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Blunted privet (also dull-leaved privet or wolfberry) is a decorative deciduous shrub of a densely branched type, which is very popular in Russia. The reason for this is primarily the high resistance of the variety to low temperatures, which makes it possible to grow the plant in regions with a cold climate. In addition, blunt-leaved privet is valued for its immunity to air pollution, wind resistance, heat resistance and undemanding soil composition.
Description of thick-leaved privet
Dull-leaved privet is a sprawling shrub whose height varies from 2 to 3 m.The crown diameter of cultivated plants is about 2 m, of wild plants - 5 m.
Privet grows slowly - the average annual growth does not exceed 15 cm. The shoots of the bush are thin, pubescent. They are horizontal and sag slightly.
The leaves of the variety are opposite, ovoid. They densely cover the branches and occupy 1 plane. The length of the leaf plate is on average 5 cm.The width of the leaves does not exceed 3 cm.
The color of the foliage in summer is dark green, in autumn it turns into a rich purple. Dull-leaved privet blooms in July, and the flowering is quite abundant. The flowers of the shrub are small, up to 1 cm in diameter. They are collected in neat dense panicles about 4-5 cm long and up to 3 cm wide. The color of the petals is white with creamy notes.
Fruiting begins in late September - early October, when the privet forms small purple berries with a diameter of 8 mm.
Important! Blunt-leaved privet berries should not be eaten. They are toxic and can cause stomach upset. Consuming large quantities of fresh fruit can be fatal.
Ripe dried berries can be used as a basis for tinctures.
Planting and caring for blunt-leaved privet
You can plant blunted privet both in spring and in autumn. When planting in spring, it is important to be in time before the start of sap flow. The exact dates for autumn planting are September-October.
Blunt-leaved privet does not have any special requirements for the composition of the soil. It grows equally well on alkaline and acidic soil, but prefers fertile areas. On sparse soils, privet leaves may turn yellow.
The lighting level is also not important. The shrub is planted both in open sunny areas and in partial shade or shade. When planting near buildings, you must step back at least 1 m from them.
Important! It is not recommended to plant blunt-leaved privet on heavy clay soils. Of course, this will not bring significant harm to the development of the shrub, but the plant will reveal its full potential on lighter soils.
Seedling and planting plot preparation
Planting material, if desired, can be treated with growth stimulants before planting in open ground. Such processing contributes to better rooting of privet in a new place. The seedlings do not need other procedures.
It is recommended to dig up the soil before planting stupid privet. If the soil in the selected area is heavy, it can be corrected by applying fertilizers. As a corrective mixture, you can use a combination of humus, sod land and fine sand, taken in a ratio of 2: 3: 1.
If the soil is highly acidic, it is advisable to dilute it a little for better growth of dull-leaved privet. To do this, it is necessary to add a small amount of crushed chalk or hydrated lime to the soil.
Advice! The high acidity of the site is evidenced by the growth of horsetail and plantain on it.
The algorithm for planting blunt-leaved privet is as follows:
- A hole 60-70 cm deep and 50-60 cm wide is dug in the selected area. When determining the size of the planting hole, it is recommended to focus on the size of the root system of the seedling - it should fit freely into the hole without touching its walls.
- Then the planting hole is poured with a small amount of water.
- After the water has completely gone into the soil, the bottom of the hole is sprinkled with a drainage layer. Pieces of brick, gravel, pebbles and broken clay shards are used as drainage. The optimal layer thickness is 15-20 cm.
- Following the drainage layer, a soil mixture diluted with a complex mineral fertilizer is placed in the hole.
- Fertilizers must be sprinkled with a small amount of soil, forming a neat hill out of it. This is done in order to avoid direct contact of the roots of the seedlings with the soil mixture.
- The root system of dull-leaved privet is evenly distributed over this hill and covered with soil. In this case, the root collar of the plant should be at ground level, it cannot be buried.
- The near-trunk area is slightly pressed down and watered.
- To better retain moisture and prevent weed growth, seedlings are mulched with old sawdust or bark. You can also use non-acidic peat.
Important! Mulching with fresh sawdust increases the acidity of the soil.
If blunt-leaved privet is planted in order to create a hedge, instead of planting holes, a trench of the same depth and width is dug on the site. The recommended distance between 2 adjacent bushes is 45-50 cm.
Watering and feeding
Young seedlings need frequent watering - they do not tolerate drying out of the soil poorly. The surface of the ground in the area of the trunk circle should not dry out.
Adult bushes of blunted privet are watered only during periods of prolonged drought. On average, 1 plant takes from 2 to 3 buckets of water, during the growing season this amount is increased to 4 buckets. The rest of the time, especially in the presence of frequent rains, the stupid privet has enough natural precipitation.
In the spring, dull-leaved privet is fed with organic fertilizers. To do this, a bucket of humus or compost is introduced into the trunk circle. Top dressing is additionally diluted with granular superphosphate (no more than 10 g of substance per 1 m2). Feeding with ash has proven to be quite good.
Important! The planting depth of the fertilizer should not be too deep. Otherwise, there is a great risk of damaging the roots of the bush.
After feeding, the trunk circle must be properly watered.
In autumn, it is recommended to feed the privet blunt with mineral fertilizers, preferably after pruning the bushes. Potassium and phosphorus are primarily used as top dressing at this time of the year.
Dull-leaved privet must be regularly cut off, as the shrub grows very quickly. If the bush is not given the desired shape in time, it will soon lose its attractive appearance. On the other hand, active shoot formation hides all mistakes made during pruning.
The first time a seedling is cut short after planting, when it takes root in a new place. The procedure consists in removing the ends of the branches, after which the privet will acquire a compact shape. After the shoots have grown about 10 cm, they are pruned again.
Privet blunt-leaved is thus formed 2-3 years after planting, twice a season, in spring and summer. Adult plants are pruned 3-4 times a year. In addition to the tops of young branches, old and dried shoots are also removed from them.
The shape of the hedge is adjusted by twine. Old bushes of blunted privet are sometimes recommended to be cut off almost the entire length of the shoots in order to rejuvenate the shrub.
In addition, you can learn more about the features of pruning blunted privet from the video below:
Preparing for winter
Dull-leaved privet is a cold-resistant plant that can withstand frosts down to -32 ... -34C, so adult shrubs do not need additional shelter. Natural protection from the cold in the form of snow is enough for them. Moreover, even if the blunted privet freezes in especially harsh winters, then in the spring the plant quickly recovers.
It is better to bent young seedlings to the ground for the winter and cover them with spruce branches. Before this, the trunk circle is mulched.
Dull-leaved privet can be propagated both by seeds and by vegetative methods. The seed method is rarely used, since seed germination is low. In addition, with such breeding, blunted privet loses part of its varietal qualities.
Vegetative breeding methods include:
- dividing the bush;
- the formation of layering;
By dividing the bush, the dull-leaved privet is propagated as follows:
- The bush is dug up and a shoot with a sufficiently developed root system and buds is separated from it.
- The branch is slightly cleaned, leaving no more than 6 buds on it.
- The roots of the separated part of the privet are shortened if they are too long. Then they are soaked in a growth promoter. You can use the drug "Kornevin" for this.
- The seedling is buried in a pre-moistened soil at an angle of 40-45 ° C and covered with plastic wrap or glass.
Reproduction of privet blunt layering is carried out according to the following scheme:
- In June, the shoot from the bottom of the bush is pressed to the ground and its end is slightly buried.
- During the summer, it is watered in the same way as the mother bush.
- The next year, when the shoot forms a full-fledged root system, it is finally separated from the shrub and transplanted.
There is 1 more way to breed blunt-leaved privet, in which you do not need to drop the layers. It looks like this:
- The surface of the selected branch is lightly scratched with a needle. 2-3 scratches are enough.
- Moistened soil is poured into a plastic bag and fixed on the shoot. In this case, the ground should be in contact with the damaged area. For better contact, the bag is attached to the branches with tape.
- When the bag is filled with roots, the shoot is cut off and transplanted.
Cutting is the most effective way to breed blunt-leaved privet, and, therefore, the most popular. The survival rate of the planting material with this dilution is 90-100%. Summer cuttings are best suited for this.
The grafting procedure is carried out according to the following algorithm:
- In the summer, after the privet has faded, mature shoots are selected on the bush and cut obliquely.
- The resulting cuts are divided again into pieces of 10-15 cm, while the incision is also made diagonally.
- The cuttings are cleaned by removing the leaves in the lower part, after which the bottom is treated with growth stimulants.
- Then the planting material is buried in sod soil, sprinkled on top with coarse sand. Deepening is performed at an angle of 45 ° C.
- The cuttings containers are covered with glass or foil to create a greenhouse environment.
- After 10-15 days, the seedlings form the first roots.
- Within 2-3 months, they develop a full-fledged root system, but it is not yet possible to transplant privet. Cuttings must be grown throughout the year.
- If the roots grow too large, the plants are transplanted into larger containers.
- When the seedlings reach a height of 50 cm, they can be moved to a permanent place. This usually happens next spring.
Important! For better rooting of cuttings, it is necessary to maintain the air temperature in the room or greenhouse at + 20 ... + 25 ° С.
Diseases and pests
Dull-leaved privet is resistant to most diseases. The danger of infection arises only when planting in soil with high acidity - such an arrangement makes plantings vulnerable to powdery mildew and spotting. As a preventive measure in this case, it is recommended to periodically dilute the soil with crushed lime or dolomite flour.
Resistance to pests is also quite high, but sometimes blunted privet is still affected by insects. A particular danger to shrubs is represented by:
- spider mite;
Against them, blunt-leaved privet is sprayed with insecticides. Preparations effectively deal with pests:
Blunted privet is an unpretentious frost-resistant shrub that looks good both in single plantings and as part of a hedge. Planting a plant is not difficult, caring for dull-leaved privet is also simple. The undoubted advantage of this garden culture is active shoot formation, thanks to which the plantings can be given almost any shape.