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Planting and caring for a catalpa in the Moscow region has a number of characteristic features. Only frost-resistant species are suitable for growing in the region, but they are in no way inferior to the thermophilic varieties of this plant.
Features of growing catalpa in the Moscow region
Catalpa is a thermophilic plant that grows in the form of a tree or shrub with large (up to 25 cm) heart-shaped smooth bright green leaves. North America is considered her homeland. Trees growing in natural conditions often reach a height of 10 to 12 m. In inflorescences there can be up to 50 small creamy white flowers with an apple scent. Fruits are pod-shaped capsules reaching lengths of up to 55 cm, in some regions they can remain on the shoots throughout the winter period.
Despite the fact that catalpa prefers a warm climate, it can be grown in the conditions of the Moscow region. First of all, before planting, you need to decide on the type and variety of the plant. For cultivation in the Moscow region, exclusively winter-hardy species are recommended, such as:
Winter-hardy species of catalpa, when planted in the Moscow region, bloom at the end of June. They do not respond well to hot and dry weather, so in the summer it is extremely important to provide the tree with proper care, which consists of regular abundant watering.
Usually, the height of the catalpa grown in the Moscow region, regardless of the type, does not exceed 4 m. Due to its short stature, the tree is rarely used in individual plantings. Most often, landscape compositions are formed from catalpa, including deciduous magnolias and oaks.
Planting and caring for catalpa in the Moscow region
If you provide the catalpa growing in the Moscow region with proper care, its decorativeness will not be inferior to the decorativeness of trees growing in natural conditions. The first step is to purchase high-quality planting material and decide on a place for planting a plant. Follow-up care includes regular watering, feeding, pruning, and annual preventive treatments with fungicides and insecticides.
Preparation of planting material
Planting material is best purchased from specialized nurseries or large gardening stores. When choosing seedlings, first of all, one should build on their winter hardiness, which depends on the growing conditions of the cuttings. The best option would be seedlings grown in the Moscow region, since they are more adapted to the climatic conditions of the region.
Advice! The optimum age of the seedlings is 1 - 2 years, the height is about 1 m. The seedlings with an open root system, when planted with an earthen lump, take root better.
Landing site preparation
In order for the catalpa to feel comfortable in the conditions of the Moscow region, planting of seedlings should be done on the southern side of the site. The planting site should be well lit and protected from the wind, it is desirable to place the plant away from tall buildings and dense coniferous compositions.
The soil for planting catalpa in the suburbs should be especially nutritious. A potting soil containing:
- humus (3 parts);
- river sand (2 parts);
- sheet soil (2 parts);
- peat (part 1).
Among other things, the soil for planting must be fertilized with ash (7 kg) and phosphate rock (50 g). It is important that the acidity of the soil does not exceed 7.5 pH.
Attention! When choosing a place for planting catalpa, it should be borne in mind that the distance between the seedling and other plants should be at least 4-5 meters.
Planting seedlings in open ground in the Moscow region is best done in the spring, before the start of sap flow, or in the fall, after the end of the leaf fall.
- Dig a planting hole with a diameter of about 70 cm and a depth of about 100 cm.
- Lay a 15 cm thick drainage layer on the bottom of the pit, consisting of crushed stone or broken brick.
- Pour about 2/3 of the nutrient mixture into the planting hole. The hole should be filled almost to the top.
- Carefully place the seedling in the pit, cover with the rest of the soil mixture.
- Compact the soil and water.
- Mulch the soil around the trunk with peat.
Watering and feeding
One of the most important components of tree care is watering, it should be regular. Catalpa grown in the Moscow region must be watered once a week. During a drought, the frequency of watering should be increased to twice a week, if necessary, the plant can be watered more often. If the summer is cool and rainy, then watering is reduced to 2 - 3 times a month. At the same time, about 20 liters of water are consumed per adult tree.
After watering, as well as after the end of the rains, the soil in the near-stem circle must be loosened, simultaneously removing all the weeds that take away the strength of the plant.
Another important component of catalpa care is systematic feeding, which is usually carried out in the Moscow region twice a season. During spring, the tree is fed with nitroammophos. In autumn, catalpa needs nitrogen more than ever, therefore, during this period, fertilizing with potash and phosphorus fertilizers is carried out.
A complete catalpa care also includes sanitary pruning. In the Moscow region, spring is considered the ideal time for pruning. It is important that the buds have not yet begun to swell on the shoots. During sanitary pruning, all injured, dry and frozen shoots are removed.
The formation of the crown is not an obligatory element of care and is carried out at will. As a rule, for this, a stem with a height of 120 - 200 cm is created, over which a spreading low crown, consisting of 5 skeletal shoots, will subsequently form.
Protection against diseases and pests
Catalpa is highly immune to various diseases and pests. However, if the tree has weakened due to improper care, it can still get sick.
In the Moscow region, catalpa is most often attacked by Spanish flies, the best method of getting rid of which is a double treatment with insecticides such as Decis Profi or Fastak.
A great danger to catalpa in the Moscow region is posed by such pests as hornetails, which in appearance resemble hornets. Their larvae, emerging from eggs laid by females in the wood, gnaw passages inside it. As a result, despite all the care it takes, the tree withers and weakens every day. Catalpa, struck by horn-tails, cannot be saved.
Advice! To protect the catalpa from stinktail, after planting, it is recommended to carry out preventive treatment with insecticides annually. Such a procedure will not harm the plant, but it will definitely not be superfluous in care.
Catalpa growing in the Moscow region can be struck by a dangerous fungal disease - wilt, which is caused by mechanical damage to the root system and improper care, in particular, non-compliance with watering norms. Wilt is manifested by yellowing and falling leaves. The disease is curable only at an early stage. Treatment with "Fundazol" and watering with "Maxim" can help a sick plant. For preventive purposes, annual fungicide treatments can be included in care.
Preparing for winter
Young catalpa plantings under the age of 2-3 years are especially afraid of cold weather, therefore, during the winter in the climatic conditions of the Moscow region, they need to be provided with proper care. To do this, the trunk is wrapped in burlap, and the trunk circle is mulched with dry foliage. Then the plantings are additionally covered with spruce branches. When spring comes and the thaw begins, the shelter can be removed.
With proper care, the tree actively grows, develops and becomes more and more frost-resistant over the years. Adult catalps of some species perfectly endure winter in the Moscow region without shelter: these include Catalpa bignoniform Nana, Catalpa beautiful and Catalpa magnificent.
Reproduction of catalpa in the suburbs
Catalpa is most often propagated using seeds and cuttings. In the Moscow region, planting seeds for seedlings begins in late February or early March. Seed propagation is easy enough as the seeds do not need to be stratified before planting. The only thing that is necessary before sowing is to soak them in water for 8 - 12 hours. Planting seedlings in open ground is carried out at the end of spring, after the threat of recurrent frosts has passed.
Reproduction of catalpa by cuttings should be done in the second half of summer. The planting material is taken from adult plants, its length should be about 8 cm. In addition, it is important that several healthy buds are present on the surface of the cuttings. The rules for caring for cuttings are no different from the rules for caring for seedlings. Cuttings in the Moscow region are planted in open ground, as a rule, in May.
Planting and caring for a catalpa in the Moscow region is a rather laborious process, but the result is definitely worth the effort. This plant will serve as a bright accent in the landscape design of the site. Among other things, the tree is highly resistant to air pollution, so it can be grown even within the city.
Reviews about catalpa in the Moscow region
Anna Leonidovna Artemova, 55 years old, Kolomna
I have been growing bignonium catalpa on my site for 15 years. I can say with confidence that in the conditions of the Moscow region the plant feels great, the main thing is to provide it with good care and cover the seedlings for the first 2 - 3 years after planting. By the way, to make the crown more lush, the upper kidney can be cut off, and the side ones can be pinched.
Marina Litvinenko, 43 years old, Sergiev Posad
Catalpa has been growing on our site in the Moscow region for the sixth year. My husband gave me a two-year-old sapling from the nursery. At first I did not know anything about caring for this plant, and therefore in the first years I did not even cover it for the winter: it is good that it survived it. This year I want to try propagating the tree with my seeds.