Everything You Need to Know About Planting and Looking After Your Jacaranda Tree
The beautiful, ornamental Jacarandas are native to South America and thrive in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Jacarandas have been adapted all around the world because they look straight out of a fairy tale when in full bloom. The beauty of this tree is unmatched - clusters of fragrant, trumpet shaped flowers adorn the tree while the arching branches laden with the flowers form an eye-catching canopy.
Jacaranda trees are planted primarily along streets, but they can be used to landscape large gardens as well. Though tough and adaptable, Jacarandas need a fair amount of tending in the first two years of being planted. In this article we will explore in detail how to plant and look after a Jacaranda tree in the Australian climate.
Planting a Jacaranda in your garden
The Jacaranda tree has been adapted to many regions in Australia, including the temperate, tropical, and subtropical zones (please note that the Jacaranda tree does not flower profusely in cold or frost-prone regions).
Transplanting the tree from the nursery container:
Step 1: Choose a planting site with abundant sunlight (up to 8 hours per day) and sandy or loamy soil. Clay soil will inhibit growth and produce a tree with limited flowers.
Step 2: Remove weed and debris from the site and work at least 18 inches of the top soil to ensure it is clump-free and loose.
Step 3: Water the soil in the nursery container to soften the roots and the planting site.
Step 4: Dig a planting hole twice as wide and about the same depth as the nursery container.
Step 5: Remove the plant from the container and gently disentangle the roots.
Step 6: Lower the tree into the planting hole keeping the root ball at the center. Ensure that the trunk is upright and about half an inch above the surrounding soil.
Step 7: Fill about 1/3 part of the planting hole with soil and gently pack it in to remove air pockets. Add another layer of soil and continue the process until the hole is filled up but the top part of the root ball is still exposed.
Step 8: Build an artificial ditch about 3-inch-tall around the base of the tree and fill it up with water.
Step 9: Spread mulch (up to 2 inches) in the berm to prevent weeds from growing.
Step 10: Water the tree weekly for the first summer in your garden, but withhold water when it rains. After that, only water during periods of excess heat or drought.
Planting a Jacaranda from a cutting:
If your first tree is flourishing and you want another Jacaranda in your garden, you can obtain a cutting (at least six inches long) and place it in water until the roots start growing. You can then transfer this growing sapling into a nursery container after filling it with rich soil. Water it regularly and transplant the growing tree to your garden after a year.
A few things to remember
1. Growing conditions
Young Jacaranda trees (less than 2 years old) cannot withstand temperature below -7°C. So, you will need to protect the tree from frost in the first two winters by covering it up in the cold months. Jacaranda trees typically thrive in warm climates and in sandy soil - they do not need special attention in such conditions. This is also a reason why you should let the soil dry out before watering it again.
2. Jacaranda trees need plenty of space
Ensure there is a lot of surrounding space when you plant a Jacaranda because these trees can grow to be massive. Typically, a mature Jacaranda tree can be 25-50 feet tall and 15-30 feet wide. This makes Jacarandas only suitable for large backyards, parks, or streets. Planting these trees in cramped spaces will lead to inadequate and unhealthy growth.
3. Jacarandas need to conserve water
To grow unfettered, Jacarandas need to conserve water. Ensure that you top the soil with mulch to prevent water from evaporating.
4. Pruning a Jacaranda
Proper pruning is essential for a fast growing tree such as Jacaranda. However, if pruned unwisely, it can lead to an unsightly growth instead of the typical, umbrella-shaped canopy.
When your tree is still quite young, mark the strongest, central stem to be the trunk and trim the other weaker branches to tidy up your plant. When the tree is over a year old, remove branches that grow at less than a 40 degree angle to the tree because they tend not to be securely attached to the tree and may break on a windy day.
The best time to prune your Jacaranda is late winter.
Jacarandas are magnificent trees when maintained well. However, do keep in mind these trees can be massive and are best for larger gardens and open spaces. Lastly, take special care of your tree if you live in a frost-prone area.
At House of Beautiful Gardens nursery, we have a large quantity of stock ready for planting this season! Our trees have been well protected and taken care off over the winter months and currently have 2.5 to 3 years growth.
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