Thuja is an evergreen coniferous plant. It owes its popularity to its unique qualities: unpretentiousness, high ornamental value, ability to purify the air. The latter property is provided by essential oils secreted by thuja. They fill the air with a pleasant pine scent and bind free radicals, destroying pathogens. There are many species and varieties of Thuja. Thanks to the hard work of breeders it became possible to grow conifers not only in the open air, but also at home.
Thuja is a member of the Cypress family. The habitat of the western variety in nature is concentrated in Canada, the United States, and the eastern variety in Japan, China. Under natural conditions, trees and shrubs reach a height of 5-10 m. But specimens can be up to 70 meters tall. Thuya are characterized by a slow growth rate. Thanks to its robust and disease-resistant wood, thuja is a long-lived tree.
In temperate latitudes, thuja is grown in the open ground mainly in regions with a warm climate. There, conifers are planted in public gardens, parks, and courtyards. In cooler climates, thuas are planted in pots and kept indoors.
In the evergreen conifer, pollination occurs in the second half of spring, resulting in the development of seed boxes – egg-shaped cones. In the fall they mature and shoot seeds.
Varieties and varieties for growing in a pot
The genus includes 6 species. But in indoor floriculture only 2 of them are grown:
The name of the variety of thuja
Develops as a shrub. It is formed by vertically arranged shoots with green needles
A conical shaped tree. Its crown is formed by vertical shoots covered with bright needles. The green color can be diluted with shades of golden
On the basis of typical species, breeders have bred many varieties. For home cultivation, preference is given to dwarf representatives, which feel great in tubs, vases. The most popular varieties:
Thuja grows in loose soil that allows air to pass freely to the roots. It is bought in ready-made form or prepared by yourself. In the first case, a substrate for coniferous crops is suitable. In self-preparation, take sand, coniferous and leaf soil in a ratio of 1:2:4.
Fertilizer is added to increase the fertility. In our opinion, you can use both organic and mineral products. Before planting, the soil composed with your own hands is disinfected.You can resort to one of the methods:
Steaming in a water bath;
hardening in an oven;
A container is chosen depending on the cultivated variety and the peculiarities of the development of its root system. Pots made of plastic, ceramic or clay are suitable. In our opinion, the material is worth paying attention to when keeping thuja in rooms where there are low temperatures. If the mercury column falls below the value of 10 ° C, clay, ceramics are not suitable, because the first has a porous structure, and the second quickly cools, causing damage to the roots. In addition, an important point – the presence of drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
When the preparatory work is complete, proceed to planting.Sequence of actions:
Distribute a drainage layer on the bottom of the container.
Cover it with substrate.
Install the seedling, trying to keep the ground ball (in the case of a closed root system) or spreading the roots (in the case of an open one).
Cover with soil, leaving an empty space of 1-2 cm from the edge.
The substrate is slightly compacted and watered, so that no air pockets are left around the roots.
For your information!
Only quality seedlings without signs of disease are used for planting. It is better to buy planting material in nurseries.
For thuja to grow well indoors, it needs to create an optimal microclimate. It is best if it is similar to the natural.
Thuja trees are shade-tolerant plants. They prefer shade more than bright sunlight. Pots are installed on window sills on the east or west side of the house. When placed near a southern window, the plant is moved away from the glass, so that direct sunlight in the midday heat does not burn the delicate needles. On windowsills on the northern side, thuja can suffer from lack of light, which is expressed in stretching of shoots, loss of crown lushness.
In order to ensure proper development in spring and summer the thuja is kept at temperatures in the range of 25-30 ° C. After the arrival of heat on the street, the pot is transferred to fresh air – terrace, balcony. It is important that the plant is not exposed to direct sunlight. In winter, a comfortable temperature for the conifer does not exceed 15°C. Avoid drafts.
The conifer grows well in normal apartment humidity levels. Exception – winter. At this time, the thuja is removed away from heaters that dry the air. But for all the endurance of the conifer, it is better to periodically spray it. Regularity of the procedure will increase the decorativeness of the plant, protect it from infestation by sucking pests.
Care for indoor thuja
The evergreen conifer tolerates both air and soil drought well. It owes this to its natural growth conditions. Volume of watering and amount of watering depends on vegetation period, plant growth, temperature in the room:
During active vegetation, when it is hot, the soil is moistened 1-2 times a week;
When the temperature drops, twice a month;
In winter when the air temperature is 10-15 °C – moisten lightly every month;
If the mercury column is close to zero – stop watering.
In nature, the conifer grows on infertile soils. The pace of its development is slow – it does not consume a lot of nutrients. Nourishing the crop monthly is enough to ensure its good development in spring and summer. In spring predominantly nitrogen fertilisers are used to stimulate green growth. In summer, it is better to apply phosphorus and potassium, which normalize metabolism. In autumn and winter, thuja plants do not need additional nutrition.
Thuja: Handles pruning. Its crown can be formed in the form of various geometric shapes: cone, ball, pyramid. In addition to formative pruning, you should also carry out sanitary pruning. As necessary, remove diseased, damaged or dry shoots.
Young plants are transplanted every spring into a larger container. Strongly large immediately should not be used, because the soil in it will sour. Mature specimens are transplanted at intervals of 2-3 years. For adult plants, when transplanting, use a substrate of peat and sand in a ratio of 3 :1:1. The procedure is carried out by the method of transplanting.Basic rules of transplanting:
If it is a large specimen, it should be pruned before planting it in another pot.
Before the procedure, the thuja must be watered, so that the soil moves away from the walls of the container.
The root neck is slightly submerged so that additional roots form.
Diseases and pests
In our opinion, the main difficulty encountered when growing thuja is the appearance of yellowing on the shoots. Sometimes the condition does not require treatment, because its cause lies in the wrong location of the plant: under direct sunlight, it received burns. In this case, it is enough to repot the pot and add a growth stimulator, having previously removed damaged branches. Also inspect the root neck. Yellowing occurs when it is bare or severely buried.
Yellowing of the needles is also a natural process. This is noted in the winter. During the period of active vegetation, if burns are excluded, there is a high probability of developing a fungal disease – cytosporosis, fusariosis. In the first case, the spores affect the bark of the plant, forming black areas on it. Gradually they penetrate into the inner layers of the wood. Without treatment in the initial stages, the thuja will die. As an effective method of control is the spraying of fungicides.
The development of fusariosis is indicated by the reddish-red color of the needles. After the color change, it soon begins to wither. The root system is also affected, and as a result the nutrition does not enter the plant’s organs. After a while without treatment it dies. To save the thuja, it is sprayed with Bordeaux liquid at two-week intervals. Stop treatment after the culture has fully recovered.
Among the pests on thuja note aphids, mites, scab and bark beetles. Aphids, like the mite, feed on the sap of the needles. Gradually it turns yellow and withers. The moth likes to eat seeds. And the presence of holes in the bark indicates the appearance of bark beetle, which without intervention will destroy the plant from the inside. To protect thuja against harmful insects use insecticides.
Thuja can be propagated both generatively and vegetatively. But the first method is less often used at home because of its labor intensity. In addition, it does not guarantee the preservation of varietal characteristics.
To get the seed, the seed boxes are not allowed to shoot out on the plant. They are cut off, placed in a warm, dark place. As soon as they start to crack, the seeds are harvested. Before sowing, they are germinated: wrapped in a damp cloth, kept in it for 24 hours without letting it dry out. Then the following actions are carried out:
Substrate is poured into the seedling container.
Distribute the seed on the surface, cover with sand.
The container is transferred to a warm place with diffused light and a temperature regime in the range of 20 -23 ° C.
The shoots take at least a month to emerge. Depending on the variety, the process may take longer. The plant will be fully ready for transplanting into a permanent pot only after 3-5 years.
Propagation by grafts – a simple method. But it is available for plants that are grown in large tubs. Alternatively, install another pot next to it. As a branch, choose a shoot near the trunk, closer to the ground. Remove the needles from it and bury it in a previously prepared groove. Take care of as for the parental copy. When the shoots appear, the offshoot is separated and planted separately with its own root system.
Another way – cuttings. Sequence of steps:
The side shoots are cut into 10 cm long cuttings with a “heel” – part of the woody scion.
The cuts are treated with a rooting agent, buried in the soil mixture for 2-3 cm.
The container is moved to a warm place and periodically sprinkle the soil.
When new shoots appear, the young thuja is transplanted into a permanent pot.
Thuja is a hardy plant with a strong immunity. For successful growth, the main thing is to provide it with comfortable living conditions and as necessary to carry out the required measures.