Ceiba pentandra?

eyiogbeOctober 5, 2006

Hello All!

I'm new here and am looking for some good advice on growing Ceiba pentandra here.

Searching the net I am finding actually conflicting stories on their needs. So some solid help C. pentandra needs would be a godsend!

Any information on sun, water, soil, etc. will be awesome.

Thanks so much,


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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Hope you have lots of room .Among the worlds largest trees .Have never heard of any special requirements except the RIGHT location lol
Going for Bonsai??

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 4:55PM
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But just think of the shade a 160' tree will give. LOL.
Not going for bonzai, just big on ceibas. Maybe I shouldn't use the word big too much...LOL.
Just hoping to get some specifics that will help it to grow as it should. Had it in a pot for a year but it hadn't grown much at all (????). The nursery I got it from said NO direct sunlight, and at the time there was pretty much nothing on the Net. This year was different, and a few are talking about the ceiba liking direct sunlight... So, I'm a little confused now and thinking the nursery person steered me wrong.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 10:00PM
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There is an old specimen in West Palm Beach, FL. It's HUGE! You have to see it to believe it. A friend of mine took a picture of it just yesterday, I'll try to post it here. As a general rule,almost any young plant shouldn't be exposed to full sun in a hot climate. Where exactly do you live? But of course a monster tree like this will eventually take full sun, otherwise it wouldn't grow that big, L.O.L.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 12:07AM
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They are not uncommon trees in Southern CA. They are seen in some shopping malls (full sun), & some botanic parks. You might want to look up a botanic park near you & see if they have the tree.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 6:23AM
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maspirasjr(zone 8)

This tree is gargantuan! This is a picture of the tree I shot in Palm Beach, Florida, last Friday. To give you a sense of perspective regarding its girth, together with an appreciation of the immensity of its buttressed roots, I am 6 ft. tall. The tree itself was probably in excess of 100 ft. tall.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 5:12PM
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Those pictures are great!!
They are huuuuge alright. And very beautiful.
I can't wait to see mine become a full fledged tree...

I have read they are deciduous and tend to go dormant in the winter. Mine certainly lost all it's leaves last winter when I got it, although I first attributed it to the shock of shipping.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 12:23PM
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    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 1:20PM
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eric_9b(z9b Orlando)


I jsut visited that tree about a month ago. That is an incredible specimen. There is another almost as large somewhere in Palm Beach in a private garden.

Olando,FL z9b/10a

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 9:31AM
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maspirasjr(zone 8)

Hey Eric, you saw the same tree, LOL? Isn't it cool? It's definitely hard to miss! I was awestruck at its immensity. Where's the other one? I did notice another one very near the other bridge south of Flagler bridge on a road island, though it was a tad smaller.

Anyhow, I would be really curious as to when this tree was planted. I figure it has to be at least a century old.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 1:08PM
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That Ceiba should be at least 500 years old. I have seen specimens a tad larger in the North coast of the Dominican Republic. One of them was scientifically dated at 850 years old.
This one probably saw Mr. Ponce de Leon himself, who knows?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 7:57PM
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How tall is that tree? That might be the most massive single trunked,mankind planted, tree in the USA!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2008 at 5:28PM
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geostv(Antigua, Guatemala)

Ceiba's are the national tree here in Guatemala. They seem to grow really large in the very hot, tropical coastal areas, and in the jungles of the mayan ruins of Tikal. Here in the highlands, they grow slower. There are a few 6 or 7 footers in a field near me, very thorny trunks when young. They grow in full sun, with no particular care. Here in Antigua it is about 75 degrees year round, a bit cooler at night. 6 months of no rain at all here in the highlands, which may contribute to their staying smaller, as opposed to the daily rains on the coast. Hope this helps!

Ceiba or Yaaxché in Mayan
Ceiba pentandra
Familiy: Bombacaceae
GuatemalaÂs national tree is the Ceiba, also known as kapok or silk cotton tree. A tall, stately tree that spreads its limbs at the top of the forest canopy, its downy fibers are used to this day to stuff pillows and cushions. The ceibaÂs most important role in many Guatemala communities, however, is to shade the main plaza with its leafy, long-reaching branches. This tradition goes back many centuries, to the days when the ancient Maya cultivated ceibas in the plazas of their cities. In some of GuatemalaÂs famous Maya ruins, these trees (or their descendants) still tower as high as 100 feet or more over what is left of these long-abandoned communities. A ceiba is an ecosystem in itself, since its clefts and branches (up to 150 feet across) are populated by many species of orchids, ferns, cacti, and bromeliads. Iguanas and other reptiles like to bask in the sun in its highest branches. The fruits of this tree are big, hard, long capsules which contain cotton fibers. The Ceiba has many uses, such as in traditional medicine, kapok fiber, oil and even human feed. The Ceiba grows easily up to 70 mts. tall. It is a cylindrical and straight tree, with leaves that look like fingers. Its bark is grey-rose and smooth.

This tree grows in humid and semi humid forest, it thrives at an altitude of 0-500 meters above sea level, and at temperatures between 20ºC to 30ºC. It grows naturally from Mexico throughout all of Central America and Brazil.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 8:01AM
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I got a sapling from the Huntington Garden collection in Pasadena, CA a couple years ago and it thrived in Los Angeles in a terra cotta pot with little care and dappled sunlight. I've recently moved it, with a small selection of my favorite specimens, to New York City and so far it is thriving on my fire escape. It is growing quite quickly, and after wintering it inside I am sure it will need a new container. Does anyone else have experience growing these guys in containers? I would like to keep it at a manageable size, without detracting from its beautiful, natural shape.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 1:33AM
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