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Characteristics of osmanthus
The Osmanthus is a plant native to Asia, belonging to a genus that includes 15 species of shrubs of evergreen species. Osmanthus is a shrub or small tree originating from East Asia and in particular from China: here it is known, appreciated and used, for its aromatic and medicinal virtues, for at least 2000 years. The name osmanthus derives from the Greek and underlines its peculiar characteristic of having deliciously perfumed flowers and leaves.
In Italy it has been known for a long time and has become a shrub of common use, especially in areas with a temperate climate, therefore in the Center-South, on the coasts and near the great lakes.
The osmantus they grow in all garden soils, but they prefer acid and slightly sandy soils. The ideal soil must be deep, neutral, well drained, but not excessively poor: in this way vegetative growth will also be stimulated, which otherwise would be really slow.However, the plant also adapts well to poor, calcareous, stony or possibly even muddy soils. This is why it is ideal, for example, to be included in coastal gardens and perfectly matches the essences of the Mediterranean maquis.On the other hand, wet, poorly drained and cold substrates should be avoided, which would lead to the deterioration of the specimen.fertilizing
in spring, a layer of peat or untidy manure is placed over the roots. If growth is too slow, give a complete fertilizer.
in July, cuttings of mature or semi-mature wood are cut 10 cm long and are planted in a hot bed at about 20 degrees in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts. The rooted cuttings are transplanted into pots, with universal soil and are left to winter in a cold box. In the following April they are planted and cultivated for two years before planting them.
They are not subject to pest attack. Rarely they are attacked by parasites, but the most frequent is undoubtedly the cochineal.
Contrary to popular belief there are very rustic osmanthus, capable of withstanding temperatures around -17 ° C and suitable for almost all the Italian territory. However, it must be pointed out that some varieties are distinctly heliophilous and thermophilic, consequently a long cold winter period would do nothing but discourage their already slow growth, as well as causing branches to dry out. Ultimately, for the northern regions, the advice is to choose among the less sensitive varieties and to prefer a warm and sheltered positioning.
Furthermore, a thick mulching (and insulation of the eventual vessel) and the use of covers with non-woven fabric may be useful.
To ensure a good rooting it is necessary to be diligent with the administrations for at least the first two years from the implant. Later the plant will turn out to be almost autonomous, even if our intervention, from time to time, especially during the hottest months, can only stimulate growth and flowering.
The specimens are generally sold in pots. The best time to proceed is almost everywhere in the spring, waiting for the ground to have already warmed up and to be well workable. However, in regions with a particularly mild climate, the autumn plant can help us by providing us with a plant that has already been partially stamped at the arrival of the warm season and therefore a faster vegetative growth.
The ideal distance between one osmanthus and the other goes from 1 to 3 meters, depending on the final dimensions that it will have to reach. In case we want to create a hedge, it is possible to go down even up to only 80 cm, so as to obtain a full result quickly.
How to proceed?
We dig a deep hole twice as wide as the earth bread. On the bottom we create a thick draining layer. Mix the extracted earth with at least 1/3 of sand, a good quantity of mature manure and a bit of gravel. After inserting the specimen we cover and compact, then watering abundantly.
THE HOSPITAL CALENDAR
|Planting||March-April / October-November in the South|
|Flowering||April-May / September-November|
|Pruning (spring flowering)||June|
|Pruning (with autumn flowering)||February March|
|Propagation (cutting, layering)||July August|
Species and varieties
Rusticity and use
|O. fragrans, species Also called olea fragrans||Very small flowers, white and fragrant, in axillary bunches in autumn||O. fragrans, species Also called olea fragrans||O. fragrans, species Also called olea fragrans|
|O.frag. apricot gold||Scented orange flowers|
|O.frag Makino, aurianticus||Orange flowers in autumn||Sapling, up to 4|
|O.frag semperflorens||White flowers, fragrant, produced from spring to autumn|
|O.frag Osmanthus x fortunei||White, fragrant, in autumn|| Up to 4 meters, hybrid, faster growth. Strongly toothed leaves which then become unique|
|O.s heterophyllus||White, fragrant, in axillary bunches, in autumn||Up to 4 m Dark green leaves, low thorny ones, smooth on top||Up to -16 ° C|
|O. heterophyllus 'Aureomarginatus'||White, fragrant, in axillary bunches, in autumn||Gold border||Up to -16 ° C|
|O.s heterophyllus||White, fragrant, in axillary bunches, in autumn||Compact and with decorative and very thorny yellow foliage||Up to -16 ° C|
|O. x burkwoodii||White, very fragrant, in spring||Up to 3 m, regular leaves, glossy dark green|| Up to -16 ° C|
For small hedges.
|O.heterophyllus 'Myrtifolius'||White, fragrant, in axillary bunches, in autumn||Up to 3 m, slow growth Small leaves||Small hedges, topiary and vase|
|O. delavayi||Whites in spring||Up to 2 m, oval leaves|
|O. decorus Angustifolius'||White bunches in spring, purple fruit||Very compact, up to 1 meter, small leaves||For siepine and vases|