Bedding plants

Planting and maintaining a blue pod shrub - this is how it's done

Planting and maintaining a blue pod shrub - this is how it's done

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Whether called blue cucumber or decaisnea fargesii: the blue pod shrub is an Asian ornamental tree with aromatic-tasting fruits. Read here how it is grown.

Blue pods taste very sweet

The blue pod shrub, often referred to as “blue cucumber” in the gardening trade, convinces its lovers in two ways. On the one hand, the pod is an ornamental tree with an exotic character, on the other hand it bears blue, pod-like fruits every year in late summer, which is very popular in Asia to be consumed as fruit. The approximately 15 to 20 centimeters long, very sweet tasting fruits are suitable for snacking directly from the bush or for effectively decorating all kinds of desserts.

But before you can try these delicious pods, you must of course plant the blueberry shrub first. We have written down for you exactly how this is done and how it looks with the care of the blue pod shrub.

Cultivation of the blue pod shrub

➤ Growing from seeds

In gardening stores, blue pods are offered in different stages of growth, which you can easily plant in the garden. On the other hand, you can also grow the plant yourself by sowing seeds (blue pod seeds are available here, for example). The seed can be sown all year round in plant pots.

And this is how it is done:

Before sowing, it is best to let the seeds germinate in a glass of water for a day. Then you have to press the germinated seed into the soil about one centimeter deep. Then wait until the first shoot has formed. Please don't despair, because it can take a while.

You can then plant the partially hardy wood all year round in the garden, but you should keep away from particularly frosty and particularly hot planting days.

➤ Choosing a location for the blueberry shrub

The blue pod shrub, which grows to an average of four meters high and usually just as wide, should be used in a sunny to moderately shady spot in the garden. Furthermore, the blue pod clearly prefers lean, well-drained soils. Particularly nutrient-rich and especially heavy, loamy soil is less recommended for this plant.

You can also easily hold the blue cucumber in an appropriately sized bucket. Then, however, you have to water the plant regularly. In addition, the plant usually needs some slow release fertilizer in the container.

Care instructions for the blue pod shrub

➤ Fertilize:

Every year from May to June, the blue pod shrub forms yellow, bell-like flowers that form a kind of flower cluster. Before the flowers open, however, you should give the shrub an organic fertilizer, for example by carefully incorporating compost around the plant.

As soon as the leaves turn bright yellow to yellow-orange in autumn, a second organic fertilization should take place.

➤ Harvest / wintering of the plant:

After flowering, the magnificent blue pods also form, which you should only harvest and eat when the color is deep blue. However, the fruits can remain on the shrub well into winter, which will make them a special visual highlight in your garden.

In the first few years and in particularly frost-intensive areas, you should still protect your blueberry shrub a little in winter, for example by accumulating the trunk with soil or by covering it with a garden fleece.

➤ Carry out a shape cut:

Furthermore, you can give the blueberry shrub a topiary year after year if necessary. However, you should only do this after the plant has been completely defoliated or in early spring.

If you have now decided on a topiary, you should simply cut the branches over the first or second bud.