Araucaria - home spruce - care

Araucaria – home spruce – care

The homeland of this plant is Australia, New Zealand and South America. Luxurious coniferous tree is the only coniferous species among indoor plants. Araucaria is easy to grow and attractive for home furnishings.

Araucaria – home spruce

Description of araucaria

The genus Araucaria (Araucaria) of the Araucariaceae family unites 19 species in Australia and on the islands of New Guinea, New Caledonia and Norfolk, and 2 species in America. These are conifers with needle-shaped or linear-lanceolate rigid leaves. Distributed, as already noted, in Australia and South America. The seeds are edible, the wood is used in construction, for the production of furniture.

Several species are bred as decorative on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus.

Araucaria is one of the few evergreen conifers that can be potted at home. Grown as an ornamental deciduous plant. Used in pot culture and in winter gardens in specimen plantings. In indoor conditions, the flowering of araucaria is difficult. It is believed that araucaria, like many conifers, purifies the air.

Araucaria heterophylla, or indoor spruce (Araucaria heterophylla)Araucaria heterophylla, or indoor spruce (Araucaria heterophylla). Farmer laura vuorenpää

Features of growing araucaria

Temperature: At any time of the year for this plant it is necessary to choose a cool place in the room, the desired temperature is + 10 … +12 ° C, the temperature above + 15 … +16 ° C the plant does not tolerate well, the needles begin to turn yellow.

Lighting: Bright diffused light, light partial shade. In summer, it feels better outdoors in the shade.

Watering: The plant needs constant abundant watering and does not at all tolerate the drying out of an earthen coma. It is also not recommended to water with hard water. Therefore, araucaria is watered with well-settled, rain or boiled water.

Fertilizer: To feed araucaria, use the usual complex mineral fertilizer in a half dose, i.e. two times less than for other indoor plants. Top dressing is carried out from April to August in 3 weeks. Organic fertilizers are not used for araucaria.

Air humidity: In warm rooms, the plant should be sprayed 2-3 times a day. The soil in the pot is covered with sphagnum moss, which is regularly moistened.

Transfer: The transplant is carried out at least 1 time in 4-5 years, up to half of the peat-containing substrate with an acid reaction (sold as soil for rhododendrons) can be added to the usual soil mixture for indoor plants. When transplanting, try not to damage the roots.

Araucaria in the interiorAraucaria in the interior. Farmer White Flower Farm

Araucaria care

Araucaria can be difficult to grow in rooms with central heating and dry air. Araucaria grow best in greenhouses. When buying this plant, it must be borne in mind that non-observance of the conditions for keeping araucaria can lead to the death of the plant or to its disease.

The plant loves bright diffused light, however, it is better to shade the araucaria from direct sunlight in summer; can grow in the shade. In summer, it can be exposed to the open air, but should be protected from direct sunlight and precipitation. Adult araucaria plants are installed in bright places of medium and large rooms. It is best to place the araucaria in rooms where light comes from both sides. Otherwise, the araucaria will need to be constantly rotated around its axis – about 90 degrees once a week. This is necessary in order to ensure the symmetrical growth of the plant.

The plant needs fresh air and a cool room. In summer, the temperature can be at room temperature, the optimal one is within 20 ° C. It is desirable that in winter the temperature in the room where the araucaria is located does not rise above + 14 … +15 ° С, and the optimum temperature is about 10 ° С.

Watering araucaria is necessary all year round, using settled water. In winter, more moderate watering is required, especially when kept in a cool room, and in spring-summer it is more active, at this time the overdrying of an earthen coma is especially dangerous, however, in no case should the water stagnate in the pot.

In summer, it is recommended to spray the needles of araucaria from time to time, and in winter it must be done in heated rooms. It is advisable to spray araucaria twice a day with settled water at room temperature.

During the growing season (in the spring-summer period), araucaria must be fed every 2 weeks with fertilizers with a low calcium content (the plant reacts poorly to it), and the fertilizer solution is made weak. You can feed the mullein infusion once a month.

Transplanted in March-April and summer. Plants are transplanted as needed, when the entire earthen ball is braided by roots. Only overgrown specimens are transplanted, since the araucaria does not tolerate transplanting well. Large araucaria will need a transplant every 3-4 years. The pots must be wide, with a good drainage layer; growing araucaria in small pots inhibits the growth of the plant.

The soil for araucaria is necessary with a slightly acidic reaction. They make up a substrate of sod, leaf, peat land and sand (1: 2: 2: 1), or clay-sod-leaf land and sand (2: 1: 0,5). A mixture of equal parts of deciduous, turf and coniferous land, humus, peat and sand, with the addition of 0,5 part of coniferous land, is suitable.

Araucaria is a great plant for hydroponic culture.

AraucariaAraucaria. Farmer RANJEET2792

Reproduction of araucaria

Propagated by seeds and stem semi-lignified cuttings.

Seeds are sown immediately after harvest, as they quickly lose their germination. They are sown one at a time in pots filled with a mixture of peat soil and sand, with the addition of a small amount of charcoal, or from leaf, peat, turf and sand. Moisten, cover with a layer of sphagnum on top, and put the pots in a room with a temperature of 18-20 ° C. Spray and ventilate periodically. Seedlings appear unevenly, from 2 weeks to 2 months. Seedlings dive after the appearance of the first bunch of needles, but if the seedlings are planted one by one in a pot, then they are not dived, but left until the roots of the plant cover the entire lump, after which they are transplanted into large containers.

When propagated by semi-lignified cuttings, they are rooted in March-April. The semi-lignified tops of an adult plant are cut into cuttings, 3-4 cm below the whorl. Before planting, the cuttings are dried in a shady place for 1 hours. Then the sections are cleaned from resinous sap and powdered with charcoal powder. Also, before planting, cuttings can be treated with a root stimulator (heteroauxin). Cuttings are planted for rooting one at a time, in a moist substrate consisting of peat and sand (1: XNUMX), or simply in sand. Cover the top with a transparent cap (jar, plastic bottle).

Rooting is faster in a mini greenhouse with bottom heating. Maintain the temperature within + 24 … +26 ° С, constantly spray and ventilate regularly. Rooting of araucaria cuttings is a long process, it occurs after 2 months. If the temperature at which the cuttings are kept is low, then rooting can take up to four to five months. After the coma is entwined with roots, the rooted blacks are planted in a substrate suitable for an adult plant.

Mountain Araucaria (Araucaria montana)Mountain araucaria (Araucaria montana). Farmer Liné1

Possible difficulties in growing araucaria

  • The top of the araucaria requires very careful handling – there is a growing point, if damaged, the plant stops normal growth and development.
  • In indoor conditions, the plant usually suffers from dry air, low temperatures in winter, and lack of lighting.
  • Overly warm placement or too much water can droop the branches of the plant.
  • With too dry air and lack of moisture, shoots turn yellow and dry, needles may fall off.
  • With a lack of nutrition, new shoots grow thin.
  • With an excess of calcium in the soil, the growth of the plant generally slows down.
  • Damaged by: aphids, mealybugs, can be damaged by specific pests of conifers.

Araucaria species

Araucaria variegated, or indoor spruce (Araucaria heterophylla)… The homeland of the island is Norfolk. These are beautiful majestic trees with a pyramidal crown reaching up to 60 m in height, with brownish peeling bark. The branches are whorled, branch off horizontally at right angles to the trunk, forming a generally pyramidal crown. Leaves are soft, subulate, slightly curved upward, tetrahedral, small, up to 2 cm long, acicular, light green, densely arranged in a spiral. In culture, it is often confused with another species – Araucaria high (A. excelsa).

This type of araucaria is a widespread houseplant (indoors, especially in cramped pots, plants grow much slower than in nature).

Araucaria heterophylla, or indoor spruce (Araucaria heterophylla)Araucaria heterophylla, or indoor spruce (Araucaria heterophylla). Farmer Alexander Bunkenburg

Araucaria narrow-leaved (Araucaria angustifolia) or Brazilian araucaria (Brazilian Araucaria)… It grows in the mountains of southern Brazil. These are large trees, reaching 50 m in height in nature. The branches of this plant are thin, hanging down. Leaves are linear-lanceolate, up to 5 cm long, bright green. Suitable for growing in rooms, as araucaria rarely grows more than three meters in indoor and greenhouse conditions.

Columnar araucaria, or Cook’s araucaria (Araucaria columnaris), distributed in the southern tropical zone in the New Hebrides and on Pine Island (New Caledonia). The trunks (photo) of these majestic trees are uniformly dressed, from the very base to the top, with a narrow crown, vaguely reminiscent of the crown of a pyramidal cypress. It is formed by relatively short branches, collected in whorls and extending from the trunk almost at right angles (in cypress, the branches are pressed against the trunk).

On Pine Island, the columnar araucaria forms dense coastal stands that amazed the first travelers with their appearance, who compared them with basalt columns, or with smoking factory chimneys. At the very top of the tree, the crown is usually slightly widened. The cones of araucaria are columnar in shape, up to 10 cm long, have a bristly appearance due to the tops of the scales drawn into a long (5-6 mm) styloid appendage, which is bent downward.

Columnar araucaria, or Cook's araucaria (Araucaria columnaris)Columnar araucaria, or Cook’s araucaria (Araucaria columnaris). Farmer sci.muni

Chilean araucaria (Araucaria araucana) grows not only in Chile, but also in the western part of Argentina. Chilean araucaria is a very large tree, reaching a height of 60 m with a trunk diameter of up to 1,5 m. The crown of young trees is wide-pyramidal, and its lower branches lie directly on the ground. Lower branches usually fall off with age. The lateral branches of mature trees are 6-7 in whorls, they are horizontally extended or slightly hanging in old trees; the crown becomes flat-umbellate, located only at the very top of the trunk. The bark is resinous, thick, longitudinally fissured.

The leaves of the Chilean araucaria are tough, thorny, dark green, spirally arranged, covering the branches very tightly to each other. Chilean araucaria is photophilous, grows in a humid climate, on uniformly moist, but non-swampy, sufficiently nutrient-rich soils. It also tolerates dry conditions, as well as light frosts. The large seeds of the Chilean araucaria are nutritious and delicious.

Chilean araucaria (Araucaria araucana)Araucaria araucana. Farmer Juan Ramón Alonso

Araucaria is a wonderful plant that will delight you and your loved ones! Looking forward to your advice!

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Anna Evans

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