What Is Chinese mulberry?
Chinese -Mulberry (Morus alba var. Chinensis) is a deciduous bush or tree that grows 8-10 meters high (26-33 feet). Chinese mulberry has pink, lavender, and white flowers along with creamy white fruit. In autumn, when the leaves turn yellow, it makes for a beautiful display of colors.
Chinese mulberry is ideal for most soils, including well-drained acid soil ones. It requires little maintenance and tolerates drought conditions; however, it grows best in rich, moist soil. The plant can be very vigorous during spring and might require staking to keep from being blown over by winds or broken branches by heavy rains or snowfall.
Chinese mulberry Care & Maintenance:
Planting: Native to Asia, the Chinese mulberry plant is hardy to zone 4 and can be grown in Sunset Climate Zones 1 thru 11.
Choose a site that has full sun or very partial shade for this prolific producer of edible fruit. Plant your trees about 3 feet apart and about 3-5 feet from buildings to give them room to grow.
Chinese mulberry planting needs deep watering every week during drought conditions—a sprinkler works well on large plants. If you can water your tree regularly, it will not need additional care for years.
In the winter months, when the leaves fall, check for damage by insects or diseases before applying fertilizer as an over-application could burn the roots.
Plant in full sun or a partial shade. In scorching climates, it is best to provide some protection from the sun. (Hedges, windbreaks, etc.)
Mulberries prefer well-drained acidic loam soil with a pH of 5.5 or 6.5 and an organic content of more than 15%. It is tolerant of both wet and dry soils but prefers moist, fertile soil rich in humus.
Grow mulberry plants in loose sandy loam that drains quickly. Avoid heavy clay soils high in organic matter as they may cause root rot due to poor drainage; however, don’t give the plant arid conditions, which can kill it, especially during its early years when it’s sensitive to transplanting shock.
When growing Chinese mulberry trees, you should add crushed limestone if your soil is too acidic for this particular tree or plant cultivar to thrive.
If you cannot find good quality light soil, you should use topsoil mixed with some sand and loam as drainage is essential for your tree’s health. You can also grow this plant in pots or containers if need be, but make sure that the container has drainage holes along its sides so that excess water can drain out of it.
You can plant your Chinese mulberry trees close together (around 10 feet apart), which will allow them to become large enough to support themselves if planting more than one tree, then space each row about 30-40 feet apart from each other as they will spread significantly over time and could take over an entire area unless pruned carefully and regularly.
Mulberry trees do not need a lot of water to thrive; however, they require consistent watering. Keep the soil moist but never soggy until the young plants have had a chance to establish themselves.
Once your mulberries have grown enough to support themselves, you should only need to water them every 2-3 weeks during summer if rainfall is lacking in your climate. Make sure that you check the soil moisture before watering and apply enough water to be absorbed or run off quickly.
You don’t want soggy soils around this plant because it could lead to root rot or other fungal diseases, which will kill your tree’s roots and eventually the entire plant itself if left untreated!
To make sure that your tree is getting enough water, you need to do some digging around its root zone every other month or so. If the soil seems dry, apply light watering until the plant’s roots have absorbed it.
Tree Size: Chinese mulberry trees can reach an average height of 30-50 feet with a spread of about 25 feet wide when planted in full sun conditions; however, if you plant them in the partial shade, they may grow as tall as 70 feet!
Mature Tree Size: Mulberry trees are fast growers and produce mature fruit 3-4 years after planting. In areas with plenty of room for the large branches to spread out, they will become full and bushy, while close pruning can cause smaller branches to flourish and grow outward.
Ensure that the tree is receiving enough water and fertilization (if not using mulberry fertilizer ) so that it will become strong and healthy to produce a great yield of fruit for you.
Temperature and Humidity Requirements:
Mulberries love the summer heat and should never be subjected to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit when they are young. Once your tree has become mature, you can experience lower winter temps around 40-50 degrees F without any harm being done as long as it is acclimated correctly to the changes in temperature over time.
The mulberry plant will not tolerate low humidity levels, so make sure that you provide plenty of extra moisture or have a humidifier going if your climate is extremely arid during times of the year that are drier than others.
Mulberry trees don’t need a lot of fertilizer; however, if you want to have the best fruit possible, you should try using mulch around the base of your tree as well as a small amount of organic mulch or gardening-grade compost.
If flowers appear on your tree in late spring or early summer, make sure that you remove them so that they do not lead to any lessening of fruit production.
It would be best if you fertilized once during spring and again during early fall (around August) until your plant produces enough fruit. You can use kelp meal or another type of natural fertilizer, which will provide nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron to your plants every 2-3 months. Make sure to read the instructions on whatever fertilizer you buy and apply it according to their directions for best results.
Because these plants can get up to 80 feet tall, make sure that you prune them properly to attract fewer pests (like birds) and still produce a lot of fruit for you!
The mulberry is ready to be picked when the berries are a nice deep red color. If left in the heat or direct sunlight too long, they could shrivel or become overly fermented inside. When this happens, the flavor of your fruits becomes somewhat sour, much like Raspberries if left too long before being used as a food source.
Potting and repotting Requirements:
An under-sized pot will cause the roots to become cramped and entangled. It would help if you repotted only when necessary, which is usually only once every three or four years.
Repotting Requirements: Be sure that your mulberry tree has adequate drainage while its roots are being disturbed because a clogged-up container can result in root rot death for your plants soon after planting!
Hardiness Zones: 3a – 9b
Soil Requirements: Mulberries prefer well-drained soils that have a pH between 5.2 and 6.5. If you notice any problems with how acidic the soil around your plant may be, it’s best to test it first to see if it requires any slow application of limestone or even aluminum sulfate to adjust it back to its preferred point.
Keep an eye on the wet content of your soil around the roots and stems of your tree if you live in an area that receives a lot of water from rain or irrigation because mulberry trees can have a tough time when mud accumulates on their leaves or trunk. Pests and Diseases:
Mulberry trees are prone to getting aphids, leaf miners, scale insects, mites, root rot, blight (especially under warm conditions ), and more. Aphids are most commonly found sucking foods out of the bark of young shoots, while leaf miners will burrow into them and create tunnels until they get under the fruit skin. Scale insects such as cane scale will often attach themselves to trees by
Chinese mulberry Propagation:
The seeds are often tiny and will have a long germination period; however, the Chinese mulberry can also be grown from cuttings or layering.
Mulberry trees grow well in containers as long as they are within 3-4 feet in diameter and 6-8 feet tall. If you live in a rainy area, consider using a soaker hose around your mulberry tree to keep it watered because their roots don’t do well with constant moisture that pools up on top of them.
Keeping your tree warm during harsh winters (which can be below zero degrees) is important to keep its leaves from turning brown and dying off quickly before spring. Signs of Spring: In early spring, you should see clusters of little white or pink blossoms appear on your tree.
Mature mulberry trees can produce up to 3 pounds of fruit per year. Pollination Requirements: Mulberries are parthenocarpic, meaning they do not need to be pollinated; however, bees and other insects love their nectar, so it’s nice to have at least one or two around if you want a good producing harvest each season.
Chinese Mulberry Problems:
Fruits may start to develop but fall off the tree prematurely because they were not pollinated properly. The reason for this could be that your trees are planted too far apart or that your mulberries were not pollinated effectively by insects.
Be sure to remove any fruits from your tree before they can fall onto the ground. If there is a risk of them being contaminated with bacteria and diseases, you don’t want the problem spreading to other parts of your garden!
Leaves of your mulberry trees will turn yellow or brown during winter if you live in an area that regularly freezes temperatures below the 30s and can cause them to die quickly. Mulberries can sometimes be susceptible to Verticillium Wilt if you have many natural limestones where you live; however, this is not common.
These plants are also sensitive to overwatering, so their soil must dry out between watering sessions while still keeping their roots from sitting in puddles at any time.
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