The plant comes from China, where many different varieties were bred. The plant was brought to Europe by the German scientist Koch.
Summer cypress is a slender herbaceous shrub 100-120 cm high. The stems are lignified, straight, with flexible thin shoots. With its narrow, oblong, slightly curved leaves, the plant resembles the needles of coniferous plants, but in fact the leaves are very tender and soft to the touch, covered with edging. The crown of the plant is formed in early June and persists until frost.
The flowers are small, collected in spicate or paniculate inflorescences. The flowering period begins in July and lasts until September. The flowers are replaced by fruits in the form of a nut with seeds. Ripened seeds must be collected so that there is no self-seeding. Seeds remain viable for a year if properly stored.
The plant is not afraid of a haircut and in a short time regains its fluffiness. The pyramidal shape makes the kochia look like a cypress.
The originality of the plant lies in the fact that as it grows in the autumn period, the plant changes its color. Initially, the leaves are emerald green, and after a few months the plant changes its color:
- on pink;
- Sowing seeds for seedlings
- Transplantation in open ground
- Cochia care in the open field
- Sowing seeds in open ground
- The main types of cochia
- Kochia paniculata
- Kochia perennial
- Kochia woollyflower
- Kochia densely flowered
- Kochia hairy
- Kohia Childs
- Kochia in landscape design
- Mistakes when growing cochia
Sowing seeds for seedlings
Sowing seeds for seedlings is carried out in the last days of March. For growing seedlings, rectangular containers 12 cm deep, 20×40 in size, or square 25×25 are used.
Before use, the containers must be washed well with a solution of hot laundry soap and treated with a 1% solution of potassium permanganate for disinfection.
The soil must be prepared by mixing peat with fine river sand and adding perlite and humus. Before planting, the prepared soil mixture is kept for 20 minutes in a microwave oven to kill pathogenic microbes and insect larvae.
The finished soil mixture is poured into a container, compacted with a plank, and the seeds are laid out on the surface. They are covered with a thin layer of calcined sand and moistened with a spray gun. From above, the container with seeds is covered with lutrasil and placed in a well-lit place. The temperature in the room should be 18-21 degrees. Every day, the covering material is removed to ventilate the seedlings and moisten the soil. Water for irrigation is defended for 24 hours. Watering is carried out using a spray gun.
The first shoots will appear in one to one and a half weeks. When shoots appear, the shelter is removed.
During the growth period, seedlings must be cared for the following:
- Watering should be regular and moderate. When watering, make sure that moisture does not get on the leaves. Excessive moisture can lead to blackleg plant disease. Remaining moisture is removed from the pan 30 minutes after watering.
- After each watering, loosening is carried out.
- Top dressing is applied once. For these purposes, nitrogen-containing fertilizers are used.
- When the plant reaches a height of 15-20 cm, it is transplanted to a permanent place of growth. Transplantation is carried out in May, when the threat of frost has passed.
Transplantation in open ground
When transplanting seedlings to a permanent place of growth, it must be borne in mind that the plant is photophilous, so the planting site should be well lit from all sides and be protected from drafts.
The soil should be nutritious, loose, well pass moisture and air. When preparing a flower bed for planting seedlings in the soil, it is recommended to add:
- coarse river sand;
- ash to normalize the level of acidity.
Before planting seedlings, the soil is watered with a hot solution of strong potassium permanganate for disinfection. Holes are made at a distance of at least 30 cm, so that growing, the bushes do not interfere with each other and the soil between them is well ventilated. This will protect the plants from the occurrence of fungal diseases
Cochia care in the open field
In order for a plant to grow healthy and strong, it needs to create comfortable conditions for growth. One of the most important aspects of care is proper watering. In the presence of rainy weather, the kochia is not watered at all. If the weather is dry, watering should be done no more than once a week. To retain moisture in the soil, plants are mulched with bark or fine gravel.
To restore the green mass after pruning and for rapid growth, the plant needs regular top dressing:
- The first top dressing is carried out 14 days after the appearance of sprouts. For these purposes, complex mineral supplements are used.
- Subsequent top dressings are made every month. For these purposes, use rotted manure, ash, or mineral fertilizers.
- After cutting, it is necessary to fertilize with fertilizers, which include nitrogen for the rapid restoration of the bush.
Sowing seeds in open ground
Sowing on open beds can be done both in spring and before winter. Spring sowing is carried out in the second decade of May. If sowing is carried out earlier than the specified period, then in this case the bed with seeds is covered with covering material.
The soil is prepared in advance. The selected area is dug up, leveled and a mixture of peat and river sand is distributed on the surface. This nutrient mixture promotes better seed germination.
For better germination, seeds are recommended to be soaked for 48 hours in the Epin growth stimulator. After soaking, they are laid out on the surface of the soil mixture and lightly pressed down with the palm of your hand. The first sprouts appear after 7-10 days. Two weeks later, thinning is performed, removing the weakest seedlings.
When sown in autumn, the seeds are mixed with peat and sand, and the sowing is done in a slightly frozen ground. In the spring, after the snow melts, the seeds give good germination. Slightly grown bushes are transplanted to a permanent place of growth. When transplanting between bushes, an interval of about 35 cm is left. With a denser planting, the likelihood of developing fungal diseases is high. In addition, plants will develop poorly.
The main types of cochia
Low semi-shrub of spherical shape, resistant to slight frosts. In autumn, the plant acquires a burgundy-red color, retaining its decorative effect until late autumn.
Semi-shrub 15-50 cm high with branches strongly branching at the base, spread along the ground.
The most famous variety of this species is the creeping kochia. Shoots creep along the ground, rising at the ends. The length of the stems reaches 75 cm. At the base, cover the stem with a thick edge, the end of the stem is bare. The leaves are filiform, the flowers are collected in inflorescences in the form of an ear.
Semi-shrub up to 80 cm high, light green or reddish stalks, covered with curly villi.
Kochia densely flowered
An annual shrub up to 130 cm high. The shoots are horizontal and directed upwards. Flowers at the base are framed with pancake white villi.
A bush of an elongated oval shape, 1 meter high, 55-70 cm wide. The leaves are narrow, in spring they have a light green color. In autumn, the plant turns burgundy. Small flowers are collected in green balls.
A bush in the form of a ball, 45-50 cm high. The shoots are strongly branched, with dense foliage. The leaves are narrow, pointed to the edge of a light green color. In autumn, the color of the bush does not change. Based on this species, varieties were bred:
Fast growing shrub up to 1m high. Ideal for curly haircuts.
The bush is rounded, from 75 to 100 cm high. In summer, the leaves are painted in emerald color. In autumn, the color changes to burgundy. Ideal for a sculpted haircut.
Kochia in landscape design
Kohiya won the love of landscape designers due to the fact that after shearing, the plants retain their shape for a long time and tolerate the haircut well. Using a pruner, plants are shaped:
- matryoshka dolls;
Plants planted in a group create a semblance of a vase, in the center of which bright flowers are planted. With the help of undersized bushes planted along the path, you can make a green border.
Tall bushes are used for decoration:
It goes well in a flower bed with the following crops:
- marigolds ;
- roses ;
- near fountains;
- among the big stones;
- in rockeries;
- rock gardens.
Mistakes when growing cochia
When growing summer cypress, gardeners face the following problems:
- The seeds did not germinate . The cause of this problem is most often the expired expiration date. Cochia seeds remain viable for 1 year. If the seeds are not sown the next year after harvest, they can be safely thrown away. When purchasing seeds in specialized stores, you must pay attention to the packaging date.
- Poor seed germination . Seeds may not germinate well if growing conditions are not met. It should be borne in mind that seeds need good lighting for germination. If there is not enough light, it is necessary to organize additional lighting.
- Not friendly shoots . The cause of this problem may be excessive penetration of seeds into the soil. Seeds are sown on the surface and sprinkled with a thin layer of calcined sand mixed with peat.
- Rare shoots . When sowing seeds in containers or beds, the surface must be covered with a breathable material, such as lutrasil. Do not cover containers or beds with polyethylene, as seeds can suffocate under it.
- Shoots are not uniform . The reason for this problem may be the lack of compliance with the temperature regime. The temperature in the room before germination should be + 18-20 degrees. When shoots appear, the temperature is lowered to +15 degrees and maintained until the picking of seedlings.
Growing kochia is not particularly difficult. If you follow the recommendations for growing and caring, you can easily decorate your backyard with this fluffy beauty, which does not lose its decorative effect until late autumn.