The Q&A Archives: tupidanthus calyptratus

Question: I have (2) 15 gal. How much water weekly? What kind of fertilizer and how often? One gets morning & afternoon sun. One gets sun after late morning.

Answer: Tupidanthus calyptratus (Mallet Flower) is a tropical looking evergreen tree that grows to 15-40 feet tall. The green flower buds, in groups of 6 to 10 begin developing in spring and summer. In late fall to winter leathery caps drop off of the 1 inch wide 4-sided base of the flowers to expose the many green stamens. This base turns brown and persists on the plant, looking like little mallets, giving rise to the common name "mallet flower". Although interesting in bloom, this plant is best known for its attractive foliage and is not nearly as showy in flower as the red flowering octopus tree, Schefflera actinophylla, which it resembles otherwise. A great small tree for near frost free locations in full or part sun. Plant in full sun to light shade and give moderate water needs. Hardy to about 28 ? F. The correct name for this plant is now Schefflera pueckleri. Moderate water means regular deep soakings once or twice a week, depending upon weather. If it gets hot in July and August, water twice a week. Enjoy your new plants!

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