A decidious Shrub growing to 3m at a medium rate. It is hardy to zone 4. It is in flower from March to April, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soil. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
Requires a well-drained moisture retentive soil. Succeeds in all soils except very acid peats. Succeeds in light shade but fruits better in a sunny position. Thrives in a loamy soil, doing well on limestone. Prefers some chalk in the soil but apt to become chlorotic if too much is present. Thrives on chalk according to another report. Plants are very resistant to maritime exposure. An important food plant for the caterpillars of several species of butterfly, especially the larvae of the brown and black hairstreak butterflies. A good bee plant. Plants are shallow-rooted and of a suckering habit, they can form dense impenetrable thickets which are ideal for nesting birds, especially nightingales. Flowers are often damaged by late frosts. Plants regenerate quickly after cutting or after fast moving forest fires, producing suckers from below ground level. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus.
Informatio source: www.Learn2Grow.com.
Genus - Prunus
Species - Spinosa
Common name - Blackthorn / Sloe
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 4 - 7
Height - 8'-10' / 2.40 - 3 m
Spread - 6'-8' / 1.80 - 2.40 m
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Decidious
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Shade
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Light (sandy), medium (loamy), heavy (clay), well-drained soil
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Edible ftuits
Bloom season - Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White
1. Soak the seeds in a bowl of cool water overnight. Lay the seeds on a flat surface to dry for several hours.
2. Stratify seeds in a plastic bag full of moist sand inside the refrigerator for 180 days. Keep the sand barely moist during the cold stratification period.
3. Sow the seeds the following spring once outdoor temperatures rise above +18C (65F) during the day and +8C (48F) at night. Or sow indoors in the propagator or pots
4. Prepare a pot for each seed. Fill with clean soil. Sow one seed in each pot at a depth of 2-3 cm (1").
5. Water the seeds to a depth of ~8-10 cm (~3") after planting them. Maintain moisture at this depth during the germination process.
6. Place the pots outdoors in a sheltered spot where they will be exposed to direct sun in the morning and afternoon. Protect the seeds from direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day since the soil will warm too quickly and dry out.
7. Watch for sprouting one month after sowing. Maintain the same light and moisture conditions provided to the seeds during germination until they grow to 10 cm (4") in height. (info source: eHow.com)
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