How to grow Acacia
About 1000 species belong to the genus Acacia, including shrubby, arboreal and climbing plants both evergreen and deciduous, which are appreciated both for the beauty of the flowers, which on average bloom from winter to spring, and for the foliage, particularly pleasant. These are plants originating from tropical and sub-tropical areas in both the northern and southern hemispheres.
Among these species we mention the Acacia dealbata, the Acacia armata or Acacia paradoxa, which is the real acacia and the Acacia retinodes.
In this sheet we will see how to grow Acacia following the general principles and adopting the most appropriate techniques.
In any case, Acacia is a rustic plant and simple enough to grow. It is a plant that can be grown in pot or in the ground: obviously if the plant is raised in pot, the dimensions will remain very small.
To grow the acacia outdoors you must choose a place sheltered from the wind and in full sun, while in the apartment should be kept in a cool area and in a very bright, even in direct sunlight. In this case it is necessary that at the beginning of the late spring and until September it is kept outdoors, in the garden or on the terrace, even in full sun providing for its adaptation in a gradual manner.
Acacia, grown mainly in the apartment, is a plant that needs a particularly humid environment, both in summer and in winter; and when temperatures become particularly high, taking care to nebulize at least once a day with warm water, and when it begins to sprout (January), a period in which it is appropriate to maintain a particularly humid environment around it with daily sprays, always warm water , to avoid the fall of the shoots.
Remember that the substrate must always be kept slightly damp, especially in summer, but in conditions of high drainage; therefore medium and loose soils.
In the cultivation in pot it is necessary to remember to repot each year in spring using a good soil rich in peat.
If it is grown outdoors it is good at the time of planting to provide a good amount of organic matter in the planting hole that will be integrated annually in the end of winter.
In pot it is necessary to provide, from the spring and throughout the summer, to the contribution, through the water of watering once a month a liquid fertilizer in halved doses. It is good that in addition to the macroelements are made all the microelements necessary for its physiological needs.
As for pruning, the acacia should be pruned every year after flowering to maintain a harmonious shape of the plant.
The multiplication of Acacia can occur by cuttings and by seeds. Obviously if it is multiplied by seed, plants with greater genetic variability and therefore different from the mother plant are met. With the agamic multiplication, therefore for parts of the mother plant, the characteristics of the mother plant will be perfectly reproduced.
For the agamic multiplication, the branches recovered can be used with pruning carried out after flowering or cuttings taken during the period of July-August. For this technique only semi-woody cuttings with a length of about 10-15 cm should be used, which must be cut with an oblique cut, to increase the rooting surface, immediately under a knot. The cut must be made a blade well sharpened and disinfected, to avoid fraying the tissues.
At this point, after removing about 2/3 of the leaves present (especially the larger ones and placed further down) the cuttings should be placed in a substratum formed by peat and sand in equal parts making holes with a pencil, as many as are the cuttings to be planted, taking care to compact the soil gently. The base of this ava placed in contact with a radical hormone to increase the rhizogenic capacity.
The vase or nursery thus prepared is then covered with a plastic bag or with a transparent polyethylene film, in the form of a small greenhouse, to prevent the loss of moisture. The vase (or nursery) must be in an environment at about 18 ° C in temperature and with good light but not in direct sunlight. Every day the plastic film should be lifted, checking the humidity of the substrate and eliminating the condensation from the plastic. The appearance of the first shoots coincides with the radical emission of cuttings. It is a good time to remove the plastic and wait a few weeks to make the young seedlings grow stronger to transplant them.
In seed reproduction it is necessary, before sowing, since the outer coating of the seed is particularly tough, soak the seeds in boiling water and leave them to soak until the water has cooled. At this point we eliminate the seeds that come to the surface and sow only those that have gone to the bottom. Germination will occur on average after 2-3 weeks. Also here, for the seeding substrate, it will be necessary to use a soil formed half by sand or perlite and half by peat, with a depth of seed equal to the thickness of the seed.
As for adversities and pests, you must be careful of the red spider, whose presence in addition to yellowed leaves is also emphasized by the thin spiderwebs, especially on the lower page of the leaves. in this case the remedy can be to increase the frequency of the nebulisations to the crown, and eventually, only in case of particularly severe infestations, use a specific insecticide. In small plants you can also try to clean the leaves to mechanically eliminate the parasite using a wet and soapy cotton swab. After that the plant should be rinsed very well to remove all the soap. Similar treatments should be done for aphids especially during the spring period.