Table of contents:
Asparagus family. Homeland - Crimea, Caucasus, Mediterranean. Most species of Ruscus are perennial low shrubs, rarely herbaceous plants, with a creeping rhizome.
Ruscus has a creeping rhizome, branching fleshy stems, on which there are similar to ordinary leathery leaves, modified flat shoots with pointed ends - phylloclades (this is also typical for other asparagus). Real leaves, small whitish scales, grow from the underside of phylloclades. Flowers about 1 cm in diameter, greenish in color. The corolla of the flower is six-petaled. Flowers, depending on the species, can form on the upper or lower side of phylloclades, but not in the axils, but almost in the middle. The flowers appear to grow directly from the leaves. Ruscus flowers by themselves do not represent decorative attractiveness, but bright orange - red berries are very decorative.
Two types are popular, which are quite similar, but the main difference is in the branching of the shoots:
- Butcher of Pontic Ruscus ponticus or Butcher of prickly Ruscus aculeatus is a strongly branching bush, phylloclades are small, about 5 cm long, have thorny tips. The flowers are mauve.
- Butcher's broom Ruscus hypoglossum is a little branching bush with wide soft phylloclades, about 7-10 cm long. Has a more pronounced flower cover leaf. grows to about 40 cm in height.
Butcher's broom is rare as indoor plants; in Russia, it is more often grown in regions with a warm climate as a garden plant. But in the USA or Europe, butcher's broom is grown as a pot culture, bonsai is formed from it (usually the style of neagari, hokidachi, bunzingi).
Temperature: Moderate to cool, butchery grows well at an average temperature of around 18-22 ° C. In winter, a coolness of about 12-14 ° C is required. Ruscus also withstands lower temperatures - the minimum limit for it is + 1 ° C.
Lighting: Requires shading from direct sunlight from 11 to 16 hours. Grows well in light partial shade on the north side, not shaded from the street.
Watering: During the growth period, watering is moderate: the soil should have time to dry out well before the next watering - Ruscus does not like a lot of moisture at the roots. In winter, with a cool content, watering is very moderate, the soil should have time to dry out completely and stand dry for 5-7 days. In nature, Ruscus grows along the edge of dry undergrowth, on dense but well-drained soil. It tolerates overdrying more easily than waterlogging of the soil.
Fertilization: In the spring, every 2 weeks with a complex liquid fertilizer for indoor flowers. Do not overestimate the dose of fertilizers and try to use complex preparations, where there is a full set of trace elements.
Air humidity: Likes humid air, so the butcher is periodically sprayed.
Transfer: Annually in the spring. Soil - 1 part of clay-sod, 2 parts of leafy land and 1 part of coarse sand. When transplanting, old yellowing underground shoots, or a heavily overgrown horse ball, are cut off.
Butchery is tolerant of soil acidity, grows on acidic, neutral, sometimes in nature it can be found on very alkaline soils. But at home it is not worth bringing to this - the optimal pH value for assimilation of nutrients is 5.5-6. A pot for ruscus is better than a clay one, wide, ideally an oblong container. At the bottom there are always large holes for water drainage. If it is one, you can increase it with a tile drill. Instead of drainage, cover the hole in the bottom with a shard of coconut shell.
Reproduction: By dividing the bush during transplantation and by seeds. Seeds are sown in early spring when the snow melts (they need a period of cold stratification) - you can sow seeds in bowls and leave them on a cold balcony. But germination is not close, sometimes it takes up to 12 months or more.