Carissa - home care, transplantation and reproduction
Kind carissa (Carissa) is directly related to the apocynaceae family. This genus unites approximately 35 species of plants, which are represented by small highly branched shrubs, as well as trees. In nature, they can be found in the subtropical and tropical forests of Africa, Hong Kong and Australia.
On the branches of this genus of the plant there are protective two-toothed spikes, which are quite thick. There are species with very long spikes (up to 5 centimeters). Opposite leathery leaves have rather short petioles. Simple oval leaves in length can reach from 3 to 8 centimeters. The leaf plate is slightly folded along the central vein. The leaves themselves have a rich, dark green color, and the veins are painted in a pale green color. Young shoots are also painted in a pale green color.
The plant blooms for a very long time, or rather, almost the whole year. Tubular, simple flowers have 5 petals. They can be pink or white, and flowers grow in the leaf sinuses at the tips of the stems. Flowers can be collected in inflorescences or solitary. Outwardly, they have a clear resemblance to sambac jasmine flowers, and differ in only a less strong aroma. In diameter, the flower can reach 1-5 centimeters.
At the end of flowering, not very large fruits appear on the site of the flowers, which are similar in appearance to plums. The size of such fruits is directly dependent on the type of plant. So their size varies from 1.5 to 6 centimeters. At first, the fruit is colored red, but over time its color changes to black or dark purple. These fruits can be eaten, and they have excellent taste. The pulp, having the aroma of strawberries, is very tender and juicy. Carissa is cultivated as a fruit tree, grown in gardens.
Thanks to the breeders, a large number of varieties of carissa were born, but at the same time they laid emphasis on fruiting. Variety Fancy, like Torrey Pines, abundantly bears fruit and has very large fruits. Grade "Gifford" is one of the most productive.
Also, breeders tried to breed varieties that would branch strongly and were relatively small in size. These varieties are great for creating green sculptures and hedges. The resulting shrubs bear very little fruit, but have spikes not very large. The variety “Grandiflora” is most popular, as it is small in size and blooms quite plentifully. This variety is most often chosen for cultivation at room conditions, since this very effective plant is non-capricious and undemanding in care.
Carisse care at home
Bright lighting is required (approximately 6000–7800 lux). This plant feels great under the direct rays of the sun, and therefore it is recommended to choose a window of southern orientation for its location. It is quite good that the carissa will feel on the western or eastern window. When placed on a window of northern orientation, the plant will not receive light for normal development, and it will not bloom. Although here she can also grow, but her stems will be quite elongated.
In summer, carissa is recommended to be kept at moderate temperatures from 18 to 25 degrees. In winter, it is best to move it to a cooler place (from 14 to 18 degrees), with such a content in the summer, flowering will be more plentiful. However, if there is a good backlight that can replace direct sunlight, flowering and fruiting will continue throughout the year.
It is quite resistant to sudden changes in temperature and has increased frost resistance (able to withstand a not-so-long decrease in air temperature to 3 degrees). Carissa is recommended in the warm season to take out to fresh air, while she can stay there for quite a long time. And on a glazed loggia, a tree can be grown from March to October.
How to water
Watering should be moderate, but at the same time regularly. This plant is resistant to drought and can withstand almost complete drying of the soil. Overfilling is quite dangerous for him, as it can lead to acidification of the substrate and rotting of the root system. As a rule, watering is done only after the topsoil has dried well.
Carisse should be watered with exceptionally soft water, which has settled for at least 24 hours.
It does not need high humidity and feels quite comfortable even in winter, when the air in the apartments is very dry. In order to improve the appearance of the tree, as well as for hygienic purposes, he needs to regularly arrange a warm shower.
Karissa needs a systematic pruning of shoots, which is designed to form a crown. But the task of gardeners in this case is complicated by the fact that this plant is highly branched, and its stems grow most often in all directions, so it’s very difficult to form a neat crown. In no case can not be cut at all. It is a fast-growing plant and after a short period of time it grows very much. And since there are quite sharp spikes on the shoots, this can cause a number of inconveniences.
There are no special requirements for the soil, but it is better if it is slightly alkaline. Feels great on both humus and sandy soil. It tolerates salinity calmly. It is quite simple to make a suitable soil mixture at home. To do this, combine sheet, peat, sod and humus soil, as well as sand in equal proportions.
Do not forget about a good drainage layer, which can prevent stagnation of fluid in the soil.
In the event that flowering and fruiting continues throughout the year, then fertilizers should be applied to the soil systematically, as a rule, once every 2 or 3 weeks. Mineral fertilizers, which contain a large amount of phosphorus, which the plant needs during prolonged flowering, are excellently suited for this. Conversely, fertilizing with nitrogen is undesirable, because they provoke an intensive growth of foliage. So that the plant does not have chlorosis, it is necessary for the preventive purposes to systematically introduce iron chelates into the ground. So, for example, this can be done during watering.
While the plant is young, its transplant is carried out in spring every year. More adult specimens are subjected to this procedure less frequently, or rather, once every 2 or 3 years. If the carissa is not transplanted for a long time, then its leaves are noticeably crushed, and it will grow much more slowly.
If at home you want to get fruits from this plant, then you will need to conduct artificial pollination of flowers.
For reproduction, seeds are used, as well as cuttings. Seed germination occurs very quickly, about half a month after sowing. However, the growth of seedlings is rather slow. Such a plant begins to bloom in the second year.
On the cuttings should be cut off apical shoots. They should be small in size and have 3 internodes. Rooting takes a long time, usually for 8-12 weeks. A successfully rooted stalk blooms in the same year. Best of all, cuttings are rooted in a mini-greenhouse filled with a mixture of perlite and peat. Roots appear very rarely in water.
Diseases and pests
It is quite resistant to various diseases. Most often, rot on the roots is formed, which is caused by overflow.
Thrips, a spider mite and a scale can settle. If pests are found, it is necessary to rinse the caries thoroughly under a warm shower, and then carry out the treatment with chemicals specially designed for this.
How to use
Caries fruits grown at room taste the same as those harvested in the garden. And from them you can cook mashed potatoes, fruit salads, jellies, and much more.
Attention! All parts of the caries, with the exception of the fruit, contain toxic substances. They are also present in unripe fruits, so if you eat them, you can get poisoned.