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Ferruginous vineyard in the middle lane - my cultivation experience

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The representatives of the Vinogradov family are very desirable plants in my garden. These lush, cheerful vines with elegant carved foliage involuntarily plunge into the atmosphere of distant lands with a mild climate, and life seems like a fabulous vacation. In this article, I would like to talk about a relatively rare representative of the Grapes in our area - a ferruginous vineyard. This exotic liana has been growing in my garden for several years, pleasing the eye with a dazzling appearance. Is an exquisite exotic suitable for gardens in the middle zone, and what can be expected for flower growers who have laid eyes on it?

The ferruginous vineyard in the middle lane is my cultivation experience. © Sharon BroganFollow

Description of the plant

There are many varieties of grape, growing wild in various parts of the world. The most famous types: aconitol vineyard, vineyard japanese and ferruginous vine... The latter has many other names, for example, short-stemmed vine, Ussuri or ampelopsis glandular, which corresponds to its scientific name Ampelopsis glandulosa.

Vineyards are the closest relatives of cultivated and girlish grapes. Even the very name "ampelopsis" is translated from Latin as "like a grape". Like their relatives, ampelopsis grow in the form of vines and form tendrils on the stems, bloom with small inconspicuous flowers, after which they tie purple berries.

With its foliage, the natural form of the ferruginous grape resembles a reduced copy of the well-known Isabella grape. A very popular varietal form of ampelopsis of glandular variegat Elegance (‘Elegans’) is distinguished by a more carved lobed foliage, and most importantly, by the presence of chaotic patterns of white, cream and silver on the leaf blades. With good lighting, the leaves even turn a little pink. It is the Elegance vineyard that grows in my garden.

Such elegant foliage looks especially attractive against the background of bright crimson young stems and the same color of antennae and petioles. The leaf blades are medium-sized (5-10 centimeters), and, like grape leaves, are very dense, dull and slightly rough. In good conditions, the vine can reach 2-3 meters.

Ampelopsis can be compared to both grapes and ivy, but having great similarities with these plants, its striking appearance is not identical to either one or the other. To me, its leaves resemble the reduced foliage of a watermelon, and the numerous creamy, white and pink strokes are very pleasing to the eye.

But the main advantage of the vine, in my opinion, is simply amazing fruits, with the color of which, perhaps, no plant can compare in the middle lane. Who else can you find the shade of aqua that is present in the fruit of the grape?

In addition, the berries of ampelopsis are chameleons: freshly set fruits have a light green color, then (as they ripen) they acquire a pale pink and lilac hue. After - amazing turquoise. But fully ripe berries of a very rich blue-violet color, almost indigo. And such a play of shades can be observed even on one single bunch, since the fruits ripen unevenly.

Thus, each bunch is a semblance of a skillful decoration made of gems. An additional resemblance to semi-precious stones is given by the semi-matte surface of the berries with a slight sheen and small dark blotches under the skin.

The berries of ampelopsis are chameleons: freshly set fruits have a light green color, then they acquire a pale pink and lilac hue, then an amazing turquoise. © Sharon BroganFollow

Conditions and care for the vineyard

According to the data of plant encyclopedias, the ferruginous vine "Elegance" belongs to the frost resistance zone 5b. That is, the minimum winter temperature that the plant can tolerate is -26 degrees. From this it follows that ferruginous ampelopsis is not the best option for growing in the middle lane. Nevertheless, in the presence of a good snow cover, the ferruginous grape winters well in regions with more severe winters, and with a small cover of the trunk circle - even without it.

However, it should be borne in mind that these figures are valid only for the root system of the plant, but the frost resistance of grape wood is much lower. In the middle lane, it is almost impossible to keep the stems even with maximum cover. Thus, it is possible to grow the ferruginous vine "Elegance" in regions belonging to the 3-4 frost resistance zone, but you always need to be prepared for the fact that in a frosty, snowless winter, you can completely lose the plant.

Ferruginous vineyard is also grown in room culture. Read about this in the article Vineyard, or Ampelopsis - a vine with colorful berries.

The ferruginous vineyard is not picky about the soil, and can adapt to various habitat conditions. But it will develop best of all on well-drained, moderately fertile loamy soils of slightly alkaline reaction. The most important thing is to choose a place for plants where water will not stagnate during thaws and after heavy rains, since the root system cannot withstand stagnant moisture.

The ferruginous vineyard is shade-tolerant and feels good in partial shade, it is most favorable to create conditions for it that are preferable for most vines - shading the root zone and sufficient lighting of the shoots. Bright sunlight is especially important for the “Elegance” variegated form, which is best planted in a sunny place, so that the elegant ornament on its leaf blades appears as brightly as possible.

Care consists in timely watering and sprinkling during a dry period and, if necessary, protection from diseases and pests. However, in general it is a very hardy plant and diseases and insect attacks are extremely rare. Like most lianas, in the first three years the elegans grape grows its root system, and the shoots grow relatively slowly, after which a more intensive development of the aerial part begins.

The leaf of the ferruginous vine (Ampelopsis glandulosa var. Brevipedunculata) is incredibly beautiful, especially when combined with bright crimson shoots. © Lyudmila Svetlitskaya In the middle lane, the ferruginous vine grows back from the root every year. © Lyudmila Svetlitskaya

The experience of growing the elegans grape in the middle lane

I bought the ferruginous vineyard "Elegance" in the form of a small two-year-old sapling brought from a European nursery. This vineyard has been growing on my site for over five years. Unfortunately, during this time, he never turned into a lush vine, like a girl's grapes or at least clematis, but it did not die out, which is also a reason for joy.

No matter how I tried to preserve the stem (I removed it from the support, laid it and wrapped it in nonwoven material, built an air-dry shelter), I never managed to preserve the shoots. Therefore, I concluded that in the middle lane the wood of the ferruginous grape "Elegance" does not hibernate.

But the root system of the vine is more winter-hardy. The first years I covered it with straw or sawdust, but once I did not manage to arrive at the dacha in time in late autumn, it snowed, and the plant went uncovered in the winter.Nevertheless, the vine woke up in the spring alive and well, after which I stopped covering the vineyard in any way for the winter.

This plant grows in me in the form of a coppice culture, that is, the stems completely die off during the winter. But in spring, new shoots depart from the root, which manage to bloom and set fruits over the summer. Usually my bush drives out two or three shoots, and by autumn they can climb to a height of 1.5-2 meters. Despite the fact that in our area the culture does not reveal its full potential, I remain a big fan of this plant, because it has a very exotic appearance.

Many flower growers, seduced by the bright images of the Elegance vineyard in the catalogs, are wondering whether it is worth purchasing this exotic plant for the gardens of the middle lane? I will answer this question this way - it depends on what you expect from this unusual vine, for what purpose do you want to purchase it?

If you are planning to use a plant for vertical gardening and expect a vineyard to decorate a net or fence, then it definitely will not work for you. It has small sparse foliage, low whips that die off for the winter, and in temperate latitudes it will never grow into a dense lush bush. But if you are a collector and connoisseur of plants, then the vineyard will really delight you with variegated foliage and extraordinary berries. And it will not cause much trouble.

In the latter case, it is better to plant the vineyard not by the fence, but in a ceremonial place, for example, by placing it in a tub on a small obelisk, making it the center of the container composition. Planting in containers will also allow growing the Elegance vineyard as an add-on crop. Removing for the winter in a room with a low, but not critically low temperature for it, it will probably be possible to preserve not only the roots, but also the lignified stems of the vine.

But if you need a more resistant vine with variegated leaves, then I advise you to take a closer look at the girlish grapes of the Star Showers ("Star Rain") variety.

As for leaving, we can say that my ferruginous grape "Elegance" grows "by itself", like an ordinary girlish grape. We have quite fertile chernozem soils, and when planting, I did not add any fertilizers for it, and in the future I did not carry out a single top dressing.

During all this time, no pests and diseases were observed on the plant, and the typical fungal ailments of cultivated grapes also passed. The only care is watering only during the dry season, so the plant can be called absolutely unpretentious, despite its exotic appearance.

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