Christmas tree, this is the name of this plant in New Zealand. In December, on the eve of Christmas, it was covered with an exotic form of bright inflorescences. Thickets of trees literally glow red and red.
Metrosideros belongs to the numerous Myrtov family, combining various forms of plants: trees, shrubs and creepers.
As often happens, a plant has several names:
- Iron tree, which means the word "metrosideros" in translation. So he was called for the strength of wood.
- In numerous legends of a major, this tree appears under the name Pohutukawa.
- For the beginning of flowering on the eve of Christmas, English-speaking peoples named it the New Zealand Christmas tree. It is an integral part of the festivities.
- "Spray of the sea" - such a name the plant received an unusual form of inflorescence.
The native element of Metrosideros is the Pacific coast and its islands.
Among Metrosideros, there are terrestrial forms with lignified shoots of different lengths and quantities, and epiphytes.
The shoots of the plant are densely covered with foliage: oval, stiff, with a glossy sheen.
Metrosideros flowers are unusual - without petals, they consist of many long stamens, the threads of which are painted in bright pink, yellow, white and red tones.
The flowers are collected in umbrella-shaped, paniculate or spike-shaped inflorescences, concentrated either on the tops of the shoots or in the axils of the leaves.
During flowering, Metrosiderosa is an incredibly beautiful sight.
The genus Metrosideros has about fifty species, many subspecies and varieties formed by natural crosses.
It differs from its brothers:
- high (15 m) lush crown:
- rounded leaf shape;
- inflorescences of bright red hues;
- year-round flowering.
Indoor forms of this species have variegated foliage.
Metrosideros felt or high
Felt metrosideros is characterized by large (up to 8 cm) foliage, with a slight silvery pubescence on the underside. It begins to bloom in December.
The species has hybrids characterized by the color of inflorescences and leaves.
Shrub or tree with a large number of shoots and yellow, orange or red inflorescences. His hybrid is grown on the premises - Metrosideros Thomas.
Metrosideros powerful or Robusta
It is characterized by wide and short leaves. Young leaflets have a brown drooping, disappearing as they grow.
Metrosideros carmine (Crimson Rata)
At home, a hybrid form of this species, called the Carousel, is common. It is distinguished by its miniature size and the beginning of flowering, falling at the end of winter, the beginning of spring. Carousel inflorescences have red hues.
Metrosideros cannot be called capricious or very demanding care plants. However, in order for the plant to show all its decorativeness, it is necessary to adhere to certain recommendations.
Lighting and placement
Metrosideros - a fan of sunlightand he needs them several hours a day. Otherwise, the plant will refuse to bloom.
Given this feature, Metrosideros are located in bright rooms, on southern windows without shading.
In summer, a comfortable temperature range is from 20 to 24 ° C. In winter, the plant prefers coolness - 8-12 ° C. At temperatures below, drops buds. In the case of a "warm wintering" (above 12-15 ° C) will refuse to bloom.
A prerequisite for maintenance is the ventilation of the room. This is especially true in winter. In summer, Metrosideros is best taken outdoors.
Features of watering
In summer, Metrosiderosa is watered once a week.focusing on the state of the soil. In between watering, he must have time to dry.
Winter watering is carried out 2 times less often.
Metrosideros does not suffer from dry indoor air, but with prolonged maintenance in conditions of overdried air can discard leaves.
In the summer heat, spraying, which is carried out every other day, is desirable. The exception is species having pubescent leaves.
Transplant and its frequency
The frequency of transplantation depends on the age of the plant:
- young specimens transplant every spring;
- adult medium-sized metrosideros - 1 time in 2-3 years;
- in the case of large forms, it is enough to limit ourselves to the annual change of the upper soil layer.
Recommended substrate composition
For planting Metrosiderosos suitable purchased soil recommended for flowering plants. When the substrate is prepared on its own, coarse sand or perlite, turf and leaf soil, peat or humus, taken in equal amounts, are mixed.
Mandatory use of drainage.
Metrosideros needs to be fed and gratefully responds to the introduction of mineral additives with a frequency of 2 times a month.
Important! In case of "overfeeding" the plant can lose its leaves.
Trimming and its regularity
When grown indoors I adjust the height of the crown Metrosiderost annual pruning carried out at the end of winter and after flowering. Trimmed plants are placed in a bright place. This will prevent the stretching of the shoots: the crown will be more dense and compact.
Metrosiderosa can be propagated vegetatively, using stem cuttings, cutting off the tops of the side shoots. Their length should be at least 8 cm. Cuttings are freed from the lower leaves and processing sections with Kornevin.
Rooting is carried out in a mixture of peat and sand, creating greenhouse conditions. After rooting, the plants are transplanted into separate containers. The first flowering will come in the third year.
Seed breeding difficult because even fresh Metrosideros seeds have low (about 20%) germination.
Pests and diseases
Metrosideros is considered a very hardy plant: it is rarely sick and resistant to pest attacks. However, if the basic conditions of care are not observed, it is possible:
- rotting of the roots, as a result of waterlogging of the soil. If this happens, sick roots are cut off. The entire root system is treated with fungicide and completely change the soil.
- The defeat of aphids, thrips, scale insects, mealybug and spider mites. Insects are removed with a soapy sponge. The plants are treated twice with an interval of a week with insecticides.
Domestic lovers of indoor flowers are still looking at this overseas miracle. Its unpretentiousness and exotic decorativeness will suggest that very soon he will become one of their favorites.