The genus Carissa (Carissa) is directly related to the family Apocynaceae. This genus includes about 35 plant species, which are represented by small, strongly branching shrubs as well as trees. In nature they can be found in subtropical and tropical forests of Africa, Hong Kong and Australia.
The branches of this genus have protective two-toothed thorns which are quite thick. There are species with very long spines (up to 5 centimeters).
Supropositively arranged leathery leaves have rather short petioles. Simple oval leaves can reach 3 to 8 centimeters in length. The leaf plate is slightly folded along the central vein. The leaves themselves are a rich, dark green color, while the veins are colored in a pale green hue. The young shoots are also colored pale green.
The plant blooms for a very long time, or rather, almost the entire year. The tubular, simple flowers have 5 petals. They may be colored pink or white, and the flowers grow in the leaf axils at the tips of the stems. The florets may be in small inflorescences or singly. Their appearance is very similar to that of the sambac jasmine flowers but with a less strong fragrance.
The flower can reach 1-5 centimeters in diameter.
After flowering, not very large fruits appear in place of the flowers, which are similar in appearance to plums. The size of these fruits depends directly on the type of plant. So their size varies from 1.5 to 6 centimeters.
At first the fruit is red in color, but over time the color changes to black or dark purple. These fruits are edible and taste great. The pulp, which has a strawberry flavor, is very tender and juicy. Carissa is cultivated as a fruit tree growing in gardens.
CARISSA, OR COMMON SLIVE.
Home care of carissa
The house carissa is very hardy and undemanding to care for. That is why it is recommended for beginners to grow. The plant does not need a lot of attention, but you must ensure certain conditions for it to grow and develop properly.
Carissa, also called room plum, is a heat-loving plant. It needs bright light and a long day.
But it should not be forgotten that the midday rays of the sun can leave burns on the leaves of the shrub. In this regard, at this time it is organized shading.
For the plant, the windows of the southern orientation are best suited. It will also grow within limits on a window sill facing west or east. A northern window, on the other hand, is not suitable for it.
In winter, when the light day is rather short, the plant should be provided with phyto-lamp illumination. And the total day length at this time should be up to 12 hours.
Be sure to enjoy long flowering and abundant fruit-bearing if you give it the right amount of light.
The shrub reacts negatively to excessively high air temperatures. The optimum temperature for it is 18 to 25 degrees.
On hot days it is recommended to move the carissa outside, this will keep it from stuffiness and overheating.
In the cold season the plant can be organized a dormant period. Take it to a cooler place (15 to 17 degrees).
For your shrub to feel at ease, water it regularly and in moderation. To find out whether it is time to moisten the potting soil is quite easy: use your finger to check the condition of the top layer of potting soil.
If it is dry, moisten it after 1 day. Rain or melt water is best. If you use tap water, let it stand for 2 or 3 days.
The shrub does not need high air humidity. It grows and develops normally in normal living room humidity.
For hygiene purposes, regular warm showers are recommended.
Fewly alkaline substrate is recommended for growing carissa, and sandy or humus soil is best. To make your own potting mix, combine peat, sand, leaf, sod and mulch soil in equal proportions. Do not forget to make a layer of drainage at the bottom of the pot.
The plant is characterized by lush flowering, so it needs regular fertilization with a high phosphorus content.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the packaging.
If you put the shrub into a dormant period during the cold season, you should reduce the intensity of fertilisation in autumn. And do not fertilize in winter.
Because this shrub is a strong branching and fast growing shrub, it needs regular pruning. To keep its crown neat and showy, systematic formative pruning will be needed.
But it is quite difficult to cope with this task, because the bush grows very fast, and also its branches "stick out" in different directions. In addition, do not forget that there are sharp thorns on the branches, so be sure to protect your hands with gloves. If you do not want to trim, then at least make sure you systematically prune the tips of the stems.
Carissa needs artificial pollination to be able to set fruit. The fact is that under natural conditions, pollination is due to bugs and moths, which have a nocturnal lifestyle.
This is due to the fact that the opening of the buds on the shrub is observed at night, while at dawn they close. A soft brush is used for pollination, with which pollen is transferred from one flower to another.
As long as the plant is young, it is repotted annually. Older bushes are transplanted as needed. You can tell when the shrub needs replanting by the foliage as it begins to shrivel up.
With some knowledge and patience, the carissa can be used to produce a magnificent bonsai. Specialists recommend the large-flowered variety, which differs from the other varieties by its slower growth.
How to use carissa fruits
Even though it is grown as an ornamental plant, the domestic carissa has delicious fruits that can be eaten. The ripe fruits are used to make unusual salads, jellies, or fruit puree.
Please note that there is poison in any part of such a plant.
It is also present in the fruit, but only in green or unripe fruit. That is why only well ripened fruits are considered edible.
Carissa plum berries#carissa_macrocarpa #healthy#tasty#berry_plum#tropics
The cuttings and seed method of propagating the room carissa are used. With either method, a large amount of time and patience is needed. A bush grown from a cuttings usually begins flowering the same year it takes root.
A plant obtained from seed will bloom for the first time at the age of 2 years or even later.
Growing from seed
Fresh seed is recommended for planting. Take a container and fill it with a universal soil mixture. When sowing the seeds, submerge them in the substrate by 10mm, keeping a distance of 20-30mm between them. Water the seeds and cover them with cling film.
Take them to a warm place with moderate light.
Sow seedlings relatively quickly, but they are slow to develop. Once the height of the seedlings is 50 mm, they should be pickled into individual cups. Once they have grown a little longer and stronger, pruning is recommended so that the bush will be more vigorous and branched.
A mature bush should be used for cutting.
For cutting, choose a shoot that has three internodes and has begun to turn wood. First, the shoot is cut to the middle, and after three hours it is cut off completely. For rooting, the cuttings are planted in the substrate. To do this, use a loose and light soil mixture, such as a mixture of peat and perlite. Before planting, it is advisable to treat the lower part of the cuttings with a product that stimulates root growth.
After planting, cover the cuttings from above with a transparent cap. Roots will form on it after 2 or 3 months.
Diseases and pests
Homemade carissa is resistant to most diseases. With regular moisture stagnation in the substrate, it is likely that rot will appear on the roots.
The shrub can also suffer from scab and spider mite.
If the plant is in a room with dry air for a long time, this can cause spider mites. Increase the humidity level and treat the carissa with an insecticide.
If the plant has a scab, pick up the pests with your hands, then treat and sprinkle the shrub with an Actara solution. Repeat the treatment a week and a half later.
Carissa species with photos and names
Carissa is a member of the Cuthrus family.
It is the most widely distributed plant in Africa and Asia. The branches are densely covered with shiny leathery to the touch small oval-shaped leaf plates. They also have a number of sharp spines on them, which are placed at the base of the leaves.
When flowering, small white inflorescences appear on the shrub. The fruits may be red and orange.
The genus carissa includes about 30 species. Those species that are most popular will be described below.
Carissa grandiflora (Carissa grandiflora)
This variety stands out for its large flowers. In nature, this branching shrub reaches about 500 cm in height. When growing indoors, the maximum height of the shrub is usually 100 cm.
The small leaf leaves are yellowish green, hard to touch (25-50 mm). After flowering, large fruits are formed, which are berries that are about 40 mm wide and up to 60 mm long.
Double-bladed (Carissa bispinosa)
This species is represented by both shrubs and trees. Its branched crown consists of densely foliated branches with pubescence on the surface. The glossy leaf plates are ovate in shape and dark green in color.
After flowering, ovoid fruits are produced that change their color to deep red as they mature.
Pestrelleaf (Carissa macrocarpa humphrey variegata)
This species is the most popular in indoor floriculture. This plant is often used for shaping bonsai. Its mottled foliage is bordered in white.
All varieties we have had