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The ironwood tree (Metrosideros) is known in many variations and belongs to the family of the myrtle family or the witch hazel family, which stand out with their beautiful flowers. The ironwood tree is originally from Iran and the Caucasus at home, the name Parrotia he has received after the German botanist Friedrich W. Parot (1792-1841).
The varieties of the ironwood tree include:
- Lophira alata
- Metrosideros vera
- Parrotia persica
The Eisenholzbaum is a deciduous shrub, but can also be called a small tree. It reaches a stature height of up to 10 meters. If the ironwood tree is once-born, it likes to branch directly above the earth's surface, which is why it is also known as a shrub. The trunk shows a shed bark that peels off and looks much like a sycamore tree. The young branches have a hairy surface. By the way: Because the wood is so heavy that it sinks in the water, it is called Eisenholzbaum.
The leaves of the Parrotia grow alternately, they are about 10cm long and have either an egg-shaped or elliptic-round shape. The tree blooms from January to March before the leaves are formed. When the flower buds open between June and August, eight to ten head-shaped flowers appear. In the seed capsule sit elongated and shiny light brown seeds. In autumn, the ironwood tree shines yellow, orange or orange-red, which is why it is very popular with garden owners. The older the tree gets, the more beautiful it becomes and the more expansive its treetop becomes.
Location for ironwood trees
When the ironwood tree stands in a sheltered and sunny spot, it will grow and thrive best. Young trees have branches that point upwards like a funnel. The older the tree gets, the more a large crown is formed. Since most ironwood trees in the garden grow multi-stemmed, they can reach a circumference of up to 12 meters wide. As a young tree, the ironwood tree grows relatively slowly, only after a few years it grows properly. Therefore, the location should be assessed right from the beginning, this kind of trees does not like it at all, if it has to be replanted after years.
Tip: Because of its beautiful foliage color, it looks particularly good as an eye-catcher in the garden.
The soil at the site should be nutrient-rich, loose and permeable. He can also tolerate a weakly acid clay soil. The ironwood tree, however, can adapt very well and thus grow on a moist sandy soil. However, he does not like waterlogging in all soil moisture. The lighter the soil, the stronger the color of the leaves will fall in the fall. Since the ironwood tree develops flat roots, no further plants can be used in the foot area of the tree. Here it is better to apply a mulch layer, as this not only has a nicer appearance, but also retains the moisture in the soil. Some varieties of the iron trees can also be placed in the winter garden or as a small room tree. Some garden owners would like to use the parrot as a trellis tree, that is also possible. Because of the shallow roots it can also be used in areas with less soil, but sometimes new roots form above the surface of the earth, which then grow down and look for the soil there.
The care of the ironwood tree
Ironwood trees are considered uncomplicated and robust. If the soil conditions and his claim to sun and sheltered location are met, he needs no further attention. It does not have to be cut back if the location has been chosen so that it can unfold unhindered. It also rarely attacks pests or diseases.
Due to its initially slowly progressive growth, the ironwood tree can initially be used in the bucket. For a while he makes eye-catchers on the terrace, later he can be planted in the garden on the spot. In the pot, it needs protection against frost and severe cold temperatures. When mild winters prevail, but it comes without too.
Pour and fertilize
Of course, when the ironwood tree is in the pot, it needs to get regular water and nutrients. On the other hand, specimens planted out in the garden can survive the normal humidity of the earth. When summers are particularly hot and dry, he likes to get his share of water in general flower-growing. Its nutritional needs are low. In the field, it can be supplied with a portion of compost in spring or mineral fertilizer according to regulations. From September, fertilizer will not be fed additionally.
Multiply the parrotia
If in the summer half lignified shoot tips are cut and these are put into a mixture of peat and sand with temperatures of 22-25°, these can root.If they are previously dipped in rooting powder, the roots form better and faster. In this process, however, you have to have some luck, so that the roots also train. Of course, it is safer to buy a young plant in the nursery or garden shop. Here you can buy copies from 40cm up to 150cm. Often they are also offered as a small copy for a few euros in the hardware store.
Worth knowing about the ironwood tree soon
The ironwood tree is an easy-care, robust plant. A permanent place can be obtained in a heated conservatory. Otherwise Kübelhaltung is a good variant. In the summer you can put the plant outdoors, but the winter has to spend in the warm. In warm locations you can also overwinter the ironwood tree outside, but well protected.
Young trees or shrubs grow slowly. However, growth will increase after two to three years. The ironwood tree is one of the nutmeg plants and should, like all these once rooted, no longer be transplanted. The plant needs no special care and is hardly affected by diseases and pests.
- The Eisenholzbaum likes nutrient-rich, weakly acid loam soils, which must be loose and permeable.
- Because it is very adaptable, it also grows on sufficiently moist sandy soils. On light soils the autumn color is more intense.
- The tree is sensitive to waterlogging. For the keeping of the rooms also normal potting soil can be used.
- The location should be bright and sunny, partial shade is also well tolerated.
- Lack of light leads to reduced flower formation. A good location results in dense and compact growth.
- In early summer you keep the ironwood tree a bit drier, so it starts to bloom more. Otherwise, the earth must be kept constantly moist.
- The water requirement of potted plants is high. The earth should never dry out completely.
- Fertilized is from March to September every 10 days with high-quality fertilizer for potted plants.
- You can also use slow-release fertilizer in March and refresh it again in June.
- Ironwood trees should be repotted every year. The best time for it is the late winter. Each one uses a little larger vessel.
- The potting soil should contain coarse particles, ie lava, gravel, chippings or expanded clay.
- Hibernation is best done bright and cool at about 5 to 10 ºC. Too much heat impairs or even prevents flower formation.
- Young shoots freeze easily.
- In cool winters, a power-saving resting phase is set, from which the plant awakens in spring with full energy and starts off.
- The short-term minimum temperature is 0 ºC.
- Even during hibernation, the ironwood trees must not dry out, otherwise they lose their foliage and verkahlen.
- The ironwood tree grows best without cutting.
- If you want to educate him to the Hochstamm, the cut should be made directly after flowering.
- Usually only minor corrections are necessary. These can be done in the summer and also at the end of the winter.