A Christmas tree dressed up for the New Year, beautiful toys, the smell of fresh pine needles, gifts ... These are the most unforgettable and pleasant childhood memories. And every time on the eve of the New Year, I want to return to that happy and carefree time, again dress up the forest beauty. But it can be a pity for a tree that has been cut down, and there is not always a place in an apartment for a big Christmas tree. That would be to dress up a small and truly lively beauty, breathe in her life-giving scent! And so that later the Christmas tree will remain at home, until the next New Year, when it will be possible to decorate it again.
However, it will not work to grow real potted forest spruce or pine at home, the conditions of the apartment are unbearable for them. But on New Year's Eve, flower shops receive miniature coniferous trees, which are more adapted to indoor conditions. You can find variegated araucaria with clear whorls of branches (see Araucaria variegated). But the very elegant golden cones of cypress trees, which are already in themselves, attract the most attention. Even slightly touching the plant, you can feel the pleasant lemon scent of the needles.
In its homeland, California, large-fruited cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa), better known there as the Monterey cypress, or simply the Monterey cypress, can reach 20-40 meters in height with a trunk diameter of up to 2.5 meters. From constant winds, the pyramidal crown in youth takes on bizarre spreading shapes. The color of the needles of natural cypresses is bright green.
Cypresses from the New World, including large-fruited cypress, were transferred to a separate genus Hesperocyparisbecause they have significant differences from the cypress trees of the Old World. Therefore, you can find another name for this plant - large-fruited hespercyparis (Hesperocyparis macrocarpa).
Large-fruited cypress grows successfully in Great Britain, France, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Sicily, New Zealand and South Africa and in other areas with a humid oceanic climate, where the summers are cool and the winters are moderately cool. These plants do not tolerate the summer heat well.
Numerous cultivars were selected for growing in the garden, as tub and pot plants. Two varieties come to our stores from Holland that can be grown as pot plants.
- Goldcrest (Korolek) - a variety with bright yellow-green juvenile needles and a dense pyramidal crown, received an award from the Royal Horticultural Society for its beauty. This is a slow-growing cultivar, at 10 years old it reaches 2.5 meters, but over time it can grow up to 5-15 meters in height. In the right climate, this is a great plant for the garden, and can serve as an effective accent against the dark green or purple crown of other trees.
- Wilma goldcrest - was selected as a mutation of Goldcrest in 1987 in Holland. This is a dwarf, slow-growing variety with a lemon-yellow pyramidal crown, the most beautiful, most popular for growing at home. It differs from the previous variety in that it keeps the golden shade of the needles constantly. The maximum height in the open field is 10 m with a crown width of 2-3 m.
Indoors, the varieties do not reach such large sizes as in the garden, usually they do not exceed 2 m with a crown width of about 60 cm, in addition, cypresses can be restrained by regular moderate haircut. They are successfully grown as container plants.
Illumination. Cypress trees prefer bright light. In summer, it is advisable to take them out into the open air in direct sunlight. If the plant stands on the southern windowsill, then in the summer at noon, overheating through the glass is possible, so a good air flow is needed next to the cypress and, if necessary, a little shading from direct sunlight. After winter and shopping, accustom the plant to the sun gradually. Additional lighting may be required in winter.With a lack of light, the varieties will lose their golden hue, the stems are stretched and the crown is thinning.
Temperature. Cypress trees do not like heat, the optimal summer temperature is + 18 + 23 ° С. In hot weather, provide the plant with fresh air and increase the humidity.
Cypresses planted in the garden can winter with short-term drops in temperature to -17 ° C, but the soil should not freeze in tubs and pots. It is optimal to keep cypresses in winter on light glazed balconies or winter gardens at a temperature of + 5 + 15 ° C. If there are no such conditions, then find the lightest and coolest window sill, farther from the heaters and closer to the window glass, isolate it from the dry and hot room air.
The plant needs fresh air at any time of the year.
Air humidity... Cypress naturally grows on the coast of the ocean, the humidity of the air must be kept high for it. With the onset of the heating season, if the plant is in a room with batteries, spray it several times a day.
Watering. The cypress is watered regularly as the topsoil dries. In the summer, frequent watering is required, without bringing the water to stagnation in a pot or sump. In winter, the frequency and abundance of watering should be reduced, but the soil should not completely dry out.
Read more in the article Watering rules for indoor plants.
Soil and transplants. Young plants are transplanted by careful transfer into a slightly larger pot in spring, if the lump is well mastered by the roots. Older specimens are reloaded every 3-5 years or are limited to replacing the top layer of soil with a fresh one. A ready-made soil for coniferous plants with a pH in the range from 6.5 to 7.5 is suitable as a substrate, to which it is desirable to add perlite as a loosening and drainage component. If such a soil is not commercially available, you can use a universal soil for indoor plants, but you cannot add soil for flowering plants, since fertilizer with a high phosphorus content can be added to such mixtures.
Read more about the transplant - in the article Transplanting indoor plants.
Fertilizers. Use only coniferous fertilizers with a low phosphorus content as top dressing. It is better to apply them often and in small doses, it is advisable to divide the monthly dose by the approximate number of waterings, and apply this small part with each watering. High concentrations of fertilizers can negatively affect the root mycorrhiza. You cannot use manure as fertilizer. Cypresses are fed from spring to autumn; during winter holidays in the cool, all feeding is canceled.
Reproduction. For the preservation of varietal traits, it is better to use vegetative propagation - rooting of cuttings. It is better to take cuttings with a "heel". For this, a whole lateral shoot is taken and cut off with a slight capture of the bark and adjacent tissues from the branch of the previous order. Shoots are usually taken from young and well-developed lateral and central branches. A mixture of peat soil and perlite in equal proportions is suitable as a rooting substrate. The planted cuttings must be placed in a greenhouse with high air humidity. It takes from one to several months to take root.
Read more about grafting - in the article Cutting indoor plants at home.
Reproduction by seeds is possible. Seeds need stratification at + 1 + 10 ° С (optimum + 1 ° С) for 2 months. Then they are germinated at + 20 + 25 ° C. Seeds are highly susceptible to microorganisms, therefore it is recommended to add fungicides during stratification and germination.
Pests. From too dry indoor air, cypress can be severely affected by spider mites. Arrange a regular shower, spray the plant often with warm boiled water, increase the humidity of the air, and provide an influx of fresh air. In case of severe damage, treat with acaricides.
On cypress, there are also scabbard, aphids and mealybugs, they can be fought with the Aktara drug.
Read more in the article Houseplant pests and control measures.
Diseases arise due to violations of care and conditions of detention. With insufficient watering or high dry air in the room, the twigs begin to dry out. Overdrying the soil often ends with the death of the plant. With excessive watering, the roots will rot. The plant can die during the heat.
These problems can be avoided by growing cypress as a tub plant or keeping them at home on a glazed, frost-free balcony. Then every New Year it will delight you with its golden crown and healing lemon scent!