Celastrus orbiculatus or celastro is a vigorous deciduous climbing plant native to East Asia. This climber grows rapidly, clinging to the supports and growing up to 5-6 meters in length. The stems are dark, semi-woody or woody; the leaves are dark green, rounded, with a finely serrated margin, waxy.
In spring it produces numerous clusters of greenish flowers, which bloom at the leaf axil; in summer the flowers give way to decorative woody green or yellow berries, which ripen tend to split, revealing the fleshy, bright red berries they contain.
Usually, this type of plant also grows spontaneously, but it can be grown with satisfaction and is often used in floral compositions, thanks to its aesthetic yield.
It is advisable to resort to pruning to prevent it from growing excessively, since it is a rather invasive climber.
Celastrus orbiculatus is a rustic and resistant shrub that prefers sunny positions, but which can also grow in shady or half-shade areas. The celastro is a resistant plant and tolerates winter cold very well, but not the action of the wind, so it is advisable to plant it in a place sheltered from strong winds.
Even during the coldest winters it can resist without the need for special protections.
As for the water supply, it is advisable to water the celastro sporadically, only in periods of prolonged drought; normally the plant is satisfied with seasonal rains and is able to find the necessary water thanks to its developed root system.
Check that dangerous water stagnations do not form at the base of the plant, which could compromise its health.
In spring, bury some fully mature organic fertilizer at the foot of the plant.
Celastrus orbiculatus prefers loose, well-drained soils, rich in organic matter, but, being a rustic plant, it often grows also in unfavorable, poor and dry soils. The ideal soil for its development is that of a non-calcareous type.
The multiplication of Celastrus orbiculatus occurs easily by seed in spring and the celastro plant also tends to self-sow. If desired, it can also be propagated by cutting a portion of the roots: fleshy stolons from which suckers often grow. The portions practiced can be directly planted. In the autumn period it can propagate by offshoot, making the new seedlings root well, before planting them definitively.
The seeds can also be used in November, placing them in special containers placed in a cold greenhouse, where they can germinate in peace. Germination occurs after four months.
Celastro - Celastrus orbiculatus: Parasites and diseases
The celastro is a hardy and resistant plant that defends itself well against pests and diseases, however, powdery mildew and rust can cause damage to the leaves, without making us worry about the survival of the plant. Aphids attack flowers and fruits, ruining the most decorative parts of the plant. Thrips and defoliator larvae can ruin the leaves.
In case of parasites it is good to intervene with the use of specific products that will solve the problem in a short time.