Thursday, August 6, 2020

Growing yangmei seedlings, early observations

The germination may take a year or more, and it does not seem that the germination media is that important.  Most of my seedlings germinated in a potting mix, and I also found one beautifully developing seedling in the clay soil of my side yard. The cold moist storage or overwintering outside in a cold winter weather (30-45F) seems to be important.

The germination success was about 20% for three different batches of seeds I had.  About 1/3-1/2 of seedlings died early. Additional seedling loss happened after the excessive fertilization, transplanting, and over-watering.

When transplanting to individual pots, I use commercial potting mix with additional perlite and sand. I still do not know what is a good fertilization regimen for the seedlings. Iron with manganese (1/2 of recommended dilution) seems to be beneficial. Monopotassium phosphate is very dangerous, it kills the seedlings fast. I am not yet sure if nitrogen and potassium help or harm.

Yangmei seedlings also seem to be pretty sensitive to the pests and pathogens. Keeping them under mature trees invites all the possible pests and pathogens that fall from those trees down onto the seedlings.  Large trees harbor many small and large pests without being much affected by them. However, when those fall down onto the young yangmei seedlings, they decimate them fast. If you have issues with the leaf discoloration, it could be the pests. Get a magnifying glass and check if you see any mites or thrips on the back side of the leaves.  They can be easily washed away with water. I didn't test any pesticides on the yangmei seedlings yet, but I sprayed some with Serenade, a bio-fungicide.  It seems that they react well to Serenade. Keeping the seedlings under a shade structure or a shade sail would be safer than under large trees. The shade structure will limit the amount of pests, pathogens, and dust that fall down onto the plants.

In summer of 2021, yangmei seedlings are available from

Mulberries in 2023

 The spring and summer of 2023 were very busy for us as we planted over a thousand trees during this time. Only occasionally I took the vide...