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Dwarf pine is a great option for small gardens where there is no way to grow large trees. The plant is unpretentious, slowly grows shoots, does not require special care.
Features of growing dwarf pines
Dwarf pine is an evergreen coniferous plant that is rich in resin. The crown is pin-shaped or creeping, with numerous trunks. Shoots are elongated or shortened, covered with needles. The needles are arranged in bunches. Cones - hanging or erect, differ in shape and color.
The dwarf pine develops slowly. The annual growth is from 3 to 15 cm per year. In height, such plants reach no more than 30 - 50 cm.
Most of the hybrids were obtained by processing the planting material, which led to gene mutations. There are also natural dwarfs. Their compact size helped them adapt to climatic conditions. This includes varieties of mountain pine.
Growing a dwarf pine has a number of features:
- the plants are compact and take up a minimum of free space;
- sensitive to lack of light and moisture;
- may suffer from sunburn;
- suitable for growing in containers;
- tolerate winters well;
- susceptible to fungal diseases.
Dwarf pines in landscape design
Dwarf varieties have found their place in landscape design. They are used to decorate rockeries, rocky gardens and alpine hills. Low-growing plants are suitable for covering slopes and slopes.
Conifers make a good alternative to the lawn. Dwarf hybrids are located next to perennials, shrubs and trees. The plant is placed in the center of the composition or as an addition to it.
With the help of conifers, mixborders and borders are created. In this way, paths, the space next to fences and buildings are decorated. When planting, take into account that the pine grows over time. The seedlings are placed in such a way that they do not interfere with each other.
Types of dwarf pines
Popular varieties of dwarf pine:
- Nana. Representative of the black pine. The shrub is compact, up to 1.5 m high. The annual growth is 5 cm. The trunk is dark brown, with strong shoots. The crown is spherical. The needles are tough, dark green. The cones are brown-yellow, grow up to 5 cm. The Nana variety requires moderate watering and even tolerates arctic frosts.
- Jane Kluis. A dwarf shrub with a pillow-like crown. Refers to a dense-flowered species. Reaches 1.2 m in height, 1.8 m in diameter. It grows slowly, in 10 years it reaches 0.8 m. Shoots are hard, directed upwards. The needles are light green, do not change color throughout the year. The plant is provided with good drainage and natural light. The shrub tolerates winter frosts down to -30 ° C.
- Schmidti. Evergreen pine in the form of a neat shrub. Representative of the white-haired species. The crown consists of numerous shoots directed upwards and very densely located. The bark is tough, light in color. The needles are long, emerald green. Shrub up to 0.5 m in height, grows up to 1 m in width. Growth is no more than 3 cm per year. Winter hardiness of this dwarf pine is up to -30 ° C.
Important! The Schmidti variety prefers fresh drained soils, does not tolerate stagnant moisture.
- Dwarf (Gnom). The Gnome mountain pine is a small tree or shrub. The crown is dense and neat, spherical. Annual growth is no more than 10 cm. In height it reaches 2 m, in width it grows up to 2 m. The needles are short, dark green. Cones are round, single. The dwarf pine variety Gnome grows on any soil, it is resistant to frost and urban conditions.
- Pug (Mops). A dwarf hybrid of a mountain pine. The tree is no more than 1.5 m wide and high. The shoots are short, the needles are straight, dark green, up to 5 cm long. The Pug variety branches well and forms a rounded crown. The hybrid is drought tolerant, prefers sunny areas. Increased winter hardiness, up to -45 ° С.
- Ophir. Miniature pine up to 0.5 m high and no more than 1 m wide. Abundant small shoots form a spherical crown. It grows 5 cm annually. The needles are prickly and short, slightly twisted. In summer, the color is bright green, by winter it becomes lemon orange. Cones are small, round, brown. This variety of dwarf pine prefers open areas, tolerates drought well. Winter hardiness - up to -30 ° С.
- Humpy. Dwarf shrub up to 50 cm high and 100 cm wide. Shoots form a small dense hill. The needles are short and yellow, dark green in summer. In winter, the needles take on a brownish-red hue. This dwarf pine grows slowly, up to 4 cm per year. The shrub has a high frost resistance, up to -30 ° C. Poorly tolerates saline and swampy soils.
How to grow a dwarf pine tree from seeds
For propagation of dwarf pine, ripe fresh seeds are taken. Cones are harvested in October-November. It is best to remove them from the tree, and not pick them up from the ground. The buds are kept warm so that they dry out faster. The resulting seeds are left in a cool place.
2 months before planting, the planting material is lowered into the water. If the seeds are on the surface, then they are discarded. The remaining specimens are placed in a solution of potassium permanganate for 30 minutes, then washed and kept in water for a day. Swollen seeds are mixed with moistened sand and placed in a refrigerator for 30-40 days.
In April, the seeds are planted in containers with soil, a layer of sawdust 2 cm thick is poured on top. The containers are covered with foil and kept warm. Seeds can take a long time to germinate. When the seedlings get stronger, they are transplanted into a substrate for conifers.
A dwarf pine is looked after at home: it is watered moderately, fed with mineral complexes. Plants are transferred to an open place after 2 - 3 years. The plantings are fed with rotted manure, watered, loosened the soil.
Planting and caring for a dwarf pine
The successful cultivation of dwarf conifers largely depends on the planting site. During the growing season, the plants are constantly looked after. In the fall, they begin to prepare for the winter.
Seedling and planting plot preparation
For planting, seedlings are chosen at the age of 3 to 5 years with a closed root system. It is best to choose plants from your local nursery. Samples are selected without damage, mold or other defects. Before planting, the roots of the seedling are immersed in water for 3 hours.
Advice! Planting works are carried out in spring (late August - mid September) or in spring (April - early May).
Dwarf pine grows on sandy and loamy soils. When grown in clay soil, a drainage layer must be made. It is best to choose a lighted area with moderate moisture for plants. The soil is dug up in the fall, cleared of weeds and other plant debris.
Dwarf pine planting procedure:
- A hole is being dug on the site. Its size depends on the size of the seedling.
- To fill the pit, a substrate is prepared, consisting of turf and sand in a 2: 1 ratio.
- A drainage layer 20 cm thick from fine gravel or expanded clay is poured at the bottom.
- The pit is half covered with a substrate, watered and left to shrink.
- After 2 - 3 weeks, a small hill is formed from the remaining soil in the center of the pit.
- The seedling is placed on top, the root collar should be at ground level.
- Soil is poured onto the roots, compacted and watered.
Watering and feeding
For dwarf pine, moderate watering is enough. Its roots are not able to penetrate deeply and extract water from deep layers of the soil. Excess moisture is also detrimental to the plant. Pine is watered in drought with warm water. Choose the morning or evening period.
Important! When watering, moisture should not get on the shoots of the tree.
For feeding dwarf hybrids, mineral complexes for conifers are used: Pokon, Forte, Compo, etc. Substances are added dry or dissolved in water. 1 - 2 additional dressings are enough per season. Fresh manure and other fertilizers containing nitrogen are used with caution.
Mulching and loosening
To prevent moisture from evaporating from the soil, mulching is performed. Use humus or crushed bark. For pine, it is useful to loosen the soil when a crust begins to form on the surface. When loosening, try not to damage the roots, which are located in the upper layer of the soil.
Healthy trees do not need annual pruning. Only damaged or dry branches are subject to removal. The crown is cut to give it the desired shape. Processing is stressful for ephedra. Therefore, the shoots are shortened by no more than 1/3 of the annual growth.
The best period for pruning dwarf pine is from late February to March. To reduce the growth rate, young shoots are pinched in May-June. As a result, the crown branches better and acquires a compact appearance.
Preparing for winter
Most dwarf hybrids are resistant to winter frost. In order for the plants to withstand the cold better, preparation begins in late autumn. First, the soil is watered abundantly. 1 - 2 buckets of water are added under each ephedra.
Advice! Podzimny watering is especially important for seedlings aged 1 - 2 years, without a developed root system.
Then the trunk circle is mulched with humus or pieces of bark. The second option is preferable because it does not delay the penetration of oxygen into the soil. In this case, moisture is retained longer in the soil.
Snowfalls lead to breaking off of pine shoots. In winter, the branches of coniferous trees are very fragile. The snow is shaken off with a brush. If an ice crust appears on the shoots, a support is installed under them. The easiest way is to build a frame from wooden planks or boxes.
Diseases and pests
Dwarf pine disease is often caused by improper care. If the wrong place is chosen during planting or the watering norms are not observed, then the plant turns yellow, loses its decorative appearance or dies.
With a lack of light and high humidity, pines suffer from fungal diseases:
- Rust. Orange bubbles appear at the bottom of the crown. Copper-containing preparations are used against rust.
- Resin cancer. The lesion appears as yellow or orange lesions. If you do not start treatment on time, the plant will die. It is important to clean the wound and treat it with a copper sulfate solution. A garden var is applied on top.
- Umbrella disease. The first sign of the disease is the death of the apical kidney. To stop the defeat, diseased and dead shoots are regularly removed.
Dwarf pine attracts aphids, sawflies, spider mites, moths and other pests. Insecticides Actellik, Lepidotsid, Inta-Vir are used against them. The preparations are diluted with water at the concentration indicated on the package. Planting is sprayed during the growing season.
Selivanova Elena Vasilievna, 32 years old, St. Petersburg
Many years ago, I planted a mountain pine on the site. The plant is over 10 years old. I shaped the tree so that it grows on a trunk. The pine tree reached 0.7 m in height, in girth - about 1 m. I have a Polish selection of Ophir. In summer, the needles are green, in winter they turn yellowish. In addition to pruning, I also tie the plant to a support. The rest of the dwarf is unpretentious. To avoid diseases, I spray it with fungicides twice a year.
Tronov Ivan Vladimirovich, 57 years old, Ryazan
Two varieties grow in the country: Gnome and Mugus. Outwardly, they are very similar, differ only in size. The gnome is the shortest, no more than 1 m high. When choosing hybrids, I took into account their unpretentiousness. I don't consider capricious plants that need to be constantly covered or sprayed. Dwarf pine has good winter hardiness. For its cultivation, good soil moisture is required, since the roots of the plant do not reach the deep layers of the soil.
Dwarf pine grows without problems in different climatic zones. The plant will decorate alpine slides and small gardens. Pine care comes down to watering, feeding and shelter for the winter. If you choose the right place for planting, the tree will delight the eye for several decades.