How to grow silver pine

How much to water silver pine

The silver pine is a very robust evergreen conifer with a conical shape, the bark is purple-gray and the rigid needles have a characteristic blue-white color tending to silver. The silver pine can be grown in pots or in the ground, the younger specimens fear prolonged drought and it is therefore necessary to water them in the summer, always only when the soil is really dry. Adult pines, on the other hand, have a greater resistance to drought but will still need to be watered if the soil is extremely dry in the summer months. For the rest of the year the rain will ensure the right water supply. If the silver pineit needs fertilizers that can be administered dissolved in water for watering. Especially for potted plants it will be necessary to place on the bottom of the material that favors the drainage, such as expanded clay, pebbles or shards.

The silver pine prefers sunny or semi-shaded areas, does not fear cold and harsh temperatures and easily resists even below 0 ° C. The plant grows well in areas with a moderately humid climate and long winters. It is not uncommon to find it where rainfall exceeds 50 cm, but the ideal areas have rainfall ranging from 90 to 180 cm per year. It is no coincidence that silver pine is very common in the Sierra Nevada, above 2,000 meters above sea level. The ideal soil is soft, well drained and humid, never leave the pine for too long with the arid earth; however, the silver pine is well suited to different types of soil. Usually the pruning of silver pine, and in general for all types of pine, is not recommended because these plants have a «rigid and set» growth compared to other plants.

How to fertilize silver pine

To keep the silver pine in full health, it can be fertilized once a year, whether it is a specimen in pot or in the ground. A specific slow-release fertilizer will be used to be administered at the foot of the plant. Fertilization is essential only when the silver pine is planted, in the hole or in the pot that will host it it is necessary to put a layer of fertilizer, manure, humus or special compost but never in direct contact with the roots. However, fertilization is not mandatory because if the soil is good the pine will live in health without fertilizing treatments. If, on the other hand, you will plant the silver pine in calcareous soils or if the plant is often pruned, fertilization will be a must. Use special fertilizer even when the pine is sick or under attack from parasites.

Silver pine diseases and remedies

The silver pine is subject to diseases and attacks by parasites such as: «rust», a fungal disease that manifests itself by darkening the needles, «gray mold» which causes swelling on the trunk and branches, and attacks by aphids and mites. The silver pine fears the attacks of these parasites, especially by xylophagous insects; to eliminate these insects there are ad hoc products to be sprayed directly on the pine.To prevent the attack of processionary larvae it is advisable to remove the cocoons or nests in August. The processionary moth and in particular its hairs are stinging for humans, it is therefore advisable to use a mask and gloves to avoid contact.To treat attacks of processionary moth and other parasites, pesticides are used, that is, medicinal products composed only of natural substances, which are injected directly into the trunk of the pine. In this way, the substances will not affect groundwater and the air. Some substances used are horsetail and nettle. Biological interventions to counteract parasite attacks are increasingly frequent, i.e. by inserting antagonistic organisms into the environment.

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