Ask a Question forum: Tibouchina

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Name: Lisa Olson
Washington DC (Zone 7a)
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5601Lisa
Jan 14, 2016 4:43 PM CST
Anyone had luck growing this diva? Plant stays outdoors spring/summer, then indoors during chilly months. I've had it three years but about ready to give it the heave-ho. I'm in zone 7a.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 14, 2016 5:54 PM CST
Hi Lisa, we really need to know what part of the planet you are living in, please. City and state at least, or country? Your zone only tells us how cold, on average, it gets in winter. Could be anywhere from the Pacific Northwest to northern Florida. Humidity, strength of the sun, altitude, air pollution and other factors all count towards plant success.

I'm in central Florida and Tibouchina are garden plants here. They like morning sun, not all day. Also rich soil, consistent fertilizer and water. My mother grew it in Vancouver BC for years as a house plant that went outdoors in summer. Her patio also got full, morning sun until about 2pm.

The most likely cause for yours not to bloom (I assume that's the problem?) is not getting enough sun. What's your fertilizer regime for it?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jan 14, 2016 9:45 PM CST
Howdy, I think Lisa is one of the recent "transplants" from another garden.

Which of the Tibouchinas are you growing?
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Lisa Olson
Washington DC (Zone 7a)
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5601Lisa
Jan 15, 2016 10:02 AM CST
Hmm, thought fertilizing during winter was a bad idea. No clue what variety my tibouchina is. Deep purple flowers, hairy leaves once upon a time.
Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
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Danita
Jan 15, 2016 10:13 AM CST
Some species are short-day bloomers and don't bloom until late fall/winter. Are you cutting it back when you bring it inside? If so, then the buds may be getting cut off. Shrug!
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jan 15, 2016 11:02 AM CST
I agree What is your fertilizing schedule? The plant should receive doses of fertilizer during the active growing period.

It would be helpful if you could take some detailed photos of the leaves showing the shape of leaf and the veins; photos of the stem; photos of buds, flowers, seed pods if any. Also step back and take some photos of the entire plant so we can see the size, shape and form. That may help to narrow down which one you are growing. You are growing a tropical tree/shrub in a cool zone; yes, you selected a diva of a plant but the blooms are rewarding. Tibouchina like heat, humidity, acid soil and many hours of full sun.

The velvet-leaf, purple-bloom varieties that I can find:

T. urvilleana/Athens Blue Glorybush/Hybrid Glorybush

T. grandifolia/Large-leaved Princess Flower/Velvet-Leaf Tibouchina

T. heteromalla/Silver-Leafed Princess Flower/Glory Bush; sometimes sold asTibouchina grandifolia (or as Tibouchina grandiflora).

T. 'Jules'/Hybrid Glorybush/Jules Glorybush; dwarf variety developed in Australia; grows to only about 3 feet tall rather than 10 feet.

T. lepidota/Colombian Glorybush; native to Columbia and Ecuador - leaves are slightly hairy.

There may be others.

Curious. Confused Why are you ready to give it the heave-ho? Is it too much work or is it not producing flowers for you?



Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Jan 15, 2016 11:55 AM CST
I checked in our ATP database. The Tibouchina owned my most members is the T. urvilleana; they all live in California or Florida. Maybe they can give some you some pointers on how to keep a Tibouchina plant happy in your zone.
@HamiltonSquare
@rocklady
@Calif_Sue
@RyansNurseryGarden (hasn't made a post in 41 months)
@zuzu
@plantladylim

(Also owned by RyansNurseryGarden but he hasn't made a post here on ATP in 41 months.)
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Lisa Olson
Washington DC (Zone 7a)
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5601Lisa
Jan 15, 2016 1:24 PM CST
Greene, here's a snapshot of my pitiable tibouchina.
Thumb of 2016-01-15/5601Lisa/b71927

Name: Leslieray Hurlburt
Sacramento California (Zone 9b)
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HamiltonSquare
Jan 15, 2016 2:16 PM CST
This is T. semidecandra and I also very nearly considered moving or ditching it for it's poor flowering..you can see how hard it was pruned its first year. The second year it wasn't pruned and it was just not performing but this year it was great. It is shade by a large oak from midday on. We amend our sandy loam with a mulch. No fertilizer. I may give it a little Horse manure today that we use for the roses.
Thumb of 2016-01-15/HamiltonSquare/ab950e
Thumb of 2016-01-15/HamiltonSquare/6adbd8

Hamilton Square Garden, Historic City Cemetery, Sacramento California.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jan 15, 2016 3:51 PM CST

Plants Admin

I'm ready to dig up my Tibouchina urvilleana and allot the space to something that blooms more often. It bloomed nicely in 2011:



After that, it did not bloom again until 2015, when it produced only a few blooms before the frost cut it down to the ground. Each year it is killed down to the ground by frost. It comes back from the roots each year, but it usually doesn't start producing buds until November, at which time it is then killed by the frost again before the buds have a chance to open.

It's a very pretty shrub, but I can't wait four years between blooms anymore.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Jan 15, 2016 3:52 PM CST
I don't suppose you can send it to me?? Whistling
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jan 15, 2016 3:56 PM CST

Plants Admin

It would be more trouble than it's worth, Hetty. My plant shipping days are over. I don't have a car and I don't feel like walking two miles to the post office in winter with a heavy box. Smiling
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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Dutchlady1
Jan 15, 2016 3:57 PM CST
I understand, I was not really asking Smiling
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Jan 15, 2016 4:07 PM CST
I've been quite confused about the different types of Tibouchina for awhile now and the more I read, the more confused I get. The two plants I currently have were tagged with the same name (T. grandiflora) when I got them @ 6 or 7 years ago but they are quite different. One has small, soft, pubescent leaves while the other one has small, glossy leaves.

I noticed just now that our database has a listing for
Glory Flower (Tibouchina grandiflora)
Glory Bush (Tibouchina heteromalla) with T. grandiflora as a synonym

* The Catalogue of Life does not show a T. grandiflora but rather this comes up when you type in T. grandiflora:

~ Tibouchina claussenii var. grandiflora Cogn. Infraspecific taxon synonym for Tibouchina claussenii (Naud.)

~ Tibouchina gracilis var. grandiflora Cogn. Infraspecific taxon synonym for Tibouchina gracilis (Bonpl.)


I don't remember where I found this information when googling a few years back so I don't know if any of this is correct but this is descriptive info that I put in a word doc some time ago.

Glory Bush (Tibouchina granulosa)
Zone 10 Evergreen Shrub.
Leaves: Shiny, dark green, 4 to 8 inches in length, narrow to elliptic to lanceolate shape. Pubescent below and shiny green on top.

Glory Bush (Tibouchina heteromalla)
Zone 10 Evergreen Shrub.
Leaves: Velvety, pubescent, green, rounded; tends to thin out during the winter season.
Spikes of upright flowers.

Glory Bush (Tibouchina urvilleana)
Zone 9b and Zone 10 Evergreen Shrub.
Leaves: Soft, pubescent, velvety.
More cold tolerant than other Tibouchina.




~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Lisa Olson
Washington DC (Zone 7a)
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5601Lisa
Jan 15, 2016 4:20 PM CST
Just plugged in fertilizer spikes. Say, do those things have an expiry date?
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Jan 15, 2016 4:22 PM CST

Plants Admin

You're misreading the names, Lin. The synonym of T. heteromalla is grandifolia, not grandiflora.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jan 15, 2016 4:25 PM CST
zuzu said:You're misreading the names, Lin. The synonym of T. heteromalla is grandifolia, not grandiflora.

*Blush* My eyesight does stink but I should have paid more attention there. Green Grin!

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 15, 2016 4:25 PM CST
Whoa, that plant sure does look like it's on its last legs. Pretty pot it's in, but does it have a drain hole? Growing a plant like that without drainage would surely kill it.

Also, what is the medium it's growing in? Looks like coarse bark such as you'd grow orchids in, and that wouldn't retain nearly enough water or nutrients for a foliage plant like Tibouchina.

Suggest you gently slide it out of the pot, and see what the roots look like. If you want, you could post a picture so we can see, too.

Looks to me like you should try re-potting, and see if it recovers. A new pot with a good drain hole, fresh potting medium (wash off all the old stuff, as best you can) and let it sit in filtered light for a few weeks to see if you get new leaves. If not, you should pitch it and try another.

If you're going to keep it growing indoors through the winter, you definitely do need to keep feeding it. If you keep your home on the cool side and especially if you let the temperature drop at night, then cutting back your fertilizer to half strength is a good idea, as the plant will grow more slowly with lower light of winter, and the cool temperatures.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Jan 15, 2016 4:34 PM CST
5601Lisa, thank you for uploading the photo. How sad the plant looks. I think it is homesick for it's native country of Brazil. I agree that it needs some drastic action. Remove from the pot, clean off the old planting medium, check the roots, pot it using new medium in a pot with a drainage hole, prune back as needed, fertilize at half-strength and...cross your fingers and hope for the best. Old fertilizer spikes are better than nothing but it may be best to buy some fresh fertilizer.

Good luck and hope the plant recovers. Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Lisa Olson
Washington DC (Zone 7a)
Image
5601Lisa
Jan 16, 2016 12:37 PM CST
Thanks Greene, Dyzzy and Others. Took the plant out of blue/white pot, which does have a drainage hole. You're right, the pot did have a bit of orchid bark, but that was just on the surface. I refreshed the tibouchina's potting mix last year.
Shall give it another go but have modest expectations. Divas take far too much maintenance.
Thumb of 2016-01-16/5601Lisa/dd0738
Thumb of 2016-01-16/5601Lisa/716bc4

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