Growing Jacarandas - Knowledgebase Question

Doylestown, PA
Avatar for hugheat
Question by hugheat
August 19, 1998
On a recent trip to California I fell in love with the beautiful purple flowering jacarandas that are all over the place out there. Being from the mid-Atlantic region of the country I had never seen them before and my curiosity was piqued. I've brought home a seed pod and have successfully gotten about twenty little seedlings started. None of my gardening books have any information on these beauties so I would appreciate any information on the care and feeding of them--also would like to know if they can be grown as a container tree knowing full well they get huge in their native habitat. I have a collection of small trees already that get schlepped outside after the threat of frost has passed so this would be quite a specimen to be able to add to the rest.

Answer from NGA
August 19, 1998
Jacaranda is native to Brazil and can grow 25-40 feet high with a 15-30 foot spread. The plants will produce a single sturdy trunk if staked and pruned, and the tree usually branches out profusely at 6-10 feet high. Jacaranda is fairly hardy after it attains some maturity and develops hard wood, but young trees are tender below 25F degrees. You can expect your tree to be semi-deciduous, with leaves dropping in February or March and regrowing almost immediately. Most bloom in June, but can bloom anytime between April and September, if given enough heat. You can grow the tree in a container, just keep it pinched back so it doesn't grow too out of proportion in relation to the size of the pot. You might want to plant it in a small (one-gallon) pot and place that pot in a large decorative container. As the plant needs repotting, you can put it into successively larger pots and disguise the pots in the decorative container. Good luck with your new tree!

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