The arbutus is a small tree or a large bush that can be used both to beautify gardens or orchards, and to work in bonsai. Its resistance to cold and size, as well as the delicious fruits it produces, make it one of the most cultivated Mediterranean plants in all temperate and warm-temperate regions of the world.
But if we focus on the fruit of the strawberry tree, it has been given some really interesting uses. Indeed, in addition to being edible, they also have medicinal properties. For all that, we will tell you the health benefits it has, but also how the seeds are sown in case you want to see grow Arbutus unedus.
What are the benefits of strawberry tree fruit?
The fruit of the strawberry tree is a small berry about 2 centimeters in diameter that is first green, then turns yellow and finally red when it finishes ripening. And that’s when you can collect and store in the kitchen, or eat. If we opt for this, we must know that it will bring us multiple advantages.
This is due to the fact that they contain several active ingredients, such as tannin, gallic acid and arbutin, which It is used to fight against urinary tract infections, cystitis and kidney diseases, such as colic.. Also, it can help with diarrhea.
How do you eat strawberry tree fruit?
Can we eat it raw? You may have had doubts about how to eat strawberry tree fruits. At first it’s normal, since his skin is rough and that in itself makes us doubt. But don’t worry: you can eat it raw without any problem, you just have to peel it. It’s very easy, since you can do it even with your fingers, without needing to use a knife.
And if that still doesn’t convince you, you can try making jam or preserves with it.
What happens if you eat a lot of strawberry trees?
Arbutus should be eaten in moderation. Its fruits are rich in tannins, which is why they are used to prepare alcoholic beverages such as liqueurs. When you eat too much fruit, you can get drunk. Moreover, its surname “unedo”, means “one”, and it is recommended to consume only 1 or 2.
When do we harvest the fruits of the strawberry tree?
The fruits of this plant take a long time to ripen. The flowers bloom in autumn, more or less October (in the northern hemisphere), and once fertilized, they can take almost a year to finish ripening. It is more, they won’t do it until next fallthis is why it is so common to see flowers and berries from the previous year in the same specimen.
Once they have red skin, you can pick them up and eat them without any problem.
How is the strawberry tree planted?
Would you like the day to come when you no longer have to buy arbutus in the supermarket? So go ahead and sow seeds. Follow the steps that we show you below:
- In the fall, get a seedling tray like this one you can buy here.
- Fill it with a specific substrate for seedbeds (you can buy it here), or with universal growing soil.
- Water thoroughly, until you see water coming out of the drainage holes in the container.
- Take the seeds and put two in each cell/hole. Put them separately, so that in case they both germinate, it will be easier for you to separate them.
- Cover them with a little substrate. They should not be exposed to direct sunlight or they will not germinate.
- Sprinkle copper powder (get it here) on top, like you would salt a salad. This will prevent the appearance of fungus.
- Place the tray outside in a sunny location.
Now you have to water each time you see dry land, and re-pour copper powder every 15 days. This way you will see how your first strawberry trees will sprout throughout the spring. When you see the roots coming out of the holes, you can plant them in individual pots or in the ground.
What does the strawberry tree need to live well?
If you want to know how to care for arbutus, here is a basic growing guide:
Arbutus is a plant that it should be placed outdoors, in direct sunlight. It is important for him to feel the passing of the seasons, the rain, the wind, etc. He can’t be inside the house.
Its roots are not aggressive, but so that it can grow well, that is to say straight and not leaning to one side, it is advisable to plant at a distance of at least 2 meters from walls, walls and large plants.
soil or substrate
- Flower pot: if you want to have it in a pot, you can use a universal plant substrate like this one from Flower.
- Garden: it grows in acidic, fertile and well-drained soils, but it can get used to limestone.
Irrigation and fertilization
It is a drought resistant plant, so It only needs to be watered once or twice a week in summer, and once every 15-20 days the rest of the year.. Of course, if it is in a pot, you should check the soil humidity from time to time, because the substrate takes longer to dry out.
Moreover, it must be paid from spring to autumn. For this, organic fertilizers will be used, such as compost, guano, or manure from herbivorous animals.
It is important that, if kept in a jar, be planted in a larger one every 2 or 3 springs, when we see that the roots come out of the holes of it. And if we want to plant it in the garden, we will also do it when it is well rooted in the pot so that it resumes its growth as soon as possible.
strawberry tree frost resistant down to -18ºCas well as temperatures up to 40ºC.
We hope that everything we have told you about the strawberry tree has interested you.