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Caragana shrub care is important. To keep the shrub alive, it should be watered regularly, especially during summer, and mulched regularly. In some areas, such as New England, the plant also needs the shelter of evergreen shrubs.
Caragana can sometimes be found as part of a hedge in the southern part of the United States, where it has little competition from other plants. Where it is planted, it may grow as a monoculture in hedges or borders, or in windbreaks. Caragana is a highly adaptable species and can withstand a wide variety of conditions. It also has a high tolerance to dry, saline and alkaline soils. Caragana is hardy to zone (USDA Plant Hardiness Zones) 4–8.
Caragana can be troublesome in a hedgerow as a windbreak. In particular, it can displace other desirable hedgerow plants. The plant grows quite quickly and overgrows a hedge or windbreak. In order to correct this, the windbreak should be pruned back.
Caragana can be an important part of the animal husbandry systems in colder climates. The hay from the plant is very nutritious and makes good feed for dairy cows. It is also used for silage (see below). The husks can be made into cordage, while the husks make great tinder for fires.
Another use is as an ornamental plant in colder climates, as a shelterbelt plant. Because the plant is easy to grow and does not require much maintenance, it is used in cities such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, and even in Central Asia. In some parts of Germany, including the town of Celle, the shrub is called "Lebensbaum" (English: "Living Tree") because of its longevity and ability to survive in a cold climate.The shrub has been designated by some gardeners as the Official Tree of the City of Celle.
The seeds can be popped for popcorn, much like the other pea-type seeds, such as maize. This can be done by simply pounding the seeds into a bowl with a rolling pin, and then heating them with a lighter. When they are popped, they can be used as an alternative to rice.
Caragana is used for hay in places where the climate is too harsh for conventional hay production. In the Soviet Union, it was used to produce a type of silage known as "kvass" because it had an unpleasant, sour taste. It is used to make kvass by soaking the harvested seeds for several days, or fermenting the husks for a few hours. In order to process the seeds into kvass, a mixture of ground seeds and water must be used. Because caragana is easily broken down by fermentation, this type of silage can last for over a year. The fermentation process removes much of the bitterness from the seeds, and also reduces the amount of protein that the seed has. This process also tends to increase the amount of carbohydrate in the mixture.
Caragana is known to have many other medicinal uses, due to its high amount of tannins.
List of crops cultivated in Afghanistan
Grown from seeds and leaves for an anti-aging diet
Category:Plants used in traditional Chinese medicine
Category:Flora of Asia
Category:Flora of the Caucasus
Category:Flora of Russia
Category:Flora of North America
Category:Flora of Europe
Category:Garden plants of Asia
Category:Garden plants of Europe
Category:Invasive plant species in the United States
Category:Plants described in 1753
Category:Taxa named by Carl Linnaeus