Bubbles: tips for planting and caring for shrubs outdoors

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Bubbles: tips for planting and caring for shrubs outdoors
Bubbles: tips for planting and caring for shrubs outdoors

Description of the bladder plant, the rules of planting and care in the open field, how to reproduce, methods of pest and disease control, curious notes, species and varieties.

Bubble plant (Physocarpus) is referred by botanists to the Rosaceae family or, as it is also called, Rosaceae. It is a deciduous shrub plant, the natural distribution area of ​​which falls on the lands of East Asia and the North American continent. On the territory of Russia, only two varieties are found from the whole genus, and two more pairs have been introduced (that is, imported). In total, about 14 species are united in the genus. In conditions of natural growth, such bush thickets can be seen along roads and railways, they can act as undergrowth in sparse forests, in cities they are used to form picturesque hedges.

Family name Pink
Growing period Perennial
Vegetation form Shrub
Breeds Seeds, vegetatively (dividing a bush, rooting cuttings)
Open ground transplant terms From spring to autumn
Landing rules About 0.5 m of indentation is left between the seedlings
Priming Any garden, but better nutritious and well-drained
Soil acidity values, pH 6, 5-7 (neutral) or 5, 5-6 (slightly acidic)
Illumination level Better sunny and open area
Humidity level Depends on soil, climate and plant age
Special care rules Fertilizers are applied in spring and autumn
Height options 1.5-3 m
Inflorescence or flower shape Shield-shaped inflorescences
Color of flowers White or pinkish
Flowering period June July
The timing of fruit ripening From late August to October
Fruit type Sophisticated flyer
Fruit color Red
Terms of decorativeness Spring-autumn
Use in landscape design In single and group plantings, for the formation of hedges
USDA zone 4–6

The genus got its name from the combination of two words in Greek - "physo" and "carpos", which are translated as "bubble" and "fruit", respectively. Apparently, since ancient times, it was decided by people to reflect the outlines of the fruits of the plant. The Russian name also indicates this natural feature.

As mentioned above, all varieties of the vesicle have a shrub vegetation. The maximum height of such shrubs can reach 1.5–3 meters. A rather dense crown that looks like a ball, formed by drooping branches. The bark on the branches has a brownish-gray tint, while in the process of growth it flakes off in thin plates running along the shoots. The branches are characterized by a ribbed surface, with the ribs extending downward from the buds. The length of these buds is 5 mm.

Large leaf plates grow in succession. Their outlines are palmate-lobed, there is a division into 3-5 lobes. This leaves something like viburnum foliage. The edge of the leaves is jagged. The foliage surface may be bare or pubescent. Leaves are attached to the branches by means of petioles, the stipules fly around over time. The shade of the leaves directly depends on the type of plant, but mostly they are greener on the upper side, and the opposite is slightly lighter. With the arrival of autumn, the color of the deciduous mass initially acquires a red color, which then changes to yellow and finally the leaves turn brown.

When flowering, corymbose inflorescences form from small flowers in the bubble. Inflorescences usually appear at the tops of shortened lateral shoots. The color of the petals in flowers is whitish or pinkish. The flower is composed of 5 petals and the same number of sepals. Inside there are a large number of stamens - 20–40 pieces. Pistils 1–5 units have more or less splicing. The flowering process, which occurs in June-July, stretches over three weeks.

The fruits ripening from the end of August after pollination of the inflorescences have the form of a complex leaflet, made up of small leaflets with a pubescent or bare surface. In this case, the fruiting period stretches until October. The leaflets are characterized by a leathery coating, and there is also more or less swelling than they resemble bubbles, which gave the plant its name. When the leaflets are fully ripe, they take on a red hue and open up at the top. The seeds that are inside are glossy, their peel is hard.

Flowering and fruiting in the bladder begins only when the plant reaches 4 years of age. Until that time, you will have to admire only the spectacular foliage of the bush.

The plant, with all its spectacular appearance, does not differ in particular demanding care and, with a little effort, you can form a hedge on your site from bushes with decorative foliage, inflorescences and fruits.

Rules for planting a bladderworm and caring for it in the open field

Bubble bush
  1. Landing place this shrub should be chosen well-lit, since in shading the foliage begins to lose its rich color scheme and becomes greenish. It is with good lighting that you can get bright accents in the garden, provided by a crown of crimson or golden leaves. Since stagnant moisture has a very negative effect on the root system, it is advisable to avoid places with closely lying groundwater or lowlands. Due to their resistance to the polluted city air, the bushes can grow well along the roads.
  2. Soil for the bladder one should not pick up any special one. It is important that the soil is not alkaline (lime should not be present in its composition). That is, the acidity indicators of the substrate should preferably be in the range of pH 5, 5–7 (weakly acidic or neutral composition). Although the shrub will look good on poor soil, if it is provided with a soil mixture saturated with nutrients, and also has good drainage qualities, the plant will respond with lush growth, flowering and beautiful fruits.
  3. Planting the vesicle. The time for this procedure is selected depending on which seedling is available. If it is purchased in a nursery and has a closed root system (it grows in a pot), then it can be planted in a permanent place in the garden at any time during the growing season. When the root system of the seedling is open, then spring is suitable, but autumn is better. The planting hole is dug in such a size that the root system of the seedling and a layer of nutrient substrate (about 50 cm deep) can easily fit into it. When planting, drainage is very important, which will protect the roots from waterlogging. At the bottom of the pit, you need to lay 5–8 cm of expanded clay, gravel or broken brick. Then the prepared soil mixture is poured onto it. It is made up of sod soil, garden soil, peat and river sand. It is recommended to prepare the pit a month before the planned planting so that the substrate settles well. When installing a bladder seedling in the planting hole, its root collar should be flush with the soil on the site. Often, the plant is slightly buried in order to stimulate the dormant buds, giving rise to new young shoots. The earthen clod of the seedling is not destroyed, but is placed in a depression, this will contribute to the early adaptation of the young plant.After this, the pits are filled to the top with the above soil mixture and abundant watering is carried out. After moistening, the substrate will settle down a little and you will need to fill it up to the previous level. When several plants are planted next to each other, at least 0.5 m is left between them. The first few days it is important to monitor that the soil in the trunk circle remains in a slightly moistened state. So that the soil does not dry out so quickly, it is recommended to immediately mulch the trunk circle using humus or peat chips. After each watering, it is important to loosen the substrate in the near-stem circle so that it is not taken by the crust and freely passes moisture and air to the roots.
  4. Transfer such a brightly leafy shrub occurs only when there is an urgent need to change the place of growth. If the plant is adult, then such manipulations should be dealt with with the arrival of spring, while the buds have not yet swollen. The autumn period may also come up, after the completion of the leaf fall. Before transplanting at the vesicle, it is recommended to remove all diseased or injured branches, or those that have become too thickened the crown. All others are cut to 20-30 cm. It is recommended to replant the bush with a significant amount of earthen coma so that the root system does not suffer injury. Pre-cutting is necessary so that the roots do not experience significant stress. The roots need to go through adaptation and rooting in a new place and spend all their strength on this, and not feed the grown and elongated shoots. The transplant is carried out according to the same rules as the planting of the vesicle, but here it must be borne in mind that the specimen is already quite adult. After transplanting, it is recommended to irrigate with root-stimulating drugs, for example, a solution of heteroauxinic acid or Kornevin. The deciduous mass should be sprayed with such products as Epin or Ecoel-antistress.
  5. Watering when caring for the vesicle it will directly depend on the soil in which the plant was planted, in what climate the cultivation is carried out, what is the age of the specimen. If in summer the temperatures in the growing area are very high and the bush is planted in a light loamy substrate, then it is recommended to moisturize it regularly from May to autumn. Watering in this case is performed twice a week (at least). Each mature shrub will require approximately four 10 liter buckets of water. When planting on lawns, or the soil mixture is clayey and heavy, here the moisture should be sparing, since there is a possibility of flooding the soil, which will negatively affect the root system. If the substrate is constantly in a waterlogged state, there is a possibility of powdery mildew damage.
  6. Fertilizers when growing a bladder, it is recommended to make it in spring or autumn. With the arrival of spring, nitrogen-containing fertilizing is needed to build up the deciduous mass, and with the arrival of autumn days, complete mineral complexes (for example, Kemira-Universal). Nitrogen fertilizers can be a composition of mullein, urea and ammonium nitrate, which is used in a 10-liter bucket of water in a ratio of 500 grams: 1 tablespoon: 1 tablespoon, respectively. If there is no Kemira, then experienced gardeners use nitroammofosku, diluting the drug from a matchbox in 10 liters of water. If an adult specimen that has reached the age of 10–20 is fertilized, then about 15 liters of the diluted composition should be used for it.
  7. Pruning this beautiful shrub is carried out regularly, since its growth rate is high (up to 40 cm in height and width of annual growth) and its beautiful outlines will quickly be lost. The branches are cut both for the formation of a beautiful crown of the vesicle and for sanitary purposes. The last type of pruning should be carried out with the arrival of spring. Then you need to remove all broken and frozen shoots and those that are directed into the crown.Forming is carried out before the buds bloom or already in the fall, when the growing season of the bush ends. Since the natural outlines of the bush have a fountain-like appearance, then if the molding was carried out correctly, the growth of the buds located at the tops of the branches will be stimulated. There are two types of molding trim. In the first case, the shoots are cut at a height of 40-50 cm from the ground, which is necessary for the formation of a large number of trunks and the formation of a bush with powerful and wide outlines. In the second, all thin branches originating at the base of the bush are cut out, while only 5 of them with the strongest and most powerful outlines are not touched. They are also cut off at a height of one and a half meters, to stimulate subsequent growth - this will give the future bush a pronounced fountain-like shape. After pruning, it is recommended to coat all thick shoots with garden varnish for disinfection. When the bush turns 6 years old, you need to carry out anti-aging pruning - all branches are pruned to a stump.
  8. Wintering the bladderworm will not be a problem, since its varieties and varieties are characterized by sufficient frost resistance. However, in case of expectation, according to forecasts of large frosts and small snow cover, it is recommended to cover even adult specimens. To do this, using twine, the crown of the plant is neatly pulled together. Then the near-trunk soil is sprinkled with a mulch layer, which can be peat chips. The thickness of such a layer should be 5–8 cm. Then a cone made of any nonwoven material (for example, spandond or lutrasil) is “put on” over the knitted bush, but if there is none, a simple roofing felt will do. For young specimens, pruning is carried out before this, only then mulching and shelter with spruce branches.
  9. The use of the bladder in landscape design. The plant has such a spectacular appearance that it will look great as a tapeworm or in group plantings. The hedge formed by these brightly colored bushes will also become very attractive. Only here, in order to maintain the necessary outlines of such a "living fence", you will have to constantly prune it, but it is worth it, since the plants will delight with the changing deciduous mass, beautiful flowering and attractive bright berries with the arrival of autumn.

See also tips for growing clover in your garden.

How to reproduce the vesicle?

Bubbles in the ground

To get such a bright leafy shrub on your site, you can use any of the provided methods - seed or vegetative. The latter method combines the rooting of cuttings or layering, dividing the bush.

Propagation of the bladderworm using seeds

Sowing seed is recommended in spring or autumn. Before that, it is necessary to perform stratification for a month. The seeds are placed in a container and placed on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, where the temperature will be in the range of 0-5 degrees Celsius. After the specified time, sowing is carried out in sandy-loose soil, laid in a seedling box.


Growing by the seed method, a vesicle can be obtained at the output of a plant devoid of parental characteristics.

Since this method is also long and laborious, experienced gardeners recommend using vegetative methods.

Propagation of the vesicle by cuttings

The workpieces should be cut from the shoots of the shrub until flowering begins. The cuttings will be the green branches of this year's growth. The length of the blanks should vary within 10–20 cm. Each of the branches should have 2–3 internodes. All leaves that remain in the lower part of the workpiece are removed, and the remaining upper ones are cut to half their length. Before planting, the cuttings are placed in a solution to stimulate root formation (for example, Heteroauxin or Kornevin).

After the pre-planting treatment, the cuttings of the bladder plant are planted in a school (a bed for seedlings), on which the soil mixture is composed of equal parts of peat crumbs and river sand. Such a composition will provide sufficient lightness and friability, as well as nutritional value. After planting, you need watering and cover with transparent polyethylene. If there is an opportunity, or there are few cuttings, then each of them is recommended to be placed under a plastic bottle with the bottom cut off.

Caring for the cuttings before they take root is regular moistening of the soil and daily airing to remove accumulated condensation from the film. If the cuttings are under plastic bottles, then every day you can simply remove the cap and put it back on after a while. For the winter period, you should prepare and cover the cuttings with spruce branches or non-woven material (for example, lutrasil). Only with the arrival of new spring will it be possible to transplant to a prepared place in the garden.

Reproduction of the vesicle by layering

This method is considered by gardeners to be the most effective and consistently yielding positive results. When spring comes and the soil warms up enough, a healthy and strong branch near the soil is selected, growing without fail outside the crown. It is necessary to remove all the foliage from it, without touching only those leaves that are at the top. The shoot bends to the ground and where it touches it, a shallow groove is dug out. The approximate depth of such a groove should not exceed 12 cm.

The shoot is placed in a recess and fixed there using a stiff wire, hairpin or wooden slingshot. The trench groove is filled to the top with soil. Care for such a branch should remain the same as for an adult plant: regular watering (they are especially important when forming root shoots), weeding from weeds and loosening the substrate around. When autumn comes, the layer will grow its own roots, it is not worth separating it yet, but it is recommended to cover it for the winter. You can put a layer of dry fallen leaves on top, put spruce branches on top, or use woven agrofibre (for example, spunbond).

Only when spring comes, you can separate the layers and plant them in a new place. Some gardeners separate the layers and transplant them to a permanent place in the fall, not forgetting about the shelter for the winter. However, if suddenly it brings severe frosts and a small snow cover, then the immature plant may die, so it is up to the owner to risk it or not.

Reproduction of the vesicle by dividing the bush

This method is most suitable for reproduction of the Kalinolist variety (Physocarpus opulifolius). They are engaged in division in spring or autumn, but experienced gardeners carry out such manipulations in the summer. The plant is dug around the perimeter and carefully removed from the ground. Then the root system is cut into pieces with a sharpened knife. The main thing is that each of the divisions has a sufficient number of roots and shoots.


When dividing the vesicle, everything is recommended to be carried out very quickly, since drying out of the roots can adversely affect subsequent rooting.

After dividing, all the cuts need to be powdered with crushed charcoal and the cuttings must be quickly planted in a prepared place in the garden. Then abundant watering is performed.

Methods for controlling pests and diseases when growing a vesicle

Bubble growing

The plant can please gardeners not only with ease of care, but also with enviable resistance to attacks by garden pests or diseases. True, if there is not enough nutrients in the soil (namely, iron, which is so necessary for the bright color of the foliage of the bush), then a disease such as chlorosis may occur. In this case, the leaves lose their saturated shade, it becomes pale green, while the rich green color remains on the veins.If measures to correct the situation are not applied, then the tops of the bladder shoots begin to dry out, as well as young, newly unfolded leaves acquire a yellow tint, dry and fly around.

If the above symptoms are found, it is recommended to immediately spray the entire crown of the shrub with preparations containing the full composition of trace elements and also iron. You can simply pour a solution of iron-containing drugs under the bush, such as Ferrilene, Antichlorosis or Ferovit. However, experienced gardeners advise using Iron Chelate. Usually, after carrying out these manipulations, the bush is quickly restored.

If the soil is constantly in a waterlogged state, then the plant can be affected by powdery mildew, which is called ash or linen. With this disease, the leaves become covered with a whitish bloom, resembling a dried lime solution. Photosynthesis stops and the bush dies. Treatment requires treatment with fungicides (for example, Fundazol).

Read also about possible diseases and pests when growing a cotoneaster in the garden

Curious notes about the vesicle

Bubble flowering

The first mention of such a plant in Russia was made in 1793. This information appeared in the catalogs of the St. Petersburg Botanical Garden. The seeds were brought there in the middle of the 19th century by Karl Ivanovich Maksimovich (1827–1891), a Russian botanist and flora taxonomist. Today, there are three specimens in the park, which were planted back in those days. It is believed that these bushes are not only the oldest in the territory of this botanical garden, but possibly in the entire culture.

Description of the species and varieties of the vesicle

Here is a description of the two most popular varieties and the varieties derived from them that are most popular when grown in our gardens:

In the photo Amur bubble

Amur bubblegum (Physocarpus amurensis)

natural growth of which falls on the lands of the northern regions of Korea and China, the species is also found in the Far East. Preference is given to mixed forests. The spherical crown of a shrub can often even reach a 3-meter height mark. When the branches are young, they are colored reddish-brown, the surface is smooth, but aging, the bark on the shoots begins to exfoliate lamellarly. Such plates have wide longitudinal outlines. The leaf plate is characterized by blade division into 3-5 lobes. In this case, the base of the leaf is heart-shaped. The length of the leaves is on average 10 cm. The color of the upper side of the foliage is dark green, the opposite is whitish, grayish, since there is pubescence of stellate hairs that resemble felt in structure.

During flowering, which begins with the arrival of summer, corymbose-shaped inflorescences are formed, numbering 10-15 buds. When opened, the flower petals are characterized by a white color. The diameter of an open flower does not exceed 1.5 cm. The duration of flowering takes no more than 20 days. The fruit of this species is represented by a swollen leaflet, which, when fully ripe, takes on a red color. The variety is frost-resistant. In gardens, it is used not only as a specimen plant, but also for the formation of hedges. The beginning of cultivation dates back to 1854.

The most popular today among the following varieties:

  • Luteus throughout the summer, the foliage has a rich yellow color, which changes to bronze with the arrival of autumn;
  • Aureomarginata (Aureomarginata) characterized by foliage with a dark golden edging;
  • Nana owner of dwarf sizes and foliage of a monochromatic dark green color.
In the photo, the Vine-leaved Bubble

Bubble plant (Physocarpus opulifolius)

is the most commonly used species that was brought from the eastern regions of the North American continent. For growth in those parts, he chooses undergrowth located on the banks of waterways. The outlines of the lush crown of the bush are hemispherical. The height of the bush can be 3 m.Leaf plates with a palmate-lobed shape, composed of 3-5 lobes. In this case, the largest leaf blade has an elongated contour and teeth on the edge. The upper side of the leaves is green, on the reverse side the shade is paler, and pubescence is not uncommon there.

In the process of summer flowering, corymbose inflorescences are collected from small flowers. The diameter at full disclosure of the flower is no more than 1, 2 cm. The petals have a white or pinkish tint. Inside the flower, numerous stamens of red color serve as decoration. When the fruit ripens, it takes the form of a prefabricated leaflet, swollen in shape. At first, the color of the fruit is pale green, changing when fully ripe to red. Also used in group and single plantings, but also for the formation of hedges. The cultivation dates back to 1864.

Among gardeners, the following varieties of vesicle are most popular:

  1. Darts Gold the owner of a dense crown of spherical outlines. The height of the bush is not more than 1.5 m. The color of the foliage of the yellow color with the arrival of summer acquires a greenish-yellow tint. Racemose inflorescences are formed by white or pinkish flowers.
  2. Diablo (Diablo - red-leaved) does not exceed 3 m in height. The leaf plates are painted in a crimson or bloody shade. When grown in shade, the foliage takes on a green and crimson tint, and in an open sunny location they become pure red. With the arrival of autumn, the leaves do not change their colors. The variety is considered the most popular horticultural crop.
  3. Red Baron. The crown height can reach 2 meters. The length of the bare leaves is 7 cm. The outlines of the leaf blades are oval, with a division into 3-5 lobes. The edge of the leaves is jagged. The foliage with its color attracts the eye, since the dark red tint is predominantly present. The leaf shape is narrower than that of the Diablo variety. The inflorescences, which form white flowers with pinkish, are characterized by umbrella outlines. The diameter of the flower at full disclosure is measured 5 cm. Fruits-achenes also add showiness to the shrub, since their color is bloody. Fruits consist of 3-5 sacs pointed at the top. The variety is considered one of the most valuable.
  4. Lady in Red in height will not grow above half a meter. English breeders were engaged in the development of this variety. The leaves of a shrub have a rich bloody hue, which gradually becomes more and more dark. The flowers that make up the inflorescences are whitish-pink in color.
  5. Samer Wine (Summer Wine) the height of the shrubs can approach two meters. In the spring, the leaf plates are cast in a wine-red color, which changes to green in the summer.
  6. Luteus is a yellow-leaved variety. The crown height reaches 3 meters. When grown in shade, the foliage is painted in a yellowish-green hue, but when planted in a sunny place it becomes bright yellow.

Related article: Tips for planting and growing iris outdoors.

Video about growing a vesicle in a personal plot:

Photos of the vesicle:

Bubble Fruit Photos 1 Bubble Fruit Photo 2 Bubble Fruit Photo 3 Bubble Carp Photo 4 Bubble Fruit Photo 5

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