Propagation and cultivation of thuja from seeds
Quite often thuja is used to form compositions and hedges on personal plots, alleys and park areas due to its decorative properties. However, at the same time, good seedlings are quite expensive. In this article, you will learn about an alternative method of growing thuja from seeds and get acquainted with all the nuances of the process step by step.
Advantages and disadvantages of growing from seeds
There may be several reasons why you may decide to grow thuja from seeds. For example, the ability to get an unlimited number of seedlings to form a green hedge or a simple research interest in this truly creative process.
Important! Seedlings grown from seeds do not retain varietal properties. Most often, this method is used to breed new varieties.
To preserve the exceptional characteristics of the variety, it is recommended to propagate the thaw by cuttings.
And although cuttings are often used to propagate these conifers, keep in mind that planting and growing young animals at home is not such a difficult matter, although it will take a lot of time. Moreover, not in any region there is an opportunity to purchase healthy cuttings of the particular variety that you liked. And one more indisputable advantage of such seedlings ¾ is the ability to make selection from the first days and get beautiful, healthy plants as a result.
Seed selection and collection
When choosing seeds in large quantities that are available on the market today, the main parameter for you should be freshness. For this reason, many decide to independently collect the cones that appear on thuja in the first fruitful year.
Suitable fruits harvested in the fall, from September to December. Light brown or brown-orange tightly closed cones you can easily find on a tree. To go after them, choose a dry day, and even better, so that several days before this there will also be no heavy rains.
To extract the seeds, it is enough to spread the brought material freely on paper in a warm, dry place, wait until the cones are dry, open and after a day or two you will get a scattering of small seeds ready for germination.
Training and stratification
To awaken the seeds and give them a signal for full development, regardless of the current season, it is necessary to carry out stratification. This is a procedure to simulate the natural conditions that seeds would survive in winter and spring: cold, greenhouse effect of fallen leaves, moistening, due to which the shell soaks and additional trace elements necessary for full growth.
Did you know? In 1883, an eruption of the volcano Krakatau occurred in Indonesia, which destroyed all the plants on the island. After about 10 years, palm trees, ferns, different types of flowers and shrubs from seeds that have been preserved in the soil have grown.
You need to be prepared that after such hardening, part of the planting material will be rejected. Part will be visually too dry, part will rot. Therefore, the entire cooling period is important to check the condition of the seeds, remove weak and dead.
Even if you bought seeds from a trusted producer, it will not be amiss to make a disinfectant treatment. And for independently collected seeds from cones, this procedure is simply a must. For example, a normal solution of potassium permanganate with a concentration of at least 1 g / 100 ml of water in which the seeds are placed for 1 hour is suitable. Do not be afraid of the dark cherry color of the resulting liquid. The fragile-looking thuja seeds, like all conifers, are quite tightly protected by the shell.
The last step in seed preparation is soaking. To germinate the seeds, place them in warm water for 10-12 hours. Depending on the variety, the soaking period can be extended up to 24–36 hours. The readiness indicator for sowing is a hatching sprout.
Land for sowing thuja seeds needs to be prepared in advance. It should be rich nutrient soil, flavored with ash and nitrophos. You can lighten it with sand or sawdust. If it is possible to enrich the land with humus in advance on the site and let it mature for a season without load, this will well affect the growth of young animals.
The container for planting can be both a pot and a box. The main thing is to provide drainage with pebbles laid on the bottom and a thin layer of sand. The soil laid on top must be shed in advance and allowed to dry to avoid air nests, which can become a hotbed of decay.
Seeds need to be placed very carefully, since with proper preparation, the root neck at this stage is already fragile and it is important that it is placed flush with the soil, not deeper. It is necessary to plant sprouts observing a distance of at least 5–7 cm. Then you need to lightly water a new bed. It should be noted that there is a continuous method of sowing, when the distance between the holes is not respected, and after the shoots appear, they are thinned out based on the appearance. This is possible if you stock up on planting material and there is no need to save.
When moistening the planting zone, it is important to be careful not to let the water erode the soil, displace and injure the seeds. Optimum watering by spraying. The temperature all this time should not deviate much from the mark at +15 ... + 18 ° С, cooling and overheating are equally dangerous.
If everything is done correctly, then after a month or two you will see the first confident shoots. You don’t need to count on a quick result or artificially stimulate this slow-growing plant, otherwise you will not get a strong beautiful seedling.
As soon as the first seedlings have appeared, you will want to feed them, but you need to refrain from excessive care for a week or two. If the soil was prepared qualitatively, then there are enough nutrients in it for the first days of life, but it is dangerous to stimulate a sprout that has not formed a minimal root system. This may result in stretching and death. For the same reason, it is important for seedlings to spend their first weeks away from direct sunlight, in a uniformly shaded place.
Important! Thuja is quite sensitive to various diseases. To disinfect ordinary soil and peat base, you must use a strong solution of potassium permanganate.
After 10-15 days, when you see that the shoots have settled evenly in the ground, you can start regular, once every two weeks, top dressing. Only mineral fertilizers are acceptable, namely potassium nitrogen and phosphorus. Optimum will also be beloved by all coniferous ash.
But even with top dressing and observing the temperature regime, newly made seedlings will not grow above 8–10 cm per season. This is a feature of conifers, which must be taken for granted and not try to argue with nature.It is important to survive the first wintering for seedlings at home, experiments even with planting in a greenhouse do not give a good enough result. During the second season, young growth will grow up to 15–18 cm and only to the third - they will have reached a selling height of 40 cm. By this age, young thuja need not only to water and sprinkle, that is, spray the crown, simulating natural rainfall, since an evergreen plant evaporates a lot of moisture. Around the same time, it makes sense to start forming a crown depending on the variety and the task.
In a permanent place, the sprout must be planted in spring or autumn on the 3rd year of life, when it reaches about 50 cm in height. The place for this should be selected sunny and spacious, without wind and drafts. It is recommended to choose a site where the sun will not shine all day to protect thaw from burns. A tree that will grow in the shade may lose its decorative properties and shape, and the crown will turn yellow and fall.
Video: landing thuja
Thuja grows well in light turf soil with the addition of peat and sand in a ratio of 2: 1: 1. It is recommended to use mineral fertilizers. It is best to use nitroammophoska, based on the norm of 500 g per 1 adult tree.
Did you know? In 1954, arctic lupine seeds were found that spent about 10 thousand years in frozen silt. After 12 years, the Canadian botanist created successful conditions and grew healthy plants from these seeds.
This process is quite simple if you follow certain rules:
- It is necessary to prepare a pit for landing. The size will depend on the coma of the land in which the thuja grows. It is recommended to make a depth of about 70 cm, and a width of 2 times the soil. In order to prevent trees from interfering with each other, it is recommended to plant seedlings at a distance of about 2 m from each other or 1 m when hedge formation is planned. At the bottom, if necessary, lay out the drainage.
- The thuja with a lump of earth should be lowered into the prepared hole so that the root neck remains at ground level. How the thuja takes root in a new place and how easily the adaptation period will pass will directly depend on this.
- Water the plant and slightly compact the soil around the root.
Thuja needs proper care, because the plant is quite susceptible to the influence of pests and aggressive environmental factors. To protect her from diseases, stimulate rapid growth and grow attractive, you must follow simple rules.
So, immediately after planting, do not place a container with planted seeds in the open sun. It is better to put a box under the crown of a tree, where the rays will be scattered. It is also better to protect seedlings from pets, if any at home.
Watering and fertilizer
The soil should be moderately moist. Excess moisture can lead to rotting of seeds and seedlings. However, the substrate should dry up no more than 3 cm in depth.
Video: Thuja care
Top dressing is done every 15 days. For this, mineral fertilizers are used. Conventional top dressing for an adult thuja is also suitable. For the solution, it is recommended to use half a serving.
Cropping and shaping
Thuja trimming is necessary both sanitary, in order to remove dried and diseased branches, and formative. In the early years, it is better to carry out the procedure after the plant fades. So it does not stop the growing season.
Important! After growth in height, it is recommended to trim before budding. Thus, you can save the desired tree parameters.
You also need to remember the 30% rule. It consists in the fact that for one pruning it is impossible to remove more than the agreed volume of vegetative mass.
Shoots are cut at a distance of 1-2 cm from the kidneys. Slices should be done according to the position of the branch. If you want to give the shoot upward growth direction, then do them on the upper kidney. On the lowered branches - on the inside.
Shelter for the winter
The plant does not tolerate temperatures below -10 ° C. If thuja is covered with snow, this can lead to rotting of the roots and deformation of the crown. For young trees, this is completely disastrous. Therefore, coniferous varieties need shelter.
You can do it as follows:
- Hide the roots. For this, mixed with earth leaves or bark are used. You can also sprinkle the root zone with sawdust.
- Cover the crown craft- paper or burlap.
Disease and Pest Prevention
Thuja, although unpretentious in care, however, it requires reasonable protection from pests and diseases that can damage the roots, crown and cones. It consists in supporting strong immunity of the tree, which is ensured by timely and proper top dressing and pruning. Also avoid stagnation of water in thuja growth areas. This can provoke the development of a number of pests, yellowing of shoots and disease of the scales.
Did you know? Tuyu used to make perfumes. So, subtle notes of its aroma are present in bottles of such famous colognes as Hugo Boss and Ralph Lauren.
Now you know how to multiply thuja from seeds. From the right choice depends on how well it will turn out to grow and transplant it into open ground. This painstaking process is quite affordable and makes it possible to get a large number of healthy trees that will look great in your garden.