Exochorda is a perennial plant belonging to the Rosaceae family. The genus includes seven species that are distributed in the natural environment on the territory of Russia, Korea, and Asia. Representatives of the genus are shrubs with high decorative properties.
The flowers are simple, cup-shaped, 3-5 cm in diameter, with pear-shaped wavy white petals. Exochorda blooms when warm weather sets in – from the second half of May. Flowering lasts for 20 – 25 days.
The fruit of the exochord contains a seed surrounded by fibers.
Albert. Shrub up to 4 m high with intensely branching stems. The leaves are large, oval, swamp-green color, up to 7 cm long. Inflorescences consist of 5 – 11 flowers with elongated white petals.
Saw-leaved. Shrub with a dense spherical crown. Its height is 2 – 2.5 m. The leaf plates are broadly oval, serrated along the edge, up to 8 cm long. The inflorescences are racemose, loose. The flowers are white, 7 cm in diameter.
Giralda. Branched spreading bush covered with pink bark. In the upper part of the shoots, elongated inflorescences are formed, consisting of several snow-white flowers with a diameter of 4–6 cm. This type of frost-resistant, successfully tolerates a long drought.
Brushy. Bush with wide spread stems. Reaches 2 m in height. Leaf plates are ovate, with small teeth along the edge, rich green. Racemose inflorescences, include up to 6 snow-white flowers with a diameter of 3-5 cm. The plant has an average resistance to frost.
Korolkova. A shrub with erect stems 3–4 m high. The leaves are elliptical with teeth along the edge, 8 cm long. The inflorescences develop on the tops of the stems. Consist of several white buds. This species is one of the most unpretentious plants in terms of growing conditions.
Large-flowered. Fast growing variety. It is a spreading shrub with many branches. The flowers are broadly bell-shaped, 10 cm in diameter. Flowering lasts for 2 weeks.
Large-flowered. Bush with a wide crown, which is formed by a large number of strong branches. Leaf plates are oval, elongated, with teeth along the edge, bright green. The inflorescences are racemose, 13–16 cm long. They include several snow-white flowers with a diameter of 10–12 cm. Flowering lasts for 3 weeks.
In ornamental gardening, many varieties of exochords are in demand. Each of them is designed for growing in different climatic conditions. In almost all varieties, the buds have a boiled white color.
The most popular varieties of exochord shrubs with photos and descriptions:
«Niagara» – a dense compact bush 100 cm high. It has loose racemose inflorescences. Withstands frosts down to -27 degrees.
“The Bride” – grows up to 2 m. It is a bush with a dense crown, which consists of drooping shoots. Blooms for 3 weeks, starting in the second half of May. The variety is unpretentious to growing conditions. Suitable for breeding in central Russia.
“Blushing Pearl” – a bush 1.5 – 2 m high. The crown consists of straight reddish shoots. It starts blooming in April. For 20 days, the variety is completely covered with white flowers. Re-flowering is observed in the summer months.
This culture is propagated using seeds, cuttings and layering. The first method is very laborious. In addition, flowering of the exochord after planting seeds, even with the most careful care, can be expected only after 5-7 years.
In autumn, the seed is placed in containers with a nutritious loose substrate. Sprinkle with sawdust on top, then store in a cool place.
With the onset of spring, the crops are transferred to a bright place with a temperature of 20 – 25 degrees, they are grown until the onset of warm days. The grown seedlings are planted on the site after the soil warms up well. To do this, choose a sunny day.
If there is this plant on the site, in the spring after the snow melts, the branches are bent to the ground and placed in pre-prepared planting pits. Shoots are tightly fixed to the ground. After they take root, spud. In autumn, layering with regrown roots is separated from an adult bush and transplanted to a place chosen for it in the garden.
At the end of flowering, cuttings 10–14 cm long are cut from lignified shoots. An oblique cut is made under the kidney. The cuttings are placed in a pot with a soil mixture of humus, peat and sand.
Top cover with a film until rooting. After the formation of roots, the shelter is removed. The stalk is kept in a warm place for a year, then the grown plant is planted on the site.
Planting seedlings in open ground
Choose a suitable site for planting seedlings. Highlands are suitable for this culture, since under natural conditions the exochord prefers to grow in the mountains.
As for the substrate, it should be light, well permeable to oxygen, have a neutral acidity.
Slightly acidic soils are also suitable. This plant can equally successfully grow in the sun or in partial shade. The place should be closed from winds and drafts.
For seedlings, pits are dug 50 cm deep. A layer of drainage is laid at the bottom. A seedling is placed in the center of the pit, the voids are covered with earth, and its surface is compacted. After planting, the soil around the plant is watered abundantly and sprinkled with a layer of mulch.
This crop requires minimal maintenance to grow successfully. It is enough to choose a suitable place for the bush to actively grow and form buds. After landing, simple recommendations for breeding the exochord should be followed.
- Watering. This culture is moisture-loving. It is especially important to keep the ground around the bush moist in the first year after planting the seedling. On ordinary days, you need to carry out water procedures every 2 to 3 days. In extreme heat – every other day. The shrub should be watered in the evening. Exochorda reacts negatively to chlorinated water, so it is best to use settled water for irrigation.
- Topdressing. Esochord responds positively to mineral fertilizers and organic matter. You need to feed the plant during flowering and at its end. Enough to feed once a month. More frequent fertilization is not required for this crop and may cause a vigorous growth of green mass, which will damage flowering.
- Pruning. The crown of the exochord needs formative and sanitary pruning. This work is carried out after the bush has faded. Cut off broken and thickening crown branches. Too long shoots are shortened. Formative pruning is to shorten the branches by 1/3. This procedure not only helps to maintain a neat appearance of the crown of the shrub, but also promotes the growth of new healthy branches. Pruning branches for the winter season allows the plant to save strength and successfully endure low temperatures.
- Wintering. The winter hardiness of the exochord depends on the characteristics of the variety. Frost-resistant specimens withstand low temperatures in the range of -25 … -30 degrees. It is enough with the onset of cold weather to sprinkle them with a layer of mulch in the form of peat or sawdust. Young plants should be covered for the winter, as their root system is quite vulnerable.
- Possible problems. The exochord is never affected by harmful insects, but may suffer due to improper care. With a lack of moisture, the leaves lose their elasticity, flowering becomes scarce. If the plant is planted in full shade, the shoots will stretch, weaken, fail to form buds, or flowering will be very poor.
The shrub, densely covered with snow-white buds, is popular in ornamental gardening. It is used not only in tapeworms, but also in group plantings. This culture is used to create high hedges, planted to fill voids in the garden.
In group compositions, the exochord is successfully combined with shrubs: azalea, action, lilac, and Japanese chaenomeles. It looks very beautiful with daffodils, periwinkle, spirea, blueberry. Low-growing varieties are used to decorate borders, create rock gardens and rockeries.
One of the most famous varieties – “The Bride” is used in the garden as a ground cover. It is planted on the slopes, or given a vertical look, tied to the trellis: