Is Erdbeerbaum hardy and winterproof - how to spend the winter? maintenance

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Is Erdbeerbaum hardy and winterproof - how to spend the winter? maintenance: hardy

The name strawberry tree already gives the impression at first glance that this is a very unusual plant species. And indeed, if you look calmly at the attractive plant originating from the eastern Mediterranean, it is fair to say that botanists and plant lovers are right.
Because in general it is even in expert circles that the strawberry tree in this country is one of the most beautiful potted plants ever heard. The special is also that it is the strawberry tree (lat. Arbutus unedo) is an easy-care, evergreen plant that can tolerate outdoor temperatures of up to -10° C or 15° C.
However, it is important to follow certain guidelines for special care.

Different varieties - different characteristics

The Arbutus menziesii or the Arbutus andrachne also belong to the genus Erdbeerbaum; but they differ, among other things, primarily by some optical details of Arbutus unedo. For example, the Arbutus andrachne grows up to five meters high, while the Arbutus menziesii can even exceed the 40-meter mark.
In addition to these three best known species of strawberry trees, there are of course various other species, but all these are only partially winter hardy. In this point, they differ significantly from the Arbutus unedo. Incidentally, Arbutus unedo can be found in Greece as well as Portugal, Malta and even Ireland.
The beautiful, strawberry-like fruits are characterized by their reddish-orange color and can reach a size of about three centimeters. In this context, it is worth noting that the strawberry tree is generally not only hardy, but also that the flowering period does not start until the beginning of winter.
This often leads to a serious problem for hobby gardeners when it comes to the pollination of the flowers. Because during the winter time pollination by insects is comparatively difficult, so that man often has to help in this regard with a special dusting brush, in order to permanently ensure the preservation of the species.

Age matters

Because the strawberry tree is one of the Mediterranean plant species, so the genus of so-called Kalthauspflanzen, he is only partially winter hardy. It is certainly conceivable to leave the Arbutus unedo outdoor for a certain time, but this should be possible only in older plants done, which also have mature wood.
Because only they are resistant enough to withstand the usually harsh, wintry conditions. It should be noted that the strawberry tree usually requires a special protection.
This means that the hibernation should not take place in free, unprotected nature, but that especially the leaves and the trunk and the floor area should be covered with fabric remnants of breathable cotton or jute. In addition, it is also possible to place the Arbutus unedo at long-lasting, frosty temperatures in the unheated garage.

When spring finally comes, the strawberry tree is happy

During the cold season, it is of course quite possible to store the evergreen plant in the stairwell or in the basement. The rule is: The cooler, the better the strawberry tree feels. In this regard, it is also important to take care to water the plant as little as possible.
From time to time adding a few drops of water to prevent it from drying out is quite enough. Gardening experts also advise that the strawberry tree - like most other plants during the winter too - by no means fertilize. Only when the first spring messengers arrive, ie in February or in March, the Arbutus unedo gratefully, if you then spoiled him again with plenty of sun and warmth.
A window to the south side, for example, is the ideal place for the Arbutus unedo.

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