Schizandra schisandra berry.
Schizandra is one of the most unusual climbing plants in landscape garden design.
How Useful Is Schizandra?
The most popular variety is the Chinese schizandra. Its properties are well studied. Since ancient times, the Chinese schizandra has been used in Chinese medicine. Fruits and all parts of the plant improve the condition of the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
They stimulate the central nervous system, gradually improving its condition. It is good to have such a plant in the garden. Each autumn, it brings a harvest of medicinal berries.
Description of Schizandra
Some species of schizandra are evergreen, perennial vines; others are leaf-losing. There are about 25 species of schizandra. Schizandra can either be a dioecious or monoecious vine that grows up to 33 ft 4 inches (10-15cm) in height. Flowers of schizandra are male and female, with both appearing in white. They are small, about 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in diameter, with a light scent. By the end of blooming, the flowers turn pink. The whole plant has a lemon-like scent. Chinese schizandra blooms in late June for two weeks. Pollination is done by insects. When the flowers finish blossoming, the flower base expands. The raceme-berry is formed in place of the flowers, growing to about 4 inches (10 cm) in length, and consisting of small red berries that ripen in September. They say Chinese schizandra berries have 5 different tastes.
Although schizandra is a hardy plant, it does not get enough warmth to develop berries in the northern areas. Schizandra is usually grown in USDA zones 7-9.
How do you Plant the Chinese Schizandra?
Chinese Schizandra loves the sun. When planting it, choose a sunny area that is sheltered from the wind. Schizandra saplings must be protected from the midday sun.
Schizandra: Soil for Planting
The soil for schizandra should be slightly acidic with a pH 5.5-6.5. It can grow on poor loamy or sandy soils. But, schizandra fruits better on fertile, drained, and loose soil. In a heavy moist soil, the roots become rotten, and the plant starts contracting diseases. If the soil is poor, it is important to use complex fertilizer and compost. Schizandra roots are located at a depth of only 3-4inches (7.5-10 cm).
Planting of Schizandra
For the planting of schizandra, it is necessary to dig a horizontal profile of 50 cm wide and 60 cm deep. The soil is prepared. Sand is added to heavy soils for better permeability. At the bottom, broken brick and small stones can be layered for drainage. Then, fertile soil is hilled in a cone. Next, the roots come and spread out in different directions. It is desirable to plant several plants. Also, a hedgerow system support is set. Each plant is placed so that the crown is on the ground level. Roots of the schizandra are hilled in layers and carefully compacted.
Pruning is done immediately after planting. The biggest cutting is pruned so that it is left with 3 buds. The remaining cuttings are cut out completely.
Caring for Schizandra
This plant needs regular watering in order for the soil around it to not dry up. But, it should not be wet either. Excess moisture is harmful to the schizandra.
The soil around the schizandra is mulched to prevent the roots from overheating, as well as provide no weeds, but rather soil compaction by watering. It is useful to spray schizandra by irrigation. In nature, schizandra grows near streams and rivers.
When schizandra has grown, it must be tied to the hedgerow. Overgrown shoots, if they exist, are to be removed. In the next year, schizandra will bring the first harvest. With vegetative reproduction, schizandra comes into fruition in its 3rd-4th year.
What Do You Need to Know about Schizandra?
Removal of overgrown shoots and the tying of schizandra are to be done each year, to make schizandra fruit well.
Flower buds are created on the shoots of the previous year.
In the autumn, overgrown shoots can be used for schizandra reproduction.
Monoecious schizandra is not stable in presence of male and female flowers. It depends on the conditions of cultivation.
Male flowers are usually located on the lower layer of the plant. On the top layer, there are female flowers. In the middle of the plant, there are both male and female flowers in a mixed bud.
There are dioecious schizandra plants, which are created during vegetative reproduction. If you propagate schizandra by seeds, they can get dioecious, leading to male and female plants. Also, there can be monoecious schizandra, which has both male and female flowers.
Schizandra is planted in front of several plants, and in a few years it can appear only with male flowers. You can plant dioecious and monoecious schizandra next to each other.