Jacaranda Tree: Plant Care and Growing Guide
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How to Grow a Jacaranda Tree
Jacaranda is a beautiful tropical variety with clusters of purple trumpet-shaped flowers. Native to South America, the jacaranda tree provides excellent shade (or fairway), thanks to its fern-like foliage, whose leaves can reach 50 centimeters long.
Usually planted somewhere between fall and early spring, rosewood can be considered semi-evergreen or deciduous, depending on the climate in which it is grown.
The tree grows rapidly, adding up to 3 meters per year for the first few years of its life, with most of the flowering occurring between late spring and early summer (although in warmer areas the tree can flower at any time). That said, only mature jacarandas have flowers.
|Botanical Name||Jacaranda mimosifoila|
|Common Name||Jacaranda tree, black poui, blue jacaranda|
|Mature Size||25–50 ft. tall, 15–30 ft. wide|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun|
|Soil Type||Sandy, well-drained|
|Soil pH||Neutral to acidic|
|Flower Color||Purple, blue-purple|
|Hardiness Zones||10, 11 (USDA)|
|Native Area||South America|
Jacaranda Tree Care
In general, jacarandas are a good choice for large outdoor areas in hot climates. They are resistant to pests and diseases and are moderately drought tolerant (although they need water during long dry spells).
Jacaranda branches arch, forming an inverted umbrella-shaped canopy. This, combined with their large size when mature, makes them a good shade tree.
The canopy usually lets diffuse light through, making it possible to plant grass under the tree. However, be aware that the tree may have large roots on the surface, which can disturb nearby sidewalks or structures.
Jacaranda leaves, especially the flowers, can create a lot of trash when they fall. This makes the tree a poor choice for nearby pools or large water sources.
It is also not ideal near sidewalks, patios, or outdoor recreation areas due to keeping it clean. If debris is not removed quickly, it can rot and result in a sticky, slippery mess.
Although jacarandas can be grown indoors, they don't normally bloom. Since they must be planted outdoors, they are not suitable for long-term container planting. Also, when grown indoors, jacaranda trees can attract aphids and whiteflies.
For the best bloom, plant your rosewood in a location in full sun, where it can receive at least six to eight hours of light a day. Smaller jacarandas can live in a light shade if necessary, but a lack of ideal sunlight can affect the number and liveliness of their flowers.
Jacaranda trees will do best in moderately sandy, well-drained soils with a slightly acidic pH level. It is also tolerant of loamy and clayey soils, but should not be planted in any mix that is considered heavy and wet or that does not drain well.
Soil flooded with water can increase the risk of root rot and fungi.
As a general rule of thumb, water your rosewood when the first three inches of soil are dry to the touch. These trees need constant humidity throughout the year and often require additional watering during periods of high heat and/or drought.
If your tree is not watered deep enough, it may not produce enough chlorophyll, causing chlorosis.
Temperature and Humidity
Some jacarandas can tolerate the occasional cold (up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit), but generally, this species does not thrive in climates with frequent freezing temperatures. They like heat and humidity very much, but can be vulnerable to trunk burns in areas with constant high temperatures.
Feed your rosewood annually with a compatible tree fertilizer, but be careful not to give it too much nitrogen, which can prevent the tree from blooming. If you are fertilizing the grass under the tree, the tree is probably already getting a lot of nitrogen.
Jacaranda Tree Varieties
There are two notable varieties of jacaranda mimosifolia:
- J. mimosifolia 'Alba': Also called 'White Christmas', the Alba cultivar is a full-size jacaranda tree with a similar habit and care needs to the species tree. It can grow to be about 40 feet tall and up to 60 feet wide. Its foliage is often more lush than that of the species tree, and its blooms may arrive a little earlier, starting in April in some climates.
- J. mimosifolia 'Bonsai Blue': A relatively new dwarf cultivar, 'Bonsai Blue' matures at only 10 to 12 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide. Its flowers are similar to those of the species tree, and it grows in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11.
Propagating Jacaranda Trees
Jacaranda fruit is a dry, round, brown pod that is three to seven centimeters wide and usually develops in late summer. To harvest the seeds for replanting, remove the pods directly from the tree when dry (pods that have fallen to the ground may not contain seeds).
Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours, then place them in a layer of soil in pots or seedling pots. Cover them with a thin layer of soil and keep the soil moist. The seeds should germinate in about two weeks. You can transplant the seedlings after about eight months of growth.
Pruning Jacaranda Trees
Young jacarandas should be pruned to form a central leader (main trunk) for strength and stability. Otherwise, avoid pruning the rosewood, as this can force it to grow upright shoots that can distort the shape of the tree. Seasonal pruning should be limited to removing only diseased or broken branches.
Enjoy This Video Tutorial About Jacaranda mimosifolia
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