Plants of the Schisandra family are represented in the wild by more than twenty different species. Natural habitats are the Far East, China, Japan, India, USA.
In the wild nature of the Russian Far East, only lemongrass grows, the beneficial properties of which have been known to the indigenous people since ancient times. Thanks to them, as well as its rather decorative appearance, the plant is gaining popularity in amateur gardening.
For breeding, cultivars have been bred, adapted to the climatic conditions of Russian regions. Schisandra chinensis - growing from seeds today is available to many gardeners, and not only to those who were able to get the seeds of a wild plant or bring a seedling from the taiga.
- General information about lemongrass, description
- Stratification, sowing seeds
General information about lemongrass, description
Schisandra chinensis, which grows in Russia, is a tall, deciduous vine. Strong, very elastic vines reach a height of more than 10 - 12 m. The vines grow around a suitable support, in the forest these are tall trees. Most often they grow in mixed, coniferous - deciduous forests. Prefers drier places with well-drained soils.
Liana is covered with brown - red bark, on adult plants the bark peels off and curls up, young shoots have a smooth yellow bark.
Lemongrass blooms in May, pink or cream flowers are collected in long brushes.
The flowers are dioecious, sometimes only male flowers can be on one liana, and in this case there is no harvest of berries. There will be no berries on the female plant if there is no pollinator nearby.
After flowering, the male flowers fall off, and in place of the female flower a brush is formed - a polyberry, up to 12-15 cm long, sometimes up to 40 berries are collected on one brush. The berries are bright red or bright orange, inside they contain a convex hard seed, which is similar in shape to a human kidney.
Brushes with berries firmly adhere to the liana and remain on it until deep winter.
All parts of the plant have a weak lemon aroma, and the berries, due to the high content of vitamin C, citric, malic, tartaric acid, have a sour taste.
In the wild, lemongrass thickets are renewed mainly vegetatively, less often by seeds. In order to grow lemongrass from seeds at home, the seeds must be prepared in a special way.
Stratification, sowing seeds
In order for the lemongrass seeds to germinate, they must be prepared and subjected to the stratification process.
The best results are obtained by the method when the berries harvested in the fall are stored intact, without removing the pulp from the seeds. In early January, the seeds of Schisandra chinensis are cleaned of pulp, thoroughly washed off its remnants with water.
The washed seeds are completely immersed in cold water, which must be changed several times a day. The soaking process continues for four days. At this time, sand is prepared, which must first be washed and then calcined well. The seeds are buried in it by placing them in a nylon cloth.
The box with sand and seeds is kept warm at a temperature of + 20 degrees for thirty days. After that, he is taken out into the garden and buried in the thickness of the snow. The seeds should also spend thirty days in the snow.
After a period of exposure in the cold, the box with lemongrass seeds should be kept for 10 - 14 days in a cool place, at a temperature not exceeding 10 degrees. As a result of this preparation, the hard seed coat begins to crack, which facilitates germination.
For sowing, special boxes or containers are prepared.
To fill them, one part of the sand is mixed with one part of the humus. The seeds are laid out on the surface, after which they are sprinkled with a layer of soil half a centimeter thick.
Everything is well moistened, and in order to maintain the humidity regime, they are kept covered with a sheet of paper. With daily watering, the first shoots should appear in 10 - 12 days. During the germination period, seeds and seedlings are susceptible to fungal diseases; to prevent infection, it is necessary to spill it with a pink solution of potassium permanganate once or twice.
The first embryonic leaves of lemongrass are similar to the shoots of cucumbers, when the fourth to fifth true leaves appear, the seedlings dive either into separate containers or into a common box at a distance of at least five cm from each other.
The seedlings are planted in a permanent place in early June. It is important to remember that in the first three to four years lemongrass does not tolerate direct sunlight and it is advisable to cover it from them. In addition, as it grows, it will need vertical support, otherwise the seedling will begin to bush and give numerous root shoots and will not bloom.
Lemongrass grown from seeds blooms quite late, around the seventh year, but this method has an advantage over vegetative propagation, since in most cases the plants obtained from seeds have both male and female flowers, which allows you to get a harvest even with one vine.
The following varieties are recommended for cultivation in amateur gardens:
Schisandra chinensis is an excellent plant for vertical gardening; in addition, berries, seeds, and parts of lianas are widely used in folk medicine as a general tonic, to normalize blood pressure, and increase immunity.
Growing and properties of lemongrass in the video: