooted medlar seedling will turn out.
It is possible to wait for the roots to appear in cuttings in ordinary water. Cuttings 22-30 cm long from last year's branches without shortening the foliage are placed in an ordinary plastic bottle sealed with dark paper. The water should be at room temperature, and in about a month and a half to two months, the cuttings will sprout.
Agrotechnical secrets of growing medlar at home, on the window
There is nothing difficult to care for, the medlar has bisexual flowers and using artificial pollination, you can achieve a large number of ovaries of future fruits. You can take any deep pot for planting seeds, with large drainage holes to avoid stagnant water, 5-6 seeds are usually planted in it at a shallow depth.
The soil should be neutral, light, loose and moist for better germination. Any peat mix from a store is also fine. After planting the seeds, the pot is covered with plastic wrap and transferred to a bright and warm place.
Watering is required every other day, at least. And the topsoil should be sprayed daily with soft water to maintain moisture. We change the film every day to prevent the appearance of fungi and mold, and the soil is slightly loose.
The first shoots should be expected in 30-35 days. This is a big step in further growing the plant. Seed germination is one of the most difficult stages. After waiting until they grow up to 2 cm, you can remove the film. Watering should also be done frequently. The plant quickly gains strength and grows up to 12-18 cm per month.
Next, be sure to plant the seedlings in different containers. The first flowers appear 3 years after the first transplant, and the fruits are harvested closer to the New Year.
Pinching is encouraged, it allows you to form a beautiful lush crown and prevent the plant from overgrowing in height. The procedure is usually carried out in the spring, it is completely painless and this feature is often used by bonsai designers. Pinching the plant helps to achieve bushiness and an interesting shape.
What are the benefits of medlar
Medlar is a delicious fruit that resembles strawberries, apricots and apples at the same time. They eat fresh food, in the form of various compotes, jams, preserves, wine, juices.
Having learned where and how medlar grows, it's time to read how it is useful:
- The fruits improve the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract;
- Help to treat intestinal infections due to phytoncidal anti-inflammatory substances in the composition;
- Stimulates the immune system, as it contains a large amount of vitamin C;
- Helps in tissue and cell regeneration;
- A large proportion of potassium in the composition normalizes the cardiovascular system, normalizes blood pressure;
- Prevents the development of oncology;
- Prevents natural aging;
- Tones the body and helps relieve fatigue after exertion;
- Relieves renal colic;
- Has a laxative effect;
- Reduces cholesterol levels.
Not only fruits are curative, but also leaves. All kinds of decoctions and tinctures are made of them and used for bronchitis, cough, asthma, diarrhea, and inflammatory processes in the body.
Contraindications for eating
Contraindicated in people suffering from:
- gastritis, duodenal ulcers;
- eat with caution for diseases of the pancreas.
Allergenic enough, therefore, for young children, the fruit is introduced gradually, starting in small portions. Unripe fruits cause digestive upset.
Medlar is a wonderful plant, with low-calorie dietary fruits. It has a large number of useful properties, a rather unpretentious tree, will delight you with its juicy fruits and will not cause great difficulties in growing.
Even a beginner amateur gardener can grow and taste the delicious fruits of the medlar plant, common in the southern regions, but important points at each stage of plant development should not be missed. Knowledge of agrotechnical techniques will help you save your time and effort, and at the same time get the desired result.
About where the medlar grows, what is useful and how to plant and grow it, we look at the video: