Evergreen shrub skimmia (Skimmia) is directly related to the Rutaceae family. He comes from Southeast Asia, as well as Japan.
This shrub has a dome-shaped crown, and its height does not exceed, as a rule, 100 centimeters. Entirely dense shiny oblong leaves are outwardly similar to laurel. The color of the front side is dark green, and the back side is pale green. It happens that the leaf plates have a reddish edging. The length of the leaves can vary from 5 to 20 centimeters, and the width is 5 centimeters. There are glands on the seamy surface of the leaves, and they are clearly visible in the lumen. If you touch them, the leaves become fragrant. Dense panicle inflorescences bear small flowers with a sweet smell. The fruit is a red drupe containing only 1 seed.
Such a shrub has a spectacular appearance throughout the season. At the beginning of the spring period, flowers form on it, and in the fall, berries of a deep red color appear. The fruits on the skimmy can last the entire winter. Often, flowers, buds and last year's fruits flaunt on such a plant at the same time.
A bright light is needed, but at the same time it must be diffused. Such a plant can be grown in partial shade, but in this case its stems will become elongated, and some of the foliage may fall off. It is necessary to protect from direct rays of the sun, because they can leave severe burns on the surface of the foliage.
This shrub simply needs fresh air. In this regard, experts advise to move it outside during the warm season. In winter, it feels best in the cool (no more than 10 degrees).
It grows and develops normally at low air humidity, which is inherent in city apartments.
In spring and summer, the plant needs regular watering, while the soil should be slightly moistened all the time. In winter, watering is reduced, especially if the wintering is cold.
Fertilizers are applied to the soil from April to September 2 or 3 times every 4 weeks. For this, fertilizer for flowering plants is used.
The transplant is carried out annually in spring, while the capacity should be commensurate with the shrub.
Suitable soil should be acidic, humus-rich and well-drained. Reacts negatively to lime content in the soil. To prepare the soil mixture, it is necessary to combine loam, peat and sand.
Can be propagated by cuttings and seeds.
Before sowing, the seeds must be stratified (low temperature treatment). Sowing is carried out in a mixture of peat and sand, the pH of which is 5–5.5. The container is placed in a cool place.
Rooting is carried out in August-February and for this they use semi-lignified cuttings. They should be treated with drugs that stimulate root formation, and then planted in the sand. Favorable temperature - from 18 to 22 degrees.
The plant can accommodate scale insects, aphids and spider mites. The greatest danger is represented by Panonychus citri. This type of pest affects citrus crops. Such a shrub can get sick with grape powder or powdery mildew.
Japanese skimmia (Skimmia japonica) - the height of such a dioecious plant can reach from 100 to 150 centimeters. To get berries from this type of skimmy, you will need to plant a female and a male plant nearby. Small, star-shaped female and male flowers are collected on different plants in apical panicle inflorescences. Flowering begins in March or April. By the beginning of the autumn period, glossy red berries are formed on the bush.
The most popular varieties:
Purple leaf plates, flower buds have a dark red color, and exclusively male white flowers have yellowish anthers.
This is a hybrid plant with female flowers, large, spectacular bunches of berries are formed on it.
On the surface of the variegated leaf plates, there are many yellowish strokes, the buds are bronze in color, and the flowers are cream.
The berries are white.
The flowers have a lily of the valley scent.
Green buds become mango-colored by November.
Large, ball-shaped inflorescences consist of green flowers, which begin to turn white in November.
This dwarf plant is self-pollinated. It has both male and female fragrant flowers, painted in light white. The fruits are represented by oval raspberry-colored berries.
The genus of skimmia has 12 species, the most common is Japanese skimmia (Skimmia japonica), which grows on the Japanese islands, in the forests of Korea and China. In nature, the bush grows up to 7 m in height, but in home growing conditions, the height depends on the variety and does not exceed 1.5 m.
Glossy leaves 6 to 20 cm long and 2 to 5 cm wide non-falling, hard, oval. The upper part of the leaf plate is colored darker than the lower one; from the bottom there are glands that are clearly visible in the light and, if touched, exude a pleasant sweetish aroma. Small fragrant flowers with five pointed petals are collected in a dense panicle. For pollination, the presence of a male and a female plant is necessary, therefore, two bushes are sometimes planted in a large pot at once. Female plants are decorative due to fruits, male plants are of beautiful flowering.
At home, it is convenient to grow a self-pollinated subspecies - Reeves skimmy (S. reevesiana). On a compact dwarf bush, raspberry fruits are preserved for a long time, the flowers are white, very fragrant.
Varieties and hybrids of Japanese skimmy: