The gold larch native to China is cultivated almost exclusively as a bonsai in Germany. Proper care is important for this to thrive.© Schwoab - Fotolia.com
Gold larches are native to China. There they grow up to mountain ranges of 1,500 meters and reach impressive heights of up to 40 meters. The deciduous conifer is not a larch in botanical terms, but is visually reminiscent of the native plants. However, the soft, bushy needles are much larger than those of the larches. The cultivation of the gold larch (Pseudolarix amabilis) in our latitudes is almost exclusively limited to the bonsai keeping. The following care instructions therefore mainly relate to the attractive mini trees.
Water gold larch properly
The plant's need for moisture is high. A regular wateringg is necessary all year round. The Earth must not dry out, This would lead to the death of the fine root network. If you accidentally forget to water, you should immerse the plant in a container with water up to the edge of the planting bowl so that the Soak roots again with water can. This usually happened when there were no more air bubbles.
Preferably pour with rainwater. Alternatively, you can use stale tap water. The plants come with a fine shower spray abgebraust. This treatment provides one increased humidity and at the same time cleans the leaves of dust and dirt.
" Tip: If you use tap water for watering, there will be no lime stains on the leaves.
Watering is significantly less in winter. The earth must not dry out here either.
Fertilize gold larch
The gold larch is fertilized only during the growing period, between May and September, At intervals of three to four weeks becomes a liquid fertilizer given for bonsai plants. Fertilizer balls can also be used.
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" Tip: For the growth of the plant and a lush green needle color one dose of epsom salt per growing season on.
Freshly repotted plants are not fertilized in the first few months.
Cut back the gold larch
The gold larch can cut back in early spring. The buds are already present at this point. The cut should always be made immediately before a new bud. The golden larch sprouts particularly beautifully when branches are trimmed with the buds pointing downwards. Long shoots grow from the buds, which are later cut back to one or two buds. If you wait some time before pruning, strong branches form.
" Tip: Young plants should only be pruned when the shoots have reached at least 15 centimeters in length. Older specimens can be cut earlier.
Regular cutting measures are necessary to maintain the growth habit. This affects the pruning of branches and roots. While the roots are shortened when transplanting, the branches and shoots should be cut back in May, July and September.
Cutting back gold larch in key words:
- Pruning in early spring
- Shorten the roots when transplanting
- Topiary of branches and shoots between May and September
Gold larch wire
Not only the regular pruning has an impact on the growth form of the gold larch, the wire also influences the shape of the bonsai. Trunks, branches and twigs can be shaped. For this, use aluminum wire, which is wound spirally around the desired parts of the plant.
" Tip: The wire should not be too tight, but also not too loose.
After branches and twigs have been wrapped, they are bent in the right direction. When the growing season begins in May, the wire should be removed. Otherwise it can happen that the trunk and branches grow into the wire and unsightly traces of wire become visible.
The most important care measures at a glance
Diseases and pests
The gold larch is relatively rarely infected by diseases and pests. Mealybugs and mealybugs can occur due to care errors. These suck on the needles, deprive them of their food and after a while make the trees look crippled.
To prevent the spread of lice infestation, the hobby gardener should act immediately. Showering with a hard jet of water at an early stage can be enough to eliminate the lice. In the advanced stage, it is advisable to shorten all infected parts of the plant. A complete cut back is often necessary.
" Tip: Mealybugs lay their eggs in the potting soil.
Affected plants should always be repotted. Only a complete exchange of the substrate reliably removes the pests. The planting bowl must also be cleaned and disinfected with alcohol.
With ladybugs, lacewings or parasitic wasps, mealybugs and mealybugs have natural predators. Spraying with soapy water or treating with a milk-water solution helps against lice infestation. Nettle stock or tansy broth can be used to strengthen plants.
Avoid maintenance errors
A too dry location can harm the plant. The fine roots should be constantly moisturized, otherwise there is a risk of death.
A stunted growth can also indicate a lack of nutrients. This is prevented by regular fertilization during the growing season. Since the plants do not tolerate lime, it should preferably be watered with rainwater.
Gold larches should preferably be kept as outdoor bonsai. The mini-trees do not differ from their large models. They do not feel comfortable in the house, but need the seasonal change outdoors for optimal development.
"Tip: The larch can also be overwintered in the greenhouse, preferably at temperatures up to a maximum of ten degrees.
The gold larch is hardy and tolerates temperatures down to - 15 degrees. In rough mountain regions, which can be expected to be more severe frosts, a light winter protection is recommended for the shell. The shell can be buried in the ground in autumn after the needles have been dropped. The surface is covered with substrate for several centimeters. This provides additional protection for the roots.
Care should be taken during the cold season that the floor does not dry out. The gold larch is to be irrigated on frost-free days. A cover with plastic film can prevent dehydration in severe frosts.