It is difficult to find a person whom the beauty of tamarixes would leave indifferent. Someone sees allusions to jewelry in these shrubs, someone reminds them of their favorite types of needlework, and still others admire the palette of their colors. But no matter what you personally like in the beaded shrubs, you should not forget about the practical side of the issue. Tamarixes are not plants for everyone, but there is nothing complicated in growing them, and you can save them where the winters are harsh. Beads belong to low-winter species, require shelter for the winter, but are easy to care for. The main thing is careful observation of the plant and the right choice of species.Grebenschik, or Tamarix (Tamarix) Flowers
Tamarix - a beaded shrub with a controversial reputation
One of the most elegant bushes of tamarix is considered to be a representative of a group of flowering species, and in recent years it has become a very fashionable plant. Flowering is the most prominent feature of tamarixes, although the bush retains its attractiveness for a very long time. Tamarixes are often called beaded shrubs or beadsthan their botanical name. And this is not surprising: such an epithet best describes their appearance. Tamariks got their name in their homeland, in the Pyrenees, in honor of the Timbra River, which in ancient times was called Tamariz. These plants belong to the family Tamarix (Tamaricaceae).
Combers, or Tamarix (Tamarix) - representatives of large shrubs, which sometimes turn into multi-stemmed trees with age. The height of the beads in the natural environment, in regions with milder winters, can reach more than 3 m, but in horticultural culture they are most often limited by one and a half meter height and certainly very rarely grow higher in regions with severe winters.
But even with such limited parameters, tamarix is still perceived as a large, massive and broken, spreading plant, and at the same time, it is light, transparent, light. The picturesque beads seem almost rampant - and yet fabulously beautiful. The ability of tamarixes to create light thickets and arrays can only be envied by all its competitors.
The branches of tamarix are very unusual. Rod-shaped, straight and thin, they stand out with beautiful curving lines, almost hidden under a thick mass of leaves. Miniature, scaly, with a unique bluish tint of green and resembling conifers, they give the whole plant filigree and delicacy. Among tamariks there are species and varieties with both bluish and bright, saturated greens.
The flowering of all tamarixes is fascinating. But the greatest decorativeness is characteristic of this shrub at the stage of budding: when all the inflorescences consist only of round buds, it seems as if the twigs are strewn with small beads. Large brushes of inflorescences with thin branches also resemble tufts of rod-shaped "sticks", and these almost geometric lines only emphasize the filigree of buds.
When the flowers bloom, this impression weakens slightly. Small, simple, whitish or various soft shades of pink, flowers turn shrubs into openwork fluffy clouds. From afar, tamarix blooms seem hazy, a bit reminiscent of a similar translucent effect on skumps. But the lines of shoots, their underlined arches are more similar to spirea.
The flowering period of tamarixes covers spring and summer, and many species are able to bloom in waves. Flowering of different types of tamarix replaces each other, plants can be selected for a continuous flowering relay.
These magnificent shrubs have a rather controversial reputation. They are considered to be plants of low winter resistance or requiring very difficult maintenance crops, unsuitable for regions with severe winters. This reputation is primarily due to the fact that tamarixes are found in nature in a much milder climate. But in fact, many types of tamarix can be successfully grown in the middle lane. Most of them need minimal preparation for winter.Shrubber Combs, or Tamarix
These shrubs have more than seven dozen species. In nature, tamarixes are found mainly in regions with a mild climate of Eurasia, from southern Europe to India. For growing in regions with severe winters, mainly 4 types of beads are used:
- The comb is loose, or Tamariks friable (Tamarix laxa) - spring flowering, low and dense shrub. This bead is good for hedges. With a natural height of 5 m, in the garden it is usually limited to 1 m. Spreading arcuate branches are unusually elegant, bring geometric accents to the garden. The leaves are oval, erect. Thick brushes of inflorescences cover the shoots with a uniform fluffy coverlet, gathering in unusual fringe panicles. Flowering of loose tamarix lasts about 2 months and starts on the eve of summer.
- Chetyrehtychinkovy comb, or Tamarix four-stamen (Tamarix tetrandra) is a spring-flowering species that looks great in hedges due to density and low growth. In nature, grows up to 10 m, but in the middle lane it is much more compact. Shoots are arcuate, reddish, with small lanceolate leaves of the brightest emerald color. The loose clusters of inflorescences on the side shoots seem fluffy. The color of the flowers is almost always white or pinkish-white.
- The grabber is graceful, or slim, or Tamarix graceful (Tamarix gracilis) - a tall and powerful shrub that can reach 4 m in nature. Thick, gray-brown shoots with light spots and large lanceolate leaves create a feeling of massive leafy. Young branches show off with different sizes of leaves and differ in color. Inflorescence brushes up to 5-7 cm in length are collected in large panicles, painted with a bright pink color of flowers. In adulthood, the plant blooms from spring to summer. This type of tamarix is considered the most frost-resistant.
- Brancher, or Multi-branched comb, also known as Tamarix branched (Tamarix ramosissima) - a bush with straight and almost straight, very thin, bluish shoots, the maximum height of which, in regions with harsh winters, is limited to 2 m. In regions with a mild climate, it can reach a height of 6-8 m. It seems that this bead is constantly in movement. Leaves are only up to 2 mm long, awl-shaped, bent up. Pink flowering, during which dense branched brushes up to 5 cm long, are collected in half-meter complex panicles and color the crown with delicate accents, lasts all summer and September. This species has a number of decorative varieties, of which the lush pink 'Pink Cascade', the bright purple Rubra and the raspberry Summer Glow are considered the best.
Often you can find the mention of Tamarix pyatidychinkovy (Tamarix pentandra), as a synonym for Tamarix ramiformes (Tamarix ramosissima). However, from the point of view of botany, Tamarix five-stamens is a synonym for another species of the Grebenschik genus, the Chinese Grebenschik or Tamarix chinensis, and its use as a synonym for Tamarix branchy is incorrect.
Choosing the type and variety of tamarix, make sure that the plant is local - it was adapted in local centers or grown by local gardeners. Acclimatization, adaptability to a specific climate in tamarix is much more important than the declared frost resistance.
In the design of the garden, tamarix is used:
- as a single accent;
- in flowering and contrasting groups;
- to create arrays;
- in hedges (low spring-flowering species);
- for edge and undergrowth along the front sunny edge;
- to strengthen slopes and slopes;
- to give volume and as a background for flower beds and mixborders;
- to fill the space and improve the vertical structure of flower beds.
Tamarix branches stand perfectly in the cut. They can decorate both small bouquets and tall floor vases. Cutting at different stages of flowering allows you to get different decorative and texture effects.
The best partners for bead shrubs are large-leaved shrubs and large perennials such as marshmallow, loosestrife, astilbe, echinacea, ferns.Four-stamen comb, or Tamarix four-stamen (Tamarix tetrandra)
Conditions required by tamarix
The undemanding nature of tamariks to soils inherited from wild ancestors by modern cultural forms is their great advantage. This is not only tolerant of dry soil, but also well-developed shrubs in saline soils. Tamarixes can be planted in any, even infertile soil, but beads are still most decorative in sandy sand with a calcareous reaction. In a climate with harsh winters, you cannot plant plants in moist soils.
Tamarixes are not afraid of urban conditions; they even tolerate air in the streets with active traffic.
Much more stringent tamarix requirements for lighting. These are photophilous shrubs, accustomed to the brightest sunny areas. Even slight shading adversely affects plants, and strong shading is fatal. Sunny southern bead sites are most comfortable. Please note that tamarixes do not like high humidity and stagnation, they need well-ventilated, open areas.
The plant tolerates transplant excellently, even in adulthood, which makes it easy to change decorative compositions and plant large enough specimens to achieve the effect of rapid design.Small-flowered comb (Tamarix parviflora)
One of the best features of tamarix is its drought tolerance, due to which the care of the plant is greatly simplified. Only in exceptional, extreme drought, tamariks will not give up watering, and in normal weather, hydration procedures are not necessary. Top dressing for this shrub can be omitted, but early spring top dressing with full mineral fertilizers and organics positively affects the abundance of flowering.
This shrub responds very well to haircuts and trimmings, formation can be carried out on its crown. Regular haircuts allow you to create dense hedges, but tamarixes are also good in multi-row landscape fences without cropping, especially around the perimeter of the site. After wintering, tamariks need to be sanitized, removed dry and damaged shoots and frozen branches.
Different types of tamarixes are also characterized by different resistance to negative temperatures.
Tamarix branched in the middle lane freezes to snow level, to protect it in snowless winters and stabilize conditions, it is better to cover it with mulching and hilling with protection by spruce branches. But even with freezing, it is perfectly restored and already in the current season pleases with its beauty.
Graceful and loose Tamariks does not need shelter, but mulching the trunk circle will benefit the plants.
If you got tamarix with low frost resistance or you are not sure of its wintering ability, it is most reliable to cover the bush for the winter:
- mulch the trunk circle;
- spud the base of the bush;
- tie and bend the shoots;
- cover the plant with non-woven materials and spruce branches.
Tamarix pest and disease control
Beads are one of the most resistant shrubs. They do not suffer even in the vicinity of infected cultures and are ill only in shading.Comber, or Tamarix, growing in a tree
Propagation of beads
Tamarixes are considered easy to breed shrubs. Such a status is not affected even by a rapid loss of germination in seeds that lose their ability to germinate most often in 1-2 months and very rarely are able to ascend a year after collection.
Seed propagation of beads is complicated by the fact that in the middle lane the seeds rarely ripen, and fresh purchased ones are not easy to get. Sowing seeds is carried out in containers and pots, not covering with soil, with preliminary abundant watering of the soil. While maintaining constant humidity in bright light and at room temperatures, seedlings appear quickly. Seedlings are scattered on ridges in open soil and grow up to the second year, when they are transferred to a permanent place.
Tamarix can be propagated vegetatively. Root shoots can be freely separated from the bush, and offspring usually develop quickly and strong plants are obtained from them. You can use the method of cuttings. When cutting green cuttings, shoots take root simply in the water with an almost one hundred percent guarantee. Cuttings can be cut even in late autumn and winter (lignified cuttings about 20 cm long with a branch thickness of about 1 cm); they are also rooted in water or a substrate.