Garden thuja is quite widespread in culture, and in landscape design it is especially popular. Both public gardens and parks, as well as your own garden plots, are decorated with it. Thuja is a very spectacular and compact plant that can purify the air. However, not many people know that this crop can also be grown at home. In order for the Thuja to grow well and not die in unfamiliar conditions, you must not only learn how to properly care for it, but also choose the right species for it.
Features of the Thuja
Coniferous evergreen tree Thuja is part of the Cypress family. It is distinguished by its specific scent. The cones on this holosperm monodomous plant grow both female and male. Pollination is observed in April and May after which the plant begins to mature with seeds in the egg-shaped cones. When the bolls ripen in the fall, the seeds shoot out of them.
In nature, the thuja is found throughout the Northeast and North America (U.S. and Canada). This slow-growing plant can vary in height from 5 to 10 m and is a long-lived plant.
Thuja has very strong wood that is resistant to decay, which is why the Indians also call it an "iron tree".
The Western thuja is referred to as a thuja imported from the Americas. The pyramidal form of western thuja was brought to European territory in the 16th century. In southern Russia this tree began to be cultivated in the last years of the 18th century. In the territory of the Caucasus and Crimea, thuja has become a popular decoration for parks. Oriental Thuja is widely cultivated in the East as a medicinal as well as ornamental plant.
In the wild it grows on the slopes of the mountains of Japan, China and Korea. It is also commonly referred to as the Tree of Life. Some experts believe that it is so called because of the King of France, but others are convinced that the tree is simply a cult in the East. For example, in Central Asia, the Thuja was planted in holy places near mosques. In Eastern folk medicine, thuja is very widely used as a healing plant.
Tuja care at home
Tuja requires special growing conditions for it to grow normally and develop properly at home.
Since in nature this tree grows in North America, preferring cool places, it should also be sheltered from scorching direct sunlight in room conditions. Because of them, burns appear on the leaves and the needles turn yellow. This tree belongs to the shade-tolerant plants. However, if the light is too sparse, then its branches will begin to stretch out.
In the room for the thuja, it is better to choose a place that is not too far from the window, especially if it is southern. Place the shrub on a window sill only if it is north-facing.
Particular attention should be paid to the room temperature, it should vary according to the season and be as suitable as possible for this plant. During the summertime the indoor temperature can vary from 20 to 30 degrees. During the warm season, the bush can be kept in the room or moved to fresh air (garden plot or balcony).
Outdoors, you should choose a place for the tree, located in a little shade.
In winter time, you should pay special attention to the choice of a suitable place for the thuja. Remember that it reacts extremely negatively to hot and dry air in the room. The plant feels the best in the cold season at a temperature of no more than 15 degrees. A glazed balcony is excellent for wintering the tree.
He is not afraid of a light frost, but in a strong frost take care to ensure that the root system of the tree is not overcooled. In this case, the container should be wrapped and placed on a substrate made of cardboard or wood. Also this plant should be protected from draughts.
Air moisture and watering
Tuja is a drought-resistant plant and does not suffer from excessively low humidity. Do not water too often and generously, but make sure the clump of earth in the pot does not dry out completely.
Especially dangerous is to dry out the substrate during the active growth of the bush and after transplanting. On hot days, water 1-2 times in 7 days (the warmer the room, the more often the bush is watered).
The amount and quantity of watering is reduced with the onset of cold weather. If the temperature in the room where the tree is at this time is above zero, then water sparingly once every 2-4 weeks. If the air temperature is close to zero, then the thuja is not watered at all until it gets warmer.
Water the plant well settled water, the temperature of which is close to room temperature. Make sure that the liquid does not stagnate in the substrate as it can cause damage to the tree.
Tuja grows normally at any humidity and there is no need to moisten it with a sprayer. However, on too hot days, it is still recommended to systematically moisten the crown of the plant, which will help remove dust from it.
Free soil that allows moisture and air well is chosen to grow this tree at home.
Its composition depends on the age of the tree. While the bush is young, it is grown in a soil mixture, which consists of coarse river sand and leaf and coniferous soil (1:4:2). The grown-up tree, which does not need frequent transplants, is planted in a substrate consisting of sod soil, peat and river sand (2:2:1). When the tree is fully grown it may be planted in a ready mixed soil for conifers available from the specialist retailer.
Size of the container for the indoor thuja directly depends on the size of the root system.
You should also take into account that the roots of the plant are long, so the container should be quite high. If the tree is large, then a stable container should be purchased for it. When transplanting, the new pot should be in diameter larger than the old one by 20 mm. And when choosing the height of the pot, take into account that at the bottom of it it is necessary to make a drainage layer, the thickness of which is equal to several centimeters. Also pay attention to the bottom of the container since it must have holes for drainage.
If you are hibernating the Thuja in a place where there may be slight frosts, then pay attention to the material from which the container is made. Choose a non-porous material that does not absorb liquids. The container should be frost-resistant and also protect the root system from overcooling. If the Thuja overwinters in a relatively warm place (not less than 10 degrees), the pot may not be as carefully selected.
Potting the tree in the springtime.
As long as the bush is young, it is transplanted systematically once a year, with the old pot being 20 mm smaller than the new one in cross-section. A mature tree is subjected to this procedure only if necessary once every few years.
Transplant the Thuja according to the following rules:
- Get good drainage at the bottom of the pot;
- Water the bush abundantly before and after transplanting;
- Transplant the Thuja using the transplant method;
- Before transplanting an overgrown tree it must be pruned;
- if the root neck is slightly buried, additional roots will form on it.
Tree is trimmed in the springtime. Both formative and hygienic pruning are done at this time.
To prevent this, all withered branches are cut off. Not only can the crown be pruned but also the shoots can be pruned to form a ball or pyramid shape.
Toys grown at home should not be fertilized too often. One fertilizer every 4 weeks is enough. When fertilising, remember that the tree needs a lot of nitrogen in spring and that during the summer months it should be fed alternately with phosphorous and potassium.
You should not fertilize in autumn and winter.
That's how to propagate
Thaya, like the majority of indoor plants, can be propagated by cuttings and seeds.
Growing from seed
To raise a Thuja from seed requires a lot of time and patience as well as certain knowledge. You should also remember that plants grown from seed do not always retain their varietal characteristics. Cones from a mature tree are used to collect seeds.
When the cones are fully mature, they are cut off and stored in a dark and warm place. After they show cracks on them, you can extract the seeds. Before sowing into the substrate, the seed is placed in a moistened cloth for 24 hours. During the day, make sure that the cloth does not dry out.
Fill a small container with the soil mixture intended for growing young thuja (see above).
Once the seeds are evenly distributed on the surface of the soil mixture, cover them with a layer of sand or sawdust. Take the seeds to a place where the air temperature is kept between 20-23 degrees, and the light should be diffused. The first seedlings should appear after 4-6 weeks. A seedling will become a fully formed spectacular tree only after 3 to 5 years. Because of this, grow thuja from seed infrequently.
Lateral branches are cut to make cuttings. And the cuttings should be taken from the heels (part of the woody stem) and the length of the cuttings should be about 10 cm. The cut place is treated with a solution of Kornevin, and then the cuttings are planted in the substrate for rooting. It is not necessary to water these cuttings. Then they are removed into the heat and do not forget to systematically moisten the soil mixture with a sprayer.
When young leaf plates appear on the cuttings, it will be a signal that rooting has been successful. Next, the cuttings are transferred to a well-ventilated place. After a little time, the rooted cuttings are planted in permanent containers.
Tuja Propagation by Cuttings.
Pests and diseases
With indoor thuja, problems can arise from pests, fungal diseases, and failure to follow care rules.
Most often, flower growers are faced with the fact that the leaf plates on the tree become yellow. This is most often due to the fact that the bush has been exposed to scorching sunlight for a long time and burns appeared on its leaves. And it can also be due to the fact that the root neck of the shrub is deeply buried or towers over the surface of the substrate. However, the yellowing of the leaves in winter is considered a quite natural process and there is no need to worry about this.
The most common fungal diseases of such a tree are fusarium and cytosporosis.
Cytosporosis affects the bark of the thuja, with patches of black color appearing on its surface. Over time, the disease also spreads to the inner layers of the wood, causing the plant to die without proper treatment.
Fusarium causes the needles to turn a reddish color and then begin to wither. The root system of the bush also suffers from this disease, which can cause it to die. Sick trees are sprayed with a solution of Kartotsid or Bordeaux mixture.
Spray the aphids regularly every six months until they are completely cured.
Thistleworms, aphids and bark beetles can infest this tree. Aphids that live on the needles feed on the sap of the plants, causing the branches to turn yellow. Scabies like to settle on seeds and bark. If inspection of the bark will be found on it, it means that the tree took a bark beetles, which harm him from the inside.
To get rid of the pests, the bush is sprayed with an insecticide solution.
Benefits of Thuja
Tuja can decorate any room while purifying the air in it. The smell of the needles helps normalize sleep and calm you down. The leaves are also used to make decoctions that help with some illnesses. And in winter time, you can also use the thuja instead of a Christmas tree and decorate it for the New Year.
How to keep coniferous plants in room conditions.