The Amorpha fruticosa is a deciduous shrub native to North America; it is also widespread in Europe, in the wild, where it was originally imported as an ornamental plant. It has a round shape, is very branched and reaches even 2-3 meters high, the leaves are composed, consisting of 29-35 small oval leaves, bright green in color, slightly lighter on the bottom page, the bark of the short stem is grayish, smooth.
By the end of spring and until late summer, it produces long spikes formed by numerous flowers of a dark purple red colour, with showy golden-yellow or orange anthers; by the end of summer, the flowers are followed by the fruits, small green pods, glossy, which become red or brown when ripe, in autumn.
The plants of amorphous tend to produce numerous basal suckers and then the bushes can become very large, colonizing all the space they have available, if you want to keep the shrub within a small area is good to remove the suckers periodically.
The Amorpha fruticosa is a plant that develops best when placed in the ground, but can have a satisfactory growth even if grown in pots. These plants should be placed in a very sunny place; these shrubs can bear even partial shade, where however they receive direct sunlight for at least a few hours a day.
They don’t fear the cold, even if it is advisable to place them in a place sheltered from the wind, in order to avoid that the long ears of flowers and fruits could be damaged. If the climate is particularly harsh, it is best to cover the aerial part, or, if placed in a pot, to shelter them in a sheltered place.
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The Amorpha fruticosa plants can resist even to drought periods but, from March to September, it is good to intensify the watering and water about once a week, to allow the plant a balanced development. During the winter period, it is necessary to thin the watering significantly. It is good to take care to ensure that there is no stagnation of water at the base of the plant.
At the beginning of spring, bury the mature organic fertiliser at the foot of the shrub or spread a handful of slow release granular fertiliser around the trunk.
The Amorpha fruticosa plants have shown to be able to adapt to any soil, even poor and stony; undoubtedly, for a better development of the plant, it is good to place it in a good rich soil and, above all, very well drained, with addition of sand and lapillus or pumice stone. The best soil is composed by peat, sand, mould, organic substances and pumice stone.
The multiplication of this variety of plants takes place by seed, in spring, after having stratified the seeds in the fridge for at least one week; in autumn or by the end of winter, it is also possible to remove the basal suckers, which are to be rooted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts, in a container or directly on the ground; the young plants are to be kept in a semi-shaded place for the first year, and are to be regularly watered.
Amorpha fruticosa: Pests and diseases
Plants of this kind are quite resistant and hardly attacked by diseases, but sometimes, however, aphids infest the ears of flowers and affect the beautiful flowering of the plant. To prevent this from happening, it is advisable to use specific products at the end of the winter, before the plant starts to flower.