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The Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila), also known as the miracle hedge, is a fascinating tree structure with impressive growth. It can easily be used as a hedge and is considered an extremely easy-care plant that makes few demands. Experience shows that care details decide how the miracle hedge develops. Cutting and casting play a particularly important role here, as can be seen below.
Miracle hedge "Ulmus pumila":
The best care is useless if plants are planted in an unsuitable location. The situation is different with Ulmus pumila. The experiences of numerous hobby gardeners show that this plant does not make any special demands on the location. The advantage is that it thrives excellently where other plants have no chance of surviving. Regardless of whether it is sunny or partially shaded, sheltered from the wind or exposed to cold drafts, the elm species from eastern Siberia does well in any location. It just shouldn't be too dark. It should be at least partial shade. It should also be taken into account that the maintenance procedure can change due to site conditions.
What applies to the location also applies to the soil. Experienced hobby gardeners report on various online platforms that the Siberian elm shows no serious reactions when it encounters a wide variety of soil conditions. Acidic or alkaline soil, dry or moist, saline or nutrient-poor, it seems to be a real "artist". However, it grows better as a shrub where other plants will not grow and/or have no chance of surviving. In heavily nutrient-rich soils, it develops more into a tree that can grow up to three meters. In loamy, normally humus-rich and well-mulched soil with lots of earthworms, the miracle hedge thrives mediocre, as the experiences of garden owners show.
Although the best planting time is between October and November, experience has shown that the Siberian elm can also be planted in spring and summer, provided that sufficiently strong cuttings are available for planting. If you water regularly and vigorously here, it will also settle well in the soil during this time. Only the formation of leaves and shoots can be minor during the season because they do not start the new growth period already solid, as is the case with miracle hedges that are planted in autumn.
Siberian elms are usually planted as seedlings in bunches. They are usually between 50 and 70 centimeters high and are often sold with bare roots. To plant hedges, proceed as follows:
- Soak the root area of the cutting bundles in buckets of water for 24 hours before planting
- Dig planting holes with depth and width so that the root area can be planted without kinking
- Planting distance around 20 centimetres
- Place the plant in the planting hole after the water bath
- Installation of a drainage not necessary because it can handle moisture well
- Enrich soil with sand or bark mulch for faster growth (higher moisture retention)
- Fill in the planting hole and press down the soil well
- Cut back shoots with leaves to 10-15 cm (receive no care without established roots)
- Pour generously
- Continuous soil moisture over the next few weeks promotes faster growth
tip: Some hobby gardeners make the experience that wonderful hedges often grow with sparse foliage and do not offer ideal privacy protection. The solution is to plant two rows one behind the other. The row spacing should be around 20 to 30 centimeters and the planting should be in a zigzag pattern.
An Ulmus pumila gets along just as well in the tropical rain forest with high humidity as in a climate zone similar to the Sahara. However, experience suggests that it grows significantly faster and bushier when given plenty of water/humidity.
Home gardeners report that they planted a hedge on a sloping area and some of the lower plants grew twice as tall/wide as the higher plants. The water flows downwards from above. There it stands long enough to penetrate deep into the soil, while in the upper terrain the soil receives significantly less moisture. This leads to the conclusion that generous watering of a Siberian elm is beneficial, although it will not die even in the hottest of summers when watering is completely absent.
In many cases, garden owners believe that they are doing good with Siberian elm by giving it nutrient-rich and/or nitrogen-rich fertilizer on the root area. Countless experiences with elms show that the opposite is the case with this species. It gets along very well without fertilizer, nutrient/nitrogen-rich fertilizer causes an Ulmus pumila either to overgrow immensely or lead to growth disorders. This suggests that the Siberian elm quickly gets used to and adapts to the soil conditions/conditions. If there are sudden changes, it can lead to the reactions mentioned. That's why the following applies to fertilizing miracle hedges: no!
tip: When continuously applying bark mulch, there is no sudden change in soil conditions. Experience has shown that bark mulch is beneficial for miracle hedges because it ensures better water retention.
The wetter the miracle hedge is, the more vigor it gets. It should be trained as a hedge so that the Ulmus pumila does not grow as a tree with a thick trunk. In addition, it initially shows a “bulgy” growth habit and new shoots that grow unevenly, which need to be cut. If you prune correctly from the start, you can grow an Ulmus pumila into a beautiful, neat-looking hedge. If you don't cut, you can count on a spread that crowds out all other plants.
The following instructions show how experience has shown that this is best done:
- Cut back completely in spring to 10-15 centimeters above the ground (for better branching)
- Cut the long, protruding new shoots in half in summer
- If the growth is strong, you can cut more often between the first and last cut in autumn
- Cut the Wunderhecke completely to the same height in autumn
- Best empirical values with cutting back the width by around a third in the first two years (ensures denser transitions)
- Pruning back to width in spring and around August
- Do not let the hedge grow higher than 1.50 meters in the first year
- In the second year it can reach a maximum height of two meters
tip: Those who water little or not at all significantly slow down growth, which can otherwise be up to 1.5 meters per year.
The Ulmus pumila is considered extremely hardy. It easily withstands temperatures of -35 °C, which is not least due to its Siberian origin. However, the experience of some hobby gardeners gives rise to the suspicion that it reacts slightly sensitively on hills with wind tunnels. Delayed budding in the following season and, under certain circumstances, minimal restrictions on growth can often be observed.
Dutch elm disease is often talked about in Europe. This is mainly due to an infection with sac fungi (Ascomycota). The experiences of owners of a miracle hedge say that no affected plants are known in this elm species. Otherwise, the Siberian elm is in principle very insensitive to diseases, which puts it ahead of the native elms.
The Ulmus pumila is just as resistant to pests as it is to diseases. If pests, such as the elm leaf roller aphid, “get lost” on a Siberian elm, most hobby gardeners do without pest control because there is no significant damage to the plants and the pests will voluntarily flee at some point.
Based on the experiences of owners of the miracle hedge, you can form your own opinion about Ulmus pumila.
notice: For reasons of better legibility, small spelling mistakes (spaces, transposed letters, etc.) in the quotations have been corrected. The exact sources are linked under the indication of the respective forum.
“I have experience with the Wunderhecke and I can only recommend it. She grows very fast as promised, also looks very good. Put the hedge in April 2009 […]"
Source: www.hausgarten.net, user: Süsse Fee, 07.06.2011
“Now on the first of October I can report that all 200 plants survived. Since I have distributed them at different locations in the garden, I can say that the more water is poured, the faster it grows. In addition to the solar shower, the plants are dense and over 200 cm tall (we started with about 10 cm in height and 3 mm in diameter per trunk. Growth in about 7 months was 2 meters. The smallest one was about 150 cm high.”
Source: www.gutekueche.at, user: Halbmondchen, 01.10.2018
“Yesterday I trimmed the hedge for the 3rd time after it had already grown over the fence in most places (fence height 150cm). I am absolutely thrilled with the miracle hedge, so far it has kept what the supplier promises! [… ] The hedge was watered regularly, at first I added liquid fertilizer to the irrigation water, then I only sprinkled blue grain once more, that seems to be enough.”
Source: www.exotenfans.de, user: marbu79, 08/31/2017
"Two years ago we planted the hedge in November. Last year I still thought: that will never work. But what can I say: everything that was described has happened. Despite this year's drought, the hedge has grown well. In many places up to 3 meters high, but not yet dense. Because what we underestimated: ants and voles. They really hit the hedge and caused a lot of damage. A few plants didn't grow. We contacted the seller and promptly got 50 plants for free. Super Service. Conclusion: everything that was described and promised is true. Therefore: clear purchase recommendation!“
Source: www.agrowissen.de, user: lilly, 09/25/2018