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Care of the plant Rhus standleyi or Vara negra.

Care of the shrub Rhus standleyi or Vara negra

The genus Rhus, family Anacardiaceae, comprises 250 of shrubs and trees native to subtropical and temperate regions of all continents. Some species are: Rhus standleyi, Rhus integrifolia, Rhus typhina, Rhus dentata, Rhus undulata, Rhus coriaria, Rhus aromatica, Rhus glabra.

Common name: Vara negra (in english "Black rod"). This species is native to Mexico.

They are shrubs or small trees with reddish branches that reach 5 meters (16.4 feet) in height. The hairy leaves have a smooth texture and are dark green with a very marked midrib. They produce small white, pink or cream flowers clustered at the ends of the branches. They bloom from mid-summer to early winter. The fruits are orange in color and can be decorative.

They are used to set slopes and regenerate poor soils, as isolated specimens, for informal hedges and in bushy groups.

Rhus standleyi can grow in direct or semi-shady sunlight exposure (morning or afternoon sun). They resist occasional frosts but it's better that the temperature does not drop below 4 ºC (39.2 ºF).

They can grow in calcareous, poor, stony or rocky soils. They need good drainage so that water does not collect on the roots.

Water regularly in spring, summer and autumn waiting for the substrate to dry; they resist several days of drought.

They do not need fertilizers.

Prune lightly in late winter to keep it compact.

They do not usually present serious pest and disease problems.

They are propagated from seeds sown in spring or by cuttings in summer or fall.

Images of the shrub Rhus standleyi or Vara negra

Rhus standleyi
Rhus standleyi
Rhus standleyi