In this article, we will discover how to grow the flowering shrub of Stranvaesia in containers. Stranvaesia is a small genus of 5 species that belong to the Rosaceae (the Rose) family. One thing that must be stressed is that although their morphology is so similar to Photinia (so close that species have been included in this genus) they are separate. Recent DNA analysis indicates that the two genera are, in fact, not related.
It is grown as an ornamental shrub that has narrow, lance-shaped green leaves. The species of shrub that you will often find is Stranvaesia davidiana but the common varieties are often very large plants growing up to 4m tall. It cannot be grown in containers but smaller varieties exist including a dwarf. This will be described later on.
Throughout spring white flowers are produced that look like hawthorns. In autumn and early winter, berries are formed that can be either red or yellow, depending on the variety and species grown. Normally the branches are covered with these berries, which the birds find to be unattractive and so will last longer than other berry displays. The branches with berries make an attractive indoor decoration, especially for Christmas.
Find out how to grow Stranvaesia in containers in this article.
GROWING STRANVAESIA IN CONTAINERS
First, choose a large enough container that will suit the plant in question and will be well-balanced. No matter what you choose make sure it has plenty of drainage holes at the bottom of it. Add a 2cm layer of gravel at the bottom of the container to aid drainage more. On top of this add multipurpose compost to which a couple of handfuls of manure have been mixed in. Add this growing media to within 5cm below the top rim of the container.
Dig a hole at the centre of the container slightly bigger than the root ball it came in the original pot you bought it in. Drop the plant in so that the top of the root ball is at the same level as the top surface of the compost in the container. Backfill with the growing media so that no vacant spaces remain using more compost if you deem it to be necessary. Firm the plant in and water well to allow the compost to settle around the roots.
THE BEST GROWING CONDITIONS
Place the shrub and container in a spot that is in full sun or partial shade. Watering is very important until it is established but after that water when 5cm below the top surface of the compost feels dry to the touch. When you water do so until it just emerges from the drainage holes.
Every spring you can give an annual dressing of slow-release, general-purpose fertilizer to give enough nutrients to last throughout the growing season.
Pruning is very easy as you do not have to do any but if you want to, you can cut unwanted or damaged branches in spring.
To propagate you can lay branches in spring or alternatively, you can take semi-ripe cuttings and place them in a cold frame in individual pots. Once it has taken it can be planted out the following year.
PESTS AND DISEASES
In terms of pests, adult vine weevils can be a problem. They are best dealt with by hand picking them off at night, by using nematodes or by using appropriate systemic insecticide.
In diseases, fire blight and leaf spots can be a problem. Fire blight can be fatal so prevention is the key by making sure you do not prune in winter and ensure you practice good husbandry. Leaf spots can be treated by spraying with a suitable systemic fungicide and following a regular spraying regime.
VARIETIES TO GROW
The species you will likely to find is Stranvaesia davidiana but the common known varieties are too often too big. For a more compact growing habit that produces yellow berries, the variety ‘Fruitalutea’ is the one to grow. It only grows up to 2.5m tall and the leaves have wavy margins.
For the true dwarf and ground cover, you can grow Stranvaesia davidiana var. undulata ‘Prostrata’, often sold as Photinia davidiana ‘Prostrata’. It only grows up to 0.6m but still has the familiar berries and leaves.
In this article, we have discussed how to grow the beautiful shrub of Stranvaesia in containers. They may have insignificant flowers but in autumn the most delightful red or yellow berries appear. This is why it is a desired bush due to the attractive berries it produces in winter.
They are easy to care for, easy to look after and do not even need to be pruned. Not totally pests and diseases free but any problem accounted should be easy to deal with and easy to treat.
A plant that is well worth singing the praises of.
If you have any questions or comments that you wish to make on growing Stranvaesia in containers, please do so in the comment box below.
Happy Stranvaesia growing.