Common features of medlar, agricultural technology during cultivation, recommendations for plant reproduction, diseases and pests, facts to note, types. Medlar (Mespilus) is also found in literary sources under the name of the Cup or Chishkovy tree, Ezgil. It belongs to the genus of deciduous flora members of the Rosaceae family and the Meleae subfamily. Scientists have assigned up to 30 different types of fruit and ornamental plants to this genus, but only two have been cultivated: Japanese and German.
Its name medlar is due to the borrowing of the word musmula from the Turkish lexicon, and it, in turn, has Greek roots, based on the term mousmoulo. This is the name the fruit of the medlar bears on those lands, and the plant itself is called Mousmoulia.
All representatives of the genus have a shrub or tree-like shape, in the first case their size is large, and in the second they are small trees. In nature, the height can reach 8–12 meters, but during cultivation it is somewhat lower. All such plants have a spreading crown. The trunk and branches are covered with grayish-brown bark, which is characterized by deep vertically formed cracks. They create rectangular flaking plates over time.
The color of the foliage is dark green, the leaf plates are located on the shoots in an opposite order, take on elliptical or oblong-oval outlines. With the arrival of autumn days, the shade of the leaves changes to reddish or brown.
The flowering process for medlar begins in late spring or falls in June. Flowers are formed with a five-petal corolla, with a snow-white or pinkish color scheme. The number of buds is multiple. Pollination is carried out in natural conditions by bees.
After the fruits are tied, a spherical or oval (pear-shaped) apple is formed with a slight flattening on the sides. The sepals of the fetus are expanded. The color is red-brown, the skin is thin. Inside there are 1–5 seeds. The fruits can be used as food. At first, these "apples" are hard, but when frozen or stored for a long time, the pulp acquires a sour-sweet taste, somewhat reminiscent of a pear with a cherry.
Medlar: how to grow in a garden
- Planting a plant in the garden must be carried out according to certain rules. For one medlar for its comfortable existence, at least 1.5x1.5 m of soil is allocated. This will provide food for the tree. At the landing site, groundwater should lie more than 1 meter, otherwise the medlar is planted on a hill or hill. The level of illumination does not play a special role, but if the place is with good lighting, then the yield will increase.
- The choice of soil for medlar. The composition of the substrate should be non-acidic with a neutral reaction, it should also contain humus, river sand and peat.
- Watering medlar plentiful, especially in summer, is necessary, despite the fact that it is quite drought-resistant. But with low humidity, the yield of this representative of the flora will drop several times.
- Fertilizers. In the spring and summer months, it is recommended to feed at least a couple of times. Apply mullein infusion or other organic preparation. In terms of the content of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and calcium, it is cow dung that is an indispensable tool for fertilizing garden trees and medlar is no exception. It is superior in composition to the excrement of other animals. For cooking, you need: a large container, part of the manure and 5 times more water. Everything is mixed in a container and tightly closed with a lid. The solution must be infused for at least 14 days. Stir once a day and cover again. If small bubbles appear on the surface, it means that the fermentation process is underway. After a week, the color of the solution will change (brighten) and large parts will fall to the bottom. Before use, the drug is diluted with water in a ratio of 1:10, and in order to increase its effectiveness, phosphorus, superphosphate and potassium are mixed into it. This is done at the rate of 100 grams of superphosphate and a pound of wood ash per 10 liters of diluted mullein. Everything is thoroughly mixed and infused for 1-2 hours. Such fertilizer is kept tightly closed so that ammonium carbonate does not evaporate, otherwise the drug will lose its properties.
- General care. When the flowering of the medlar is over, the crown is molded, although this operation is not necessary. It is recommended to remove all shriveled branches or growing inside the crown.
Recommendations for breeding medlar at home
The plant is propagated by cuttings, sowing seeds or planting seeds.
The seed method of reproduction is considered the most effective and is used for the German medlar species, since it is possible to preserve all the properties of the mother specimen. In this case, it follows:
- cut the medlar fruit and extract the seeds;
- place them in a growth stimulation solution for a couple of hours;
- a store-bought substrate for flowering plants (or a peat-sand mixture) is poured into the container;
- seeds are planted to a depth of 3-4 cm, 5-6 pieces in one container, while the volume of the pot must be at least 1.5-2 liters, light moistening is carried out;
- the container is covered with a plastic bag or placed under glass;
- the place for germination must be warm;
- daily ventilation is required for 2-3 hours;
- if the soil in the pot is dry, then it is moistened with a spray bottle.
After 40–45 days, you can see the first shoots. When 2-3 true leaves appear on the seedlings (after a period of 22-24 days), then the medlar is dived into separate pots with a substrate at the bottom with more suitable soil. If it is necessary for the plant to take on a shrub form, then the top is cleaved. When the threat of frost has passed, then the transplant is carried out by the method of transshipment (without destroying the earthen coma) into open ground. Such a plant will begin to bloom 4–5 years from the moment of planting.
The planting of the bone is the reproduction of the loqua (Japanese medlar). To do this, perform:
- it is necessary to remove the bone from the fruit and carry out scarification (processing the bone with sandpaper or a file) in order to accelerate further germination and remove the overgrown pulp;
- for a day, soak in water with potassium permanganate (the solution should be slightly pink);
- a sandy-peat substrate (equal parts) is poured into a container with drainage holes at the bottom and it is abundantly moistened, until the liquid flows out of the holes;
- the bone is deepened by 2-3 cm;
- the pot is placed in a warm place and covered with a plastic bag.
After a month, seedlings will appear. During this time, it is necessary not to forget about the daily airing and moistening of the dried substrate from the spray bottle. As soon as the sprouts hatch, then the pot is rearranged in such a place that there are no direct rays of the sun. The germination temperature should not be lower than 18 degrees. When 3-4 leaves are formed, then the medlar is transferred to the balcony or terrace for hardening. If conditions permit (frosts have passed), then they carry out planting in open ground. With this care, flowering can be expected after 3 years.
When grafting medlar it is recommended:
- prepare a pot or jar - the container is wrapped in dark paper or thick cloth, since the formation of roots occurs only in the dark;
- pour peat-sandy soil into the pot or pour water;
- cut the bottom of the loquat cut at an angle of 45 degrees;
- shorten all leaves, except for the top two;
- plant the cutting to a depth of 4–5 cm and the soil is abundantly moistened;
- conditions for a mini-greenhouse are created - cuttings are placed under a glass jar or a cut plastic bottle;
- a container with cuttings is placed in a warm place for root formation (for example, near a battery).
The roots will appear after 14 days and can be planted in a pot of soil. When the seedling gets stronger and the morning frosts pass, then, without destroying the earthen coma, they are transplanted to a prepared place in the garden.
Difficulties, diseases and pests when growing medlar in the garden
When grown in the garden, the plant is rarely affected by pests, but occasionally suffers from the attack of caterpillars and leaf-eating insects. Therefore, it is recommended to carry out spring and summer treatments for medlar.
Treatment is carried out three times during the spring-summer period with solutions of karbofos and chlorophos after 14–20 days after flowering. The first one should be used at a concentration of 0.3% based on the fact that 30 grams of the drug is dissolved per 10 liters, and 2% chlorophos should be dissolved in a 10-liter bucket of approximately 20 grams. Another remedy for pests is straw manure or moistened straw, which is spread between the rows of trees (if any), and then the piles are sprinkled with tobacco dust and set on fire. Fumigation is carried out for a couple of hours, but in such a way that the straw does not ignite.
Also, aphids and worms are a problem, which begin to suck out the beneficial substances of their medlar. For the fight, it is customary to use spraying with insecticidal preparations (for example, Aktara, Aktellik or Fitoverm). After a week, the treatment is repeated again until harmful insects and their manifestations (bugs and honeydew - a sticky sugary bloom) disappear completely.
It happens that the medlar is exposed to a bacterial burn, in which case parts of the plant or all of it dry out. If only parts are sick, then they can be removed and reported about this incident to the nearest phytopathology service, since the disease is very dangerous and contagious.
Often, light spots appear on the foliage and fruits, which turn brown over time and become necrotic - this is a sign of spotting. For the treatment of this disease with fungicides containing copper.
When the soil is very wet due to prolonged rains and the substrate is poorly drained, the medlar is affected by root rot and various fungal diseases. To carry out the fight against them, treatment with fungicidal preparations is also required.
Facts to note about medlar
Medlar has long been known to mankind not only as a delicious fruit, but also as a medicinal plant. With its help, you can get rid of many diseases and replenish the body with all the necessary trace elements and vitamins.
You can eat the fruits of the medlar not only fresh, but also actively use them for a variety of culinary delights, such as: jams, oriental sweets, juices, jams and compotes, and even alcoholic beverages (this includes wines and liqueurs based on "apples ", Because the juice has a fermentation feature).
If we talk about the seeds formed in the fruits of the medlar, then they go into action: they can be used to make a high quality surrogate, which successfully replaces coffee beans, since it has an excellent aroma and taste. And also such a drink is extremely beneficial to health.
If the fruits of the medlar are not yet ripe enough, the bark and leaf plates also have a large amount of tannins, which are used in tanning skins. It is customary to use wood by cabinetmakers to make interesting crafts, the popularity of which is very high in the world.
If we talk about the medical use of medlar, then on the basis of its components (bark, leaves, fruits), medicinal preparations are prepared, with the help of which various diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are treated, and they also have strengthening properties. There are such drugs in the treatment of urolithiasis, bronchitis and asthma, and they also have an anti-inflammatory, hemostatic and fixing effect.
Types of medlar
Since there are enough species in the genus, but humanity uses only the most suitable of them, we will stop at these varieties:
German medlar (Mespilus germanica) is a deciduous tree-like fruit plant. The native habitat is Southwest Asia and southeastern Europe. For the first time, the plant was brought by the Romans to the lands of Germany, where the specific name came from. This representative of the flora grows well in warm summers and mild winters. In the wild, the German medlar is found on the southern coasts of the Crimea, in Georgia and Armenia, and it can also settle in South Ossetia and the North Caucasus. In the central regions of Ukraine, where there are garden-protecting plantations, this plant is not uncommon (for example, in the city of Uman). In those places, medlar has been used as a low-growing rootstock for pears since the days of the Soviet Union. The plant prefers to settle on slightly acidic substrates in sunny and dry places.
If this species grows in frost-free (ideal) conditions, then its species can reach 8 meters, but often the plant is much shorter. The leaves of the German medlar have a dark green color, their shape is elliptical. Length parameters are measured in the range of 8–15 cm with a width of up to 3–4 cm. It is interesting that in autumn, before the fall, the foliage changes its color to reddish. When blooming, buds appear with five whitish petals. The flowering process occurs in late autumn.
The fruit of the German medlar is an apple of red-brown color, reaching a diameter of 2-3 cm. The shape is rounded with a slight flattening. Due to the fact that there are constantly unfolded sepals at the top, the impression of a hollow interior is formed. The fruits are sour and hard. If you freeze them and store them for a long time, then there is an opportunity to use them for food, this is only if the fruits were removed from the tree before frost. If you take an exposure and wait for the first frosts, then the taste of apples becomes sweet, and the inside becomes soft, only the surface is covered with wrinkles and the size is greatly reduced.
Japanese medlar (Eriobotrya japonica) also bears the name of Japanese Eriobotria, Lokva or Shisek. It is an evergreen tree that can reach a height of 8 meters. The color of inflorescences and shoots has a reddish-gray color due to the fact that they have strong pubescence. The native variety is considered the lands of China and Japan, where the plant is found in humid subtropical forests. Today the Japanese medlar is cultivated in Europe, on the shores of the Crimea and the southern Caucasus.
The leaf plates are solid, oval in shape, reaching a length of 25 cm, with a width of about 7–8 cm. Their surface is leathery, the leaves are glossy on top, and on the back there is pubescence. Leaf plates grow either sessile or have short petioles.
Flowers with a length of 1–2 cm are collected in inflorescences in the form of erect panicles, crowning the tops of the shoots. There are 5 petals in the corolla, painted in a whitish or yellowish color. There are 20-40 stamens, they are yellowish-red. Five sepals with pubescence. Flowering occurs in the period from September to October.
The fruits, like the previous species, are edible and they are formed in 1-8 pieces per brush. Their outlines strongly resemble a pear with a diameter of about 10 cm. Inside there is a juicy pulp that surrounds 1–5 seeds. Their color is dark brown. The taste is somewhat similar to a juicy pear and cherry, which has a sour taste (sour-sweet). The peel has a brownish-orange color. Ripening occurs from late spring to June.
More information about medlar in the following video: