The Leucothoe axillaris is a medium-sized evergreen shrub, native to North America. It has a well branched stem, erect, with arched branches, the shoots are reddish in color, with the passage of time the foliage becomes dark green, shiny, slightly leathery and waxy, the leaves have an oval shape, pointed and become reddish during the autumn.
In late spring it produces a large quantity of small white flowers, bell-shaped, grouped in clusters hanging from the leaf axil, in the lower part of the stem, are very fragrant. A shrub that is easy to grow, it can be pruned without any problems, and is therefore often used as a hedge plant to obtain decorative effects of great impact.
The variety of Leucothoe axillaris is grown in shady or semi-shady places, it can tolerate sunny positions, but it is better that the sun does not hit its leaves during the hottest hours of the day. These shrubs are resistant, do not fear the cold and can withstand intense and prolonged frosts. If the temperatures are particularly cold it is advisable to protect the root system with the use of mulch material or dry leaves that should be placed at the base of the plant for proper protection.
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As for the water supply, from March to October let’s irrigate the The Leucothoe axillaris regularly, avoiding that the soil stays dry for excessively long periods of time; during the cold months let’s suspend watering, even if it is best to check that the soil doesn’t remain completely dry for long periods of time. Of course it is also necessary to check that there are no water stagnations which would be dangerous for the plant.
During the vegetative period, let’s provide acidophilic plant fertilizer, every 15-20 days, mixed with the water of the watering.
In order to develop at their best, the Leucothoe axillaris plants need acid soil; an excess of limestone in the soil quickly causes iron chlorosis and a stunted development of the plant.
Let’s plant this variety of plant in acid soil, composed mainly of peat, and remember to treat it with greening products at least every 6 months.
It is also possible to mix the soil with sand and organic material, so as to provide all the necessary nutrients.
As far as the multiplication of the Leucothoe axillaris plants is concerned, it takes place by seed, in spring, or by semi-woody cutting, taking the apex of the branches during the summer period and placing the cuttings in special containers where the new shoots may develop.
Leucothoe axillaris: Pests and diseases
In general, plants belonging to this variety are not affected by pests or diseases. It can happen that a very heavy and humid soil favours the development of radical rottenness; during the spring period sometimes aphids attack young buds and new shoots. If there is too much moisture, it is possible that the plants will be attacked by fungal diseases.
To combat them effectively, it will be necessary to intervene promptly with the use of specific products that will help to stem and solve the problem.
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