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The calicantus, or calicanthus, or Calycanthus floridus, is a deciduous shrub that can grow quite considerably in height and width. Member of the family of Calycanthaceae, is native to the south-eastern United States and can thrive in numerous climatic zones also in Italy. With its reddish-brown flowers in spring and green foliage in summer, turning yellow in autumn, this shrub can add a pleasant scent and good aesthetic structure to your garden.
So let us try to understand how to take care of calicantus and how to get the best out of this crop in your garden.
Where to place the calicantus
The Calycanthus floridus can thrive in one partially shaded area of your garden. In fact, if planted in full sun, it may not become tall as well as when planted in a partial shade area, which we therefore recommend that you be able to locate in your green area in order to maximize the beauty of this investment.
Also, since cold winds can damage spring growth, it is always wise to try to place the plant in a place sheltered from currents and breezes.
By doing so, you will improve the opportunities to enjoy the beauty of this shrub in the spring season, when pleasant flowers will appear with all their typically fruity scent, which will probably remind you of fruit fragrances, with a blend of strawberry, banana and pineapple. To fully enjoy the fragrance of Calycanthus floridusGardeners often recommend growing this plant near an entrance, patio, or walkway. The aesthetic and olfactory result will not fail to get noticed and, probably, you will be able to make the calicanthus a real highlight of your garden.
What soil to use for calicanthus
Under ideal growing conditions, expect the Calycanthus floridus maintain a good pace of development. However, much of the “secret” to sustained growth is related to the correct ground on which to plant this shrub.
Even though the plant tolerates many different types of soil, growing it in dry soils can be more difficult and, as a result, the plant will end up looking more fatigued than plants that grow in more humid soils.
And if you intend - as likely - to plant more shrubs of this species, then keep in mind that ideally the plants should be grown 35 to 60 centimeters away from each other, always in a rich and deep clayey soil, and able to drain water, while retaining moisture.
A light layer of compost in the soil can help promote drainage and add nutrients to your grow. Your calicantus he will be grateful!
The propagation of calicantus
The Calycanthus floridus it can be propagated from seeds or cuttings. By cultivating the plant from seed, you can naturally obtain a shrub that is not "faithful" to the "parent", because it can differ in scent or appearance. Cuttings and suckers grow true to the shape and it is said that the latter is the simplest mode for propagation, with the suckers that can be removed and immediately transplanted into their permanent position. To avoid growing a plant that doesn't smell nice it's best to buy some kind of Calycanthus floridus fiorita, known for having an intense floral aroma.
How to take care of calicantus
Calycanthus floridus requires minimal maintenance once established in your land. In fact, it will be sufficient to provide the plant with a moderate amount of water, because even if it can tolerate drought, the calicanthus prefers moist soil.
Increase the frequency of watering during the heat of summer. To shape the plant and prevent it from overgrowing, prune immediately after flowering.
Diseases of calicanthus
Calicanthus is generally a plant that enjoys good health, but it is certainly not free from disease and "attacks".
In particular, the young shoots of calicantus are often attacked by aphids, which can infest this plant to a very harmful extent. Therefore, in spring it is essential to try to eradicate any colony of aphids, in such a way as to avoid that they reproduce rapidly, going to infest the whole garden.
Still, even if we have remembered that this plant loves a moist soil, it is always advisable to remember not to overdo it, because excess watering, or a soil too often soaked with water, can cause the roots to rot and thus lead to decay and death. of the plant. If you notice that the branches are starting to weaken, stop watering.
On the other hand, it is possible that the summer heat can ruin the branches. In this case, simply remove the dry branches and water the foliage to increase the humidity of the environment and reinvigorate the leaves. Do this during the early hours of the morning, in order to prevent the water on the leaves, together with strong sunlight, favoring the development of burns.
In case of more information, ask your trusted gardener for clarification: it will certainly provide you with all the information you need!