Leptospermum (Leptospermum) is an evergreen plant belonging to the Myrtle family. The genus consists of 50 species and originates from Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand.
Leptospermum is a beautiful evergreen shrub or small tree growing up to 1-8 meters, individual species can reach 15-20 m. The leaves of the plant are small, whole, elongated, they are arranged spirally on the branches. Symmetrical flowers of white, red or pink color are located one or more pieces in the axils of the leaves or on the tops of the shoots. The diameter of the flower is usually 1-1.5 cm.
The second name of the leptosperm is the small-seeded plant received due to light seeds. All parts contain essential oil, which in its characteristics is close to tea tree oil.
Types and varieties of leptosperm
Leptospermum - A compact bush with white flowers and small leaves.
Leptospermum Creeping - A small bush with white flowers, reddish shoots and dark leaves.
Leptospermum Yellowing - a tree or evergreen shrub about 2 m high with light yellow branches and narrow leaves from 0.6 to 1.5 cm in size. In June-August it blooms with cream-white flowers up to 1.5 cm in size, located in the axils of the leaves.
Leptospermum paniculata, known as manuka - a branched shrub up to 3 m high with brown pubescent shoots. The leaves are narrow, about a centimeter long, with a sharp tip. Single flowers are located on the tops of shoots and can have white, red and pink color petals and a dark spot at their base.
As a houseplant, Leptospermum Paniculata, which is considered one of the most beautiful tubal plants, is most often grown. The most popular varieties:
- "RodeGlory" - a bush with reddish flowers and brown leaves;
- "AlbumFlorePleno" - white terry flowers, leaves - dark green;
- "Decumbens" - a variety with light pink flowers;
- “RubyGlow” - a variety with red flowers;
- NanumGaietyGirt is a small bush with pink flowers.
Temperature and lighting - in summer the usual room temperature. Since the beginning of November, the optimum temperature is 3-8 degrees, a maximum of 12.
Lighting is as bright as possible, slight shading is only required during flowering. In winter, the plant is vitally important to lighten up well.
Humidity and watering - uniform moderate. From above, the soil between the irrigations should slightly dry. The higher the temperature, the more often you need to moisten the soil. In winter, they are watered with extreme caution. Even a single drying of an earthen coma can be fatal. Overfilling and stagnation of water at the roots is unacceptable.
Humidity does not really matter.
Fertilizer and top dressing - during the growing season only with acidic mineral fertilizers for rhododendrons or bonsai every 2-3 weeks. During the cold wintering period they do not feed.
Soil and transplant - Leptospermum needs acidic soil for rhododendrons and good drainage. Every year after flowering, the plant is transplanted into a larger pot in fresh soil, trying not to damage the earthen lump.
Make sure that the flower is planted to the same depth as before. In-depth planting can cause plant death.
Flowering and pruning - Leptospermum usually blooms in summer. Young plants bloom for 5-7 years. To speed up the first flowering by 2-3 years, it is necessary to do formative pruning from the first year of life.
Formative pruning is carried out in the summer immediately after flowering, pinch the shoots in spring. But if you want it to bloom, stop pruning in the fall.
Reproduction of leptosperm
Seeds are sown in March in a sand-peat mixture, covered with glass and germinated in a slightly shaded place at high humidity and a temperature of at least 21 degrees.
Shrub can be propagated by cuttings: green - in May, semi-lignified - in August. They are cut from the tops of shoots 5-8 cm long, treated with heteroauxin, the lower leaves are removed and planted in a sand-peat mixture. Rooting takes place under the film at a temperature of 18-20 degrees.
Pests and diseases
- Due to the presence of essential oils, pests prefer to bypass the leptosperm.
- With stagnation of water and overflows, the root system can rot.
- In calcareous soil, chlorosis is possible.