Lemongrass (Schisandra) is a liana plant from the Lemongrass family, which has become widespread in China, Japan, Korea, as well as in many regions and regions of Russia, including the Moscow region. There are about two dozen different species in the genus of these deciduous crops, but the most popular is the lemon tree.
Distinctive features of lemongrass are its long weaving stem, reaching 15 m in length, with a peeling surface of a dark brown hue, dense fragrant leaves of a dark green color, white-pink flowers and red juicy berries - fruits with seeds inside. The flowering period lasts no more than two weeks and begins in late May or early June. Harvesting is carried out in early autumn. It is recommended to protect young crops from the winter cold with a layer of fallen leaves and spruce branches; adult bushes do not need this. The berries, juice, leaves and bark of lemongrass have beneficial and healing qualities. They are used in folk medicine, in the preparation of drinks, desserts, in the confectionery industry.
Schisandra chinensis is the only cultivated species known for its Pervenets and Sadovy 1 varieties. Both varieties are frost-resistant and fast-growing. "Pervenets" is distinguished by high quality of fruits, medium ripening period and good resistance to diseases and pests, "Sadovy 1" brings abundant harvests of juicy and aromatic sweet-sour fruits.
The optimal time for planting lemongrass in warm regions is September-October, in other territories the spring period will be more favorable - late April - early May. The chosen place for growing the crop should be protected from strong gusts of wind and cold drafts, with good sunlight. This site can be located about one and a half meters from the building. The distance between plantings is 80-100 cm.
Two weeks before planting, it is necessary to prepare planting pits, the diameter of which is about 70 cm, and the depth is about 40 cm.A drainage layer is laid on the bottom from broken red brick or small crushed stone, the thickness of which is about 10 cm.The rest of the space in the pit is filled with a special soil mixture , consisting of equal parts of rotted humus and compost, leaf and sod land, superphosphate (200 gr) and wood ash (500 gr). Until the day of planting, the soil will settle slightly and become more dense.
When choosing seedlings, you need to pay attention to the necessary external characteristics:
The seedling is placed in the center of the pit, the roots are spread over the soil surface and sprinkled with soil so that the root collar remains flush with the soil. Immediately after planting, abundant watering is carried out in a constructed near-stem circle with a small earthen roller along the edge (about 10 cm). After soaking up the irrigation water, the soil is covered with humus or compost mulch.
It is recommended to irrigate in the near-trunk circle, the volume of irrigation water is moderate. On hot summer days, additional moisture will be required in the form of spraying the leaf mass. This water treatment is recommended for young and adult cultures. The water should be warm and settled; it is possible to leave containers with irrigation water in the open sun for heating. An adult plant needs about 5-6 buckets of liquid.
The soil requires regular weeding and shallow loosening. To maintain moderate humidity and as additional food, you can use a mulch layer of humus or rotted compost.
In the first two years after planting, no additional feeding is required for lemongrass. Fertilizers begin to be applied only in the third year of life. It is recommended to use three different dressings during the season - in spring, summer and autumn. After each of them, the soil is moistened with warm irrigation water.
Trellis and self-made ladders are recommended to be used for growing lemongrass without fail, since such placement contributes to the teaching of a large amount of sunlight and heat by the plant and has a beneficial effect on the quality and abundance of fruits. Lemongrass without support grows like a regular small shrub and often lacks fruiting. Such a useful structure must be installed already in the first season of growing a fragrant and useful crop.
To make a trellis, you will need high pillars (from 2.5 to 3 m in height) and metal wire. Each pillar is dug into the soil to a depth of about 60 cm, with an interval of 2.5-3 m from each other. The wire is fixed to the posts in even rows at a height of 50 cm, 1.5 m and 2.5 m from the ground. The grown seedlings are tied up first to the nearest wire, and then, as they grow, to each next one.
If lemongrass grows near the wall of a house or other building, then instead of a trellis, you can build wooden ladders and install them in an inclined form near the building. Such support will also perfectly support the growing shoots of lemongrass.
In the first two years after planting the seedlings, the formation and increased growth of the root part occurs and therefore pruning is not required during this period. Starting from the third year of life, ground shoots grow at a high speed, and the pruning procedure becomes very important. With a strong thickening of the culture, shoots can be cut off in the middle of the summer season, but it is best to do this in the autumn. On each bush, it is necessary to leave from 3 to 6 young shoots, and the rest are removed completely to the ground level. Removing lemongrass shoots in winter and spring (the time of active sap flow) is contraindicated, since the plant may die.
Rejuvenating pruning is recommended for adult lemongrass, whose branches are 15-18 years old. Sanitary pruning can be done throughout the warm season. Cultures must be freed from damaged and dried branches, from small and diseased shoots, as well as from constantly appearing root shoots. An urgent procedure is needed when pests or diseases appear.
A transplant for lemongrass is too much stress and he takes it hard. Florists and gardeners do not recommend transplanting without special need. Even such a propagation method as root division is not used in this case, so that the roots of the plant do not dry out when removed from the ground. If the situation is that the plant needs to be transplanted to another place, then try to transplant as quickly as possible, since lemongrass suffers from exposure of the root part. It is necessary to prepare the planting hole and soil mixture in advance, and only after that dig up the plant.
The seeds can be planted in fall and spring. In the autumn, freshly harvested fruits are sown in the ground. After overwintering in the soil, in the spring they will give amicable shoots. When planting in spring, the prepared seeds, stratified for sixty days, are planted in planting boxes with a special soil mixture to a depth of about 5 mm, covered with paper and daily watering is carried out until shoots appear. Seedlings will appear in 10-15 days. Young tender seedlings should not be exposed to direct sunlight. As a prophylaxis and for disinfection, seedlings are irrigated with a weak manganese solution. After the appearance of 3-4 full-fledged leaves, the seedlings are transferred to more spacious containers and planted at a distance of 5-6 cm from each other.
Young lemongrass can be transferred to open ground in early June, after gradual accustoming the plants to open air and hardening. Open beds should be located in partial shade, the interval between plantings is 10 cm or more. In the first two years, it is recommended to use additional shelter for young crops for the winter. As a covering material, you can take fallen leaves and spruce branches. When the plants reach the age of three years, they can be planted in a permanent place.
For cutting cuttings, you need to take the tops of young shoots. A favorable time for grafting is mid-summer. The lower part of the cuttings is immersed in the Kornevin solution for a day, and then planted in moistened river sand. Planted cuttings should be covered with a glass jar or cut-off plastic bottle.
Among the sprouted annual shoots at the base of the root, it is recommended to choose the strongest specimens, tilt them to the surface of the loosened earth, fix them with a wire and sprinkle with humus or peat soil with a layer about 15 cm thick.The first roots on the layers will begin to appear in about 4 months, and completely root the system will be formed only in 1.5-2 years. Then it will be possible to separate the layers and transplant to a permanent site for independent further development.
It is recommended to dig out and plant root suckers in the second half of spring. It is advisable to choose several offspring that are located farther from the adult bush. It is necessary to prepare the landing site in advance and immediately after removing them from the ground, plant them on a new site. The root part should not dry out in the air, even for a short time. In the first months, the seedlings must be protected from direct sunlight and the soil must be abundantly moistened.
Schisandra is resistant to pests and various diseases, including due to its bright aroma, but sometimes the disease can begin due to contact with a diseased plant or its close location on the site. To determine the true disease and take urgent measures to save cultures, it is necessary to know its main signs.
The leaves, fruits and seeds of Schisandra contain a huge amount of useful substances: organic acids, vitamins, fatty oil, many trace elements and biologically active components that are necessary for the human body in the complex treatment of diseases of the heart and blood vessels, liver and pancreas, nervous system and organs digestion. Schizandra berries and seeds are used to make decoctions and tinctures, which are necessary for healing anemia and tuberculosis, diseases of the genitourinary system and hypertension. The substances contained in lemongrass are used by Chinese medicine to normalize blood sugar levels and to strengthen heart muscles. In our country, lemongrass is popular in folk recipes (as a preventive measure against flu and colds), as well as in the production of cosmetics (for the preparation of creams and masks).
When choosing lemongrass as a therapeutic or cosmetic product, you need to consult a specialist, since the plant has some contraindications.
Lemongrass. Garden World site
Lemongrass has also been used in medicine. It is used to make drugs prescribed for the weakening and exhaustion of the body, overwork, nervous diseases, for the treatment of patients with impaired vision and hearing impairment, in addition, Schisandra fruits help with some gastrointestinal diseases, such as chronic gastritis.
From the fruit of lemongrass at home, you can get juices, make syrups, fruit drinks, jelly, jams and other products.
Lemongrass juice contains up to 12 percent of dry substances, up to 19 - sugars, up to 10 -11 - acids in fruits - 20 - 36 milligrams of vitamin C. Of particular value is the tonic substance contained in seeds, leaves and stem bark - schizandrin.
Manchurian lemongrass (another name for a representative of the lemongrass family) is widespread in the wild in Japan, China, Korea, the Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories, as well as in Sakhalin. The homeland of the plant is the Far East. Healing frost-resistant liana is found in broad-leaved, mixed forests, near river valleys, near shrubs, on the edges. It prefers to grow in well-drained, organic-rich soils. For medicinal purposes, special territories are allocated for the cultivation of lemongrass.
In home gardening, it is an original decoration for verandas, gazebos and walls of houses and needs strong support: arches, trellises, trellises. In the absence of such, the plant will develop poorly, and you can simply not wait for fruiting.
Due to the content of a large amount of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, trace elements, the plant has strong medicinal properties. In medicine, all parts of the plant (foliage, shoots, berries, seeds) are used. The plant has tonic properties, improves the functioning of the brain and nervous system, stimulates the heart, and has a beneficial effect on the lungs. For example, lemongrass tincture improves the functioning of the neuromuscular system. The plant is widely used in industrial pharmacology, folk medicine.
Lemongrass is grown on a trellis. With this arrangement, the illumination of the plant is improved, which contributes to an increase in the size of the berries and the enlargement of the brush. Lemongrass without supports looks like a low bush and most often does not bear fruit.
It is advisable to install the trellis in the year of planting lemongrass. If this cannot be done, the seedlings are tied to pegs, and a permanent support is installed in the spring of next year.
For the construction of the trellis, pillars of such length are needed so that, after installation, they rise 2-2.5 m above the ground. They are dug in to a depth of 60 cm, at a distance of 3 m from each other.On the pillars, the wire is pulled in 3 rows: the lower one at a height of 0.5 m, the rest after 0.7-1 m.
In the first year after planting, the growing shoots are tied to the lower row of wire, in subsequent years - to the higher ones. The garter is carried out throughout the summer, placing young shoots in a fan. For the winter, the tied up shoots remain on the trellis, they cannot be removed.
When planting lemongrass near the house, obliquely set ladders are used as supports.
In their natural form, lemongrass berries are not consumed, since their taste is sour and astringent. They are dried, used to make compote, juice, fruit drink, syrup, wine, preserves, jam, marmalade.
Natural fresh fruit juice is stored in the refrigerator for a long time without losing its beneficial properties. When diluted with water, a very pleasant tonic drink of bright red color with a refreshing taste and lemon aroma is obtained. The juice improves the taste of the tea, just add 1 teaspoon to the cup.
Tea made from branches and leaves has a golden yellow color, a very subtle lemon scent and also has tonic properties. It can be drunk instead of traditional tea. A soft drink made from leaves is very good, it invigorates and refreshes on a hot day.
However, lemongrass is most valuable as a source of biologically active substances. Studies have shown that fruits and green mass contain a special substance - schizandrin. It is a natural stimulant of the human central nervous system. Its effect on our body is akin to ginseng. It promotes energy production, restores strength after mental and physical exertion. It has a particularly positive effect in the event of a breakdown after stress, operations, and illness. The tonic, refreshing, stimulating effect of Schisandra chinensis helps during intense mental work that requires concentration, attention, and wholeness of perception. Moreover, unlike other stimulants, its action is not accompanied by depletion of nerve cells.
The fruit pulp of lemongrass is rich in organic acids with a predominance of citric and malic acids (contains 40 and 30%, respectively). Found in it pectin, tannins and substances of P-vitamin activity. There are also tocopherols, or vitamin E, ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, saponins, which remove cholesterol from the body.
The seeds contain, along with schizandrin, up to 34% fatty oil, many minerals. Leaves, bark and shoots are rich in vitamin C, the essential oil that gives them a lemon scent.
Preparations from lemongrass fruits equalize blood pressure, lower blood sugar, dilate peripheral vessels, treat nervous and mental conditions, and increase visual acuity. Tinctures and decoctions are taken to increase potency with impotence in men.
With impotence: 15 g of dried fruits of lemongrass, 20 g of yarrow herb, 30 g each of oregano herb and elecampane roots, 40 g each of St. John's wort or Knotweed. All components are crushed and mixed. Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 teaspoon of the mixture, insist until cooled and filter. Take ¼ glass 4 times a day. The course of treatment is 2 weeks. Efficiency over 60%.
For cooking tinctures crushed berries are poured with 96% alcohol in a ratio of 1: 5 (for example, 100 ml of alcohol per 20 g per year). The bottle (better than dark glass) is tightly closed and insisted for 7-10 days in a dark place at room temperature, shaking occasionally. Then it is filtered off, the residue is squeezed out, another 20 ml of alcohol is added, infused for 10 days, filtered off and added to the first tincture. It is kept for a couple of days and filtered again. The finished tincture should be transparent. Take it before meals, 20-30 drops 2-3 times a day. The course of treatment is 20-25 days.
To obtain decoction, 20 g of berries are poured with 200 ml of water, boiled over low heat for 15-20 minutes, then insisted for 3-4 hours. Take warm 1 tbsp. spoon 2-3 times a day for 3-4 weeks.
When using lemongrass for medicinal purposes, it is necessary to take into account the specificity of the effect of its individual parts on the human body.
So, the treatment of gastritis with low acidity is carried out using natural undiluted juice. On the other hand, acidic gastritis can be cured by taking dry seed powder.
Schisandra seed powder (3 g per day) relieves fatigue during intense physical exertion. It is effective not only for the sick, but also for healthy people, for example, when working on the night shift or overloading with pilots and submariners.
After taking the powder from seeds, after 30-40 minutes, a person begins to rise in strength, his mood improves, his physical and mental capacity for work increases. The feeling of vigor lasts for 6-8 hours. Any addiction or dependence does not occur. For medicinal purposes, the powder is taken within three weeks.
Leaves and stems have a milder effect, since they have less tonic substances than fruits. An infusion of them relieves depression, improves the condition in the treatment of alcoholism.
For cooking infusion fresh or dried leaves, lemongrass stems, collected in summer, are brewed as tea at the rate of 1 teaspoon of crushed raw materials for 1 cup of boiling water.
To old people with a breakdown oriental medicine recommends taking infusion of lemongrass berries, dodder seeds and mummy... Prepare it as follows. Take 2 teaspoons of a mixture of equal parts of crushed fruits and seeds, pour 1 glass of boiling water. Then add a piece of mummy the size of a match head. Cover the glass with a towel and leave for 30 minutes. Strain and drink 2 times in the morning. After 15 hours, it is better not to take the infusion - there may be insomnia. The course of admission is 20 days, then a break for 20 days and a repetition of treatment.
Although lemongrass is a medicinal plant, before being treated with it, you need to consult your doctor. He has contraindications: Do not take lemongrass drugs with high blood pressure, nervous excitement, heart failure, with increased gastric secretion.
Research has shown that lemongrass can help prevent cancerous growths. The domestic drug Likaol, developed on its basis for recuperation, is useful for the elderly. And ointments help to heal long-term non-healing trophic ulcers.
If your hair is falling out, use the experience of Japanese women who in ancient times rubbed mucus from under the bark of vines into the scalp to restore hair.
Lemongrass not only heals, but also decorates the garden. Its lianas with openwork greenery can be wrapped around an arch, a gazebo, and decorate the wall of a house. Lemongrass is very effective in autumn, when bright red clusters of fruits hang on the vines, which do not fall until frost.
The material was published in the Library of the newspaper "Gardener World" "Garden. Vegetable garden. Flower garden", No. 12, 2010.
Photo: Lyubov Polyakova, Rita Brilliantova
Chinese schisandra (lat. Schisandra chinensis) belongs to the Magnoliaceae family and is a climbing shrub. Lemongrass stems reach a length of 15 meters and a thickness of 2 cm.
Leaves of Schisandra chinensis are obovate with a wedge-shaped base, shallow-toothed, shiny green above, fleshy with pronounced veins. The color of the veins and petioles is pinkish, the flowers of a young plant are pink, then turn white, and when they begin to fade, turn yellow.
The smell of Schisandra chinensis is fragrant, mild. The berries are orange-red in color, spherical, and form a dense cluster of seeds - in berries, brilliant yellow.
Leaves appear in late May, lemongrass blooms from mid-June, berries ripen in late September and early October.
Schisandra chinensis should be picked when fully ripe. The ripening period of lemongrass fruits lasts from September and lasts until autumn frosts. It is necessary to cut off the brushes with berries very carefully; it is better to use a sharp knife for this. Try not to damage the vines, as a plant without support can stop fruiting. It is better to use barrels, baskets or enameled dishes as containers for the collected fruits. But the use of galvanized buckets will lead to their oxidation due to the juice of the berries. Fruit processing must be carried out within 24 hours after collection.
Schizandra berries can be harvested in two ways:
Chinese lemongrass is not a capricious plant, but rather persistent. But in order for it to develop well, you need to establish a support for the vine. Without it, the plant will also grow, but you can't wait for flowers and berries.
To make the vine feel comfortable, it is recommended to prepare in advance for it the soil, which is close in composition to the forest one. However, lemongrass is unlikely to like sour soil. You can add humus under the roots of the liana for the winter. This plant loves sunny places.