Juniper is a culture that captivates with its decorative qualities. The Prince of Wales variety is one of the most popular. A variety of coniferous undersized shrubs from Canada is unpretentious, undemanding to care and very beautiful. Consider the features of this variety in more detail and find out what are the rules for planting it.
The Prince of Wales variety was created based on a wild-growing species. It is the smallest of the horizontal junipers. The culture is perennial, creeping, with a branched structure. It easily tolerates cold (up to -30 degrees), which allows you to grow it in different regions of the country. Adult shrubs do not require shelter for the winter. Only young specimens grown in harsh climates are covered.
The plant does not have a central trunk. Shoots are formed near the surface of the earth (their length is about 1.5 m). At first it seems that each branch is separate. However, as they grow, the upper shoots cover the lower ones, due to which a continuous green "carpet" is formed. The root system of the plant is well-branched. The root circle can be up to 50 cm.
The culture is growing quite slowly. Only 1 cm in height is added annually. The width of the bush increases by 5-6 cm. An adult is considered a plant after reaching a ten-year age.
The maximum height of a plant of this variety is 20 cm. The diameter of the crown is about 2.5 m. Growth conditions can affect the size of juniper. For example, in a light shade near the reservoir, the “Prince of Wales” may be larger than in an open sunny place.
Young bushes have needles of a pleasant green tint. As they grow older, the color of the plant becomes silver. In autumn, the bush does not drop foliage, but changes its color to purplish-plum. Against the backdrop of a snowy garden, he looks especially impressive.
The fruits of the culture are spherical, have an average size. The color is bluish-silver. Berries of this variety can be eaten. The spicy taste allows you to add them as seasoning to various dishes of meat and fish. The rich chemical composition (vitamins, essential oils, minerals) determines the use of shrubs in cosmetology.
Culture is often used to decorate parks and gardens. At the same time, the variety is undemanding, due to which gardeners are very fond of. However, in order to grow a beautiful and healthy bush, you still need to follow the basic rules of planting and care.
How to plant?
This variety loves sunlight, although partial shade is considered ideal for its development. If you plant a plant in an open area, you will need to maintain optimal soil moisture. Absolute shadow is also undesirable. In such conditions, juniper loses decorative qualities. The needles are small and rarely located, the crown seems loose and untidy, its color is faded and even slightly yellowish.
The composition of the soil is not very important. Shrub can grow even on poor soil. However, it is desirable that it be light, with good drainage. Acidity should be neutral. If the soil is acidic, six months before planting, its composition should be changed. To do this, lime or dolomite flour is added to the soil.
It is important to remember that the culture has a large crown diameter, so there should be enough space for an adult plant on the site. Also, do not plant juniper next to fruit bushes. Otherwise, there is a risk of rust in Prince of Wales.
Planting material is better to buy in specialized nurseries. Although self-propagation is also allowed. When choosing a finished seedling, it is worth giving preference to instances with a well-formed root. Branches should be flexible, not have dry areas. The needles should be healthy in appearance, have a green color.
Dig the soil before planting. Then peat is introduced into the soil (this makes it easier). To improve drainage, add some sand. The width of the pit for the seedling should be 20 cm greater than the diameter of the root system. When determining the depth, the height of the root to the root neck is taken into account.
Also take into account drainage and soil, which will sprinkle a young plant. The average parameters of a landing hole are 60 by 70 cm.
If you decide to move the shrub from one place to another, it is important to properly extract the plant. First, the branches are gently lifted and sent to the center. Then the ground part of the culture is wrapped with cloth. For reliability, you can fix the material with a rope.
After that, the bush is dug up from all sides. At the same time, about 50 cm should be retreated from the center. The depth of digging depends on the age of the culture. Typically, a shovel is immersed in the soil at 40-45 cm. The bush needs to be removed along with an earthen lump.
Transplantation can be carried out both in the autumn and in the spring. In a new place, the variety usually takes root well.
First of all, you should prepare a fertile mixture for planting. Recommended composition includes peat, turf land and sand. All components are taken in equal proportions.
Ash is also added. It should occupy ¼ of the composition. Replacement of this component with dolomite flour is allowed. Then you can begin the direct landing process.
- Drainage is placed at the bottom of the fossa. In its quality, crushed stone, gravel, expanded clay can be used. The layer should be about 15 cm.
- The prepared soil mixture is divided in half.
- The first half of the fertile composition is poured over the drainage.
- The seedling is placed in the center of the hole. At the same time, the root neck must rise 2 cm above the ground.
- Planting material is carefully covered with the second part of the mixture, watering is carried out.
If an adult plant is transplanted, tissue protection is removed from it. Branches carefully spread. If several bushes of the same variety are planted, the distance between them should not be less than 50 cm.
How to care?
Despite the fact that the variety is resistant to drought, in order to maintain high decorativeness of the bush, it is necessary to provide it with a sufficient amount of moisture. A young plant should be watered daily for 1-2 weeks. The procedure is best done in the evenings. In the future, the bush will have enough moisture obtained from the natural environment. However, in the summer, it is sometimes desirable to water it.
In addition, it is recommended to spray the bush from the spray gun. Sprinkling will help to keep the needles fresh even on hot days.
Juniper supplements are not needed. You can only "Kemira" in the first 2 years at the beginning of spring. Upon reaching the age of three, the bush ceases to need any preparations.
This procedure is carried out immediately after planting. The basal area is covered with straw and dry leaves. You can also use tree bark. The annual update of mulch is a prerequisite. Do it in the fall.
Loosening the earth around an adult plant is optional. Mulch maintains an optimum level of soil moisture. Weeds under a dense layer also do not appear. As for young plants, here cultivation is carried out in late spring and autumn (before laying a new mulch).
The Prince of Wales annual pruning is performed in the spring. If frozen branches are found, they are removed. If the wintering went well, and the integrity of the crown is not broken, it is not necessary to trim the bush.
The formation of an evergreen conifer is a procedure that is carried out only at the request of the gardener. The natural form of the plant is very decorative, so it is often left unchanged. However, if you need to make the crown more compact and even, the upper parts of the branches are cut to the required size.
Slow growth provides long-term preservation of the shape attached to the bush. As a rule, the result lasts for several years.
Preparing for the winter
As already mentioned, young seedlings should be protected from winter cold. To do this, at the end of autumn, sprinkle the plant around the mulch with a layer of at least 15 cm. Then the branches are collected in a bunch. This protects them from possible damage due to the severity of the snow.
Then the plant is covered with spruce branches. Another good option is to build a shelter from metal arcs and a stretched film.
The most common method of breeding this variety is rooting layering. In this case, the shoot is pressed to the soil. Sprinkle it on top of the ground.
For some time, it is important to ensure that the amount of soil on the shoot does not decrease. If necessary, add soil. The procedure is carried out in the spring.
A year later, the gardener already receives a new isolated plant. The formation of an independent root system is nearing completion. Young juniper can be separated from the mother bush and moved to a new place.
The second option is cuttings . The branches of a two-year-old plant are suitable for this. Harvesting of planting material is carried out in spring or autumn. The handle is placed in a container with fertile soil. After rooting, a young plant is planted on the site.
The third juniper propagation method is vaccination . This option is quite time-consuming, so it is rarely used. On a different type of stem, Prince of Wales is struggling to survive.
As for the seed propagation method, this is theoretically possible. However, it should be borne in mind that the seeds of this variety do not retain varietal characteristics. The shrub obtained in this way will be similar to the representatives of the variety, but very distantly.
Diseases and Pests
Like any other plant, the “Prince of Wales” can be attacked by garden pests. There are several main threats. These are aphids, scale insects, spider mites and sawflies. Any of the listed insects are fought by spraying the bush with insecticides. Of course, if possible, the pests themselves are removed (branches are partially cut off or insects are manually collected).
As for illnesses, only rust is terrible for this variety . The cause of the onset of the disease can be overmoistening of the soil.
The dangers of the proximity of juniper with fruit trees have also been mentioned previously. Solve the problem with copper sulfate.
Use in landscape design
This undersized type of juniper is often used as a green decor in personal plots, in parks, in flower beds near restaurants and office buildings. Due to the creeping wide crown, it looks great both in single landings and in group compositions.
The "Prince of Wales" harmoniously combines with other coniferous shrubs, as well as flowering crops. Often a variety imitates a lawn in rocky gardens and rock gardens. It decorates slopes, borders, draws up artificial reservoirs (ponds, waterfalls). If you plant juniper on several levels, you can end up with a spectacular flowing cascade. It is also permissible to grow the plant in a container to decorate the loggia or terrace.
For more information about this type of juniper, see the next video.