Cute scaly juniper "Blue Carpet" can be found on the site of many Russian summer residents. This variety attracts gardeners not only for its amazing appearance, but also for its unpretentiousness in care. A bush can decorate any garden with its branchy crown and silver-blue needles, but for this, favorable conditions should be created for it.
The name "Blue Carpet" is precisely connected with an unusual description of the crown. Beauty is distinguished not only by silver needles, but also by rare fruits - cones painted in a deep blue color with a wax tint. The needles reach a length of 1 cm, and the width of the entire crown can reach 2 m. The culture belongs to slowly growing species, annual growth is only 5 cm. The size of an adult plant does not exceed 60 cm.
The homeland of the variety is the Eastern Himalayas, and the life span of the tree is approximately 50 years. Culture refers to the evergreen species, for which it is appreciated when creating landscape design.
This is a photophilous plant that does not impose strict soil requirements. It tolerates drought and frost well up to -29 degrees, therefore it often becomes an inhabitant of private gardens in Russia.
How to plant?
Before you start planting, you should carefully consider the choice of seedling. Experienced gardeners are advised to buy planting material with a closed root system. The fact is that specimens with open roots can take root only when planted in moderate humidity, that is, in April, May or September, and seedlings with a closed root system are more adapted to new conditions.
If an open sample is still chosen for planting, it is recommended that it be treated with Fulvix, Heteroauxin or Radifarm.
The variety is almost indifferent to the soil, but it will feel more comfortable in slightly acidic or neutral soil. The site selected for planting should be well lit by the sun and removed from the place of the proximity of groundwater. Planting a bush with an earthen clod is carried out in the spring, summer or autumn, but if a hot period is chosen, it is important to shade an unrooted instance. The landing process is as follows.
- Dig a landing pit 70 cm deep and 2-3 times wider than the dimensions of an earthen coma.
- Make a 20-cm drainage from rubble, pebbles or broken bricks.
- Next, place the nutrient mixture in the pit. It can be prepared by combining peat, clay soil and sand in a ratio of 2: 1: 1, respectively. You can make another composition - leaf or turf soil, peat and sand in the proportions of 2: 1: 1. The nutrient mixture for this variety is not a prerequisite for planting, but its presence will contribute to a more complete and faster rooting and development.
- Make a recess in the pit and carefully place the seedling so as not to expose the root system. The neck of the bush should be stretched over the soil.
- Cover the landing with soil and moisten the soil.
- Put a layer of mulch on the trunk circle, for example, peat, pine bark or needles with a layer of 5-6 cm.
- Do not ram the earth around the seedling; gradually it will settle itself.
- The variety has the ability to grow rapidly, which means that when collective planting, it is important to maintain the distance between the specimens and plant them at a distance of at least 0.5 m.
How to care?
Caring for the juniper of the Blue Carpet variety is not difficult, but the plant will not tolerate indifference from the gardener either. Following simple rules, you can grow a beautiful spreading shrub on the site, which will become the main decoration of the garden.
- Systematically, the soil at the planting site of young seedlings must be moistened. Adult specimens need only minimal watering during a drought. The shrub reacts particularly well to irrigation by irrigation. Humidification is carried out in the morning or in the evening after sunset to avoid the occurrence of burns on the needles.
- Culture loves light, but in early spring young bushes need to be protected from bright rays by a non-woven covering material or net. During this period, the sun is too hot for the crown, which has not yet recovered after winter, and can cause burns.
- In April or May, it is customary to feed the culture . The most effective types of fertilizer in this period are nitroammophoska or mineral complexes. The plant also needs autumn top dressing - a mixture with potassium and phosphorus content may act as additional nutrition at this time.
- In recently planted samples, periodically loosen the soil. The procedure is performed very carefully, as the culture has superficial roots. It is important not to injure the young roots. Loosen the ground to a level of no more than 5 cm after watering and weed the weeds.
- The trunk circle should be mulched immediately after planting - it was mentioned above. So that the root neck does not rot, in the spring the layer of mulch is removed. The mulching procedure is important for retaining moisture and improving the nutritional properties of the soil. Cones, sawdust, compost, humus can serve as mulch.
- The variety requires only sanitary pruning in the spring, and he does not particularly need a decorative haircut - the tree has an already beautiful crown. In spring, all broken, damaged and frozen branches should be removed. You need to cut them with a sterilized tool and treat all sections of the sections with an antiseptic.
- In the first winter, the plant needs to be insulated . For this, covering material is suitable. In this case, it is desirable to mulch the roots with peat to the level of 8-10 cm. Also, the crown for wintering can be insulated with spruce branches. Do not try to make shelter too dense, as this can lead to branching.
The Blue Carpet variety belongs to dioecious plants. Sex can be calculated by visually examining the crown of the bush. If it is narrow, ovoid, then this is a male bush, a female tree has a spreading and loose crown. In the spring, yellow stripes can be observed on male shrubs, and female ones can please the appearance of greenish cones.
There are two ways to breed a variety.
Not the preferred breeding method. If the gardener is still ready to gain strength and wait about a year until the first shoots appear, you can try to sprout the seeds of juniper. It is also worth knowing in advance that the varietal features of the mother bush are rarely preserved with this method.
Seed collection usually occurs in the fall, when the cones are already ripe. Cones have a rounded shape and a bluish color with a light coating. Inside the fruit, three seeds are stored, which are used for sowing. Grains should be put in a box and stored in a cool place until spring.
In May, the seeds are planted on a bed to a depth of 2-3 cm, dug up with loose earth, moisten the soil with the settled water and mulch the surface. When the first sprouts hatch, they need to be protected for a couple of weeks from direct ultraviolet rays. Planting seedlings in a permanent place is carried out only for the third year by the method of transshipment.
This is the most common method of propagating shrubs. The process is as follows:
- choose a healthy, strong adult tree and cut 12 cm long cuttings from it;
- remove the lower coniferous branches of the selected specimens;
- soak the cuttings in a growth stimulator during the day, for example, in “Heteroauxin”;
- mix peat with sand and plant the planting material in the prepared mixture;
- cover the seedlings with foil and put in the shade. Irrigate the cuttings regularly with water and moisten the soil.
Already on the 45th day, the seedlings will have a root system, and after 2.5-3 months they can be transplanted to a permanent place.
Diseases and Pests
Most of all , aphids, scale insects, spider mites, mining moths like to enjoy juice of the presented variety . Chemical pesticides are used to control pests. To destroy aphids, it is recommended to use Fitoverm . "Karate" will help get rid of the spider mite, and karbofos will help from the scab. To overcome the mining moth the Decis remedy will allow .
It cannot be said that the Blue Carpet variety is highly resistant to diseases, especially if it is grown under adverse conditions. The following diseases are the most common and dangerous ailments for him.
- Rust. This is a fungus that can be recognized by red growths on the branches. He can live for several years, worsening the decorativeness of the plant, and ultimately can cause the death of the plant. Affected branches should be eliminated, and healthy areas treated with fungicide.
- Drying out of branches . Another fungus, the presence of which indicates the poor condition of the needles in the spring - the needles turn yellow and fly around. First, the disease affects small branches, then spread to the entire plant. The method of treatment is the same as in the case of rust.
As a prophylaxis, fungicides are treated at the end of April or October.
- Trachiomycosis. This infection begins to spread from the roots. The root system is covered with gray spores, the roots cannot absorb nutrients, over time this leads to the death of the bush. On the upper shoots of this disease, reddish spots form. To save the plant, diseased branches are removed and destroyed, and the specimen and soil are disinfected with an antifungal drug.
- Schütte. This disease is usually observed in early summer. On last year’s needles, you can see black apothecia with a diameter of up to 1.5 mm. During treatment, damaged areas are cut off. As prophylaxis, treatment with fungicides is used twice a year.
Use in landscape design
Often this variety is used as a single planting on the background of the lawn, but gardeners do not recommend such a placement, as care for the grass is somewhat complicated. Using juniper, you can create a composition from different coniferous crops. A picturesque landscape will turn out if you plant a bush against the background of tall coniferous varieties.
The tree grown in the neighborhood with perennial or even deciduous crops looks beautiful, planting next to annual flowers looks aesthetically pleasing.
True, choosing neighbors to create juniper, it is necessary to take into account not only the preferences of different crops over the composition of the soil, but also monitor the distance between plants - plantings should not interfere with each other's development.
A very beautifully presented variety will look when planted on a slope or in an alpine hill, you can decorate it with the shore of a garden reservoir or arrange rockeries . A harmonious combination is obtained if bulbous crops, geraniums, rose bushes, and ground cover grassy plants are planted in tandem with juniper.
The Blue Carpet variety is also suitable for the design of urban park areas, as it tolerates contaminated air quite stably. You can make an artistic figure from the crown. Aesthetic landscaping will turn out if you plant juniper in a container.
For more information on the scaly juniper Blue Carpet, see the next video.