How to care for araucaria at home
Araucaria is a homemade Christmas tree in a pot. An attractive coniferous plant will be an interesting addition to any interior and will purify indoor air. The article focuses on the main conditions for the cultivation of araucaria at home.
Botanical description of the plant
In the wild, araucaria is found in the southern states of America, Australia, New Zealand. It has 20 subspecies. Trees are used to produce high-quality wood (furniture production), seeds are eaten. At home, the variegated, Chilean and Bidville araucaria take root well. A representative of the Araucariaceae family.
Did you know? The oldest representative of conifers is Methuselah. This representative pine of the spinous intermountain has been growing for 4846 years. From the seed, the tree sprouted as early as 2931 BC. Araucaria is a tall evergreen houseplant. Under natural conditions, trees reach 50-90 m - depending on where the tree grows and under what conditions (soil quality, climate); for indoor cultivation - 150 cm.
The branches represented by circular whorls are located almost perpendicular to the trunk; they form a pyramidal crown. The shoots are covered with flat needle formations of bright green color, replacing the leaves. Araucaria dioecious and monoecious are found. During flowering, male specimens form hanging inflorescences - strobiles, female ones form elongated male inflorescences and female inflorescences - spherical. Araucaria enter the fruiting phase by 40-50 years of life. After pollination on female plants, spherical decaying cones are formed. At home, flowering is impossible.
|Leaf color||Light green|
|Flower shape||Elongated, spherical|
|Flower color||A few tones lighter than needles|
|Fruit color||Brown gray|
House growing conditions
Araucaria requires special care. The following are features that may affect tree development. Important! Coniferous trees do not tolerate overdried air, so it is impossible to put araucaria near heating appliances in winter. Plants respond to adverse microclimate by dropping needles.
The Christmas tree needs plenty of diffused lighting. The ideal option is a fluorescent lamp located directly above the tree. A good option would be to place it in a room illuminated from two sides. In this case, it is necessary to rotate the plant around the axis by 90 ° every week. In the summer, it must be taken out to the balcony, loggia or installed in the garden. The main thing is to create plants protection from direct sunlight.
In the summer, this sprawling coniferous tree feels comfortable at any temperature. But to provide additional heat in the heat by spraying the branches and air around the tree is a must.
In winter, araucaria needs to lower the temperature to +10 ... + 12 ° C. When the average daily temperature in winter rises to + 15 ° C, the trees begin to hurt - the branches wither away, the needles turn yellow and crumble.
Araucaria is a hygrophilous plant. Even short-term overdrying leads to shedding of needles. The humidity in the room should be maintained within 80% (if the air temperature is above + 14 ° C), 60% - at +10 ... + 12 ° C. Spray daily. To increase humidity, a box with gravel can be installed next to the tree, which is periodically sprayed with water.
Subject to all the rules of agricultural technology, araucaria develops well at home. The main thing is to remember that these plants are mainly wild-growing; therefore, indoors, they often suffer from a lack of fresh air. Every day (at any time of the year) you need to ventilate the room, but avoiding drafts.
Araucaria should be watered abundantly to the very root: every day - in a warm period, every other day - in winter. It is best to dig a ditch 3 cm deep at a distance of 5 cm from the edge of the pot and pour water into it to moisturize. When grown outdoors or in greenhouse conditions, a drip type of irrigation is suitable.
Important! Even with short-term drying of the earthen coma, the branches fade. Correcting the situation will help hanging araucaria "upside down." On the surface of the pot for one or two days they attach a special circular device with an opening for the barrel, which prevents the earth from spilling out of the pot, turn it over and hang it under the ceiling. For irrigation use warm boiled water without chlorine. The optimum water temperature is + 20 ° C. For each plant under the age of 4 years, approximately 0.8–1 L of water is consumed, if it is from 5 to 7 years, 1–1.5 L.
Fertilizers are applied throughout the year:
- in spring and summer - once every 2 weeks;
- in autumn and winter - once a month.
It is best to alternate organic fertilizers with mineral fertilizers containing small amounts of calcium, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. As organics, you can use liquid mullein. It is bred in water at the rate of 300 ml of mullein per 10 liters of water.
Familiarize yourself with the features of plant nutrition at home.
For each plant, 300-400 ml are made in the morning, and watered with clean water in the evening. The next day, the soil must be mulched.
- 5% dolomite flour;
- 30% nitrogen;
- 40% potassium;
- 25% phosphorus.
Did you know? During fires in forests, conifer cones turn into so-called incendiary shells, which are fired at 50 meters. This feature contributes to the spread of plant seeds and accelerates the burning out of nearby territories.
Whether araucaria is needed or not needed pruning will depend on the goals of the grower. If growing a slender tall tree is preferable for you, araucaria does not need to be pruned. The procedure disrupts the harmonious growth and development of the crown. With age, araucaria themselves expose the lower part of the trunk, freeing themselves from overgrown branches. They are carefully cleaned.
When growing araucaria-bonsai, pruning is the main agricultural measure. In the spring, young branches are nibbled on such plants, and the crown shape is adjusted using a wire.
Before transplanting araucaria, you need to make sure that this is really necessary, since conifers are difficult to tolerate picking and often get sick after this procedure. Only those plants whose root system covers the entire earthen lump are transplanted. When transplanting, it is better to pick up a large spacious pot.
Read more about how to properly transplant indoor plants.
If you grow araucaria bonsai, they select, on the contrary, a smaller container to stop the development of the crown. Adults (over 7 years old) and too high specimens are transplanted 2–4 times a year, if transplantation to the winter garden follows.
Soil for araucaria mixed in the proportions of 2: 2: 1, using:
- sod-leafy soil;
Important! For araucaria, an ideal option would be a transplant into peat pots. There will be an opportunity to easily move the container with the plant into a larger pot, then filling the hollow space with nutrient soil. Another option is possible in the proportions of 2: 0.5:
- clay-soddy soil;
Video: Features of caring for araucaria
Araucaria, grown at home, can be propagated in 2 ways:
- The seeds.
The top of a tree aged 10 years and older is used as a handle. It is carefully cut at a distance of 3-4 cm below the whorl. Within 12-24 hours, the stalk is dried, treated with wood ash slice. The slice can be treated with the powerful heteroauxin growth promoter to accelerate root formation.
Pots are transferred to a room with ambient light, where the temperature is maintained at +20 ... + 25 ° C. Root formation takes from 2 to 5 months. All this time you need to monitor soil moisture and air temperature.
From the beginning of the formation of new shoots, plants are fed with mineral fertilizers containing nitrogen. You can use ash. 200 g of ash are dissolved in 5 l of water and boiled for 5 minutes. The cooled solution is added 400 ml under each sprout. After 2 weeks, 10 g of dolomite flour is added (for each plant). The next top dressing after 2 weeks can be carried out organically, using any available manure. Organics are dissolved in water at the rate of 1: 3 and 200-300 ml are applied under the plant.
The cuttings are transplanted into the soil when the roots braid the entire earthen lump.
Collected seeds are sown immediately, otherwise they lose their ability to germinate. The soil for planting is mixed according to one of the above options. Seedlings are placed in common containers at a distance of 5-7 cm from each other. Top cover with sifted wet sand, and then mulch with moss. Seedlings are transferred to a dark room, where the air temperature is maintained not lower than + 20 ° C. Soil moisture before seed germination should vary between 70-80%.
Seeds germinate very slowly. The main task at the germination stage is to prevent direct sunlight from entering the crops. When the sprouts reach a height of 5 cm, they need to be thinned, leaving a distance between them up to 10-15 cm. When the sprouts reach a height of 15 cm, they are dived into separate volumetric pots and continue to leave according to the standard scheme.
Possible growing difficulties
The plant practically does not get sick if you follow all the rules of cultivation. The main problem that growers face when growing araucaria is yellowing and shedding of needles, wilting of branches, which occurs as a result of overdrying of air or an earthen coma. The solution to the problem is to regulate the humidity regime.
Serious damage to araucaria can be caused by pests:
- Aphids - a small population can be eliminated by spraying with a decoction of nettles. 2.5 kg of tops and leaves are added to 5 l of water, boiled for 5 minutes, insisted for 2 hours. The concentrate is diluted 1: 0.5 and 3 sprayings are carried out with an interval of 5 days. If the remedy does not give effect, use the drug "Actara". 30 g of substance are added to 10 l of water. Spraying is carried out 2 times with an interval of 14-20 days.
- Powdery mealybug - a small amount of pests is eliminated by treatment with a soapy solution. In the absence of effect, “Aktaru” is used (according to the same scheme as for aphids).
Following all the above cultivation rules and maintaining an optimal microclimate, there will be no problems in growing araucaria at home. Such a plant will decorate and revitalize any interior.