The Q&A Archives: Bauhinia Orchid Tree

Question: I purchased one of your trees at a Armstrong nursery. It was about 7 and 1/2 feet tall when I purchased it. I am not sure exactly what kind it is, however, I believe it is bauhinia.

The leaves are turning brown and falling from the tree. This is the second season we have had it. The first year I deep watered it. This spring I gave it a general fertizer recommended by Armstrong.

The tree is growing in the middle of our yard and is watered by the sprinklers that also water the lawn.

Exactly how much water should this tree receive?

What is causing its leaves to turn brown and fall off?

Thanks for your help.

Yorba Linda

Answer: The Hong Kong Orchid tree (Bauhinia) is partially deciduous, meaning it will lose some, but not all of its leaves, which will be replaced by healthy new foliage. It may be that your tree is shedding some of its older leaves and will be growing new ones in a few short weeks. All trees and shrubs appreciate a deep soaking once each week rather than frequent but shallow watering (such as you might give your lawn). Try setting a sprinkler directly beneath your tree and allowing the water to run for about 15 minutes. This will concentrate the moisture directly over the root mass and allow it to percolate down and wet the entire root system. Watering in this way should improve your tree's appearance and ensure it remains healthy for many years to come.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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