How to determine the sex of sea buckthorn
Sea buckthorn can be found in many garden areas. Undeservedly forgotten a few decades ago, this culture is reviving again and is popular due to the invaluable benefits that it can bring to the human body. However, inexperienced gardeners often encounter a situation where a well-groomed bush does not bear fruit, not knowing that the reason can be quite banal and hide in the gender of the plant.
What is a dioecious plant?
The concept of a dioecious plant means that it has two sexes - male and female. The male sex, the buds of which are equipped exclusively with stamens, is designed to pollinate the female with pestles in flowers, that is, the generative organs, relatively speaking, are located in “two houses” - male and female.
This also applies to sea buckthorn. The process of such cross-pollination occurs with the help of wind. Pollen flies from the male plant to the female, fertilizing it. Moreover, pollination occurs even if the plants are at a sufficiently large distance from each other - up to 50 m, however, a high yield of berries will be when the sea buckthorn bushes are located as close to each other as possible.
In a small area, it is enough to plant at least one male shrub - it is enough to pollinate 5 female shrubs. Flowering buckthorn bushes occur in April - May and lasts about 10-12 days.First of all, male flowers are revealed, which contain a huge amount of pollen, and after a day, female flowers open. During flowering, in principle, there is nothing remarkable - the trees are covered with small, leafless flowers gathered in spikelets. Beautiful lush buds and a wonderful aroma are completely absent.
Which sea buckthorn bears fruit - male or female
Berries appear only on female bushes. Without a male tree, the process of pollination and fruit formation is impossible, unless we are talking about specially bred multi-homed specimens. Fruits are formed in August or September (depending on the variety). Beginning gardeners need to take into account that the fruit comes into fruiting only 3-4 years after planting.
Does sea buckthorn change sex?
In nature, there are species of dioecious plants that are capable of becoming monoecious in certain stressful situations (for example, hemp), i.e., have flowers of both sexes. As for sea buckthorn, in itself it does not possess such an ability and cannot independently change its gender. But those who have only female bushes growing on the site should not be upset, since male branches can be grafted to them.
Moreover, annually male trees grow strongly, give a lot of overgrowth, clogging the site. Such a procedure is often carried out in nurseries that grow universal seedlings, which then do not need pollinating neighbors.
Important! Inoculate the shoots of male sea buckthorn to a female bush in a large branch located on the sunny side.
How to distinguish between male and female sea buckthorn
Gender determination is a common problem that gardeners face.There are several ways to recognize gender by appearance, but most of them apply only to adult cultures.
On the kidneys
In buckthorn bushes of different gender, the structure of the kidneys is different. In men, they have larger sizes and are covered with many small scales, making resemblance to cedar cones. The buds of female plants are much smaller, have only up to 3 scales. Gender can be determined exclusively on adult plants, since young plants lack generative buds (there are only vegetative ones). Moreover, they can be considered only in the fall, after their formation or in the early spring during swelling.
Differences can be found in the colors. Such research should be done in the spring. Besides the fact that one floor has stamens and the other has pistils, the differences are the shades of the buds. In female shrubs, the flowers have a yellowish color, and in male shrubs, they are silver-brown.
Did you know? To achieve pollination, when only a female sea buckthorn grows on a site, you can simply attach a water bottle to the crown and put a flowering branch of the male plant in it.
In summer and autumn, gender can be determined by foliage. In a male plant, the leaf plates have a more saturated bluish plaque, which makes them appear gray. Accordingly, the leaves of female sea buckthorn are more pronounced in green. Also, the differences are in the form of sheet plates.In men they are flat, with a central vein turned outward, and in women they are concave.
How to distinguish seedlings
It is very difficult to determine the sex of a seedling before it reaches 3-4 years of age, because, as mentioned earlier, it does not have generative buds. You can rely on the size of the material - male bushes are larger in size. It is best to purchase planting material in specialized nurseries, where you will be provided with accurate information about the plant field.
Important! When choosing female seedlings for planting, it is better to purchase varieties with a small number of thorns, such as, for example, sea buckthorn Chuiskaya, Abundant or Giant.
Knowing the biological characteristics of different sexes, distinguishing plants is not so difficult. It is enough to conduct your own research of shrubs once, relying on the above tips, and in the future you will accurately distinguish between the weak sex of the sea buckthorn and the strong.