Weymouth pine - indoor cultivation
A forgotten houseplant Weymouth Pine will decorate your home, office or winter garden
In room culture, there are almost no conifers. The most common araucaria are variegated and tall, and occasionally there are biota and some podocarps (podocarpuses). And lovers really want to have conifers at home, and as diverse as possible.
That is why I want to remind flower growers about one forgotten coniferous plant. True, it is not entirely roomy, rather, half-room - after 10-15 years of growing in the house, it will have to be planted in a garden or on the street, where it will continue to develop even in the harsh conditions of the Northwest. But what a luxurious, unusual, one might say, outlandish plant will decorate your apartment for at least several years!
It will be about Weymouth pine (Pinus strobus L.)... In the 19th century, it was grown quite often in home winter gardens. Back in 1881 in his book "Indoor Floriculture", the famous specialist of that time in the cultivation of indoor plants M.Yu. Petrov (St. Petersburg, published by I.L. Tuzov).
Since not all florists and gardeners know what kind of plant it is, although it has been widely cultivated for a long time in our country, however, mainly in forests and parks, we will give a brief description of it.
This pine was introduced to Europe in 1705 by Lord Weymouth, after whom it got its name. This is a medium- or fast-growing breed, at home, in the USA and Canada, at 80-120 years it reaches a height of 40-60 m and a diameter of more than 1.5 m. The crown is conical, the branches are horizontal, collected in whorls.
It has a fairly large area of distribution, lives up to 400 years.
Her long, up to 15 cm, brown resinous cones are very original and beautiful, but in room culture, unfortunately, it is unrealistic to wait for them, because She begins to bear fruit at the age of 20-25. The shoots are green at first, later purple-brown. The bark is greenish-brown-gray, for a long time, up to 30 years, remains smooth. Subsequently, it becomes roughly fractured.
The crown is transparent, wide, the branches are thin, covered with long, hanging, soft, narrow and delicate needles of an unusual bright green color and a very delicate shade (light green on the outside, bluish on the inside). The length of the needles is 6-7 cm, it is collected in bunches of 5 pieces, it stays on the tree for 2-3 years. The root system is powerful. All parts of the tree are highly resinous.
It is a valuable decorative breed. Outwardly, it strongly resembles "cedar", i.e. Siberian walnut pine. Growth in height lasts up to 100 years.
Of course, keeping Weimutov's pine in the house for a hundred years will not work, but with appropriate pruning, as already mentioned, it can be grown in an apartment for 10-15 years. And until it becomes too high, then, planted in flowerpots, it can magnificently and originally decorate cool halls, stairs, lobbies, and of course, winter gardens.
In nature, her demand for light is average, but in room conditions she is photophilous. The same can be said about the attitude to soil and moisture - under natural conditions they are average - pine grows well on fresh deep sandy loam and loamy, slightly worse - on degraded soils, but at home with insufficient pot volume - increased.
It requires nutrient-rich soils and regular feeding. Lime, stagnant water in a pot, as well as dry soil and air - does not tolerate.
Good drainage, regular watering and spraying are essential. In summer, the temperature conditions of its maintenance are usual, you can put it in the garden, on the balcony or on an open window; in winter, it is advisable to keep it in cooler rooms.
It withstands well a pile of snow, is resistant to winds. It is not damaged by frost. It is winter hardy, therefore, when it grows too large, it can be safely planted in the garden, where it can decorate your site for a long time. It can be placed singly, in groups or in arrays.
At home, as well as in Western Europe, many of its garden forms have been found and cultivated. But it also has disadvantages - it is gas and smoke resistant, it suffers greatly from the rust fungi Cronarium ribicjla and Peridermium strobi. As a result, resin streaks form on the bark, the needles turn red and dry out. The intermediate host of rust fungi are currants and gooseberries, therefore these species and Weymouth pine should be planted as far apart as possible.
In our country, it is often found in culture. There are plantations in Kursk, Bryansk, Voronezh and other regions of central Russia; in the Moscow region, plantings are available in the Forest Experimental Dacha of the Moscow Agricultural Academy. K.A. Timiryazev; in the Leningrad region - on the Karelian Isthmus, near Siverskaya. Quite often, Weymouth pine trees are found in parks of cities and suburbs. Two amazing adult trees stand in front of the main building of the Forestry Academy.
Cones ripen in September-October, at the same time the seeds spill out. At this time, it is best to collect them, but you can also later, from the snow cover. They have a narrow winglet up to 2 cm, themselves ovoid, 5-7 mm long, 1000 pieces weigh 18 g, remain germinating for 2-3 years. Their germination rate is usually about 85%. It is better to sow in autumn, if in spring, then after 3-4 months of stratification. As a last resort, you can hold them for 15 days before sowing in wet sand in a cool basement or on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. But in this case, the germination rate of seeds will not be higher than 25%, and they will germinate only on the 60th day.
Seedlings have 7-10 narrow cotyledons. The needles on seedlings are single in the first year. In the second year, the needles begin to grow in bunches, and in the third year, the first whorl of branches appears. It can reproduce vegetatively - by layering, which makes it possible to replicate various decorative garden forms.
Using growth substances, you can breed Weymouth pine and cuttings. You don't have to grow it yourself with seeds - the seedlings of this pine are often on sale in ornamental plant nurseries.
Weymouth pine planting material can be easily confused with seedlings and seedlings of "cedar" - Siberian pine, instead of which some unscrupulous sellers sell it, since cedars grow much slower, it is more difficult to grow them, and they are more expensive.
I recommend to all lovers of the wonders of indoor floriculture to try to have a Weymutov pine in their apartment. Several years of joy (and worries) will be provided for you.
Vladimir Starostin, candidate of agricultural sciences, dendrologist
Winter is a real test for domestic pines, firs, thujas, cypress trees and other conifers. It is the wrong maintenance in the winter that is the main, and often the only, reason for their death. The most difficult thing is to ensure the required temperature - in winter it should be within the range of + 6–12 ° C, which is difficult to achieve in room conditions.
Most of the problems with the wintering of conifers arise from those who do not have a balcony or loggia. It is good if the window blocks are of an old design and there is enough space between the frames to put the plant there.
If the conifer is kept just on the windowsill, it must be insulated from heat as much as possible (for example, using a light frame covered with polyethylene or an ordinary cardboard box). But if you consider that there is usually a central heating battery under the windowsill, and we have - let's put it bluntly - well, it’s impossible to call such conditions acceptable for conifers, alas.
But the presence of a well-insulated loggia greatly simplifies this task. The only drawback is the difficult ventilation, so you need to think in advance about the ways of supplying fresh air (for example, a small window).
To maintain the desired temperature in the loggia, you can use an electric heater connected to a temperature sensor (in this case, when the temperature drops, the heater will automatically turn on, and when the air temperature warms up to + 10 ° C, it will turn off).
ON THE PICTURE: Conifers love to "breathe fresh air", so in the summer it is useful to take them out to the balcony
You can try to heat the loggia not with electrical appliances, but by forcing warm air from the room. In this case, it will be necessary to make special holes through which, in fact, air flows will flow. The operation of the blower fan can also be monitored using a temperature sensor located on the loggia. If the plant pot is on the floor, the soil may freeze. It is good to use a radiant infrared heater to heat it.
In severe frosts, when it is impossible to maintain the required temperature on the loggia, the pot with the plant is transferred to the room, to the coolest place. After a few weeks, the plant will wake up and start growing - then it will need additional lighting (how to organize it, is described in detail in the article "The basics of proper lighting of indoor plants").
Banks Pine is a resident of the eastern regions of Canada, where it is one of the main representatives of arboreal and settles on rocky rocks and sandy soils. In these territories, you can find forests entirely consisting of this species, and the further north the plant moves, the more squat its crown becomes.
If usually the height of an adult pine reaches 15-20 m (sometimes 25 m), closer to the north it takes the form of a bush. It grows relatively slowly, adding no more than 15-18 cm annually. With age, after 30-35 years, the growth rate weakens. The tree is often multi-stemmed, with a compact, sparse, asymmetrical, oval crown.
The needles are tender, 3-4 cm long, strongly curved, twisted, collected in 2 needles, painted green, preserved on the shoots for 3-5 years. Cones are conical in shape, slightly curved, on the shoots, as a rule, are arranged in pairs, 4.5-6 cm long, stay on the tree for several years.
The plant is light-requiring. Undemanding to soils, prefers moderately nutritious and moist, well-drained soils, sandy loam or loam is ideal. The breed is distinguished by its high resistance to pathogens and frost resistance.
Banks pine has been known in culture for over 200 years, but there are few cultivars with its participation.
Today Weymouth pine also grows in Mexico, Canada and Guatemala.
The main botanical features of Weymouth pine:
- Weymouth Pine is distinguished by its enormous size - an adult tree can reach 40-80 m and up to 1.5-2 m in diameter.
- The crown is of the correct conical shape, over time it becomes more rounded and spreading.
- The trunk of the pine is erect, covered with a smooth and delicate gray bark. With age, the bark darkens, coarsens and becomes covered with longitudinal cracks.
- Bluish-green needles with a bluish tint. Coniferous needles are collected in bunches-tassels of 5 pieces, their length reaches 8-10 cm. The needles grow upward, every 3-4 years they are completely renewed.
- Original varieties of Vemutov pine with golden and silvery needles, as well as changing its color throughout the year, have been bred.
- Weymouth pine as a dioecious tree has female and male cones. The first are brown, have an oblong, oval shape, up to 18-20 cm long, the second are round, yellow in color, up to 1.5-2 cm in size.
- Weymouth pine is a long-liver. She can live up to 400-500 years.
Weymouth Pine is very fast growing. During the first 35-40 years after planting, the tree grows up to 15-20 m. After that, the growth rate decreases. The maximum height of an adult tree is 80 m.
Himalayan pine species
The Himalayan pine has been cultivated for almost 2 centuries. In Russian Dendrology, the tree was first mentioned in 1970. However, in the botanical garden of the emperor, and now the BIN at the Russian Academy of Sciences named after Vladimir Komarov, the Himalayan species has been grown since 1858.
For 2 centuries, dendrologists have bred the following varieties of the Himalayan tree:
1. Zebrina. This pine has variegated needles. Below it is decorated with a yellow transverse line. It runs about 2.5 centimeters from the base of the needle. Above, green blotches are formed in a circle. The variety was bred in France in 1874. Then the country was ruled by Louis Thiers. He was interested in history and botany.
2. Nana. It is a dwarf form of the Himalayan pine. The tree does not exceed 3 meters in height. Nana has a rounded crown, silvery and shortened needles, dense branches.
3. Vernisson. Differs in the vertical direction of the branches of young pines. Vernisson also has longer needles than other species of the Himalayan tree.
4. Densa. The needles of this pine, on the other hand, are shortened. Differs in denza and kegle-shaped crown. It is firm and not loose like most Himalayan varieties.
5. Glauka. Differs in blue needles. Pine trees with such are found among seedlings.
Densa Hill's Himalayan pine has a blue tint of cones
As seen, description of the Himalayan pine partly depends on its type. However, all Himalayan varieties are fast growing and hardy. Mountain pine trees can be grown at -30 degrees.
Brief information about the variety
- Color: dark green.
- Height: at 10 years old - 3 m, maximum height - 15 m.
- Crown diameter: 5-7 m.
- Growing regions: south of Russia.
- Landing features: likes a sunny place. The landing pattern is 2x2.5 m.
- Immunity: low frost resistance, high disease resistance.
- Life span: 400-500 years.