Kolkvitsiya: how to plant and care in the open field

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Kolkvitsiya: how to plant and care in the open field
Kolkvitsiya: how to plant and care in the open field

Description of the plant kolkvitsiya, recommendations for planting and care in the open field, how to reproduce, ways to combat diseases and pests, notes for the curious, species.

Kolkwitzia (Kolkwitzia) belongs to the genus of flowering representatives of the flora, included in the Honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae) and its subfamily Linnaeaceae. This genus is monotypic, that is, it contains all one species - Kolkwitzia amabilis. The natural habitat is in the mountainous central regions of China, as well as Manchuria. The altitude at which kolquitia is found is 300–1300 m above sea level. Today, plants are cultivated in many areas of the planet with a temperate climate.

Family name Honeysuckle
Growing period Perennial
Vegetation form Shrub
Breeds Vegetatively (by dividing the bush, cuttings, layering) very rarely using seeds
Open ground transplant terms In the end of April
Landing rules 1.5-2 m is left between the seedlings
Priming Lightweight, fertile, well-drained
Soil acidity values, pH 6, 5-7 (neutral)
Illumination level In bright sunlight or in partial shade, sheltered from the wind
Humidity level Frequent but moderate watering, the soil in the near-trunk circle should not dry out
Special care rules Regular pruning and feeding
Height options 2-3.5 m
Flowering period Late spring or early summer, for two weeks
Type of inflorescences or flowers Shield-shaped inflorescences
Color of flowers Outside pink, inside pale pink to white with a yellow pattern
Fruit type Dry box
Fruit color Brown or light brown
The timing of fruit ripening From August to September
Decorative period Spring Summer
Application in landscape design As a specimen plant and in group plantings, for the formation of hedges
USDA zone 4–8

Kolkvitsia got its name in honor of the German botanist Richard Kolkwitz (1873-1956), who studied algae and was one of the scientists who developed the first system composed of representative organisms for assessing the degree of water pollution. The system was developed in 1908.

The specific name of colquicia is due to the Latin word "amabilis", which translates as "pleasant" or "adorable", as well as "sweet", "loving" or "amiable".

Colquizia is pleasant

or Kolquicia the adorable takes on a large shrub form. In nature, in their native lands, its branches reach an indicator of 3.5 meters, but when grown in European territory, the bush grows only up to two. The width of the plant can be measured in 4 m (when grown in culture, it is often only 1, 5–2 m). During the first three years on the shoots of the plant, you can see pubescence of short soft hairs. The pubescence is gradually replaced by a hard bark with a brown or reddish-brown tint.

At first, the branches grow straight at the colquitia, but gradually take on an arched shape. At the same time, the shrub has a feature inherent in all representatives of honeysuckle - by the winter months they lose their bark, which begins to flake off in the form of layers. For a year, the growth of branches is not too large.


If the care of the shrub is correct, and the plant will satisfy all its needs (lighting, watering and feeding), then a dense root growth occurs nearby.

The leaf plates of the pleasant colquitia are arranged on the branches in pairs in opposite order. The outlines of the leaves are oval, there is a sharp point at the top. The color of the deciduous mass is bright green or dark green. The length of the leaves varies from 3.5 to 8 cm.When autumn comes and the time of frost approaches, the color of the leaves takes on a bright yellow color and subsequently they fly around.

The flowering of the colquicia is adorable, that is what is the real advantage of the plant. The outlines of the flowers are very graceful, their size is small, the corolla length is no more than 1.5 cm. When flowering begins in late spring or early summer days, a delicate and attractive floral aroma hovers over the plantings of the bushes. However, the flowers bloom depending on the area in which the colquitia is grown: on the southern coast of Crimea, the buds will begin to open in mid-May, and in the mid-Russian strip, flowering may shift even to mid-summer. The flowering period is usually 14 days. However, the shrub will begin to delight with flowers only after crossing the threshold of 4–5 years, but the plants grown from cuttings bloom already at the 4th year.

Buds appear mainly on the tops of annual shoots, which are located on the sides. Flowers of colquicia are pleasant monoecious, collected in corymbose inflorescences. Pedicels have pubescence on the surface, so they attract attention even before the buds bloom. Corollas of flowers are characterized by bell-shaped outlines, they have five lobes, two of which are upper, and the remaining three are located below and on the sides. The color of the outer surface of the flowers of the colquitia is of a pale pink hue, inside the corolla is almost white-pink, while closer to the central part in the throat itself there is a pattern formed by veins (resembling mesh streaks) of yellow color.

There are so many flowers blooming on the bush of the lovely colquitia that the foliage is almost completely hidden under them. After pollination occurs, the plant sets fruits that take the form of a box, on which the bracts remain adhered. Their surface is covered with hard fibers. The size of the fruits is small, they themselves look dryish. Fruiting time directly, like flowering, depends on the area of ​​cultivation, but basically this period lasts from August to September. Small seeds with a light brown color are located inside the box of the pleasant colquitia. Often half of them are underdeveloped, so the germination of seed is very low. Its rate is only 25–35%, which directly influenced the methods of reproduction.

The plant is really quite interesting and not particularly whimsical to care for. It is worth making a little effort and a real flower "fountain" will play in the garden, surrounding everything with a delicate aroma.

Recommendations for planting and caring for colquia in the open field

Kolquicia blooms
  1. Landing place flowering shrub must be selected in accordance with the natural preferences of the plant. So the location should be open and well-lit by the sun's rays, but partial shade may come up, but then the abundance of flowering will suffer a little. Such a place for a charming colquition can be a neighborhood with large trees, under their openwork crown. It is also worth making sure that the growing area is protected from strong gusts of wind during the winter. Although kolkvitsiya pleasant differs in rather high rates of winter hardiness, but when the column of the thermometer drops to -30 frost, its young branches can freeze slightly. You should not plant in a place where groundwater is close or moisture tends to accumulate from precipitation or melting snow.
  2. Soil for kolkvitsiya charming should be light, fertile and well-drained with moderate moisture. It is recommended that the acidity values ​​are neutral (pH 6, 5-7), but the plant can accept an alkaline substrate (pH 7-8).
  3. Planting colquicia pleasant is carried out in the spring, when the soil will already be fully warmed up - in about April.The depth of the hole for planting seedlings is dug up to about 0.5 m, with the same diameter. A composition of humus and river sand fits into it, or it can be replaced with a soil mixture from a sod substrate, river sand and humus, in a ratio of 2: 1: 2, respectively. After that, you need to leave the hole for 14 days so that the soil in it settles and compresses a little. The intensification of the growth of the planted saplings of the charming colquia will begin in the summer, and the subsequent flowering can be expected only next year. For planting, it is best to pick up 1-2 year old plants. Before planting them, it is recommended to remove too long root processes from them. Then the seedlings of kolkvitsiya are placed in the planting hole and the voids are filled with the aforementioned soil mixture, but with the addition of a bucket of wood ash or complex mineral fertilizers (80-130 grams) to it. After planting the colquicia plant, the lovely soil around it is gently squeezed and abundant moisture is carried out. When the moisture is completely absorbed into the soil, then the trunk circle should be mulched using peat or sawdust. Such a layer will not only help the substrate to remain moist for a longer time, but also prevent weeds from growing rapidly. For group planting, the distance between seedlings should not be less than 1.5–2 m.
  4. Pruning when caring for a colquation, a pleasant one is an obligatory procedure. So with the arrival of spring, while the buds have not yet begun to bloom, sanitary cleaning of the bush crown should be carried out, cutting out all frozen shoots. At the same time, you need to remove all old and diseased shoots. After the flowering is completed, you can perform the formation of the crown - cut off the branches that are too thickening and growing inward or too extended beyond the intended outlines of the bush. Root shoots of colquation must be removed as they grow in any growing season. After flowering is completed, faded branches should be shortened, and at the end of the growing season it is recommended to cut off all young branches that have not yet matured.
  5. Watering. When caring for kolquicia, it is recommended that the soil under the bush always remains slightly moistened, but it is important not to bring it to acidification, so as not to provoke the occurrence of fungal diseases. It is better to use settled and cold water. The soil should be moistened in the evening.
  6. Fertilizers when growing a flowering shrub, it is required to be carried out regularly throughout the growing season. In the spring months, it is necessary to use organic matter (for example, mullein diluted in water in a ratio of 1:10). In June, top dressing is applied with double superphosphate, dissolving 35–45 grams of the drug in 10 liters. There should be one bucket for each bush of the lovely colquitia of such a solution. After flowering is complete, the plant should not be fertilized so as not to provoke its growth by the winter months.
  7. Colquitia transplant carried out in the event that it is necessary to change the place of cultivation. The plant copes with this procedure with ease. It is important to carefully dig up the bush. It is bayonetted around the perimeter with a pointed shovel and removed from the soil with a garden pitchfork. At the same time, they try not to damage the root system of the plant. The transplant is carried out immediately into a pit prepared in advance according to the previously described requirements, in which a nutritious soil mixture is laid. Then it is necessary to carry out abundant watering and, after absorbing moisture, the near-stem soil is mulched.
  8. General advice on care. When growing a pleasant colquicia, it is recommended at the end of May to mulch a circle corresponding to the projection of the crown of the bush and exceed it by 15 cm. The thickness of the mulch layer is approximately 10 cm. Wood chips, crushed bark or peat chips are used as mulch.When autumn comes and the temperature is already steadily in the negative range of the thermometer, mulching is carried out again. As the flowers wilt, you need to deal with their removal.
  9. Colquitia is pleasant after flowering. To help the early ripening of the shoots, when the flowering process is completed, the soil moisture is greatly reduced, and the plant is no longer fed. The soil is mulched. However, if by winter the shoots at the ends of the branches still have not reached maturity, they are cut off. The plant is winter-hardy, which in itself serves as protection from frost, but it is recommended to help the shrub a little to survive the cold season. So the near-trunk circle should be mulched with peat or wood chips in such a way that the mulch layer reaches 10-12 cm. The mulching diameter should correspond to the projection of the kolkvitia crown. If the plant has not grown to the age of five, then its branches can be bent neatly to the surface of the soil and covered with spruce branches, and with the arrival of winter, a snow layer can be put on top. But in snowless winters, you should use a non-woven material, covering the crown with spunbond or other agrofibre. Only with the arrival of mid-April can such a shelter be removed from the pleasant colquation - only if the average daily temperature exceeds zero. If the winter period turned out to be very frosty, then the young shoots of the bush may be exposed to freezing, however, there is no need to worry, since with the arrival of spring they will quickly recover. It is noted that as they grow older, the winter hardiness of the colquitia bush will only increase.
  10. Application of kolkvitsiya in landscape design. This shrub will be a real decoration in cool and temperate climates. However, due to the fact that after flowering, which occurs in the first half of summer, and then decorativeness decreases, the plant should be planted nearby with representatives of the garden flora, looking spectacular throughout the season. But if a pleasant colquation is planted as a tapeworm, then it is recommended to place it against the background of a carefully groomed lawn area. Such a shrub will be a wonderful decoration against the background of a terrace or structures of a reddish-brown color. The best neighbors for a lovely colquition will be plantings of irises or peonies. When planting other perennial plants with the same growth form, for example, deytion or weigela, next to this beautifully flowering shrub, it will be possible to form a hedge. A good combination next to it will be a bluish background, which gives blue Himalayan blue geranium or Narbon linen. At the foot of the Kolkwitzia bush, ground cover crops can be planted, such as chickweed with a silvery-white leaf color, dwarf barberries, which give a brick-red hue of the cover. If we talk about such a colorful combination as purple and pinkish shades, then robinia looks great next to colquation. From low shrub crops, Japanese spirea or holly manogia are planted nearby.

Read also about planting and caring for a snowberry in open field conditions.

How to reproduce colquitsia?

Kolquicia in the ground

To get seedlings of this flowering shrub, it is recommended to use the vegetative method, which includes dividing the overgrown Kolkwitzia, rooting cuttings or layers, and occasionally the seed method is also used.

Reproduction of colquitia using seeds

Since the germination rate of the seed is quite low, sowing of seeds is very rarely used to grow a plant. Having collected the seeds, they can be placed in the ground before winter or in spring. In the latter case, it is recommended to carry out cold stratification for 2-3 months. For this, seeds are placed on the lower shelf of the refrigerator, and only when April comes are they sown in soil consisting of a garden substrate, peat crumbs and river sand.The soil is poured into seedling containers. After the seeds are sown, the pot is covered with plastic wrap and placed in a warm, well-lit place. Crop care consists in timely watering (the soil should not dry out) and daily airing.

After the sprouts of the lovely colquia appear, the shelter must be removed and they continue to take care of them until the arrival of a new spring. Only when the seedlings reach 1–2 years of age can they be prepared for transplanting into open ground.

Reproduction of kolkvitsiya pleasant layering

For this method, a well-developed young shoot, located closer to the soil surface, should be chosen in spring. Grooves are dug in the soil where the branch comes into contact with it, then layering is laid in the groove. Where the branch will lie in the depression of the substrate, you can carefully remove the bark around it. It is recommended to lubricate this "wound" with a rooting stimulant, for example, Kornevin. The shoot is then fixed with a stiff wire or hairpin in the groove and sprinkled with soil. Caring for the cuttings of the colquitia will be the same as for the mother bush. When a new spring comes (around May), the cuttings are separated from the root system of the parent plant and planted in a planting hole prepared in advance. By this time, he will have his own roots, frolicking from the buds sprinkled with soil.

Reproduction of kolkvitsiya by dividing the bush

This operation is recommended when transplanting a flowering shrub. When the plant is dug out of the ground, a thorough examination of its root system is carried out. All dry and rotted root shoots must be removed. Then the bush is divided into several parts, so that each of the divisions has a sufficient number of well-developed roots and strong branches. All cuts are processed with crushed charcoal. After that, placement is carried out in pre-prepared planting pits, as described for the initial planting.

Reproduction of kolkvitsiya by cuttings

For this, blanks can be cut from both lignified and green branches. When cutting green cuttings, the time is selected in July, but here it should be remembered that such rooted seedlings are not frost-resistant, unlike adult bushes, and can freeze out in the very first winter period. From lignified branches, blanks are cut in late autumn.

Cuttings, cut in spring, are planted in a container into which loose soil (peat-sandy) is poured and require periodic watering. For the winter, the pot with cuttings of colquicia is transferred to the basement, it is desirable that the heat indicators there be in the range of 5-10 degrees.

When cutting autumn cuttings, they are placed in a plastic bag and kept in the basement until spring. With the arrival of heat, the lower sections are treated with a root formation stimulator (for example, Heteroauxin or Kornevin) and planted in greenhouse conditions. Such cuttings of a pleasant colquitia are grown in a greenhouse until spring. They can be transplanted into open ground only when the soil warms up to 10-15 degrees. When transplanting, it is important not to destroy the earthen ball surrounding the root system of the seedling. After the plants are transplanted into the garden, and 1-2 years have passed, you can enjoy their flowering.

Methods for combating diseases and pests when cultivating colquitia in the garden

Leaves of Kolquitia

Although this flowering shrub is rarely affected by diseases or pests, when the weather is hot and dry for a long time, it can suffer from the attack of harmful insects that feed on the cell juices that they suck from the leaves and shoots of the plant. Among such pests, there are:

  • aphids, well distinguishable due to the large number of green bugs and sugary bloom;
  • spider mites, in which the leaves and shoots of colquitia are gradually covered with a thin whitish cobweb;
  • shield, mainly distinguishable on the underside of leaves in the form of glossy brownish plaques;
  • thrips, due to which the foliage becomes mottled.

But, the common thing is that on the leaves and stems of the pleasant colquitia, the formation of a honeydew (a product of the vital activity of insects) occurs - a sticky sugary plaque, which can serve as a fertile environment for the appearance of a sooty fungus. The worst is that aphids and thrips are carriers of viral diseases that cannot be treated and the plant will simply have to be removed from the site and burned.

For the destruction of pests, it is recommended to carry out treatment with acaricidal agents, such as Actellik or Aktara. Repetition of spraying will need to be done 2-3 more times with a week break, until the complete destruction of all living individuals and their eggs on the colquitia. It happens that the problem appears in the form caterpillarseating the leaves of the plant. With a small number of pests, they are collected by hand, but if their number is large, treatment with insecticidal preparations, such as Karbofos, is necessary.

Of the diseases that can appear on a flowering shrub, there are:

  1. Root rot arising from an excess of moisture in the soil or an incorrectly selected planting site, where moisture collects (in the lowland). It is manifested by the withering of the pleasant colquition and the drooping of its branches. This disease contributes to the decay of the root system of the bush, while the processes become soft and blacken. To prevent the spread of the process and fight the disease, kolkvitia is removed from the soil, all areas damaged by rot are removed and treated with fungicides. After that, planting is carried out in a new place, and they try to maintain the watering rules, without bringing the soil to acidification.
  2. Viral diseases manifested by the formation of beautiful spots on the foliage, reminiscent of the outlines and colors of a mosaic. Since there is no cure for this problem, the bush is dug up and burned.

The difficulties that accompany the cultivation of this flowering shrub are:

  • Little or no bloom. It occurs due to a too shaded planting site of colquitia, dining soil, or lack of fertilizers in the soil.
  • The death of young branches occurring due to too severe frost. To prevent this from happening, it is recommended in late autumn to mulch the root zone of the bush.

Read also about possible difficulties in growing elderberry.

Notes for the curious about colquition

Blooming Kolquitsia

According to the latest information, in 2013 the genus was rechecked by the botanist from the Netherlands Martin Christenhas, which resulted in the publication of an article in the journal Phytotaxa. The report said that with a detailed revision of the genus Linnaea, its number increased to 17 species, since the study of the taxon had the goal of establishing a common ancestor (monophyleticity).

Although colquitia was brought to the territory of European countries only at the beginning of the 20th century, namely in 1901, the shrub was able to please with flowering, in unusual climatic conditions, only a decade later (in 1910).

The plant is not used in official medicine and its properties are not used, therefore, the use of any of its parts orally is strictly prohibited.

Description of species and varieties of colquitsia

Kolquicia grows

It is clear that the plant has a specific epithet due to which all the emotions that a person experiences when considering this representative of the flora during the flowering period are reflected. And contemplation in the Eastern (Chinese) culture is the highest state. Therefore, basically at least a kind Kolkwitzia amabilis Graebn is rare in nature, but has a wide range of cultivation.

The most popular varieties are:

  • Rosea, in which, during flowering, buds with a rich pink shade of petals bloom;
  • Pink Cloud or Pink cloud, characterized by larger parameters of the bush and flowers with bright pink color of the petals.

Related article: Planting and caring for a weigela.

Video about growing colquitsia:

Photos of colquction:

Kolkvitsiya Photo 1 Kolkvitsiya Photo 2 Kolkvitsiya Photo 3 Kolkvitsiya Photo 4 Kolkvitsiya Photo 5

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