Spring blooms:the Prunus
The prunus belong to a very large family, more than four hundred species, which originated in most of the temperate zones of the globe, especially in Europe and Asia; most of them bloom at the first spring warmth, and we can admire them in the gardens and wooded areas. Most of the cultivated bushes belong to the species that give fruit, namely apricots, cherries, almonds, plums and peaches; among the many species there are also some, botanical and hybrid, cultivated simply for their flowers, which often do not produce fruit, or only small, bitter plums.
They are not plants that remain decorative throughout the year, most of them lose their foliage, but they are appreciated above all for the abundant and early flowering, and completely covers the flower plant, even before the leaves appear.
The most cultivated flowering species are certainly P. serrulata or P. cerasifera: the flowering is abundant and early, the flowers remain on the plant for a good period of time. Obviously over time the nurserymen have produced various hybrids, with double flowers, of bright color, and also some species with reddish foliage, which helps to make the plant decorative even during the summer.
In fact, the beauty of the plum is expressed above all in spring: during the rest of the year these are fairly elegant, but not particularly decorative, plants.
Generally the prunus ssp. they are grown as small trees, they can also develop as large shrubs, with an average height of 3-4 meters, some species reach higher dimensions.
Grow the prunus
The success of prunus in gardens and street trees is due to their ease of cultivation; they develop without problems even in a stony and poorly fertile soil, even if they prefer soft and very well drained substrates.
They settle in a sunny place, also exposed to the elements, since they are completely rustic plants.
There are not many cultivation treatments, especially with regard to adult plants, in fact they are often used in large parks or in flowerbeds along the roads.
A little care should instead be given to young plants that have recently settled down: in the weeks following the plant it is necessary to check that the plant rooted at its best, avoiding to leave it completely dry for a long period of time, especially if we are in a very hot period of the year; in autumn and spring we will mix the soil at the base of the mature manure plant, to increase the quantity of mineral salts available to our specimen.
In the span of 2-3 years in general these plants tend to need no further treatment, being content with the rain water; It is always good to continue with the fertilizations, in order to favor a splendid and abundant flowering.
Pruno - Prunus ssp .: Parasites and diseases
The flower prunus are attacked by the same parasites that attack the fruit plants, among which the aphids certainly stand out; many species of plum fortunately bloom between the end of winter and the beginning of spring, when the temperatures are not yet sufficiently high for aphids to proliferate, therefore these annoying insects will hardly ruin the buds; more easily we will find them on the young shoots that follow the flowering.
The plants of this variety also fear water stagnation, which easily favors the onset of root rot; they also fear the gummy, which afflicts the plants that are pruned every year and drastically, for this reason it is advisable to avoid pruning the largest branches.
To promote flowering we also avoid pruning our plum trees before they develop buds: we postpone the spring pruning for a few weeks and, if necessary, let's potion them when the flowers are all withered.