|Schisandra chinensis subsp. var.||Wu Wei Zi|
Schisandra chinensis is a deciduous woody vine native to forests of Northern China and the Russian Far East. It is hardy in USDA Zone 4. The plant likes some shade with moist, well-drained soil. The species itself is dioecious, thus flowers on a female plant will only produce fruit when fertilized with pollen from a male plant. However, there is a hybrid selection titled "Eastern Prince" which has perfect flowers and is self-fertile. Gardeners should beware that seedlings of "Eastern Prince" are sometimes sold under the same name but are typically single-sex plants.
A decidious Climber growing to 9m at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone 4 and is frost tender. It is in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It requires moist soil.
Prefers a rich well-drained moisture retentive soil[11, 200]. Prefers a slightly acid soil but tolerates some alkalinity if plenty of organic matter is added to the soil. Requires some protection from the most intense sunlight. Plants succeed in quite deep shade and are suitable for north-facing walls. Plants are intolerant of drought[K]. The fully dormant plant is hardy to about -17°c, though the young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Plants climb by twining around supports. Any pruning is best carried out in the spring. The flowers are sweetly scented. The leaves are also aromatic. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
Seed - best sown in the autumn in a cold frame[200, 238]. Pre-soak stored seed for 12 hours in warm water and sow in a greenhouse in the spring. Germination can be slow and erratic. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for their first 2 years. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm with a heel, August in a frame. Overwinter in the greenhouse and plant out in late spring[11, 78]. Good percentage. Layering of long shoots in the autumn.
Pests and diseases
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