These plants, whose cultivation gives us very few concerns, have a long series of advantages; they are native to the American continent, and there are various species and varieties.
These are evergreen shrubs, quite vigorous, which do not fear too much the frost and develop well in the sun of the Italian summers; the foliage is dark and glossy, very pleasant; for all the summer, at the apex of the branches, they produce small racemes, which gather many small star-shaped flowers, of white, pink or fuchsia colour, often very perfumed.
The escallonia is perfect for those who want a beautiful impenetrable hedge, with flowers for long months, but are also ideal to be cultivated as individual specimens, especially with regard to the varieties with larger leaves or flowers with very bright colors.
For those who only have a terrace, or particularly like potted plants, there are also dwarf varieties of escalonia, small balls that are completely covered with star-shaped flowers.
Cultivating the escalation
These shrubs prefer sunny or semi-shady positions, also because, if placed in a very shaded or dark zone, they tend not to bloom, losing most of their pleasantness.
The flowering is summer, and takes place on new branches, so if we want flat plants of flowers is appropriate to do a nice pruning in early spring, when the night lows already begin to rise, in this way we will stimulate the development of many new branches, and then a much more abundant flowering. In addition to this, regular pruning helps to keep the hedge tidier and favours the development of denser, more pleasantly shaped shrubs.
In fact, when developing freely, often the escallonia tends to assume a rather disorderly and not very compact aspect, not always elegant.
The soil should be rich and very well worked, possibly characterized by good drainage, so that no water stagnation occurs, which could prove very harmful to the shrub. Watering is provided only during the summer, and only when the soil is well dry, as these plants do not like excessive watering, and bear quite well the drought.
The escallonia is a fairly rustic plant, which can bear short frosts; if we live in an area characterized by decidedly very cold winters, it is best to position the plants near a wall or at least in a place well sheltered from the wind; otherwise it is likely that at the end of the winter the plant will suffer damage caused by the cold. Usually, occasional burns caused by frost can be simply removed by pruning, to stimulate the development of new healthy vegetation.
Fertilization is quite important, but, as with most garden shrubs, it is advisable to provide it with a slow release fertilizer, which should be provided at the end of winter, and will gradually dissolve as the weeks pass.
- Good morning, my question is: could Escallonia be planted as a divider in a road with a high concentration of traffic? Aldo…
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- I would like to know if I can plant the escallonia in pots 80×50 h 60 placed next to a wall dress Chianti area with strong sun in summer and frost in winter. the plant does many roots? you what do I do?
In general, vigorous and resistant shrubs are used for the preparation of hedges, which can withstand the cold well and which have a good development every year.
Unfortunately, it is not always easy to find the most suitable shrub, because if you choose a decidedly very vigorous shrub, as is the case for lauroceraso, piracanta or bamboo, you will then be forced to do more pruning throughout the year, to contain the exuberant development of the plants; If, on the contrary, we choose a slow-growing plant, such as the boxwood or some varieties of ilex, we risk to wait many years before having a real hedge, or having to keep a hedge full of “holes” as a result of bad weather or very cold winters, which force us to drastically prune the damaged branches of the cold.
When we choose a hedge, therefore, let us be informed by our nurseryman of the characteristics of development peculiar to each individual species and variety, so as not to have to passively undergo the development for us not appropriate to the plant that we liked so much.
In addition to this, special attention must be paid when pruning a hedge that has been chosen for its flowers. In fact, not all plants have the same behaviour, and not all need to be pruned at the same time of year.
Some hedges, in fact, produce flowers only on the new branches, those germinated in the current spring; this is the case of the escallonia, but also of the roses and the oleanders; on this type of hedges, a vigorous pruning at the end of autumn or at the end of winter, almost certainly leads to an abundant flowering during the following summer season.
Other plants, on the contrary, prepare the buds already in spring or autumn, and therefore their flowers will bloom on the old branches, which are already at least some months old; this is the case of forsythia, Jewish tree, viburnum; if, therefore, we decide to prune vigorously our forsythia hedge, by the end of winter, we will have the result of removing most of the flower buds, removing also most of the attraction of the hedge.
Always remember that shrubs have very different behaviors, so it is difficult to generalize, although often you will find guides who give advice like that, in February you can prune the hedge plants. It is true that pruning at the end of winter helps us to keep the garden tidy, but if it also deprives us of the flowers, perhaps it is the case to wait for a more favourable moment, and to look, for a few more weeks, at the garden “in disorder”.
Very vigorous upright shrub, height up to 4.5 m, diameter 6 cm, evergreen with shiny and aromatic leaves. Species growing and not compact bearing with glossy, ovate or lanceolate leaves.
red tubularis gathered in terminal cobs, bloom in July August.
Multiplication: in August-September, 8-10 cm long cuttings are taken from the not flowering semi-woody branches, with a portion of the branch carried, and are rooted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts, in a cold case, at the maximum temperature of 13-16 °C. The cuttings rooted singularly in pots of 7 cm, filled with the compost pots, during the winter are kept in a cold chest. In May, the containers are buried in the open air; planting takes place in April of the following year.
Exposure: sunny or partially shaded
Temperature: it does not tolerate cold; it is advisable to grow it under a wall and provide protection during the winter.
Watering: rather moderate throughout the year; the important thing is that the soil is never completely dry.
Fertilization: at the beginning of spring, it is advisable to administer a polyvalent fertilizer.
Soil: Grows well in well drained and fertile universal potting soils, which retain moisture.
Parasites and diseases: lead pain that causes the death of the branches; the leaves of the attached plants have metallic-silver shades, then crumple and fall.