Jacaranda – A Great Landscape Tree For A Mediterranean And Warm Climate Garden

May 10 09:17 2008 Jonathan Ya'akobi Print This Article

The Jacaranda tree is probably unmatched for spectacular, seasonal color. It is not suitable though for every plot and location.

The sight of a Jacaranda tree in full bloom has to be one of the great sights in gardening. The tree is totally smothered in lavender blue flowers,Guest Posting as its principle flowering season is the middle of spring when most of its branches are still bare of leaves.

Growing wild in Brazil, Jacaranda is suitable for climates that have hot summers and mild winters. Indeed summer heat is a requirement for profuse blooming, while it is only hardy to winter lows of about -4c. It performs best in frost-free climates.

Jacaranda mimosifolia, to use its botanical name, is often planted in small backyard gardens. This is generally speaking a mistake. People can get so carried away by its spectacular performance in flower, that they forget that it rapidly outgrows a small plot. In the right climate, it reaches 12-15 meters in height (35-45ft) and about 7-10 meters in width.(20-30ft) It is suitable therefore for medium to large gardens where it has space to grow. Its roots are also fairly aggressive, and so the tree should not be planted too close to the house.

The species, as its dimensions imply, is fine as a shade tree, but thought should also be given to its potential as a focal point in the garden. Jacaranda’s seasonal flower display can be so overwhelming, that it ought to be strategically placed for maximum effect.

It has fern-like foliage, and so can set the tone for a light textured, feathery motif in the garden composition. Shrubs should be chosen baring this point in mind, meaning that landscape bushes that have large, course textured leaves should be avoided. Examples of plants that associate well with Jacaranda are trumpet vine shrubs, such as Stenolobium stans, Tecoma capensis, Calliandra, and a variety of ornamental grasses.

Jacaranda mimosifolia grows quite rapidly, and is not particularly easy to maintain. Judicious pruning is essential, at least in the first few years after planting. Branches frequently grow at narrow angles to the trunk and need removing before they become troublesome. Branches must never be shortened as this only induces a group of new stems to sprout from the pruning cut. These are the potentially dangerous branches in nine or ten year’s time. Instead, limbs earmarked for removal, should be carefully pruned at the base of the trunk or branch to which they are attached.

The tree tends to litter quite badly. The fallen flower petals can make a decorative covering on the ground, but they are somewhat sticky, and together with the falling seed capsules, can be a nuisance in the vicinity of parked cars or swimming pools.

The case of the Jacaranda tree exemplifies the principle that landscape trees should not be chosen on the strength of their flower display alone. The tree has to be suitable in terms of scale, cultural requirements, and its association with the rest of the plants in the garden. When these criteria are answered satisfactorily, the species can then be considered for inclusion in the scheme.

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Jonathan Ya'akobi
Jonathan Ya'akobi

My name is Jonathan Ya'akobi.I've been gardening in a professional capacity since 1984.I am the former head gardener of the Jerusalem Botanical Garden, but now concentrate on building gardens for private home owners.I also teach horticulture to students on training courses.I'd love to help you get the very best from your garden,so you're welcome to visit me on http://www.dryclimategardening.comor contact me at jonathan@dryclimategardening.com

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