The Q&A Archives: Paulownia Tomentosa

Question: I am considering planting a grove of Paulownia. Can you give me information on their culture?

Answer: Also called the Empress Tree, Paulownia tomentosa are fast growing (to 40 ft.), with an equal spread. The foliage consists of large, heart shaped leaves and provides wonderful summer shade. The real attraction of these trees is their large clusters of trumpet-shaped flowers. The flowers are lilac blue with darker spotting, and yellow stripes inside. The blooms are extremely fragrant.<br><br>On the downside, the shade is dense, so gardening under the trees is hard, and the roots are quite near the surface, compounding the problem. The leaf and flower litter can be considerable, so unless it can stay where it falls, you'll have a lot of organic mulch material to contend with late in the season.<br><br>But, if you have lots of space, a sunny area with ample water during their first few years, and don't care about the leaves and flowers dropping, then plant your grove and enjoy!

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