Gledicia: planting and care in open ground

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Gledicia: planting and care in open ground
Gledicia: planting and care in open ground

Description of the gledichia plant, agrotechnology of planting and care in a personal plot, how to reproduce, possible difficulties in growing, curious notes, species and varieties.

Gleditsia belongs to the very large family of legumes (Fabaceae). In the genus, there are about 15 species of woody representatives of the flora, the native habitat of which falls on the territory of the North American and African continents, as well as on the lands of Asia. Basically, today these plants are found in areas where a temperate climate prevails. Gledicia is not only the owner of valuable wood, but also plantings are used in park and garden landscaping, and parts of it are used in folk medicine, the plants themselves are recognized as excellent melliferous plants.

Family name Asparagus
Growing period Perennial
Vegetation form Tree-like
Breeds Seeds or root suckers (vegetatively)
Open ground transplant terms In the spring
Landing rules Not closer than 1-2 meters for group landings
Priming Loose and fertile, but can grow on poor and sandy
Soil acidity values, pH 6, 5-7 (neutral) or slightly alkaline (7-8)
Illumination level East or West location, several hours of direct rays per day
Humidity level Drought tolerant
Special care rules Watering and shelter for the winter only for young plants
Height options About 25-30 m
Flowering period May June
Type of inflorescences or flowers Racemose or panicle
Color of flowers Yellowish white, greenish or white
Fruit type Elongated pods
Fruit color Green and dark brown when ripe
The timing of fruit ripening October November
Decorative period Spring-autumn
Application in landscape design Single or group plantings, hedge formation
USDA zone 4–8

The genus got its name thanks to the botanist from Germany Gottlieb Gleditsch (1714-1786), who not only studied the world of flora, but had an extensive medical practice and served as director of the botanical garden in Berlin.

All representatives of the genus are perennials, possessing, as indicated, a tree-like shape and losing their foliage with the arrival of the cold season. The crown of such trees is spreading, having a cylindrical shape. In diameter, it is 10-15 m. The height of the plant does not exceed 25-30 m, but under normal growing conditions, it approaches 20 meters. In this case, the diameter of the trunk can be measured as 75 cm. The root system is mainly composed of rod-like root processes located in the center and a small number of diverging roots on the sides. Usually, all the shoots and the trunk of the gledichia itself are covered with rather large thorns. The length of these glossy brown thorns is often 10–20 cm. This gives the impression that the tree is wrapped in barbed wire. These spines are modified shoots that are simple or branched.

The bark of the trunk has a shade ranging from light gray to black, and deep cracks cut through it. On the branches, the bark is brownish with a red tint. The foliage has feathery or double-pinnate outlines, the leaf plate is composed of 20-30 lobes. The petiole is green, long, the leaf lobes are opposite on it. They are characterized by a lanceolate shape, the edge of the leaflets is often integral, but there are specimens with weakly crenate edges.The foliage has a rich green or pale green color, which, before it flies around, acquires a bright yellow color. In their appearance, the leaves are very similar to acacia leaves.

The flowering process falls on the period May-June. Flowers are moth-shaped and small in size. The petals in flowers are painted in a whitish-yellow, greenish or whitish shade. From the buds, racemes or panicle inflorescences are collected. Inflorescences are usually located in the leaf axils. Despite its unattractiveness, the aroma of flowers is simply excellent. It is this scent that attracts a large number of bees and other pollinating insects.

When the middle of autumn comes and until the end of November, the fruits of the Gleditsia begin to ripen, which have the appearance of elongated curved or spirally twisted pods, the length of which often reaches 40-50 cm. The fruits of Gleditsia are colored green. The surface of the pods is smooth, they are filled with seeds that are somewhat reminiscent of beans. Their shape is oval, the color is dark brown. The seeds are notable for their enviable hardness. They shine through the pods very effectively. The length of the seeds is 1.5 cm. It is the fruits that become the decoration of such trees, remaining unopened on the shoots until spring.

Both flowering and fruiting in Gleditsia occurs only when the plant crosses the 10-year boundary. The tree is distinguished by a high growth rate and its growth reaches 60 cm or more per year. A plant in natural conditions is a long-liver, its age is often 250-300 years.

Gleditsia is not capricious and can be easily grown even by inexperienced gardeners. It is used for landscaping parks and gardens, as well as the formation of live impenetrable hedges that cannot be overcome by even one animal or person.

Read also about planting a pushkinia and caring for a flower in a personal plot

Agrotechnics of planting gleditsia and caring for it in the open field

Gledicia is growing
  1. Landing place in the garden, it is required to select the sun, so that direct sunlight illuminates the tree for several hours. A western or eastern location is best suited, although the plant is light-loving. Also, the close occurrence of groundwater or stagnation of moisture from precipitation or melting snow is not encouraged. It is recommended that the planting site be on a hill and have a fairly flat surface. The best indicators of heat, at which gleditsia will feel comfortable, please with flowering and the formation of spectacular fruits in the summer, should be 18-25 degrees. But as practice shows, even too strong a heat (up to +40 degrees) does not harm this representative of the flora, so it has successfully taken root in the southern regions. Despite all this, the tree can perfectly tolerate a decrease in the thermometer column to -30 frost, and even if frostbite of the shoots occurs, then with the arrival of spring they quickly recover. It can perfectly cope with gas pollution and urban air pollution, therefore it is used for growing in city gardens, parks and private plots. It is important to immediately think carefully about planting plants, since transplanting has a very negative effect on young seedlings.
  2. Priming for gleditsia it can be anything, since in nature the plant can settle on a rather poor substrate: depleted and sandy, calcareous and even scarce saline. However, it is best when loose and fertile soil has been applied. The main thing is that the soil mixture is not heavy, waterlogged and acidic, that is, the pH values ​​should be in the range of 6, 5-8 (from neutral to slightly alkaline).
  3. Planting gleditsia. In order for such plants to quickly become a decoration of the planting site, it is recommended to use seedlings that have reached 3 years of age. Then, after planting, after 5-7 years, such specimens may already begin to bloom and form beans.It is best when the plants are planted during the period from spring to autumn, but here it is important that the seedlings have enough time to adapt and prepare for winter. When the pits are being prepared for planting, they dig into the soil and it is possible to apply a complex mineral fertilizer (for example, Kemiru-Universal). The hole is dug in such a way that the root system of the seedling can easily fit into it. Its root collar should be located at soil level. After planting, abundant watering and mulching of the trunk circle is performed.
  4. Watering when caring for gledicia, it is necessary only if dry and hot weather will stand for a long time. In general, it can be noted that this representative of the flora is drought-resistant. Air humidity is also not a decisive factor in the care. However, if there is enough moisture for the plant when growing, then it will respond with lush growth and flowering. When gledichia seedlings are just planted in open ground, then regular soil moisture is necessary in the first year of life.
  5. Fertilizers during cultivation, it is possible not to introduce it, since there are enough nutrients and microelements of gledichia from the soil into which the planting was carried out. If the substrate is too poor, top dressing is rarely demolished. Complete complex preparations are used in diluted form (for example, Kemira-Universal), but the plant responds best of all when it is occasionally fed with organic matter (compost or rotted manure).
  6. Pruning when caring for gledicia, it is needed because of the growth of the crown. For sanitary purposes, it is recommended to carry out such operations annually with the arrival of spring, removing all frozen shoots. To maintain decorativeness, you can form a plant in the form of a trunk, cutting off all the branches in the lower part. Since the branches have a large number of thorns, it is best to carry out all manipulations with gloves. After pruning (even if it is carried out at the root), an acceleration of shoot growth is observed.
  7. General advice on care. When the plants are still young enough, it is recommended to regularly loosen the soil after precipitation or watering so that its surface does not turn into a crust. In the process, weeds are cut out. The best solution would be to mulch the trunk circle with straw or sawdust. Such a layer will prevent both the growth of weeds and the rapid drying of the substrate. While the plants are young, it is recommended to cover their trunks with sacking for the winter period.
  8. Blank in the cultivation of gleditsia, both leaves and fruits are carried out. This is recommended when the pods become dark in color and break easily. The foliage is best harvested in June when the weather is hot and dry. After the beans and foliage are harvested, they are dried at a temperature of about 50-55 degrees. You can also dry it outdoors by placing the collected material in a shade on a clean cloth, spreading it out in one layer. The collected raw materials are mixed periodically. After drying is over, everything is folded into wooden containers or bags made of natural fabric. You can store the harvested material throughout the year.
  9. The use of gleditsia in landscape design. Since this representative of the flora has openwork outlines of a spreading crown, fragrant and decorative inflorescences and no less spectacular fruits, it can be placed in parks and gardens, on backyards and squares. The plant can be placed either singly, as a tapeworm, or in group plantings. Low-growing species are well suited for hedging, and thorns will make such fences impregnable.

See also tips for planting and caring for your bathhouse outdoors.

How to carry out the propagation of glidicia?

Gleditsia in the ground

Usually, these trees are propagated by seed or vegetatively (using root suckers or cuttings).

Propagation of gledicia using seeds

Since the germination capacity of the seed will not be lost for 2-3 years, you can collect it from existing specimens and use it. Sowing is carried out before winter or with the arrival of spring. But with spring sowing, it will be necessary to carry out preparation - soak the seeds for a day in warm water. Epin-extra or Zircon is added to such a solution to increase germination and resistance of future specimens.


Although the seeds of many legumes (for example, robinia, cercis or bunduk) are doused with boiling water or soaked in water of 80 degrees, but you should not do this with the seeds of gledicia, since their shell is not so strong and it can be damaged.

The seeds are planted in containers filled with a sand and peat mixture. After the shoots appear, the seedlings are picked. With container care, regular watering (once a week) and loosening of the soil is necessary. Only when at least two years have passed from the moment of sowing, a transplant is performed to a permanent place in the garden. Plants that are grown with seeds will have a higher winter hardiness.

Reproduction of hedichia by shoots

Such vegetative propagation is possible by obtaining seedlings from a stump, it is also the fastest method. Occasionally, root suckers appear, which can form when the roots are damaged during the digging process. When the maternal specimen reaches 10 years old, then a large number of shoots appear next to it. With the arrival of spring, such young plants are dug up, separated from the root system of the mother specimen, and transplanted to a new prepared place in the garden.

Propagation of gleditsia by cuttings

Such blanks are cut at the beginning of the summer season, or you can use the remnants from pruning. It is only important that there are living buds on the branches, and its length reaches 10 cm.To accelerate rooting, it is possible to process the lower cut with a root formation stimulator and plant it in a wet sandy-peat soil mixture. At the same time, it is important to ensure moist conditions of detention before rooting - put a cut plastic bottle on top or wrap it in a plastic bag. When leaving, it is required to maintain the soil in a moderately moist state and regularly ventilate the seedling to remove accumulated condensation. In a few months, the cuttings will take root, but indoor cultivation takes 2-3 years. After this period, with the arrival of spring heat, they are planted in a permanent place on the site.

Some ornamental species can be grafted onto the mother plant.

Potential Difficulties When Growing Gleditsia Outdoors

Gledicia Leaves

You can please gardeners with the fact that, due to the presence of phytoncidal substances in the foliage, the plant does not suffer from infectious and other diseases. However, it happens that gledicia becomes a victim of pests, among which are:

Horsefly bug,

the size of which is 6–10 mm. This insect begins to suck nutritious juices from the leaves and only the formation of small spots on the foliage helps to identify the pest. Over time, such spots become through holes, and the foliage in the affected areas rotts and curls.

Collecting bedbugs by hand is ineffective, as the pests hide under the leaves. If you shake a sheet of paper over a white sheet of paper, the insects will fall on it and become clearly distinguishable. As a preventive measure, it is recommended to constantly inspect the garden plantings so that the plants affected by bugs are not nearby with healthy ones. If there are many pests, insecticides are used, like BI 58 and Aktara, Aktellik and Confidor. Spraying is carried out twice with a break of 14 days.

Leaf beetle,

feeding on the foliage of hedicia, but it happens that the damage also affects other parts of it. Adults are able to gnaw holes in the leaves, and the larvae completely eat all the greens, and only veins remain from the leaf.Flowers very rarely come under attack, beetles do not touch the fruits. To combat a pest, you must:

  • immediately remove branches and foliage that are damaged by beetles or their larvae;
  • collection of adults and larvae by hand from the plant;
  • reproduction of insects that will fight leaf beetles by eating laid eggs (for example, ladybirds);
  • treatment of plantings with insecticidal preparations (Karbofos, Fosbucid and the like);
  • application for spraying infusions of chamomile, hot pepper or tomato tops.

When caring for gledicia, it is important to remember that the flowering and ripening of the beans can wait until the plant reaches 8-10 years of age. If the specimen is still young, then you should not worry about the fact that new branches do not grow in it, since at this age there is only the ability to form a leaf rosette.

Read also about the fight against possible diseases and pests brimers

Curious notes about the Gledichia plant

Flowering of Gledicia

The plant has applications in many areas, namely: landscape decoration, phytomelioration, medicinal, as an insecticide and honey plant. Moreover, the latter quality in gleditsia is expressed quite clearly, since nectar appears in flowers, despite the dry season and in any weather bees willingly fly to the inflorescences, bringing a large amount of pollen and nectar to the hives. It can be noted that from 1 hectare planted with such representatives of the flora, it is possible to get up to 200-250 kg of honey.

Due to the fact that the wood of gledichia is characterized by a special value due to its colorful pattern and strength, it is used for a wide variety of products: structures under water or underground, as a building material and is used for crafts, and also in the form of fuel.

Since foliage is rich in phytoncides, it is used as a fight against harmful microbes. Fleshy and juicy fruits are very popular with livestock. It is customary to prepare a drink from the seeds, which is a surrogate for coffee.

Like all members of the legume family, the plant tends to saturate the soil with nitrogen. Also, due to the superficial location and high branching of the root system (the root processes can move away from the trunk at a distance of 10 m), the glacial is planted on eroded soils.

It is often customary to use ripe fruits as a medicinal raw material, in rare cases, young foliage. When the pods (beans) become dark in color and are easy to break, then this is a signal to collect seeds. Drying is carried out at a temperature of 50-60 degrees, or you can spread the seeds under a canopy in the open air. It is customary to harvest leaf plates from July on days when the weather is dry and sunny. The foliage is dried in shade, it is laid out in one layer on a clean canvas. As the leaves dry, it is required to periodically stir up. A sign of the readiness of raw materials is the fragility of leaf petioles (they should not bend). Dry leaves should be stored in a wooden container with a lid or linen bags. The foliage remains usable for two years.

Gleditsia fruits are actively used in folk medicine, not only because of the presence of vitamins such as C and K in them, but also because of the large amount of tannins and mucous substances, as well as alkaloids, saponins and flavonoids. Medicines made on the basis of the plant are used in cases when it is necessary to relieve spasms of the gastrointestinal tract - the alkaloid triacanthine helps here. This substance is more active than papaverine, but slightly more toxic. It is customary to prepare decoctions from both fruits and foliage, prescribed for chronic gastritis, chronic inflammatory processes of the gallbladder, stomach and duodenal ulcers and spastic colitis.


You should be careful about the dosage of preparations based on gledicia, since the large amounts of saponins they contain can provoke poisoning.

Description of the types and varieties of gleditsia

In the photo Gledichia vulgaris

Gleditsia vulgaris (Gleditsia triacanthos)

also referred to as Gledicia prickly or Gledicia three-prickly… It is represented by a tree with a high growth rate, reaching a height of 15-25 m, but some specimens are equated to a 30-meter mark. When a plant becomes an adult, its crown can be 8–10 m in diameter. Its outlines are asymmetrical and spreading, because of the leaf plates it seems to be openwork. Over time, the contours of the crown take on the shape of an umbrella.

On the trunk, the bark is dark brown in color, which can turn almost black. At the same time, elongated, narrowed, settling scales are present on the surface. The shoots have a slight bend that resembles a zigzag. Branches are painted in a reddish-brown hue, which later becomes gray or olive-brown. All branches of the plant are covered with strong thorns, characterized by a simple or branched structure. The length of the thorns can reach 8-10 cm, and those that form on the trunk are often all 30 cm. It is these thorns that will contribute to the formation of completely impassable thickets.

Foliage of a dark green color scheme. The length of the leaf varies from 14–20 cm, the arrangement is alternate. The shape of the leaf plate is paired, it consists of 5–12 pairs of leaf lobes with oblong-ovate or lanceolate outlines. The foliage is somewhat reminiscent of a pseudo-acacia robinia. Flowering in our conditions falls on the period June-July, it is distinguished by an enviable duration. The size of the flowers is rather small, the color is yellowish-green. The flowers are very inconspicuous, collected in racemose inflorescences, which have a pleasant aroma. The length of the inflorescences is 8 cm, they are located in the leaf axils.

Flowers are mostly heterosexual, but there are also some unisexual flowers. The calyx is formed by 3–5 narrowed lobes, the corolla is composed of 3–5 petals. The petals are much larger than the sepals. The number of stamens in a flower varies from 6-10 pieces. With the arrival of October-November, the ripening of fruits begins, which are represented by pods (beans). These beans have a slightly flattened shape and a leathery glossy surface. The color of the beans is reddish-brown, the length is 15-30 cm, but there are trees in which this parameter reaches half a meter. The seeds in the beans are large, their length is 1.5 cm. The shape of the seeds is flat, the color is brown or yellowish, there is a dull sheen. The beans remain hanging on the branches almost until spring, swaying under the influence of the wind.

The following interesting forms of this variety are present:

  1. Awless (Gleditsia triacanthos f. Inermis) or prickly. The name clearly implies that such a tree is devoid of its frightening thorns, therefore the form is actively used for urban landscaping.
  2. Sunburst (Gleditsia triacanthos "Sunburst") also referred to as "Sunrise" or Awnless golden. It is a small tree, the height of which will never exceed 20 m, while the crown diameter is in the range of 6-9 cm. The crown outlines are wide and irregular, composed of sparse shoots, often there is low branching. The name is given due to the fact that the color of young leaves has a golden-yellow hue, which gradually becomes light green, and with the arrival of autumn changes to light brown. Fruits are practically not formed. A sunny location is recommended for cultivation, any soil is suitable. It is planted against the background of plants with a darker color of foliage in gardens and parks.
  3. Ruby Lace (Gleditsia triacanthos "Ruby Lace") or Ruby lace. A tree distinguished by the beauty and elegance of highly decorative leaves. Most of the thorns are absent. The height of such plants is within 6–9 m, with a crown diameter of about 6–8 m.The young foliage is painted in a ruby-red tone, which, with the arrival of summer, is replaced by a bronze-green tint, and in September it takes on a yellowish-gold color. The form is more thermophilic than the trees of the parent species, easily copes with polluted city air. Recommended for planting in a sunny location with well-drained soil. It is used for landscaping in garden and park areas.
  4. Elegantisima (Gleditsia triacanthos "Elegantissima"). The tree has a compact size - only 3–6 m in height with a crown diameter of about 3 m. Growth rate is slow. The crown is characterized by rounded outlines and increased density. The leaf plates are complex-pinnate and their size is smaller than that of the base species. However, the arrangement of both shoots and leaves is more dense here. The leaves of a bright green hue, which are picturesquely swaying under the gusts of the wind, give spectacularity. By autumn, the foliage acquires a golden yellow color.

The form is characterized by undemanding cultivation (soil and lighting), is able to withstand a short drop in temperature to -30 degrees below zero.

In the photo of Gledichia large-prickly

Gleditsia macrantha

) or Gleditsia large-flowered… The tree does not have large indicators in height and is capable of reaching only 15 meters. The native area of ​​growth falls on the lands of China. It is characterized by the presence of very large thorns. The resulting fruits exceed the size of the beans of Gledicia tricoloux.

In the photo Gledichia Japanese

Japanese Gleditsia (Gleditsia japonica)

or Gleditsia frightening (Gleditsia horrida). A tree-like deciduous representative of the flora, the height of which is equal to 20–25 m. The trunk and branches are decorated with strong thorns, for which the plant received its synonymous name "frightening". The length of such thorns reaches 25–35 cm. At the same time, a greater number of them are formed than in Gledichia tricolus. The species is widespread in Chinese lands. The wood is characterized by strength and a beautiful pinkish tint. This material is used in joinery work. Young foliage is edible, and medicinal preparations are made from seeds. The plant is not capricious in cultivation and easily tolerates polluted city air.

In the photo Gledichia Caspian

Caspian Gleditsia (Gleditsia caspica)

It has a tree-like or shrubby vegetative form. Moreover, in the latter case, at an early stage, there is a shelter with a large number of branching spines. The length of the thorns is 15–20 cm. The outlines of the leaves are pinnate or double-pinnate. The leaf plate grows up to 25 cm in length, it is composed of 6-10 pairs of leaf lobes. The size of the leaves is larger than distinguishes the species from other members of the genus. The length of the leaf lobes, of which the leaf is composed, is measured 5 cm with a width of about 2 cm. During flowering, racemose inflorescences are formed from greenish small flowers. The length of the brushes reaches 10cm. After pollination, the fruit-bean ripens, which is no more than 20 cm long and about 3 cm wide. It resembles Japanese Gleditsia, and is considered by some botanists as its subspecies.

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Video about the cultivation and use of gleditsia:

Photos of Gleditsia:

Gledicia Photos 1 Gledicia Photos 2 Gledicia Photos 3 Gledicia Photos 4 Gledicia Photos 5

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