How to grow nut macadamia at home
Exotic macadamia fruits are included in the list of the most expensive foods in the world. Australian nuts have a sweet taste with vanilla aroma and a rich biochemical composition - they contain fatty acids and other beneficial elements. But this tree is attractive not only for its fruits: it is beautiful during flowering, and its leaves secrete phytoncides that activate immunity.
The exotic tree grows in countries with tropical climates. However, it is possible to grow nut macadamia in our country as a houseplant. The main thing is to provide her with suitable conditions and regular proper care. How to do it - read on.
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Is it possible to grow macadamia at home
In nature, the height of a tree reaches 15 m, and at home - no more than 2-3 m. This is due to the fact that the growth of a plant depends on the volume of the container in which it is located and the method of formation. If necessary, it is made even lower.
For the first 8-10 years after planting, the walnut tree will not bloom and bear fruit. It will delight its owner with beautiful elongated dark green leaves, with a glossy waxy coating. The green mass of macadamia releases essential oils, which include phytoncides that increase immunity. It is believed that people who inhale them get sick less.
With proper care, the tree will bloom in 8-10 years. During flowering, it becomes covered with long spike-shaped inflorescences, on which are located a large number of small pink, cream or white flowers.
In place of the inflorescences, round fruits are formed, with a dense leathery green shell and a hard brown skin. Under natural conditions, an adult tree gives up to 100 kg of nuts per year, and at home - 3 kg.
Necessary conditions for growing
Growing a walnut tree at home is easy. The main thing is to create optimal conditions for it:
- Temperature. Macadamia does well at room temperature. Optimum indicators for its cultivation are + 20 ... + 25 ° С. The plant also tolerates higher temperatures, as well as cooling up to + 3 ° C.
- Humidity. The tropics, where the Australian walnut grows, are characterized by high humidity levels. To ensure such conditions in the apartment during the heating season, air humidifiers are used. If there is no such device, containers with water are placed near the pot with the plant, and a damp cloth is laid on the battery. In this case, you should not put the tree close to heating devices.
- Lighting. In natural growing conditions, macadamia receives a lot of sunlight for nine months a year, necessary for flowering and fruiting. To provide the plant with suitable conditions, it is placed on a southern or southwestern windowsill. In spring and autumn phytolamps are used for additional lighting. In winter, lighting fixtures are used if the tree is not removed to a room with lower temperatures.
The Australian walnut is recommended for outdoor use in the garden or balcony in summer. The plant does not tolerate sudden changes in temperature. Before being rearranged in new conditions, it is tempered.To do this, he is taken out into the street, first for an hour, then for two, etc. So, gradually increasing the time, the duration of hardening is brought to a day. They also do the same before bringing the pot back into the house.
Drafts are fatal for macadamias. It is especially dangerous to open the window near which she stands in the cold season. The tree will begin to shed its leaves literally after the first such exposure. In summer, it is recommended to choose areas protected from the wind in the garden.
Advice! To prevent the leaves of the tree from being burnt, it is important to ensure that they do not touch the glass. In order for the plant to develop evenly, the pot with it is periodically turned.
They are engaged in planting at any time, but it is better to plant the nut in February so that it germinates in the spring, when there is enough natural light.
To get healthy shoots, it is important to follow the planting technology. Particular attention is paid to preparation.
Selection and preparation of nuts
Before planting a macadamia, you need to choose a suitable planting material. Nuts that are sold in grocery stores will not work. Before being sent for sale, they are treated with high temperatures so that they do not germinate in transit.
Walnut seeds for planting are sold in specialized stores, ordered on Chinese sites or directly from the manufacturer. Nuts suitable for planting have a regular round shape and a uniform brown color. They should be free of spots, holes and other marks of damage.
Important! The seeds of the Australian walnut have a low germination rate. Some of the seedlings die during cultivation. It is required to plant 3-4 times more seeds than it is necessary to get plants.
Before germination, the seeds need to be prepared. Otherwise, the sprouts will hatch for a long time and will not sprout. The preparation consists of the following steps:
- Nuts in shell soaked for one hour in a light pink solution of potassium permanganate. This is done in order to destroy infections that may be on the shell.
- After that, the nut is soaked right in the shell for a day in warm water with a temperature of 35-40 ° C. It is important that the water does not cool down during the entire soaking process.
- To help the nut germinate, lovers of exotic plants recommend cutting down the hard shell. It is important to handle the core carefully so as not to damage it. It is not necessary to completely remove the shell, it is enough to make one file.
Some gardeners soak the planting material in a growth promoter. It is added to warm water in which the nuts are soaked after disinfection. Use such means as "Epin", "Solution", etc.
Preparation of containers and soil
It depends on the preparation of the soil and capacity whether the seedlings will survive and not become infected with infections.
Usually several nuts are planted in a common container. They use plastic trays, wooden boxes, packaging from semi-finished products.
Containers are disinfected before use. They are soaked for 60 minutes in a dark pink solution of potassium permanganate or treated with boiling water.
To grow macadamia, a slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6-6.5 is needed. There are several options for its preparation:
- Universal purchased primer... It needs to be improved. To do this, 3 parts of universal soil are mixed with 1 part of clay, 1 part of sand, 2 parts of high-moor peat and 1 part of perlite.
- Homemade soil. For its preparation, take 3 parts of garden land, 2 parts of sand, 3 parts of low-lying peat and 2 parts of humus.
- A simple germination mixture. Mix equal parts of perlite and peat.
The soil is disinfected. It is calcined in the oven (half an hour at 70-90 ° C), poured over with a dark pink solution of potassium permanganate or boiling water.
Also, for growing a nut, you need drainage: expanded clay, broken brick, chipped ceramics or special drainage for pots. It is also disinfected.
Advice! Crushed concrete is not suitable for drainage. They negatively affect the composition of the soil.It is also recommended to use white or gray sand, as the ginger contains too much iron.
It is not necessary to germinate the macadam nut in advance. It must be immediately planted in the ground. The list provides step-by-step instructions:
- A 5 cm layer of drainage is poured into the bottom of the pot. The rest of the volume is filled with soil mixture.
- Seeds are planted in a common container to a depth of 2-3 cm.The distance between the nuts should be at least 5 cm.
- The soil is watered with warm water with the addition of a growth stimulant. Then cover with foil and put away in a bright warm place.
The soil is moistened as it dries. The containers are ventilated daily, opening them for 10-15 minutes. It is important to ensure that mold does not form on the soil. If such a problem arises, then the topsoil is removed and replaced with a new one. After that, the crops are watered with a light pink solution of potassium permanganate.
Germinating macadamias is not easy. In most cases, this takes one and a half to two months. Experienced gardeners say that out of 10 nuts, no more than five germinate.
As a rule, several stems grow from one nut. Leave one of the strongest of them. The rest are pinched so that they do not interfere with development.
After germination, the duration of airing is gradually increased. Then the greenhouse is dismantled. So that the seedlings do not stretch out, they must be in a well-lit place.
The seedlings dive into individual containers when six real leaves appear on it... Better to use a ceramic pot, the walls of which absorb moisture and allow air to pass through. This will protect the plant from liquid stagnation.
Seedlings are carefully planted in containers, trying to cause a minimum of damage to the root system. The root collar is not buried during transplantation.
Macadamia is demanding to care for. In uncomfortable conditions, the tree will begin to dry out, hurt and die. It is because of the demand for care that the fruits of the Australian walnut have such a high price.
At home, caring for macadamia is easy. The main thing is to do it regularly.
How to care for macadam nuts:
- Watering. Macadamia is watered as the soil dries. On the one hand, the liquid should not be allowed to stagnate, on the other, the soil should not dry out. In summer, the plant is watered every other day, and in winter - twice a week. Use warm, settled water. The soil is moistened in the morning or evening when the sun is inactive.
- Spraying. The plant is sprayed in the morning or evening every day using warm, settled water.
- Garter. Young macadamias are tied to a support, otherwise the stem may break. Without support, the tree begins to grow a year after the first shoots appear.
- Top dressing. The first top dressing is applied after the first shoots appear (the soil is sprinkled with "Kornevin"). After the formation of the sixth leaflet, a urea solution is introduced into the soil. A half-year-old tree is fed with phosphorus-potassium fertilizers. Further, complex organic or mineral fertilizer is applied every three months.
- Formation. When the central trunk reaches the optimal size, it is pinched. This will stimulate the formation of side branches. Lateral branches are also pinched. Weak shoots are removed. Places of cuts are treated with garden pitch.
- Bloom. When the tree blooms, it begins to pollinate. To do this, the pollen is transferred between the flowers with a soft brush. During flowering, the tree is watered daily. The temperature is reduced to + 15 ° C.
- Cleaning. Once a month, the plant is washed under a shower with water at room temperature.
- Transfer. The plant is transplanted as its roots fill the pot. A transfer method is used, in which the plant is removed from the pot along with a lump of earth and simply rearranged into a new container. In this case, the old drainage is replaced with a new one. The missing volume is filled with a new soil mixture.After transplanting, the tree is watered with a root formation stimulant.
Diseases and pests
Macadamia has low disease and pest resistance. To prevent its infection, at the end of winter, annual preventive treatment is carried out with a solution prepared from 1 tsp. copper sulfate and 3 liters of water.
To protect plant roots from diseases and pests, macadamia is watered twice a year with Fitosporin solution.
Macadamia is best propagated by seed. However, on an industrial scale, a vegetative cultivation method is also used.
In the ground, cuttings of macadam walnut take root poorly. Therefore, they are grafted onto the stock. It is problematic to carry out such a procedure at home, but it is possible to get the first harvest in six years.
Landing in open ground
It is not recommended to plant macadamia in open ground in Russia. In the conditions of the central (Moscow region) strip of the country, the tree will die, unable to withstand the winter frosts.
In southern regions such as the Krasnodar Territory, an adult tree is sometimes planted in open ground. It is moved into a hole equal in size to the volume of the pot, along with a lump of earth. In this case, the root collar is not buried.
Important! Even in the southern regions, in winter, a shelter will have to be built around the tree.
When the first harvest of nuts ripens
Home-grown macadamia does not always bear fruit. However, there is still a chance that the nuts will begin to ripen on the tree. This usually happens 10-12 years after planting. Less often, the fruits appear earlier.
It is interesting:
Growing macadamias from seeds is difficult, but possible. In this case, lovers of exotic plants face a difficult task. After all, it is problematic to get material suitable for planting in our country. The fruit of the Australian walnut has a low germination rate and is expensive.
So that the tree does not die and pleases with bright leaves, beautiful flowering and fruiting, it is important to provide it with optimal conditions for growth. It is especially important to maintain a comfortable temperature and not let the soil dry out.