Honeysuckle - a welcome northerner
Honeysuckle is one of the most desired berries in the north. Among all fruit crops, it is the earliest. Ripens a few weeks earlier than strawberries, and surpasses the latter in the content of nutrients. Honeysuckle is very decorative and, at the same time, unpretentious. In natural nature, it grows along the slopes of mountains at limestone outcrops, along ravines, and easily coexists in mixed shrubs. It is not afraid of peat bogs, humid coniferous and broad-leaved forests.
Honeysuckle belongs to the family Honeysuckle, in which Honeysuckle is separated into a separate genus, which unites about 100 plant species. The inedible real honeysuckle (Lonicera xylosteum) is considered a species representative of wild-growing forms. It is also called forest or ordinary honeysuckle. The cultivated species of honeysuckle is blue honeysuckle, or blue honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea).
- What is attractive honeysuckle?
- The distribution of honeysuckle in nature
- Botanical description of honeysuckle
- Varieties of honeysuckle for summer cultivation
- How to plant edible honeysuckle in the country?
- Honeysuckle Care
- Honeysuckle breeding
- Pest Honeysuckle Protection
What is attractive honeysuckle?
- Honeysuckle is undemanding to growing conditions and does not need special care. One of the representatives of the "lazy garden."
- The earliest horticultural crop with edible fruits.
- It is a magnificent honey plant. Flowers contain a lot of nectar and pollen.
- Honeysuckle is unique in its healing properties. The fruits of edible honeysuckle contain up to 85% of vitamin C, the most essential in the north, substances of P-vitamin activity, including isocverticin, querticin, luteolin, rutin and others. The well-known drug “Capilar” is produced on the basis of querticin in official medicine - as a means of improving the performance of capillaries.
Honeysuckle berries are characterized by a high content of substances effective in the treatment of inflammatory and colds as antipyretic, in hypotensive conditions.
Honeysuckle berries are used in cooking: compotes, mashed potatoes, jelly. Unique in terms of sweet and sour taste and the content of nutrients, raw jam.
Decoctions and infusions of flowers, leaves, honeysuckle bark are used in folk medicine as an anti-malarial and anti-scurvy agent, diuretic, astringent, stimulating the digestive tract, and antiseptic.
Honeysuckle is used in garden design as an ornamental plant. Beautiful yellowish wood is used by craftsmen for various crafts.
The distribution of honeysuckle in nature
The main areas for the distribution of honeysuckle in our country are Eastern Siberia, the Far East, the northern regions of the European part in the Leningrad Region, the Urals, the Central Black Earth and Middle Zones, Moscow and the Moscow Region.
Honeysuckle is a northern plant. The distribution area reaches the Arctic. It is practically insensitive to frost, but it reacts very painfully to elevated temperatures and especially to autumn-winter thaws. Therefore, in the southern regions of Russia, in Ukraine, Moldova and other warm areas, honeysuckle grows weakly, poorly developed. These climatic conditions do not suit her. So - a word for breeders.
Botanical description of honeysuckle
Of the several types of honeysuckle that grow in the territory of the Russian Federation and the CIS, only one is edible - honeysuckle blue, or blue honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea).
Very often in various sources you can find references to edible honeysuckle, Turchaninov honeysuckle, Kamchatka honeysuckle, Altai honeysuckle as various species. However, at present it is more correct to consider them as subspecies or synonyms of blue honeysuckle.
Blue-black, bluish from a waxy coating, the honeysuckle fruits are quite tasty (they resemble blueberries). For amateur gardeners, this form of honeysuckle is widely used in culture. In the north, this is an early, welcome treat for children and adults. Honeysuckle berries ripen in the first half of June.
Blue honeysuckle refers to deciduous shrubs, the height of which rarely exceeds 1.0-1.5 meters.
The root system of the honeysuckle is rod, sprawling. The roots grow to the sides to 0.6 m, so the bushes are planted at a distance of at least 1.5 m. The bulk of the roots are located in a 60-80 cm layer of soil.
Young shoots of honeysuckle are pubescent, in places with a blue-violet hue. Old trunks are covered with yellowish-brown easily peeling bark. The thickness of the old branches is 3-4 cm.
Honeysuckle leaves are simple, petiolate. Short petioles fused with rounded stipules. Leaf blades oblong-lanceolate, densely pubescent, old pubescence usually lose. The crown is usually formed round, the bush is compact.
Honeysuckle flowers are small, corolla petals are yellow, in different shades. The flowers are funnel-shaped in shape, located in the axils of the leaves. Depending on the variety, their number varies from 2-x-4 to 5 in one bunch. Flowering begins in May and in June the first fruits ripen.
The fruits of honeysuckle are dark blue, to blue-blue, with a bluish bloom. Elongated in shape up to 9-12 mm. Ripening is gradual. The flesh of the fruit is juicy, red-violet in various shades, with lots of sweet and sour juice.
Honeysuckle seeds are small, up to 2 mm, brownish in color.
Varieties of honeysuckle for summer cultivation
Breeding does not stand still, and in recent years, breeders have offered very promising varieties of blue honeysuckle.
Of the varieties of blue honeysuckle in the country or house area, the following varieties can be recommended.
For areas with cold summers and high frosty winters, honeysuckle varieties are suitable: Morena, Blue spindle, Amphora, Titmouse, Pavlovskaya, Nymph, Leningrad giant.
In all regions, including the above, good harvests are formed by honeysuckle varieties: Gourmet, Early, Altai, Sineglazka, Tomichka, Vasyugan, Kamchadalka, Cinderella, Bluebird and others.
The most fruitful honeysuckle variety is Gourmet. Up to 3 kg of ripe, fragrant berries can be removed from one adult bush. The bush is low, up to 1.5 m, compact.
The honeysuckle variety has the same yield. Amphora with an average ripening period, the berries do not crumble.
Honeysuckle cultivar ranked second in productivity Blue spindle. Forms up to 2 kg from a bush of fruits, sweet and sour taste with a pleasant bitterness. The variety is tall.
Moraine - An early grade of honeysuckle. The taste of berries resembles the Blue Spindle variety. But it differs in large-fruity, pronounced aroma. Productivity is average, up to 1 kg per bush.
The same yield forms the variety Blue bird. Fruits with pronounced astringency, but the flesh is surprisingly tender, melting.
Honeysuckle variety Nymph average maturity. It can be used as a decorative bush with edible berries. A tall-growing shrub with a trimmed oval crown, large bright green leaves is dressed up in tapeworm planting and bordering paths and a fence. The berries are sweet and sour, astringent, curved gray-violet flowers and shades.
How to plant edible honeysuckle in the country?
Choosing a landing site for honeysuckle
Winter honeysuckle blue is very high. The vegetative mass withstands frosts up to -50 ° C, and the roots up to -40 ° C. Buds, flowers and young ovaries do not lose viability at -8 ° C. At the same time, honeysuckle bushes are best placed in sunny areas, the rows are oriented so that most of the light time of the plant is illuminated by the sun.
Blue honeysuckle will grow in the shade, but the yield and taste of the fruit will decrease. The culture is not afraid of the winds, so in the open sunny area it can be planted from the north.
Honeysuckle is a cross-pollinated crop, so it’s best to plant 3-4 different varieties nearby, matching the flowering period.
The ratio of honeysuckle to soil conditions
The root system of honeysuckle does not tolerate stagnant and closely located water to the surface of the soil. The roots rot and perish. At the same time, honeysuckle is hygroscopic and needs watering. Feels good in regions with high humidity. On acidic soils, it slowly dies.
The best soils for honeysuckle are loams seasoned with humus or mature compost. It grows well on other soils, but requires sufficient refueling with organic fertilizers.
The period of landing of honeysuckle in the ground
Purchased or rooted seedlings of honeysuckle are planted from August to mid-November. This is due to the early onset of the rest period (end of July) and the early awakening to the next vegetation (March). In some regions with an early onset of snowless spring, it is possible to plant honeysuckle seedlings in the spring, in early March, by transshipment. But starting from March 10-15, it is better not to risk it.
In the second half of March, the resting period of honeysuckle ends. The kidneys begin to swell and any actions with a transplant or planting will cause stress. Plants will start to hurt, poorly take root. If the site is small and there is no free area, you can plant a honeysuckle next to black currant in the berry.
Planting pits for honeysuckle are dug up to the size of the root, but not less than 40x40x40 cm. This is especially necessary on sandy and depleted soils. Drainage is laid at the bottom of the pit, a part of the prepared soil mixture consisting of the top layer of soil, 2 buckets of humus or compost is poured on top of it, add 1 liter can of ash and 60-70 g of superphosphate. Ash can be replaced with a 0.5 liter can of dolomite or chalk. Instead of superphosphate, ammophos can be added in the same dose.
The soil mixture in the pit is poured with a bucket of water. A honeysuckle seedling is placed on the mound in the center, spread the roots and fall asleep with the remainder of the soil mixture, bend lightly so that the soil adjoins the roots. A side is prepared along the edge of the landing pit (its circumference), another bucket of water is poured, and after soaking, they are mulched with humus. When planting, the root neck of the honeysuckle can not be deepened. She does not form offspring. If it is deepened by 4-5 cm (no more), then additional roots will begin to form from the root neck down.
Attention! When planting, honeysuckle seedling does not need to be cut and shortened. This will delay the onset of fruiting. Some varieties of blue honeysuckle are able to form the first test crop in the first year after planting in a permanent place.
The care includes the following agricultural activities: watering, top dressing, pruning, weed removal, protection against diseases and pests.
In the first 2-3 years, only watering and weed removal are carried out. Watering is carried out so that the soil is moist, but not wet. A lump of earth should crumble, and not remain a sticky mass.
Honeysuckle top dressing
Top dressing begins in the third year of a culture's life. Honeysuckle does not like mineral fertilizers. Therefore, nitrogen is given only for the first watering, dissolving 25-30 g of ammonium nitrate or urea in a bucket of water (literally in melting snow).
In the phase of budding, the kidneys are brought under the honeysuckle bush along a bucket of humus, compost, and other organics. The second top dressing is introduced at the end of August, best of all, 2 glasses of ash under a bush or microelement set.
In the first 3 years, pruning is not carried out. Starting from the age of 3 years, sanitary pruning is carried out annually when the crop goes to rest. It is best to carry out sanitary pruning of honeysuckle in early September. Remove dried, sick, diseased, bent branches growing inside the bush. Within 6-7 years, the bush grows with new shoots.
From about 6 years of age, 1-2 old branches (barren) are removed annually from the ground itself and 1-3 young shoots are left. In the future, the operation is repeated, and by 15-20 years the bush can be completely rejuvenated.
Like all berry crops, honeysuckle is propagated by seeds and vegetatively by cuttings, dividing the bush and less often by layering. Seed propagation is used mainly in breeding work or to obtain planting material of decorative types of honeysuckle.
Dividing the bush honeysuckle is propagated at about 7-8 years of age, chopping an overgrown bush into axes with an ax. Each split must have a root, 1-2 adult skeletal branches and 2 young shoots. In delenki, pruning of branches is carried out at a height of 30-45 cm and immediately planted in a prepared landing pit.
The most effective is the propagation of honeysuckle by cuttings (lignified, green and combined).
Lignified cuttings honeysuckles are harvested from annual branches with a diameter of 7-8 mm. Cutting cuttings 15-18 cm long is carried out at the end of March. Cuttings are planted on a bed or in a greenhouse. Planted on the bed when the ground thaws. Reliably plant in the greenhouse. The stem is buried so that 2 upper buds remain above the ground. Landing is covered with a film. The soil is kept moist. After 28-35 days, roots appear on the cuttings.
Honeysuckle can be cut combined cuttings. Cutting of such cuttings is carried out in May (immediately after flowering). Last year's annual shoot with lateral shoots of the current year is selected for cuttings. Then the honeysuckle branch is divided into parts so that each shoot of this year has a heel (piece) of last year’s branch.
These cuttings are planted on a bed. They are buried finely, by 3-5 cm. Top cover with a light film, watered 2-3 times a day. Spray through a fine spray. The tops of the shoots will begin to grow in 2 weeks and root formation at the heel will begin in the same period.
Green cuttings honeysuckles are cut from green shoots of the current year in early June, or rather, during the period of staining of the fruit. The length of the cuttings is 12-15 cm, a thickness of 0.5-0.7 mm or a thickness in pencil. Rooting is carried out in the soil, as well as lignified. The soil must be constantly moist.
All honeysuckle cuttings before planting should be kept at least an hour in a solution of root, heteroauxin or other drugs that contribute to the rapid rooting of cuttings. Rooted cuttings are planted next fall, like seedlings.
The soil under the rooted honeysuckle seedlings should be constantly moist. Seedlings are planted in fertilized soil. You can use AVA fertilizer, ash or special for flower seedlings.
Pest Honeysuckle Protection
Honeysuckle practically does not get sick, but it is often affected by aphid pests, a comma scutellum, larvae and caterpillars. Since honeysuckle forms a crop in a short time, it is impossible to use pesticides to protect plants. Bioinsecticides that do not harm plants and are completely harmless to humans and animals can be used. Of the recommended biological products, the most common are verticillin, bicol, bitoxibacillin.
Sometimes powdery mildew appears on the branches of honeysuckle, which can be easily removed by treatment with a solution of biofungicide phytosporin or another.