Casuarina - Casuarinaceae - How to care for and grow Casuarina plants
HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
The Casuarina they are trees reminiscent of conifers and typical of coastal areas. Their beauty is the small scaly leaves that give the plant a delicate appearance.
Clado: Euroside I
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
There Casuarina is a genus that includes evergreen shrubs and trees, native to Australia and various Pacific islands.
Their peculiarity are the leaves modified in scales or in any case very small arranged in a ring around the nodes so that the chlorophyll function is carried out by the branches.
The flowers are very small and devoid of petals collected in conical spike inflorescences (similar to those of pines) and unisexual (there are flowers that carry only the female reproductive organs and flowers that carry only male reproductive organs) or dioecious (male and female plants).
There are about 70 species in the genus Casuarina among which we remember:
There Casuarina equisetifoliait is a tree that can reach up to 15-20 m in height with a crown diameter of 10 m.
It has an expanded and erect posture with the terminal part of the pendulous branches with scaly leaves.
The inflorescences are mostly cones of no ornamental interest, and the fruits are similar to the cones of pine trees.
They are plants native to the Pacific islands and Australia.
There Casuarina stricta native to Australia, it is a tree that in nature does not exceed 10 m in height with a crown diameter of 5 m.
There Casaurina torulosa it is a slender-looking tree with the terminal part of the pendulous branches. The leaves are scaly and take on a young pink and dark green color with age. It is originally from Australia.
The Casuarina they are typical plants with warm climates even if they have a moderate resistance to cold as long as it is not too prolonged in time.
They are full sun plants and typical of coastal areas as they have a good tolerance to the salinity of the soil. They can therefore be bred with success in sandy coasts where, thanks to their important root system, they help keep the soil stable. They are also excellent windbreak barrier plants.
During the whole spring-summer period, water generously while during the other periods reduce significantly.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
If you grow the Casuarina they are repotted every year at the end of winter using a soil rich in organic substance with the addition of a little sand to make it softer and improve the drainage of the water.
Starting from spring and throughout the summer, administer a liquid fertilizer in half doses with the watering water once a month. Use a fertilizer that besides having macroelements such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) also has microelements such as iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) , boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), all important for a correct growth of the plant.
They are plants that cannot be pruned. Dried or damaged branches are eliminated only in early spring to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.
The multiplication of the Casuarina it can take place by seed or by cutting.
MULTIPLICATION FOR TALEA
In mid-summer or late summer take semi-woody cuttings 20-25 cm long, cut with an oblique cut immediately under a knot. This type of cut is recommended as it allows you to have a greater surface for rooting and avoids the accumulation of water on that surface.
It is important to use a well-sharpened blade to avoid fraying the tissues while taking care that it is well cleaned and disinfected, preferably over a flame, to avoid infecting the tissues.
They then settle in a compost made of peat and coarse sand making holes with a pencil, as many as there are cuttings to be planted, taking care to gently compact the soil.
The pot is covered with a plastic bag put on a cap after placing sticks in the ground to keep the plastic away from the cuttings and having tightened the bag with an elastic band to the pot, to prevent moisture loss and maintain constant heat.
Every day the plastic is removed to control the humidity of the soil and to eliminate the condensation that has surely formed from the plastic.
Once the first shoots start to appear, it means that the cuttings have rooted. At that point the plastic is removed definitively and the pot is placed in a brighter area, at the same temperature and expects the cuttings to become stronger.Once they are large enough, they will be transplanted into the final pot and treated like adult plants.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
They are plants particularly resistant to diseases and parasitic attacks.