Catalpa - a beautiful tree found in some countries, such as China, Japan, North America, East India, belongs to the genus Bignonius.
The plant belongs to the type of deciduous, decorative. At any time of the year, the color of its leaves is green, for which people call it evergreen.
Catalpa tree description
It grows to 30 m, while the diameter of the trunk varies in the range of 15-25 cm. The flowers in the form of a funnel exude a wonderful smell. The shade of the buds is creamy, there are small dark spots.
Inflorescences are erect, in the form of a pyramid. The fruits of the tree can grow up to 40 cm in length, having the form of peculiar pods. They ripen the seeds of the plant. Flowering begins in July. However, the fruits of the tree can hang at least all year round, the cold does not affect them in any way.
Since the plant grows in a wide list of countries where the climate is completely different, it has several species and many varieties. For decorative purposes, not all possible variations are grown, since preference is given to the most aesthetic specimens. Consider the most popular, frost-resistant, well growing in the middle lane.
It rightfully refers to the highest species of this tree. In length, it can grow up to 30 m. The trunk is smooth and slender. The crown has the shape of a wide pyramid, the bark is a thin-plate type, has a gray tint.
Withstands temperatures up to -28 ° C. The leaves of the plant are beautiful, glossy green. In length, they grow up to 30 cm, in width up to 15 cm. They retain their color to the very frosts. Buds growing on this tree of beautiful delicate white color, in some places there is a purple speck. They have a pleasant smell.
The sprawling crown of this species grows up to 20 m long, rounded in shape. The bark is a type of thin-plate, has a light brown color.
The leaves are similar to lilacs, but much larger. Saturated green color, up to 20 cm long, up to 15 cm wide.
The buds of this variety are endowed with a snow-white color, with occasionally occurring red and brown specks on the petals. They have a pleasant aroma, gather in inflorescences. The flowers themselves are about 30 cm long and 20 cm wide
The total flowering period is 20 days, it begins in mid-July.
- Aurea - different golden color of foliage.
- Picta - the presence of variegated leaves.
- Nana is a small, spherical variety that does not have flowers.
- Captivity - with double flowers.
- Kene - unusual yellow leaves in the middle of which there is a bright dark green spot, from which veins of the same color depart.
A low-growing species, grows about 10 m, and on a site or in a garden only 4 m. The crown is wide, in the form of a tent. The flowers, as in the previous types of color, are light creme brulee with a purple hue. A feature is the three-lobed leaves of the tree, distinguishing it from others.
They have a dark green color, 30 cm by 15 cm in size. The fruits also have the shape of pods, 45 cm long. The egg-shaped catalpa is rather capricious in terms of leaving and choosing the soil, and also loves sunlight.
More demanding on low temperatures. Perhaps growing in the south of Russia. Srednerosly species, reaches a length of 20 m. The leaves growing on a tree in their shape and structure are simple, have a dark, green hue.
The flowers of this plant grow pink, sometimes pink-purple. The gardener view is very popular, due to average growth, beautiful appearance of flowers and a general aesthetic appearance. In addition, it blooms much earlier than its counterparts.
It was obtained by crossing ordinary and ovoid catalps. It turned out pretty winter-hardy look. Therefore, it is widely used in the middle lane. It is located between the types of short and medium-sized trees.
The maximum growth is 16 m. The crown grows in the form of a kind of semi-sphere. The leaves are light green. Growing flowers gather in inflorescences. It is also very much appreciated in the matter of creating an original landscape design on the site.
Catalpa planting in open ground
Since Catalpa belongs to the decorative type of trees, this means that a special approach is required in the issue of cultivation. The basics of planting are the same as for most plants. It is necessary to correctly select the right, good soil for this tree, to plant. By the appearance of shoots, it is already necessary to carry out regular fixed watering, it is necessary for young shoots.
The use of various top dressings and fertilizers is not forbidden, however, it is necessary to ensure that there is not too much phosphorus in their composition.
All seedlings are divided into 2 types, annual and biennial. Moreover, regardless of their type, landing and care are virtually the same. Planting must be done directly in the spring, it can also be done in the fall, but only after the process of leaf fall.
Landing requires a site that is well sanctified by a natural light source, i.e. the sun. In addition, it must be reliably protected from the wind. This is due to the fact that Catalpa is by its nature a fragile plant, especially at the stage of formation it is very easy to damage.
When planting more than one tree, or close to other plants, it is necessary to maintain a distance between them of at least 4 m. This is explained by the love of the seedling to the open space, and besides, when it grows, it will spread quite widely. The root system also does not completely go down, but is widely stretched along the soil.
Formation of the landing pit should begin with ensuring the necessary depth of at least 100 cm, while its width should be at least 70 cm. Then you need to prepare a special mixture. It consists of humus, sand, peat, leafy land. All this must be combined with wood ash, just add about 50 g of phosphate rock. The resulting mixture must be placed in an already prepared hole.
However, before this, at the very bottom, it is necessary to make the so-called drainage layer, its thickness varies from 12 cm to 15 cm, but in no case should it be less than 12 cm.
Drainage is crushed stone, or pre-broken brick into small fragments. After the drainage layer is ready, the pit is filled with soil mixture. And only after that the planting of the root system of the plant begins. Then the ground is slightly crushed, compacted. Upon completion of this operation, it is necessary to water the seedling.
Immediately after watering, it is necessary to mulch the soil, peat is excellent for this role.
Catalpa Care in the Garden
Catalpa is known for its love of moisture.
When growing this beautiful tree in the garden, it is necessary to water at least 1 time per week. It is worth remembering that at least 2 buckets of water are needed per plant.
There are exceptions to the frequency of watering. These include cloudy, rainy weather. If rainfall prevails in the region, watering can be reduced to 3 times per month. If, on the contrary, the region is arid, then the number of watering sessions, on the contrary, is increased, up to 2 times a week. After each watering, it is necessary to thoroughly loosen the soil around the trunk, while not forgetting to remove the emerging weed grass.
The tree responds adequately to fertilizing and various fertilizers, even with some “enthusiasm”. The addition of additional nutrients to the soil also needs to be done regularly. It is necessary to create a schedule for fertilizer application, while each session should be fixed, and there should not be too much time between them.
For example, in autumn, a plant needs top dressing with a high content of potassium and phosphorus. At the same time, fertilizers containing phosphorus should be avoided during this period.
To give the plant the most aesthetic and beautiful appearance, it is necessary to trim it regularly. Spring is perfect for this business, since at this time the buds had not yet had time to fully form and swell. Pruning involves the removal of frost-bitten branches, which are also dry, sick, and damaged (broken).
Abnormally growing branches are also recommended to be removed, as they spoil the general appearance of the plant. It is in the spring that the crown is molded, giving it the necessary beautiful shape.
Young seedlings not only require protection from the wind, but also shelters in the winter, even frost-resistant varieties. As they grow older, winter-hardy species do not need this.
Planting seeds for seedlings is recommended to be done in late February, or in early March. Before this, the seeds of the plant are thoroughly soaked for 12 hours in water. If planting is expected in the fall, then the seeds should not be soaked in water.
Technology of seed germination:
- In pre-prepared containers with the necessary soil, they make peculiar grooves into which seeds will be distributed.
- Then the seeds are covered with soil, after which they are watered, but not abundantly. If you overdo it, you can destroy them.
- After watering, the containers are closed with plastic wrap, or covered with glass in order to create a greenhouse effect. Containers are placed in a room where the air temperature is at +22 ° C. Every day they remove the shelter for 10 minutes, so that the plant is slightly aired.
- In the room with seedlings, you need to provide enough light, but you should make sure that direct UV rays do not get on the seedlings, this will badly affect the sprouts.
- They also monitor watering, regularly and dosed produce it.
Landing in open ground becomes possible only in mid-May.
In addition to seeds, this plant can also be propagated by cuttings. Cuttings are harvested for these purposes around the month of August. They are cut off at least 8 cm, always with mature, living kidneys. Cuttings are immediately planted in a substrate consisting of sand and peat. With the help of plastic bottles they create a greenhouse effect. Care for cuttings is exactly the same as for seedlings. Regular watering, daily need to remove the bottle for 10 minutes, for ventilation of the sprouts. Landing in open ground is made, as with seedlings, closer to the end of May.
Catalpa pests and diseases
Despite the fact that the plant is mostly decorative, nevertheless it has a fairly strong immunity, which allows it not to be exposed to most common diseases. However, the strength of immunity directly rests on the correct care of the plant. If you neglect any nuances, then even the mildest disease can easily hit this beautiful tree. And as often happens, they may not be treated and the only way out is to remove the plant.
Such dangerous defeats include spaniard flies. When they appear, or if their presence is suspected, the plant must be treated as soon as possible with special agents against pests. Such products are freely sold in garden shops.
A more dangerous problem is the cattail. They lay larvae in the bark of the tree, which in turn significantly damage it. As a result, the plant begins to rapidly fade. As such, there is no solution to this problem; damage to the larvae for the plant means death. However, it is still possible to protect the tree, for this it is necessary to carry out certain preventive measures, regularly treat with insecticides.
No less dangerous than pests for Catalpa is the disease of verticillus withering. Signs of this ailment are yellowed leaves, falling off. Only the initial stage of the disease is treated, for this, special drugs are used, such as Fundazole. When the disease has already developed enough, it is impossible to cure the plant, only its complete removal will help.
Also, the tree can be affected by powdery mildew.
Mr. Dachnik recommends: the use of catalpa and useful properties
Like all plants, flowers and trees, Catalpa has its own list of applications. For example, seeds have long been used to create special oils. It belongs to the type of quick-drying, such oil has been widely used in paintwork, industry.
In addition, beekeepers plant this tree, as it is a honey plant. Catalpa is widely used to create unique landscape design, landscaping of city parks and squares, various personal territories.
The plant found its application in folk medicine. Wound healing ointments, painkillers are made on the basis of the leaves and bark of this tree. In addition, drugs created on the basis of this plant have antibacterial properties.