How to grow jacaranda trees
Jacaranda trees need plenty of sunshine – look for sunniest spots in your front yard and garden.
Jacarandas thrive in tropical and warm, temperate and sheltered areas. But established plants can tolerate and be grown in cooler areas which get light frost, however will be slower-growing, smaller and won't bloom as well.
Plant in rich, well-drained soil that has protection from winds, especially while young.
Water the soil around the tree regularly in summer. While young and establishing jacarandas need reliable moisture. However once established are quite dry-tolerant once established, but may need additional watering in a dry spel.
An annual application of controlled-release fertiliser in early spring is best suited for jacarandas.
Mulching around the roots using organic materials like compost, straw, and bark will help to retain soil moisture in summer. But be mindful to only apply the mulch over moist ground, not over dry ground, otherwise the mulch might prevent rain reaching the soil. A thickness of no more than 50mm of mulch is optimal.
Like a magnolia never prune your jacaranda as this will promote vertical growth that will destroy the magnificent, spreading, dome-like canopy. If you really have to, do it in Autumn.
Where to plant jacaranda in your garden
A lot of people assume that jacarandas are an Australian native. But they're actually from Brazil, South America, and came into Australia in a very early part of the colony.
Take advantage of the shade the dense and dainty fern-like foliage gives you in summer. The billowing canopy enables you to share your gorgeous jacaranda with neighbours in your street. If your jacaranda is on the north or western side of your home, you can put pretty shade-loving plants under it, such clivias or azaleas.
Jacarandas grow to about 15m and are just as wide, so aren’t suitable for very small gardens. Pair a jacaranda with the golden flowers of a silky oak or the clusters of bright-red baubles of the Illawarra flame tree. Or, plant all three so your spring is a royal flush of gold, purple and red.
As you enjoy your purple lawn as jacaranda flowers fall, remember to keep an eye out for the bees.
Growing jacaranda from seeds
Generally, jacaranda is only raised by the home gardener from seed. You can grow your own jacaranda easily from the seeds that are enclosed in the ornamental pod. Collect the seed as it comes ripe in October. Fill pots or trays with a quality seed-raising mix, lightly cover the seeds with the mix and make sure to keep moist. The seeds do germinate quite readily, though the resulting plants may be variable in their flowering.
There really is no other time of the year like the jacaranda season. It's fantastic whether you've got just one tree in your garden or a couple out on the street.
In springtime, the jacaranda is the belle of the ball, its gorgeous ruffles and flounces of flowers appearing as though on a long, billowing skirt. But in late summer, you can appreciate the cool shade offered by the dense, fern-like foliage and imagine the leaves turning yellow before they fall in late winter – just as the spring greenery emerges on your deciduous trees. Then, for a few brief weeks before the flowers appear, the tree’s twisted, gnarly limbs are exposed to reveal a beautiful, sculptural silhouette.
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