Chinese split basket - plant, maintain, cut and propagate

Chinese split basket - plant, maintain, cut and propagate

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The Chinese split basket is one of the rare climbing plants in our country. They are so robust, resilient and can also be grown here in Germany under simple conditions.

The Chinese split basket (Schisandra chinensis) brings variety to your garden. In order for the deciduous climbing plant to come into its own, it only needs a climbing aid. But the star anise plant from Asia can do even more. In China, the fruits reminiscent of currants are considered to be par excellence and are full of valuable ingredients.

The earliest mention of the Chinese split basket as a medicinal plant dates back to the Han Dynasty. The fruits are also known as Schisandra berries, are drunk as tea or processed into jams or syrups.

The Chinese crevice basket is still rare in our gardens. If you want to change this, you will find all the important information about the attractive and useful medicinal and ornamental plant from the Far East below.

Plant Description

The Chinese split basket is a looping climbing plant with a slim growth. The long stems are covered with glossy leaves. These are alternate and oval. The flowers appear lush and spread an aromatic fragrance. From the second year on, the currant-like berries appear on the grape-like fruit stands. The berries are not only a pretty plant decoration, they can be harvested in autumn and dried or processed raw.

The natural range

The main distribution area of ​​the plant is in China. It is also found in Japan and Korea. The Kraftberry grows mainly around the Amur, in Manchuria or on the Japanese islands of Hokkaido and Honshu.

The berry of five flavors

The Chinese call the fruit "Wu Wei Zi", the berry of the five flavors. In fact, the fruits offer an exceptional taste experience. The seeds have a bitter, pungent and slightly salty taste, while the flesh tastes more sweet and sour. Five flavors meet in one fruit.

When does the Chinese split basket bloom?

The white to light pink colored flowers appear around the end of May. The berries develop during the summer. The first fruiting begins about five years after planting. Up to five kilograms of fruit can be harvested per plant.

The use of the Kraftberry

Asians have valued the healing powers of China berries for thousands of years. The “Kraftberry” contains a high proportion of vitamins A, B6, C or E, as well as minerals and valuable essential oils. Traditional Chinese medicine attributes the fruit a strengthening and regenerating effect. Areas of application include colds, diabetes, depression, insomnia or asthma.

How to plant the Chinese split basket

❍ Location:

When choosing the location, it should not be neglected that the plants want to go high. Adult plants reach heights of up to eight meters and are up to half a meter wide. The Chinese crevice basket grows by about 30 centimeters each year.

The plant prefers to grow in a partially shaded spot. Cultivation is also possible in the shade, but this is at the expense of flowering and the formation of the fruit.

" Tip: If Chinese split baskets are planted in the group, a minimum distance of half a meter must be maintained so that the plants do not interfere with one another and thus prevent growth.

The Chinese crevice basket must be protected from the blazing midday sun. This can be done well by applying a layer of mulch to the floor.

The Chinese crevice basket wants to curl up on walls or house walls, but it cannot do it on its own. Therefore, the plants always need a climbing aid.

" Tip: The wild forms of the Chinese split basket are sexually separate, so that several plants are necessary if fruits are to grow. However, self-fruiting varieties are also commercially available, so group plantings are not absolutely necessary.

❍ substrate:

The Chinese split basket hardly makes any demands on the floor. A permeable and nutrient-rich substrate forms the ideal growth basis for the Chinese split basket. The substrate should not be too dry, but waterlogging should be avoided. Furthermore, a slightly acidic soil is tolerated and lime is also tolerated. Therefore, you can also pour with stale tap water.

❍ Planting instructions:

  • Note planting time
  • Select location
  • Loosen and clean the floor
  • Dig out the planting hole
  • Water the plant
  • Install drainage
  • Insert the plant
  • Fill in the substrate
  • Press the floor
  • Mulch the floor
  • Attach climbing aid
  • Water the plant well

Chinese split baskets cultivated in pots can be planted all summer. If several plants are used, a sufficient planting distance must be maintained. The plants should ideally be about one meter apart. Half a meter is also tolerated. The root balls should be watered before planting. The hobby gardener immerses the plants in a bucket of water until there are no more bubbles. So that the plant is protected from waterlogging, it is advisable to mix in coarse sand or gravel when planting the substrate.

" Tip: As a creeping plant, the Chinese split basket does not stop at its planting neighbors and wraps everything it promises to hold. For this reason alone, a sufficient planting distance is an important criterion.

How to maintain the Chinese split basket

❍ casting:

The floor should not dry out and should always feel damp. It is important to ensure that there is no waterlogging. A layer of mulch can help keep moisture in the ground for longer. Watering takes place daily on hot summer days. The morning or evening hours are to be used. In the blazing midday sun, the irrigation water would burn the leaves. The Chinese split basket is lime-compatible, but should preferably be poured with rainwater.

" Tip: The plants indicate a lack of moisture with a yellow leaf color.

❍ Fertilize:

The plants can be supplied with berry or fruit fertilizer. The first fertilizer is given at the beginning of the shoot, so that the flower formation is supported. Additional fertilizers can be given in summer, after fruit training and in autumn before hibernation.

❍ Cut back:

Regular cutting measures are not necessary for the Chinese split basket. The hobby gardener only has to intervene if the liana literally threatens to grow over his head. Pruning should preferably be done in late winter before flowering begins. With rose or pruning shears, all long shoots and disturbing branches are removed. The plants should be cut on dry but not full sun. Larger wounds on the main trunk should be treated with a wound closure agent.

❍ propagation:

There are various ways for the hobby gardener to multiply the Chinese split basket.

The following methods are common:

  • cuttings
  • Absenker
  • seed

Propagation by cuttings

The propagation of cuttings is a common method and easy to understand even for laypeople. There are very good chances of success using cuttings to grow several strong young plants.

How to proceed

❶ Cut the cutting
❷ Place the cuttings in the soil
❸ Moisten the cutting evenly
❹ Transplant cuttings after budding
❺ Wintering the cuttings frost-free
❻ Plant cuttings in spring

The not very young, already slightly woody shoots are suitable as cuttings. These are brought to a length of about 20 centimeters. There should be several eyes on the cutting. A warm ambient temperature favors the formation of the roots and ultimately new shoots.

The increase by subsidence

Since it is a creeping plant, there are sufficiently long shoots. A strong shoot is led to the ground and brought into the ground with one eye. The place is weighted down with a stone so that the shoot cannot come loose from the ground. It can take some time for new roots to form. It is therefore advisable to let the subsidence overwinter on the mother plant and only separate from the plant in spring and transplant separately.

Propagation by seeds

Propagation by sowing is considered to be relatively difficult. There are about two to three seeds in each fruit. The seeds are first dried and placed in plant pots in spring. The seeds are only slightly covered with soil. Keep the soil evenly moist and cover the planter with foil, which speeds up germination. In a bright and warm place, the seeds will start to germinate after a few weeks. When the young plants have reached a height of about ten centimeters, they are transplanted into larger planters, hibernated indoors and planted outdoors the next spring.

❍ Wintering:

Adult plants in the field do not need winter protection. The climbing plant is very robust and can withstand temperatures down to -30 degrees without being damaged.

Young plants need winter protection in the first three years. It is sufficient if you mulch the floor and cover it with brushwood.

The soil of the plants must not dry out even in winter. Therefore, the Chinese split basket is poured sporadically on frost-free days.

Detect and fight pests and diseases

The plants are robust and well adapted to our climate. The occurrence of diseases is not known. Pest infestation is also rare. If maintenance errors are avoided, Chinese split baskets are extremely robust and resistant.

However, an enemy of climbing plants is prolonged drought. If the upper layers of soil start to dry out, the plant is already ailing and there is a risk of discoloration and falling flowers.