Medlar (Eryobotria), or Lokva, or Eriobotria Japonica belongs to the subfamily Rosaceae. The genus consists of 30 species and originates from China and Japan. It is also called the Mushmula of Japan, it should not be confused with the Mushmula of Germany, also belonging to the Rosy family, but belonging to a different genus.
Japanese medlar is a fruit and decorative evergreen tree or shrub up to 8 m high. Inflorescences and shoots are covered with a thick felt gun, which makes them appear reddish. Her leaves are oval, dense, whole-edged, the upper part is smooth, the lower part is pubescent, reaches 25 cm in length, and 8 in width.
White or slightly yellowish fragrant flowers with five petals are collected in inflorescences at the tops of shoots, reaching a length of no more than 12 cm and containing 60-90 buds. Flowering usually occurs in November-January, the ovaries do not tolerate even a short-term drop in temperature below 0 degrees and fall off.
The fruits of Japanese medlar are tasty, juicy, sweet, pear-shaped. They contain a lot of potassium and vitamin A.
Care for medlar
Medlar does not require special care, grows rapidly and can reach 3 meters in a pot culture.
Temperature and lighting- in the summer, medlar is best suited at 18-25 degrees, in winter - at 10-12, but not lower than 2 degrees. The plant needs good lighting, with a lack of light, flowering will not occur. Shading is needed only in the summer afternoon, in winter the medlar is illuminated until 12 o’clock, especially if it bloomed. When the flowers fall off, the backlighting is stopped. In summer, a pot of plants can be taken outside.
Humidity and watering - the soil should be constantly moist, but water stagnation should not be allowed. The day after irrigation, the top layer of the earth in a pot is loosened. If medlar hibernates at low temperature, watering is almost completely stopped.
Medlar does not need to be sprayed. It is better not to do it because of the edge of the lower side of the leaves, and once a month to make the plant a warm shower.
Fertilizer and fertilizing- medlar responds well to organic fertilizers. During the growing season, they are either fertilized with mullein infusion, or fertilized 2 times more than normal for citrus fruits from May to September. If the fruits are tied and you are going to take them for food, it is better to stop feeding the plant a month before the expected harvest.
Soil and transplant- Medlar is absolutely undemanding to soils, just remember that the lighter the soil, the more often the plant is watered. The first five years, the plant is replanted annually, then once every 3-4 years. Drainage is required. In large tubular specimens, only the topsoil is changed. When transplanting, do not deepen the root neck.
Flowering and pruning- at home medlar blooms rarely and at the age of 4-6 years. With a lack of light, the plant will never bloom. Medlar does not need special pruning, only dry, broken and "extra" twigs are pruned.
In early spring, the seeds are sown in separate pots in a sand-peat mixture, covered with glass or a transparent film and kept at a temperature of 16-22 degrees. Shoots usually appear and grow very quickly.
In late summer - early autumn, cuttings with 2-3 buds about 15 cm long are cut and rooted in sand or perlite at a temperature of about 20 degrees. Rooting usually occurs after about a month. Then the sprouted cuttings are planted in separate small pots.
Pests, diseases and possible problems
- Medlar is rarely affected by pests and is sick, but sometimes aphids or scale insects appear on it. Treat the plant with an insecticide.
- With constant overflows and poor drainage, root decay is possible.
- The plant is stunted or young shoots are elongated in low light.
- The seeds of medlar and its young leaves are poisonous.