Today we have to talk about conifers in our garden trees, and specifically about the Araucaria araucana.
It is a somewhat complex name but it is commonly known as araucaria, Chilean pine, arm pine, etc.
This particular variety is grown in the garden for its large dimensions and is perfect for generating shade. As for the care, we are going to comment on them!
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE ARAUCARIA?
The araucaria or Chilean pine is a conifer of great height, being able to reach 30 meters in height (it grows between 30 and 50 cm per year). Of course, it is of very slow growth , starting fruiting from the 4th-5th year.
However, it is impressive to have a large araucaria in the garden.
In Spain , it can be easily cultivated in the North (it prefers oceanic climates with abundant rain), even in coastal regions, since it tolerates saline breezes (there are them in Norway, in the Faroe Islands, off the coast of the USA, Canada etc.).
On the other hand, it is preferable to move it away from the urban nucleus due to its susceptibility to polluted environments.
THE SPECIFIC CLIMATE OF THE ARAUCARIA
The araucaria needs bright environments for its growth. In addition, with the height that it reaches, it is necessary to plan the place where it is going to be planted (never close to the shadow of another tree).
Among the araucarias, it is the one that has the most resistance to cold (tolerates temperatures below zero). It is harmed by excessive heat , so we will have to be careful in summer and ensure that it has good wet content.
Dry air dries out the branches, so often, especially in summer, you will have to spray all the araucaria and refresh it.
The soil must be slightly acidic . If you have evidence that your soil is alkaline, consider a transformation of the type of soil close to where you want to plant the araucaria.
Keep in mind that this condition is important and you will have growth problems in basic soil.
It is usually watered around 2 times a week, although it is also necessary to check the condition of the soil.
In summer, increase the frequency of watering and on very hot and dry days do not have a problem in spraying the whole araucaria using a pressure hose (a kind of rain simulation).
Remember that you will notice that the araucaria needs more moisture when its leaves turn yellow.
HOW TO FERTILIZE THIS CONIFER
Any organic or mineral fertilizer with acidic components is welcome. Especially in the spring and summer season, you have to pay without fear, either with manure, compost or vermicompost or liquid fertilizers.
With this we will be able to correct the pH in case it tends to rise due to the irrigation water. The NPK is balanced in a 20-10-20 balance, and it is important to provide mineral nutrients typical of an acidic soil (molybdenum, iron, zinc, boron, copper, etc.).
If you have to add iron chelates from time to time , we will do it.
We can choose 2 techniques for its multiplication, vegetative (cuttings) or by seed . We already know that with the first we will obtain the mother plant and with the seeds there will be genetic variability.
MULTIPLY BY SEEDS
To multiply the araucaria through seeds (very easy to obtain from the tree), we plant them in a seedbed or container with good compost content (earth-sand-organic matter), constantly maintaining a temperature of 15º C.
You can help yourself with a glass hood or a plastic bag to simulate a greenhouse environment. The substrate must always be humid, at least until the seed germinates , which will take around 2 months or a little less.
We will not do the transplant until it is large enough, and in our opinion it is advisable not to get impatient ( 1 or 2 years indoors ) if the growing conditions we give indoors are favorable.
MULTIPLY BY CUTTING
This method of propagation, in the case of araucaria is not easy , and the seeds offer good results.
What is used in this form of propagation is the apical cutting (the tip of the mother plant). The 5-10 cm cuttings are planted indoors under the same conditions as in seed propagation.
It is a method in which special care must be taken since we are pruning important parts of the mother araucaria.