Blue Vervain | Swamp Verbena | Wild Hyssop

Blue Vervain | Swamp Verbena | Wild Hyssop

Blue Vervain is a beautiful perennial flower that is beneficial to good insects and can also be made into a tea.


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My Experience

I do not have a lot of experience growing this herb yet.  I was in a Permaculture Design Class (PDC) this past fall and one of the people there was an herbalist.  She had a number of packets of seeds for sale and blue vervain was one of them.  She explained to us what the seeds were and some of the benefits so I had to buy them.  Below I will explain a little about this plant and will follow up later this year on how they did.

The Basics

The botanical name is Verbena hastate.  It is also known as swamp verbena, wild hyssop, wild vervain, and herb of grace.  Blue vervain is native to the United States and is a perennial wildflower that grows from 2 to 5 feet tall.  It is a self-seeding herbaceous perennial that is hardy to -40 degrees F making it hardy in USDA hardiness zones: 3 to 8.

Vervain has square green to reddish stems with opposite leaves that are up to 6″ long and 1″ across.  It prefers moist conditions and full to partial sun.

Blue Vervain | Swamp Verbena | Wild Hyssop

Blue Vervain | Swamp Verbena | Wild Hyssop (3)

Flower

This insect beneficial plant has purplish-blue flowers in mid to late summer, lasting about 1–1½ months. Each bloom is about 1/4 inch across and conspicuously lobed with no noticeable floral scent.

Propagation

Verbena hastate can be propagated via seeds, rhizome spread, and cuttings.

Cold stratify for 90 days.  Seeds need light to germinate, so press seeds into the surface soil and do not cover.

Propagation can be done via digging up suckers from rhizomes that spread out.

Propagate via cutting using 3 to 4 inch cutting.

Edible

Most sources online say to use the above ground parts, but there are a few sites that talk about using the rhizomes as well.  The above-ground parts of the plant should be gathered before flowering and dried. Vervain must be picked before flowering and dried promptly to be effective

Traditionally used as a tea, but also as a tincture, syrup, foot soak or bath herb, salve or cream.

The seed are edible when roasted and are ground into a powder and used an Indian flour.

Medicinal

According to Organic Facts dot net, blue vervain has a number of health benefits.  They say that it can help to eliminate toxins from the system, can help relieve respiratory irritation, and nervous disorders, chronic anxiety, stress, and sleeplessness.  They go on to talk about the anti-parasitic activity, female tonic, oral health and pain relief. (1) *

According to the USDA website, blue vervain is used internally to treat depression, fevers, coughs, cramps, jaundice, and headaches. Externally, it is used for acne, ulcers, and cuts. (2) *

Check out the link in the sources section for details.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Recipe

A vervain tea can be made by steeping 1 tablespoon dried Blue Vervain leaves, roots and flower in 2 cups of hot water for 8 to 10 minutes.

Amazon Link

Herb                       Seeds

 

Photo References/Sources:

(1) https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/blue-vervain.html

(2) https://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_veha2.pdf

(3) Picture: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fritzflohrreynolds

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Propagating Rose of Sharon

Propagating Rose of Sharon

This post is about Propagating Rose of Sharon.  Here we go over some basics of Rose of Sharon and how to propagate this edible plant.

Plant Basics

Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is also known as Althaea, Shrub Althea, and Hardy Hibiscus. The shrub has a tight, upright vase-shaped form, reaching 7–13ft in height and has large summer blossoms. They like full sun to light shade and moist, well-drained soil.  They have deeply-lobed, light-green leaves. It is a deciduous flowering shrub native to east Asia and is the national flower of South Korea.

Propagating Rose of Sharon

Propagating Rose of Sharon

Flowers

The Rose of Sharon has trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom from summer into the fall. The flowers are short-lived, lasting only a day. They come in shades of white, red, pink and purple and attract birds, butterflies and other useful pollinators. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects.

Propagating Rose of Sharon

Propagating Rose of Sharon

Edible

The leaves, blossoms, and flowers of the Rose of Sharon are edible and have a mild flavor and mucilaginous texture.  Leaves are made into tea and the flowers eaten, usually raw. The leaves taste like lettuce, but are very fibrous unless you catch them early.  Blossoms appear in late summer and have a nutty flavor to them. The flowers taste great and have a hint of nectar at the base of the petals.  The root is edible but very fibrous.

Propagating Rose of Sharon

Propagating Rose of Sharon

Propagation

Rose of Sharon can be propagated via seeds, cuttings, or layering.  This post is going to discuss propagation via softwood cuttings.

Softwood Cuttings

Softwood cuttings are this year’s growth that started in the spring.  This wood is usually just slightly a different color and last year’s wood just looks a little more worn and older.

Make the Cut

Cut the softwood branches off of the plant. Then cut the branches down so they have four internodes.  Internodes are any place a branch or leaf comes out.  I usually go with four to six for Rose of Sharon.  Leave two leafs at the top and remove the bottom leafs.

Rooting Hormone

Dip the bottoms of the cuttings in rooting hormone.  I use dip and grow liquid hormone because I only need the one product and I can mix it as strong as I like.  Softwood cuttings does not require very concentrated rooting hormone, whereas hardwood cuttings require more concentrated solution.

Cuttings in the Planting Medium

Now it is time to place the cuttings into the planting medium.  Push them into your planting medium about two inches down.  Your planting medium should be something that drains freely and easily.  You do not want to saturate the soil where disease and pathogens will proliferate.

Propagating Rose of Sharon

Propagating Rose of Sharon

Keep the Leaves Wet

These little cuttings will die if the leaves dry out.  You don’t want to soak the ground, but you do want to keep the leaves wet.  The best way to do this is with a mist irrigation system that automatically comes on.  I use the Galcon 8056 and have it programmed for 10 seconds on and 5 minutes off.  This runs all day, but shuts totally off from 9 PM until 6 AM.

Leave Them Be

The cuttings need to stay in the rooting medium until they go dormant.  This usually happens by December or January timeframe.  Once they are dormant, they can be moved to pots or to their location in the yard.

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Canna Winterization or Canna Bulb Storage for Winter

Canna Winterization or Canna Bulb Storage for Winter

This article, Canna Winterization or Canna Bulb Storage for Winter, shows you how to harvest Canna roots or rhizomes and properly store them for the winter.

Tropical Plant

Canna is actually a tropical plant and subtropical perennial herb that comes back every year in USDA hardiness zone 8b and higher and will die if left in the ground when the temperature goes below 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Cannas are native to the warm areas of the Americas.

Canna Winterization or Canna Bulb Storage for Winter

Canna Winterization or Canna Bulb Storage for Winter

The Basics

The Canna plant (Canna indica), also sometimes called the Canna Lilly, has broad flat alternate leaves and grows 6 to 10-foot high. Its leaves are large and green, sometimes brown to maroon, and occasionally variegated.

High winds can tear the leaves, so many times they are planted in an area that protects them from strong winds.

The Canna requires 6 to 8 hours of full sun and moderate water in well-drained rich or sandy soil.

Need a Frost

In areas colder than USDA hardiness zone 8, you must dig the plants up to overwinter them.  This is done by waiting until the first frost causes the leaves to blacken, and then cut the stalks about two to three inches above the ground.

Dig Them Up

Then loosen the ground around the rhizomes and remove them from the ground.  Remove any dirt from around the rhizomes, but do not use a brush or anything that will scratch or damage the rhizomes.

Canna Winterization or Canna Bulb Storage for Winter

Canna Winterization or Canna Bulb Storage for Winter

Harden Them Off

Harden the rhizomes off by leaving them exposed to the air in 60-80 degree temperatures for a week or so.  Then put the rhizomes in a medium that will allow them to breathe.  I use a tub with Pete moss.  You could also use shredded newspaper.

Store

Canna Winterization or Canna Bulb Storage for Winter

Canna Winterization or Canna Bulb Storage for Winter

At this point put the rhizomes in a cool place that does not go below freezing.  I will be putting mine in my garage.  From time to time I do go below freezing in my garage, so I will bring them inside for a brief period when we get that cold.  A root cellar or in a crawl space under a house would work fine.  You could also put them in a refrigerator if you have the room.

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Harvesting Garden Huckleberry

Harvesting Garden Huckleberry

This post is about Harvesting Garden Huckleberry.  We will show you how to harvest the fruit, clean them, and freeze them for future processing.  Make sure you harvest only fully ripe fruit.

Harvesting Garden Huckleberry

Harvesting Garden Huckleberry

About Garden Huckleberry

Garden Huckleberry or wonderberry (Solanum melanocerasum) is a member of the nightshade family.  The nightshade family includes tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.  You need to use caution with any of the nightshade family plants in that certain parts of the plants can be toxic.  The leaves of the garden huckleberry are considered toxic although I did find some references online about them being edible if they are cooked the right way.  The unripe fruit can also be toxic, so make sure when harvesting garden huckleberry, you only gather the fully ripe fruit.

Ripe Fruit

Harvesting Garden Huckleberry

Harvesting Garden Huckleberry

When harvesting garden huckleberry only harvest the dark purple fruit.  You do not want to grab any fruit that still has green in it.  What you are looking for is a very dark purple color fruit that is a little soft.  I have seen several references stating that the fruit tastes even sweeter if they are left on the vine until after a frost or two.

Harvesting Garden Huckleberry

Harvesting Garden Huckleberry

Harvesting Garden Huckleberry

To harvest, simply grab the ripe fruit and give a tug.  If a piece of the stem comes with it, remove the stem and keep only the ripe fruit.  I used a Ziploc bag as I was harvesting, but you can use a bowl or whatever works for your situation.

How Much Fruit

My garden had two plants planted very close together.  I left all the berries on the vine until after we had a few frosts and then I harvested them all at once.  The result was one full gallon Ziploc bag and half of another.  The fruit is about the size of a small cherry or grape.

What to Make?

The fruit can be made into jams, jellies, and pies.  They can be stored in the refrigerator for a week or two if needed.  I have too much going on at the moment to be baking anything, so I’m going to freeze them.

Freeze Them

Harvesting Garden Huckleberry

Harvesting Garden Huckleberry

To freeze them for later use, I wash them thoroughly in a colander.  Then I put them on a paper towel on the counter and gently roll them around between two paper towels until they are dry.  Then I take a 1-gallon Ziploc bag and label it as garden huckleberry and the date that they are going in the freezer.  Add the berries to the bag, seal the bag, and toss them in the freezer until needed at a later date.

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Harvesting Maypop Passiflora Incarnata

Harvesting Maypop Passiflora Incarnata

This post is about Harvesting Maypop Passiflora Incarnata.  Here we show you when and how to harvest these fruits that are native to the eastern United States.

Harvesting Maypop Passiflora Incarnata

Harvesting Maypop Passiflora Incarnata

 

The Basics

Maypop Passiflora incarnata is an attractive vine that flowers in the early summer and then produces two-inch-long fruit that is shaped like a chicken egg and is ready to pick in the fall.  It is a hardy perennial that survives down to -20F and is hardy in USDA zones 5-9 and is native to the Eastern United States. The vines freeze down to the ground each winter. Maypop gets its name by popping out of the ground in May.

A Little Behind

My maypop plants are a little behind and will not all get fully ripe because it is so late in the year.  The reason my maypop is behind is because I was steadily cutting them back to the ground through the end of June.  The maypop is growing in a blueberry and blackberry patch and I wanted to let those fruit full ripen in full sun before I let the maypops takeover.  After July forth, I let them go.

Beautiful Flowers

The maypop has beautiful flowers.  They are extremely fragrant and bumble bees just love them.  You’ll sometimes see three bumblebees on one flower.

Harvesting Maypop Passiflora Incarnata

Harvesting Maypop Passiflora Incarnata

Quite Aggressive

The one issue I do have with maypop is they can be a little aggressive with their suckering.  I planted one plant three years ago near my garden area.  The first year it did just fine.  The second year it suckered a good bit.  I just pulled the suckers out of the ground and tossed them into my compost bin.  Well they rooted in my compost bin which is next to my blackberry patch.  Now they are coming up all over the place in my blackberry patch.

Awesome Fruit

The fruit has a tropical fruit flavor and makes a wonderful juice.  The fruit is similar to pomegranate in that it is a flesh wrapped around a seed.  Make sure you don’t pick them too soon though.  They are sour, kind of like a lemon if you pick them before they are fully ripe.

Harvesting Maypop Passiflora Incarnata

Harvesting Maypop Passiflora Incarnata

Ripe Fruit

The ripe fruit is a little yellow on the bottom and starting to shrivel up.  If you open the seed pod, the fruit around the seeds are a yellow color when ripe.  If they are white in color, they are going to be sour.

The Harvest

In order to harvest the fruit, simply pull them off of the vine.  Don’t worry about harming the vine because the vine is going to die back to the ground, as it does every fall.

Crack it Open

To get at the fruit around the seeds, just pull the seed pod open.  It is a soft pod around the seeds and is easy to just pull apart with your fingers.  Then just pull the fruit out and enjoy.

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Collecting and Saving Paw Paw Seeds

Collecting and Saving Paw Paw Seeds

This post is about Collecting and Saving Paw Paw Seeds.  We talk about the basics as far as what paw paw trees are and their needs, as well as how to collect, store, and plant the seeds.

Collecting and Saving Paw Paw Seeds

Collecting and Saving Paw Paw Seeds

The Basics

The paw paw tree (Asimina triloba) is a deciduous tree (and can be a shrub) native to eastern North America.  It can grow to a height of 35 feet with a slight tropical look to it.  It has edible fruit, possible medicinal uses, and is a good understory tree.

Fruit and Seeds

The conspicuous fruits begin developing after the plants flower; they are initially green, maturing in mid-September to October to a yellow or brown color. The pawpaw is the largest edible fruit native to North America. Individual fruits weigh 5 to 16 ounces and are 3 to 6 inches in length. The fruit usually has 10 to 14 seeds in two rows. The brownish to blackish seeds are shaped like lima beans, with a length of 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches. Pawpaw fruits often occur as clusters of up to nine individual fruits.

Collecting and Saving Paw Paw Seeds

Collecting and Saving Paw Paw Seeds

Edible

The yellow flesh is custard like and highly nutritious with a tropical flavor that resembles a combination of banana, mango, and pineapple. Fresh fruits of the pawpaw are commonly eaten raw, either chilled or at room temperature. However, they can be kept only 2–3 days at room temperature, or about a week if refrigerated

The easily bruised pawpaw fruits do not ship well unless frozen.  The fruit can be blended into ice cream or included in pancakes. Paw paws are also used for juice-making, and made into a country wine.

Propagation

Trees are easily grown from seed. Pawpaw seeds must receive a 90 to 120-day stratification. Sexual reproduction by seed does also occur in the wild, but at a fairly low rate.  This rate can be increased by hand pollinating the flowers.  Desirable kinds (cultivars) of pawpaw are propagated by whip grafting. Paw paws spread locally primarily by root suckers.

Collecting and Saving Paw Paw Seeds

Collecting and Saving Paw Paw Seeds

Clean the Seeds

The first step in propagating paw paw from seed is to collect the seeds and then clean the pulp off of the seeds.  Once the pulp is off you may want to clean the seeds with a 10% bleach solution.  I did this to one set of seeds and did not do it to another set.  The 10% solution is made by measuring out 9 parts water and 1-part bleach.  Just soak the seeds in the solution for about 5 to 10 minutes and then rinse them off.  This prevents the seeds from getting moldy while they are stratifying (see below).

Collecting and Saving Paw Paw Seeds

Collecting and Saving Paw Paw Seeds

Never Dry the Seeds

One point to keep in mind is to never let the seeds dry out.  If the seeds dry out the germination rate goes down to 20% or less.

Stratify

Now we want to cold stratify the seeds.  Cold stratification is a natural occurrence that happens with the seeds that tells the seeds when to break dormancy.  In the wild the fruit falls to the ground and gets covered with falling leaves and debris. The fruit eventually rots away or is eaten by wildlife, leaving the seeds.

Nature does not want the seeds to germinate in the fall or winter, so a safety mechanism is built into them that requires them to have 90 to 120 days of cold weather before they will germinate.  After this time period, when the weather starts to get warmer, the seeds will germinate.  This can only happen in the spring, so the plant has all spring, summer, and into the fall to get a good root system down.

Your Choice

You have a choice.  Plant the paw paw seeds outside in the fall so they can cold stratify or fake the seeds out and cold stratify the seeds yourself.  Faking them out is done by putting the in the refrigerator for 90 to 120 days.

Two things to keep in mind.  Do not freeze the seeds and do not let the seeds dry out.  You can keep the seeds moist by wetting some potting soil or Pete moss, adding the seeds, and putting them into a plastic bag.  I usually use a sandwich bag.

How Wet

As for how wet to make the soil, here is the rule of thumb: wet it enough so it is moist but not saturated.  You want to be able to grab a handful of soil and squeeze it and get one drop of water out.  No more and no less.

Label and Refrigerate

Make sure you label the plastic bag with the date that you are putting it into the refrigerator.  I usually put the bag in one of the drawers in the bottom of the refrigerator so it is out of the way.

Plant

When the time is up, take the seeds out of the potting mix or Pete moss and plant them.  As a general rule you plant seeds as deep as they are tall.  If your seeds are 1-inch tall, then plant them 1-inch deep.

Limit the Sun

Paw paw trees do not like excessive sun when they are young.  They prefer dappled sun to part shade for the first year or two.  After that, give them full sun.  I’m going to come up with a shade cloth or some mechanism to put around them for the first two years in the ground.  After that I can simply remove whatever mechanism I come up with and they will be in full sun.

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Propagating Korean Bush Cherry

Propagating Korean Bush Cherry

This post is about Propagating Korean Bush Cherry.  We give you general plant information followed by detailed propagation instructions for softwood cuttings.

Basic Information

Korean Bush Cherry is a fine-textured bush cherry with fuzzy leaves that grows to 5-8 feet in height and width, likes full sun to part shade and is hardy in zones 4-8. It is known as Korean Bush Cherry, Japanese bush cherry, or Oriental bush cherry with a scientific name of Prunus japonica.  It is native from central China south through Korea.

Propagating Korean Bush Cherry

Propagating Korean Bush Cherry

The Korean Bush cherry is covered in fragrant white flowers in the spring. These bush cherries produce average-sized, bright red cherries in mid-summer. The cherries are similar to Nanking cherries, but sweeter and less productive. The plants are self-fertile although two plants increase fruiting.

Edible

The cherries are great for fresh eating and can be frozen for delicious winter snacks. They also make tasty juice, jelly, and are high in anthocyanins and other antioxidants.  They can be used for making pies, but it would be labor intensive removing all of the pits from the small fruit.

The Basics of Propagation

Korean bush cherry can be propagated via seed, softwood cutting, or layering.  Each fruit has one seed that requires 2 – 3-months cold stratification. The plant usually grows from seed but can also be propagated through cutting for layering.  Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged.

Korean Bush Cherry Plant Information

Korean Bush Cherry Plant Information

Softwood Cuttings

For this post we are going to take softwood cuttings.  Softwood cuttings are this year’s growth that started in the spring.  This wood is usually just slightly a different color and last year’s wood just looks a little more worn and older.

Make the Cut

Cut the softwood branches off of the plant. Then cut the branches down so they have four internodes.  Internodes are any place a branch or leaf comes out.  I usually go with four for Korean bush cherry.  Leave two leafs at the top and remove the bottom leafs.

Rooting Hormone

Dip the bottoms of the cuttings in rooting hormone.  I use dip and grow liquid hormone because I only need the one product and I can mix it as strong as I like.  Softwood cuttings does not require very concentrated rooting hormone, whereas hardwood cuttings require more concentrated solution.

Cuttings in the Planting Medium

Now it is time to place the cuttings into the planting medium.  Push them into your planting medium about two inches down.  Your planting medium should be something that drains freely and easily.  You do not want to saturate the soil where disease and pathogens will proliferate.

Propagating Korean Bush Cherry

Propagating Korean Bush Cherry

Keep the Leaves Wet

These little cuttings will die if the leaves dry out.  You don’t want to soak the ground, but you do want to keep the leaves wet.  The best way to do this is with a mist irrigation system that automatically comes on.  I use the Galcon 8056 and have it programmed for 10 seconds on and 5 minutes off.  This runs all day, but shuts totally off from 9 PM until 6 AM.

Leave Them Be

The cuttings need to stay in the rooting medium until they go dormant.  This usually happens by December or January timeframe.  Once they are dormant, they can be moved to pots or to their location in the yard.

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Harvesting Latefry Muscadine

Harvesting Latefry Muscadine

Today we talk about Harvesting Latefry Muscadine.  The Latefry variety is a wonderful bronze variety of muscadine that tastes similar to a sweet grape.  We will discuss some basic muscadine information, how to harvest them, and how to prune them.

Basic Muscadine Information

Harvesting Latefry Muscadine

Harvesting Latefry Muscadine

The Muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) is a grapevine species native to the southeastern and south-central US from Florida to Delaware, west to eastern Texas and Oklahoma.  Muscadine fruit range from bronze to dark purple to black in color when ripe with a few varieties staying green when ripe. There are over 300 varieites grown in the US.  Many need a pollinizer, but some are self-pollinating.  A black self-fertile muscadine vine can pollinate a bronze female muscadine vine and vice versa. Female Muscadine vines average 50-60 lbs of fruit per plant and 60-80 lbs per self-fertile muscadine vine.

They grow well in sandy loam and like full sun. Muscadine are hardy in zones 7-9 and should not be grown in regions where temperatures frequently go below 10° F.  They will be more cold hardy if planted against a south facing wall.  They are very pest resistant and require little or no spraying.

Harvesting Latefry Muscadine

Harvesting Latefry Muscadine

Muscadines have a tight, non-shedding bark, warty shoots and unbranched tendrils.  The leaves are slightly lobed, 2-1/2 to 5 inch with coarsely serrate edges and an acuminate point. The round, 1 to 1-1/2 inch fruits have a thick, tough skin and contain up to 5 hard, oblong seeds. Muscadine grapes start ripening mid-September to late October.

Varieties

There are several patented varieties out there.  I have two varieties that use to be patented, the ISON and Late Fry.  They were patented, but a plant patent runs only 20 years so the patent has expired on each of these varieties.  While you can now legally propagate them, you cannot market them with the name ISON and Late Fry, because the names are trademarked.

Latefry

The Late Fry muscadine variety is another late season grape that is bronze and self-fertile. It produces delicious fruit that contains 20% sugar.  The fruit is large and has high yields.

Harvesting Latefry Muscadine

Harvesting Latefry Muscadine

It is very cold hardy with delicious edible skin. They like full sun, moist, well drained soil and are deciduous. The mature height is 10-15 ft. and they are hardy to USDA zones 7-10.

Harvesting

When they have a bronze color they are ripe. They are harvested by just reaching up and pulling on them. They will stay ripe on the vine for a while.  The outer skin is a little tough.  The inside is bright green and is sweet and slightly tart.

Pruning

The vines consist of the trunk, permanent arms, and the fruiting spurs.  Pruning must be done each year to get a good yield of large fruit. Pruning should be done in winter or earliest spring, before the buds swell.

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Propagating Sweet Scarlet Goumi

Propagating Sweet Scarlet Goumi

This post gives details on Propagating Sweet Scarlet Goumi.  We provide basic plant information followed by details on how to go about Propagating Sweet Scarlet Goumi.

Unusual Edible Fruit - Sweet Scarlet Goumi

Unusual Edible Fruit – Sweet Scarlet Goumi

The Basics

Sweet Scarlet Goumi, with a Latin name of Elaeagnus multiflora, is a Ukrainian variety of goumi hardy down in USDA hardiness zones 4-8.  It is a perennial, deciduous small shrub that likes a well-drained site with at least a half-day of sun.  Goumi is suitable for light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, but prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil.

Propagating Sweet Scarlet Goumi

Propagating Sweet Scarlet Goumi

Sweet Scarlet Variety

The sweet scarlet goumi grows 4-6ft. tall and wide. It is self-fertile and produces fragrant creamy white flowers in May followed by tasty little red berries the size of small pie cherries in late June. It has olive shaped leaves and silvery under tones. The wood of the plant is a rich red brown.

Hardy Plant

It is not bothered by pests or diseases and begins bearing 2 to 3 years after planting. They are very drought and wind resistant.  It is a nitrogen fixer and helps other plants that are growing around it.

Propagating Sweet Scarlet Goumi

Propagating Sweet Scarlet Goumi

Good For You

Goumis’ are filled with vitamins A and E and contain more of the heart-healthy nutrient lycopene than even the tomato.

Propagation Basics

Goumi can be propagated by seed, softwood and hardwood cuttings.  For seeds, a warm stratification for 4 weeks followed by 12-weeks cold stratification can help the seeds germinate. Softwood cuttings of 2 ½ – 4 inches can be taken in July/August. Hardwood cuttings of the current year’s growth, 4 – 5 inches with a heel, can be taken in November in a frame. Leave in the ground for 12 months before transplanting.

Softwood Cuttings

We are going to take softwood cuttings.  Softwood cuttings are this year’s growth, the growth that started in the spring.  This wood is usually a little more reddish color and last year’s wood is a little browner in color.

Make the Cut

Cut the softwood branches off of the plant. Then cut the branches down so they have two to four internodes.  Internodes are any place a branch or leaf comes out.  I usually go with three or four.  Leave two leafs at the top and remove the bottom leafs.

And now the Special Sauce

Dip the bottoms of the cuttings in rooting hormone.  I use dip and grow liquid hormone because I only need the one product and I can mix it as strong as I like.  You generally use more solution on harder wood and less on softer wood.  Powder rooting hormone will work, but you may need to get several different products for different concentrations.

Cuttings in the Ground

Now it is time to place the cuttings into the ground.  Push them into your planting medium about two inches down.  Your planting medium should be something that drains freely and easily.  You do not want to saturate the soil where disease and pathogens will proliferate.

Propagating Sweet Scarlet Goumi

Propagating Sweet Scarlet Goumi

Keep Them Wet

These little cuttings will die if the dry out.  You don’t want to soak the ground, but you do want to keep the leaves wet.  The best way to do this is with a mist irrigation system that automatically comes on.  I use the Galcon 8056 and have it programmed for 10 seconds on and 5 minutes off.  This runs all day, but shuts totally off from 9 PM until 6 AM.

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Harvesting Cornus Kousa Dogwood Fruit

Harvesting Cornus Kousa Dogwood Fruit

This post is about Harvesting Cornus Kousa Dogwood Fruit.  We cover some basic information on the kousa dogwood followed by how to harvest the fruit.

The Basics

Harvesting Cornus Kousa Dogwood Fruit

Harvesting Cornus Kousa Dogwood Fruit

The Cornus Kousa (Benthamidia kousa) also known as Kousa Dogwood, Japanese Dogwood and Chinese Dogwood, is native to Japan, Korea, and China arriving in the United States around 1875. The Kousa Dogwood is a deciduous tree that survives well in USDA zones 5-8 and is self fertile. Starting in late August and lasting until late October the Kousa Dogwood fruit ripens.

The Fruit

The fruit is about the size of a quarter in diameter and looks like an over-sized raspberry in both shape and color. The skin of the fruit is green/yellow when unripe. It turns raspberry red as it ripens. Unripe fruit is firm when you squeeze it in your fingertips, but becomes very soft as it ripens.

Tasty Fruit

The outer red skin of the fruit is very mealy/gritty and is a bit astringent. Inside the red skin is an amber colored pulp with a custard consistency. Within the center are 8 to 12 seeds the size of apple seeds.

Harvesting Cornus Kousa Dogwood Fruit

Harvesting Cornus Kousa Dogwood Fruit

Harvesting the Fruit

It is time to start harvesting the fruit when it turns pink and is a little soft.  This will usually start happening in late August and will last into the fall.  There is usually a long harvest season as some ripen early and some will not ripen until weeks later.

When the fruit is ripe as described above, you can pull it off of the tree.  They can also be harvested off of the ground when they fall.  Just make sure you wash them good if they are harvested from the ground.

Click the highlighted link for a recipe for Cornus Kousa Dogwood Jam.

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