The lonicera - Lonicera japonica


General information

About two hundred species originating from Asia, North America and Europe belong to the genus lonicera. Of which about ten of them are indigenous to Italy. Lonicera is an evergreen plant belonging to the coprifoliaceae family. One of these is the famous common clover. Before the classification carried out by Linnaeus it was called Caprifolium used not infrequently even in modern times.

The Lonicerae genus is quite polymorphic. This results in an extraordinary diversity of species with a consequent variety of characteristics.

The leaves of the lonicera they are mostly deciduous, the branches are formed by leaves arranged in pairs. The leaves are dark green, shiny and waxed. The leaves of the sterile branches, those which do not produce the flower, are petiolate while those of the fertile branches are quite variegated. In fact, the lower leaves are quite narrow in a small petiole, the intermediate leaves tend to be sessile and semi-welded together, finally the terminal ones are paired and joined at the base almost to form a single large leaf.

The other species, on the other hand, are evergreen and bushy. The development of these plants is particularly slow, managing at most to reach ninety centimeters in height.

The flowering period occurs between the end of spring and the beginning of summer, therefore between the month of May and that of June. The flowers of this plant are mostly cream in color.

The corolla is gamopetala and zygomorph gives off a very intense perfume., The tube takes on a bell-shaped shape with a maximum length of four centimeters. The fauce is composed of two lobbra, an upper one divided into four lobes that fold back on themselves at the end of flowering, the lower one is continuous and is folded backwards.

The androecium, on the other hand, is composed of five stamens, one of its peculiar characteristics are the filaments, placed inside the tube of the corolla, are particularly long, exceeding by about ten millimeters the same jaw of the corolla with the filaments of the stamens that they possess in their terminal part of the anthers yellow.

The gynoecium, on the other hand, has a long, hairless style. The ovary is lower and made up of three carpels.

Their bearing is naturally variable, it varies according to the type of plant. In fact, the shrubby lonicera have a semi-prostrate bearing with a tendentially enlarged shape. The climbing ones, on the other hand, have a lianose bearing. Although they have a woody stem they cannot keep themselves on the same.


The watering

There lonicera it is a plant that does not require a very large amount of water. For most of the cases the rain is completely enough for its subsistence, being able to withstand drought periods even quite long. Different speech is represented by newly planted plants that need a greater amount of water during the first summer. In any case, care must be taken not to overdo the watering so as not to cause dangerous stagnation of water to arise.


The exhibition

The lonicera must be planted in a particularly sunny environment even if it can still live, with less luck, in semi-shady places. The heat is very beneficial to its growth and is therefore much preferred. He does not like the cold very much but still does not disdain it, except for temperatures below five degrees below zero. Another very important feature is its resistance to salt and pollution which make this plant extremely suitable for growth in cities and towns along the coast.


Multiplication

The multiplication can be done either by sowing or by cutting. Should you opt for the cutting, it will be necessary to take about a dozen centimeters from the stem in the summer. It will be necessary to place them in the special containers filled with peat and sand in order to root them. In spring it will be necessary to transplant the seedlings into single and smaller containers. Finally, with the arrival of autumn it will be possible to plant them permanently.

If you decide to use the seeds, you will need to bury them in large containers with sowing compost during the autumn period. Once the rooting process is complete they will need to be transferred to individual smaller pots. Planting must take place in the following autumn.


Fertilization

At the end of winter it will be advisable to bury abundant organic fertilizer at the base of the shrub. Alternatively, you can opt for slow-absorbing granular fertilizer. Once sedonda can be carried out towards the end of the summer for. It will be necessary, three times a year, to intervene with a specific fertilizer for acidophilic plants.


La lonicera: Diseases and parasites

The lonicera is particularly prone to some attacks by fungi and parasites.

The most harmful fungal species are powdery mildew, or sore white, and sore lead. It is necessary to act promptly with systemic fungicides so as not to make the disease progress.

Among the parasites we must remember the aphids that destroy leaves and flowers. A specific pesticide must be used against aphids. All interventions must be carried out away from flowering.



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