Honeysuckle varieties Bellflower: characteristics and features of cultivation
Honeysuckle, like a garden shrub, is becoming increasingly popular among gardeners, although forty years ago almost nothing was known about it. Now it’s just an indispensable plant that can not only decorate any garden plot, but also bring tremendous benefits in the form of very healthy and delicious berries. Variety Bellflower is considered one of the best representatives of edible blue honeysuckle.
The natural habitat of honeysuckle is the Far East, Siberia, the Urals. This shrub tolerates cold well, so frosty lingering winters are only good for him. But now, breeders are trying to develop honeysuckle varieties that could grow not only in the north, but also in countries with a warmer climate. Varieties with more interesting characteristics that bring even more benefits.
Did you know? The bark of some types of honeysuckle is peeling, which is sometimes mistakenly considered a disease. And among the people for this honeysuckle nicknamed "shamelessness."
The bell, like other varieties of honeysuckle, belongs to deciduous shrubs, but its height, in contrast to other, lower-growing species, can reach 2 m. Young shoots are light green, slightly pubescent. Older shoots harden and become covered with brown, with a yellowish tinge, bark.
The leaves are bright green, they have an elongated ovoid shape with a pointed top. While the leaves are young, they also have fluff on them, as well as on the stems, but over time they become smooth. In May - early June, honeysuckle blooms in a delicate yellowish color. Funnel-shaped flowers are located in the axils of the leaves in two.
The bell flower blooms in May, as it belongs to the early varieties, and around mid-June bluish-blue fruits appearcovered with a bluish waxy coating. The fruits are similar to bells, with a rounded base and a wide flat top, hence the name of the variety.The taste of fruits is sweet and sour, the aroma is very rich and pleasant. The pulp is juicy, red-violet. The fastening of the fruits is average, which protects them from premature shedding.
Honeysuckle is valued as one of the earliest sources of vitamins. And also as a very unpretentious shrub, the cultivation of which can easily be done not only by experienced gardeners, but also beginners in this matter.
Frost and drought resistance
Given that the honeysuckle is home to the north, it is not surprising that this plant easily tolerates frost. The branches of the bush are able to withstand painlessly lowering the temperature to -50 ° C, the root system survives calmly at -40 ° C. And even the flowers and young ovary are not damaged when the temperature drops to -8 ° C. This is very important for regions where spring frosts often occur.
But the drought honeysuckle Bell does not tolerate. From a lack of water, the berries become smaller, and bitterness appears in them. Therefore, in particularly hot summer periods, shrubs need watering. You need to pour 1-2 buckets of water under each bush once a week, depending on its size and age.
Fruiting and Yield
The bush begins to bear fruit already in the third year of growth. Berries ripen in mid-June. From each bush you can collect up to 1 kg of the crop. Berries of medium size, weighing about 0.7 g.
Important! To increase productivity, bushes should be slightly shaded by the crowns of tall trees, because in the open sun the berries become small. But they should not be shaded much, because the shoots just like light, and they will develop poorly in the shade.
Advantages and disadvantages
- The main advantages of Honeysuckle Campanula are:
- early ripening;
- very good taste;
- the berries do not crumble;
- tolerates cold winters very well;
- unpretentiousness in leaving;
- rarely affected by powdery mildew and other diseases of shrubs;
- the crop is well stored and transported.
- The main disadvantages:
- inability of the plant to self-pollination;
- warm winters are not suitable for shrubs (if a thaw occurs in the middle of winter, the shrub will start to grow, and due to premature growth, the branches may be damaged, which can lead to loss of berry yield or even loss of bush).
Since the honeysuckle Campanula is a self-infertile shrub, it cannot pollinate itself. If there will be one bush on the site, soon we can expect a decrease in productivity. In order to make the crop better every year, it is advised to plant at least three different types of honeysuckle on one site. As a pollinator, you should choose varieties that differ in characteristics from the main one.
So, for example, Reliable and Pavlovskaya honeysuckle are ideally suited for pollination of the Bellflower.Bumblebees help in the pollination process to a greater extent, because there are still very few bees and flies in May. Flowers of a pale white, slightly yellowish color with a very rich aroma attract these insects.
Planting honeysuckle is easy, it is not particularly different from other garden crops. The main thing is to choose the right place and fulfill several basic conditions that subsequently provide good growth and active fruiting.
The honeysuckle Campanula can be planted at any time of the year, but preferably in the fall, after leaf fall. In spring, the honeysuckle wakes up early and grows actively, so at this time it should be transplanted carefully, and be sure to with a lump of soil enveloping the rhizome to prevent its damage.
Transporting young seedlings in the spring is not recommended. They are very weak at this time and may not take root in a new place.
Site selection, well preparation
Sandy-clay soil with low acidity is ideal for honeysuckle. If the soil is too acidic, chalk can be added to it.The place should be sufficiently lit and protected from drafts, so that they do not damage young seedlings.
Well preparation consists of the following steps:
- It is necessary to dig holes about 50 cm in size on each side in width and the same in depth.
- These pits are filled with two buckets of compost (if the soil is too sandy - you should add another bucket).
- The topmost layer of soil, previously cut when digging a hole, mix with 1 kg of wood ash and 50 g of superphosphate.
- Make a hill out of this mixture on which the root will later be located.
Selection and preparation of planting material
For planting, healthy, viable seedlings with a good root, whole, strong branches are selected. All dry and damaged branches need to be cut. It is not worthwhile to specially shorten the aerial part of the plant, as is often done when planting other shrubs. This can only lead to a delay in the development of a young plant.
After you have prepared the holes and picked up suitable material for planting, you can begin the main work.
Video: Honeysuckle. Planting and Care
To do this, perform the following steps:
- Gently spread the rhizome along the edges of the hill, previously poured into the hole.
- Water the root a little and sprinkle it with earth, a little so that the earth sticks.
- Fill the hole completely with soil and pour it under the root, being careful not to pour water directly on it.
- Mulch the soil around the bush to avoid excessive moisture evaporation.
For mulching, you can use grass, leaves, you can take old newspapers and put them under a bush, or sprinkle with sawdust, only non-coniferous trees, as they greatly increase the acidity of the soil.
Given the rather high growth of the Bell, the distance between it and other plants should be at least 2 m, which is worth remembering when planting.
This plant is unpretentious and does not need any special conditions. Like other garden crops, it must be weed away from weeds. Loosen the ground carefully and only the top layer, because the rhizome is located very close to the surface. On too dry summer days, it is advisable to water the bushes once a week with 1-2 buckets of water to prevent the soil from drying out. And of course, don't forget to mulch.
The first ten years do not need to cut bushes. It will be enough just to remove dry and damaged branches in time. They are cut at the level of the stem so that there are no stumps left. Shrubs that are over 10 years old need to be thinned out so that young branches receive enough light. You need to cut several old branches growing in the middle of the bush so that the young ones can develop better.
Important! If the yield of honeysuckle has greatly decreased, it is recommended to cut off the entire aboveground part so that the bush is updated.
Honeysuckle bell practically does not need additional feeding. Once every 2-3 years to increase productivity, you can feed the plant with an organic-mineral mixture, which includes such components:
- 5 kg of manure or compost;
- 20 g of potassium salt;
- 50 g of superphosphate.
Harvesting and storage
Since the fruits of the honeysuckle of the Bellflower variety are firmly attached to the branches, you can not be afraid for their premature shedding. But just in case, you can spread the oilcloth or fabric under the bush so that you probably do not lose the crop.
Did you know? Oddly enough, children are more fond of honeysuckle varieties with a small bitterness than sweet ones.
To collect berries, slightly tilt the branches to the sides and gently shake. A bell refers to varieties to which a mechanized method of harvesting can be applied. This is all due to the low flaking of berries..
It is most useful to eat fresh honeysuckle as a source of vitamins and minerals that the body needs so much, especially in late spring, when other berries and fruits are not yet available.
They can also be prepared for the winter in the form of jam. It tastes and color very much like cherry jam. And they also make wine, compote, juice from berries. They can be dried and in the winter brew a very fragrant warming tea. And you can just pour it with sugar or freeze, which will help to save the greatest amount of vitamins and other active substances contained in berries.
Due to the fact that the honeysuckle Campanula very easily tolerates a decrease in temperature, to cover it for the winter is not necessary. But a little update before wintering will not hurt.
Did you know? Honeysuckle helps fight stress, because it is a leader among berries in terms of magnesium content.
First of all, it is necessary to remove fallen leaves and mulch from under the bushes so that garden pests do not want to winter there. Dry, damaged branches are cut further. You can also cut some old thick branches in the fall, so that the young have where to grow. And be sure to cut off all parts of the plant that lie on the ground and do not bear fruit. The tops of the branches before wintering are not cut so as not to damage the buds.
And just in case, they can be covered with nets or bags to protect them from birds. It does not hurt to feed the bush a little, so that it can tolerate winter better. For feeding, take 30 g of superphosphate and 20 g of potassium salts for each bush, this will be enough.
To reproduce the honeysuckle Campanula, use the following methods:
- separation of the bush;
- seed reproduction.
If you decide to grow honeysuckle from cuttings, in early spring or after the formation of the fruit, you need to cut pieces of young twigs. Each cutted cuttings must have at least two buds and plus a few centimeters for planting in the ground.
Cuttings must be kept for 24 hours in water for better rooting, and it will be even more reliable to treat them with a 0.05% solution of “Heteroauxin”. After this, the cuttings can be planted in the ground. It is advisable to cover them with a film to maintain optimal temperature and humidity.
Propagation by layering
In the spring, before the sap flow begins, tilt several branches, press them to the ground and tack. After a while, when the layers take root, they can be transplanted to a new place for the formation of young bushes.
Varieties such as Bellflower, whose growth is high enough, are difficult to squeeze to the ground, so cut a bark at a distance of 15–20 cm from the tops of the branches and attach moss to it, covering it with polyethylene and wrapping it with tape. As a result, air layers are formed, which over time can be cut off from the branches and planted in the ground, just like ordinary ones.
Propagation by division of a bush
This type of propagation is suitable for well-formed plants. In the early spring or fall after leaf fall, dig a part of the bush and transplant to a new place. It is advisable to transplant with soil, so as not to damage the root, in a well-fertilized and watered place.
This method is the longest and most laborious, and it does not ensure the conservation of species properties. Seeds for seedlings are sown in special trays with soil mixed with compost to a depth of 1 cm. Before this, it is advisable to stratify the seeds by holding them for 1-2 months in the refrigerator, which will make them less susceptible to environmental conditions and improve germination.
After 1.5–2 months after emergence, seedlings need to be transplanted into separate cups. Seedlings are planted in the ground in early summer. Before planting, they must be tempered, taking out to fresh air, first for several hours, and then leaving for the whole day.
Diseases and Pests
Honeysuckle Campanula is rarely exposed to diseases and pests. Perhaps this is due to the fact that this shrub began to grow not so long ago. The main pests of honeysuckle are birds who like to peck its delicious berries. To protect the crop from birds, you can use covering nets or repelling devices.
Less commonly, but still there are such pests:
- honeysuckle aphid;
- scale shield;
- honeysuckle tick;
- leaflets, etc.
Honeysuckle aphid damages the leaves, from which they curl and fall. And her larvae suck juice from the kidneys. The treatment of the bush with a solution of garlic and hot peppers (1 tbsp per bucket of water) in the early summer helps well from this pest. Or spring irrigation with special preparations (for example, Confidor, Actellik).
The same drugs also help in the fight against honeysuckle tick, which damages the leaves, makes them corrugated, from which the leaves fall off prematurely.
To prevent powdery mildew disease in early spring, you can pollinate bushes with wood ash. A 0.05% solution of soda ash will also help. To prevent honeysuckle from being affected by fungal diseases, it is sprayed with antifungal drugs in early spring, for example, Fundazol.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for viral diseases of honeysuckle alone. If such a disease has occurred, the bushes must be uprooted and burned without fail. In order for your honeysuckle to be healthy and bring a good harvest, you need to take care of this in advance, even at the stage of choosing planting material. And, of course, the right way to care.
Important! In no case should you spray the bushes with chemicals until the whole crop is harvested.
Honeysuckle Campanula is one of the best varieties, due to its bright taste, good transport ability and attractive appearance. It is not difficult to grow this shrub with very useful fruits at home, it is even easier to take care of it, so it is suitable not only for experienced gardeners.
If you want to have a source of the earliest vitamins on your site every year at the beginning of summer, unpretentious in care, practically unaffected by pests and diseases, and well tolerating cold, the Bell is ideal for you.