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As a comment about Shooting Star (Clerodendrum quadriloculare), dyzzypyxxy wrote:

Strongly agree with the Caution! on planting this - it sure does send out those suckers a long way. Mine are planted within the root zone of my large Live Oak trees, so they have a much harder time spreading. In a less established landscape, or with less competition, the suckers could be a real menace.

It is truly a lovely shrub, both foliage and flowers are very attractivem but another reason to be cautious is that the bloom time here is mid-winter -- January, in fact. In the five years I have had mine, only two of those years were warm enough for the plant to bloom. So, I would say that unless you live in zone 10 or above, do not expect to see blooms regularly.

Mine also drop all their leaves if the weather stays cold - around 40 degrees or less - for more than a night or two. I had planted a row of them as a screen, so this ended badly for 3 years running. If they do drop their leaves, I then take the opportunity to prune them back drastically, so that they will go back to a more shrubby shape the next year. I think if they kept their leaves more than one winter, I would end up with a row of small trees (and many suckers) instead of large screening shrubs. I have now inter-planted them with variegated Ti, so at least there is something with leaves through the winter.

Gardengreenhorn
Apr 25, 2016 4:30 PM CST
I had my mind set on planting a shooting star tree in my front yard, but this blog seems to have dissuaded me! I am not fond of 30' roots in my front yard.

Any suggestions on what would be a suitable replacement for this tree? I live in Zone 9b in Florida.
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
Apr 25, 2016 5:53 PM CST
I'd go for an Orange Jasmine (Murraya paniculata) with lots of lovely fragrand white blooms periodically through the year. Or maybe a Crepe Myrtle - the new series with shiny dark leaves come in a bunch of different color flowers, too. Now that I'm thinking of it, that's what I'd plant if I were going for a small tree right now.

I also grow a lot of Brugmansia, which also have beautiful, huge fragrant flowers, at about monthly intervals, and grow to large shrub or small tree size. The down side with them is that they are a hazard to small children and pets (if you have an inquisitive pet that eats plants . . Blinking ) But you certainly can prune them up so the branches wouldn't be within reach. Another note on them is that they are heavy feeders and like lots of water.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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