Why mulberry does not bloom, and how to care for it properly
Despite the fact that mulberry is an unpretentious plant, quite often gardeners are faced with the fact that it does not bear fruit, and sometimes does not even form flowers. To find out the reasons for this, as well as find out how to properly care for mulberry, read on.
Why does not mulberry blossom
The problem of the lack of flowering occurs in many who have taken to grow mulberries in their area. To solve it, you must first understand its cause.
The most common include:
- Age . In the first time after planting mulberries, the gardener can’t wait to see the first flowers sooner, which would indicate a healthy growth and development of the plant, as well as an approaching crop. But we must remember that, as a rule, the first fruiting occurs only for 4-6 years of growth, and until this time abundant flowering should not be expected.
- Leaving . With improper care or its complete absence, the consequences will be noticeable in any fruit and berry culture. In the case of mulberry, a decrease in productivity is possible, up to a complete failure of the plant to bloom and bear fruit. All landing and care rules will be discussed later.
- The disease . Unfortunately, plant damage by diseases and pests is common. Some of them can have serious consequences for your garden, such as reduced yields, the disappearance of flowers and even the death of a tree.
Did you know? It is believed that in Ukraine is the world's oldest mulberry: it is located in the National Botanical Garden. Grishko, and the approximate age of this tree is about 500 years. Only black mulberry is able to grow for so long, while red and white often do not survive to the century.
To find out why the mulberry blooms, but does not bear fruit, you should check the sex of your plant. Mulberry belongs to dioecious plants, therefore, for effective fruiting, pollination of female trees by male ones is necessary. Only the former are able to bear fruit, while in the latter, flowers, instead of turning into a juicy berry, dry and fall. Therefore, it is important to distinguish between the sex of your plants and combine them correctly when planting.
To help you with this, here are the main signs that allow you to determine how the two sexes differ from each other:
|Inflorescences||Ear rings are short and dense. In each flower you can find a pestle and a four-leaf perianth.||Loose and falling earrings. Each flower has a perianth and two pairs of stamens.|
The most optimal for growing are bisexual trees that are able to bear fruit due to self-pollination. It is not difficult to calculate them - they will have inflorescences characteristic of both sexes. Find out if you can eat mulberries during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Features of Mulberry Care
Unfortunately, the problem of lack of flowering and fruiting is often the result of improper care of the fruit crop. To avoid this or adjust your care schedule, carefully read the instructions below. They will allow you to grow healthy plants and get a stable crop for many years.
Feeding and watering
This crop does not require frequent fertilizing and watering, which makes caring for it easier. However, in the life cycle of a plant there are periods when the need for it increases. These are times of flowering and fruiting. It is then that fruit ovaries are laid, which in the future will turn into a crop.
The most important care items:
- Watering . In the early stages of mulberry growth, a large amount of moisture is required to grow. Immediately after planting in open ground, it is recommended to pour so much water under the tree so that the soil at a depth of 20 cm is well moistened. If there is a large amount of precipitation, then the introduction of moisture can be reduced. It is worth watering the plant more abundantly in dry and hot seasons, however, it is important to ensure that moisture does not stagnate in the soil. Such swampiness can cause the development of diseases, so you need to make sure that the soil passes moisture well, and also - that your plantings are not located in the lowlands.
- Top dressing . When preparing the soil, all the necessary fertilizers are introduced into it, which lasts for several years. Therefore, at first you do not need to contribute anything extra. Usually active top dressing should begin with the first fruiting of the tree, which usually occurs only for 4-5 years. At this time, you need to make mineral and organic fertilizers by sealing in the trunk circle. For this, a narrow trench is dug around the trunk, where necessary fertilizers are poured, and then abundantly filled with water; subsequently, the soil is cultivated by loosening.
Timely and proper pruning brings many benefits to the gardener. It allows your site to maintain an aesthetic appearance, and is also able to improve the yield of trees. Did you know? The leaves of white mulberry (another name is mulberry) are the only food source for the silkworm . It is thanks to the union of this insect and plant that mankind has learned what silk is.
Trimming, by purpose, can be divided into three types:
- Formative . This type of pruning allows you to increase the yield of the tree, but requires regular conducting. You can start it from the first years to the very old age of mulberry. In this case, the extreme lateral branches are cut off, as well as those that grow inland and interfere with the overall growth of the bush. You should also remove creeping branches. The uppermost branches should also be shortened to 3-5 kidneys and ensure that they are shorter than the lower branches. If suddenly the top of the tree bifurcates, then one of the shoots should be removed. Forming pruning will allow you to control the growth of the crown and the height of the tree, which will facilitate harvesting in the future.
- Anti-aging . It is possible to determine that your tree is already aging by evaluating its general condition, as well as the yield. Usually there is a slow development, woodiness of the bark, and the yield gradually decreases. However, this is not a reason to uproot a tree and plant a new one in its place. With regular anti-aging pruning, the active phase of mulberry fruiting can be significantly extended. To do this, annually remove adult and woody stems and branches, reducing their total number to a minimum. There is no need to worry: the tree will form new young branches for the next season.
- Sanitary . Sanitary pruning is carried out as necessary and is applicable to mulberries of any age. It aims to maintain plant health. During its conduct, all damaged, frostbitten and dried branches are removed. You should also remove all bad parts that show signs of pest or disease damage. Branches and leaves removed due to damage should be immediately burned so that new foci of diseases do not arise.
The most favorable period for pruning is considered spring. After the snow melts, the mulberry is at rest, which helps it to transfer the procedure without stress. However, the air temperature should not be below -10 ° C. This is due to the fact that in such a cold section does not heal well, and the branches become extremely fragile. After that, the tree wakes up and will be ready for a new fruiting period.
Sanitary pruning is best done in the fall. So you more effectively prepare the tree for wintering. If you grow mulberry for decorative purposes and do not expect fruit from it, regular decorative pruning will come in handy. It is she who will allow you to grow a tree with a crown of any shape and size, which will become an ornament to a garden or vegetable garden. For fruiting individuals, this pruning is not recommended, since it is possible to remove the key parts of the plant that bear fruit.
Important! If you grow mulberries in order to get a crop, it is highly recommended that you refrain from using chemicals to control pests and diseases.
Pest and Disease Control Methods
Not only people, but also a large number of insects love to feast on the sweet fruits of mulberry.
The most common pests and methods for controlling them are discussed in this table:
|Mulberry moth||The period of activity begins at the end of February. Females lay eggs in the bark of trees and hatched larvae first live in wood, feeding on leaves and buds. In May they descend and the pupation stage begins in the ground.||On a tree trunk at a distance of 30 cm from the ground hang a belt of paper with adhesive applied to it (petroleum jelly or glue).|
|Khrushchev (May and East)||The larvae of this insect do tremendous damage to trees. In the first year, they affect small roots, in the second - large, which leads to the loss of seedlings. Adults feed on leaves, flowers, and berries.||In summer, the tree should be sprayed with the preparation "Arrivo" or "Decis". It is possible to use the insecticides Bombardir, Confidor, Tanrek and others.|
|Medvedka||These insects live in the ground, and after hibernation begin to actively gnaw stems and roots of plants. Do not allow new shoots to germinate and take root normally.||Poison corn or cereal traps have been shown to be highly effective. As a poison, "Confidor" is used. Also a good method is to make heat traps. To do this, horse manure is dug into the ground, which attracts an insect with its heat. It settles in it. In winter, manure is raked, and the bear dies from the cold.|
|The Nutcracker||They also live in the soil and in the spring begin to eat stems and seeds of plants.||Processing this pest off the garden is a good help by treating the plant's root system with a clay mash with the addition of an insecticide.|
Insects are not the only trouble that the gardener is faced with . Often they are carriers of diseases that can affect your bushes and trees. But with proper treatment, possible harm can be minimized.
|Verticillus wilt (wilt)||In summer, the color of the leaves changes, they turn yellow, gradually dry and curl, but do not fall. This symptom reports an acute stage of the disease. The disease often develops in an environment with excess moisture.||To date, there is no effective tool in the fight against wilt. Only timely prophylaxis is able to help, which includes the introduction of Trichodermin, planting of resistant varieties, and regular feeding with nitrogen fertilizers.|
|Mulberry bacteriosis||On the leaves of a tree affected by bacteriosis, characteristic spots appear that darken and eventually fail. In such places, you can often notice fluid. Yields drop sharply.||If the tree is too damaged, then it should be uprooted and burned. If the disease is not widespread, then branches with affected leaves must be cut and treated with oil paint. In autumn and spring, it is recommended to spray the foliage with 3% boric fluid.|
|Cylindrosporosis||Small brown spots form on the leaves of the mulberry, which eventually increase in size and blacken. During wind or rain, infected leaves massively crumble. So the loss of deciduous layer can reach 99% by autumn. In isolated cases, this leads to the death of the plant.||Before budding, the tree must be treated with sulfur-containing drugs. Thinning planting also helps.|
|Curly small leaf||The leaves are wrinkled and curled, lose their color. The branches are thinning, the root system is inhibited, the growth of the tree slows down, and productivity decreases.||Reduce the application of nitrogen fertilizers. Grow disease-resistant varieties, mainly high-stem. It is tall trees that are less susceptible to this disease.|
In order not to have to treat the trees, you should initially follow certain rules for the prevention of diseases:
- Do not save space when planting seedlings - planting density significantly increases the risk of developing fungal diseases; also because of this, neighboring plants often get little oxygen and sunlight;
- regularly inspect plants to detect the slightest signs of damage at an early stage;
- prevent moisture stagnation;
- burn fallen leaves and trimmed branches, and not leave on the site;
- regularly loosen the soil, so that possible eggs of insects will be destroyed.
Important! To avoid the likelihood of buying an already diseased plant (the disease can develop over the years and not be noticeable in the early stages), buy seedlings in trusted nurseries, and not in natural markets.
Now you know the reasons why mulberry blossoms may be delayed or completely absent. Proper care, disease prevention and a good combination of males and females will allow you to receive a healthy and tasty crop every year.