medium-large shrub, deciduous, native to North America; it has an erect posture, characterized by some stems starting from the ground, densely branched, with messy foliage; the bark is smooth, light brown, or grayish. The foliage appears in spring, is lanceolate in shape, dark green on the upper page, has a light colouring on the lower page, with the presence of a thin down, in spring produces special bell-shaped flowers, facing downwards, grouped in small bunches.
The flowers of Carolina halesia are white, sometimes pinkish, but there are hybrids with deep pink flowers. The plants of halesia carolina do not grow too quickly, within a few years the shrubs can easily reach 180-200 cm in height.
The plants of this genus prefer the sunny, or even the semi-shaded, positions, even if it is appropriate that they receive at least 3-4 hours of direct sun every day; it prefers the cool places, therefore, in the areas with hot summers, it is good to make sure that the shrubs enjoy the refreshment of the shade during the hottest hours of the day. They are not afraid of the cold and can therefore be grown in the open ground even in places where winters with cold temperatures are likely.
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As for the water supply, it is advisable, from March to October, to avoid that the soil stays dry for excessively long periods; in case of drought therefore let’s water the soil deeply.
At the end of the winter we bury at the foot of the plants an organic fertilizer that will provide the plants with all the nourishment necessary for their best development.
Pruning of this plant is not necessary for its health, but to maintain the desired shape, you can intervene by shortening the branches too long, in the period after flowering.
As for the best cultivation techniques, it is advisable to plant them in soft and loose soil, well drained, rich in humus; the plants of halesia carolina are afraid of soils with an excessively high PH, therefore it is better to provide slightly acidic or neutral soil.
When planting these plants it is good to prepare a compound in which peat, pumice and organic matter are present, so as to have a well drained soil, which avoids the formation of dangerous water stagnations.
The multiplication of this type of plant happens by seed, in spring, or by semi-woody cutting, in summer.
In the case of sowing, it is also possible to proceed in the month of October, in special containers that must be placed in a cold box and kept for a couple of years, before being transplanted in the ground. In this way the plants will take on the necessary strength to develop at their best.
Halesia carolina: Pests and diseases
These plants are rather rustic and very resistant to the most common pests, so they are usually insect-free; cultivation in basic soils can cause the appearance of ferric chlorosis.
It is possible to intervene in the phase of vegetative recovery with broad spectrum treatments that allow to eliminate the onset of problems.