Microbiota is a genus of coniferous shrubs that grow mainly in the east of our country. The most important point in describing this plant, gardeners consider its compactness, due to which coniferous shrubs are actively used by many when decorating landscaping in a summer cottage or in front of a cottage. Interestingly, in places where the microbiota grows, it is almost impossible to meet any weeds, because next to it they simply can not survive. Further, we will familiarize ourselves with the description of coniferous shrubs in more detail, find out their types and varieties, and also consider original examples of landscape design.
Microbiota belongs to the cypress family, its genus is represented exclusively by one species - cross-pair microbiota (Microbiota decussata). Many experts consider microbiota a subspecies of Cossack juniper. This plant is an ideal solution for decorating landscaping in the garden in any region, since it is combined not only with other conifers, but also with many flowers.
Microbiota cross-pair was discovered not so long ago. Despite its wide popularity today, it is already listed in the Red Book. Nevertheless, this plant is not threatened with extinction, since it is widely grown in our country by many gardeners. Listing in the Red Book is due to the fact that this plant does not have the so-called relatives growing in other countries.
In the spring-summer period, the color of the coniferous plant is saturated green, but in autumn and winter it is brown with a reddish tint. This creeping shrub can reach a height of 30-50 cm, the diameter of the crown is usually no more than 2 meters. The branches of the plant are thin and spreading, rather densely pressed to the ground.
The needles of scrub microbiota are scaly, about 2 mm long, slightly pointed at the apex. Microbiota, like other conifers, has small rounded brown cones. When ripe, they very often crack.
From them you can collect seeds and use in the future for propagation of the culture.
Species and varieties
Despite the fact that the cross-pair microbiota (decussate) is represented by only one species of its kind, several varieties were developed by specialists, we will consider them in more detail.
- Northern Pride. This variety is a spreading microbiota, which with just a few plants can cover a huge area of the garden.
- Celtic Pride. But this variety, on the contrary, is a very compact and less spreading shrub. Ideal for creating neat compositions in landscape design.
- "Carnival". In this variety, spots of yellow-golden color are visible on green branches, but their number is insignificant.
- Jacobsen. It is believed that this variety was developed by specialists from Denmark. The branches are dense, the plant itself has a tendency to grow up. The shoots of this plant grow as if twisted, which gives it a special flavor.
- Goldspot. In this variety, the branches have a spotted green-yellow color. By the autumn period can become completely green.
Most of the varieties are very unpretentious in planting and further care, and therefore it is recommended to choose the one you like on the basis of external signs. Microbiota grows well in an urban environment, and therefore many of its varieties can be safely planted at your cottage. In summer residences and household plots, such a coniferous plant is very common.
Microbiota is a frost-resistant plant that survives well even in harsh climates. Also, this plant is not afraid of sudden changes in temperature and strong winds. For planting microbiota, it is recommended to give preference to loose loamy soils and those that contain sand. The plant tolerates acidic soils with difficulty.
Microbiota grows well on the slopes. It is best for this plant to choose a place in the shade. However, sunny areas do not greatly affect vital activity, except that they slow down growth a little. It is worth noting that on heavy loamy soil the plant can grow and develop for a very long time.
When planting between two shrubs, it is recommended to observe a distance of 1 meter. Planting pit should correspond to the size of the root system of the plant. When landing in a pit, it is recommended to fill up the drainage. Deepening the root neck of the plant is possible up to 2 centimeters. As a landing substrate, you can use special mixtures or sand mixed with soil and peat.
Subject to the recommended planting conditions in the open field, the plant will develop without any problems.
After planting, the plant requires regular watering and mulching, which favorably affects the state of microbiota, and also serves as a prevention of various diseases and pest attacks. As a mulch, you can use a special peat crumb. From time to time, the microbiota should weave and loosen the soil next to it. Gardeners pruning is extremely rare, since the microbiota already perfectly maintains the shape of the crown .
The first watering is carried out immediately after planting, then it should be regular and plentiful, but not worth pouring. It is believed that the plant tolerates drought well. It is optimal to water the microbiota as the soil dries up, but not more than once a week. With severe drought, watering can be increased, and with frequent rainfall, on the contrary, reduced. It should be noted that with excessive moisture, the roots of the plant can begin to hurt and rot.
It is believed that even without additional fertilizers, the microbiota develops very quickly. The plant does not need excessively frequent fertilizers, except at a young age. Typically, preventive fertilizers are carried out in the springtime of the year , most often universal feeding is used for this, which can be purchased at any specialized store. You can also fertilize the plant at the end of summer. This is done in order to increase the abundant green mass and prepare the plant for wintering.
It is not recommended to use nitrogen fertilizers, which the plant tolerates very poorly. But complex mineral fertilizers with magnesium will be very helpful. If fertilizers were initially introduced into the planting pit, then the first top dressing was recommended to the plant no earlier than 2 years later. As fertilizer, it is ideal to use compost at the rate of 4-5 kg per 1 sq.m.
As already noted, cutting microbiota is an optional procedure. Typically, pruning is done to create and maintain a beautifully shaped shrub. Pruning forming a shrub can be carried out annually, cut shoots in the spring season, but not more than a third.
Only dry and diseased branches of the plant, as well as those that have been attacked by pests, are subject to mandatory removal.
Despite the fact that the microbiota is not afraid of frost, it should be properly prepared for winter in the fall. At the end of summer, you can feed the plant, and by the end of autumn should be abundantly watered conifers. For young plants, it is advisable to make shelter. Adults should also be covered if the winter is not snowy. Without snow, plants are very vulnerable.
Pest and Disease Control
Diseases and pests affect the microbiota quite rarely. This is due to its natural resistance to them and good immunity. With proper watering, mulching and regular feeding of diseases, you can completely avoid it. If you find any insects on the branches, you can use folk remedies, as well as special insecticides.
Microbiota propagated by seeds and cuttings. The first method is quite painstaking, which is why it is extremely rare for not only beginners, but also experienced gardeners to choose it. Seeds are usually taken out of cones, which can also be quite a hassle.
Cuttings do not always give good results, but the percentage of survival in young plants is quite high. To propagate microbiota in this way, cuttings of 7-12 cm long with the remnants of the bark should be cut in late spring. Sections are recommended to process or even soak for a short time in a growth stimulator. You can plant the cuttings immediately in loose soil, covering them with a glass jar. This is done to more quickly take root of the plant and create a greenhouse effect.
Specialists note that microbiota usually very painfully tolerates reproduction by dividing the bush, so this plant is not propagated in this way . In addition, the plant is well propagated by horizontal layering. With this method, the rooting of a young plant occurs within a year.
Beautiful examples in landscape design
Microbiota looks great in the foreground in many garden landscaping compositions. This plant is particularly well in harmony with thuja, small spruce, juniper bushes, ferns and cypresses. In one composition with microbiota, there can be from 3 to 10 plants.
Especially advantageous are the options that successfully combine with each other in color and contrast.
Microbiota grows well near stones and rocks, which is why many landscape designers place this plant next to decorative ponds, stones and large boulders. Such natural paintings look very impressive.
Any kind of microbiota will fit perfectly into an alpine hill or will look great on a decorative mountainside in the garden. Thus, this plant can be used in a wide variety of compositions. And if you want something original, you can plant it in a large pot, where it, like in open ground, will grow without any problems.
Learn more about microbiota in the next video.