Cananga odorata (Ylang Ylang)

bihai(zone 9)December 15, 2006

I have a nice sized seedling of this plant. I know that the mature tree can be 50-75 ft tall, and that it is supposed to be grown in a frost free climate.

My question is: does anyone, ANYWHERE, have any FIRSTHAND knowledge of any Ylang Ylang tree growing in less than a zone 9B climate, (like 8B)???????

I am asking because, if I cannot eventually plant it out, I need to do something else with it NOW before it gets too large.

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Have you thought of severe pruning? Ylang-ylangs are weak-wooded, so they always are snapping off in the hurricanes and other strong winds, but they sprout back fine and still flower. How tall can u let it grow before it'd need a cut? Of course, if you could go 2-3 years before a severe prune, you'd get more flowers.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 8:13AM
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bihai(zone 9)

I would really like to eventually plant it out if its possible. I don't want to keep it containerized. Right now its about 18-24 inches tall. I'd be willing to keep it in a container until it was 8 or so feet, or even MORE, if I knew that somewhere at the end of the day I could plant it out with a **reasonable** chance that the first hard freeze wouldn't kill it.

I have never seen one around here, but there are some other things that were planted out here in the past that have been here for 30-40 years and survived cold to the teens in rare occasions and low 20's as a matter of course.

I guess my question really is, is there a "critical mass/age" that the tree could get and be IMMUNE to being killed by frost/freeze?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 8:40AM
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There is a YlangYlang outside at Leu Gardens in ORlando down by the lake I thought. Isn't there someone from there that comments on here occasionally? Maybe that could help give you some info about root hardiness in Orlando's zone 9 winter and perhaps then even further up into zone 8

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 4:52PM
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gaza(10 la CA)

hi regina.
sorry,there i no way it will survive for you
they grow fine for me[zone 10,min 40],but people in the valley,5 miles from me,where it gets to 29-30 lose them,even big trees.
it will maybe survive 3-4 winters,but always declines .
i would keep in your greenhouse and PRUNE!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 7:04PM
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bihai(zone 9)

Okay, so school me in the pruning business. I mean, what kind of spread could I expect to keep it at? I mean, if I thought I could keep it "restrained" sufficiently, I'd go on and plant it into the ground in a bare spot that recently opened up in the greenhouse. But the MOST it could ever hope to have spacewise would be about 13-15 ft of height (the ceiling there is on the downward slope) and an area of maybe 8 x 8 for the crown. Is that do-able?

Sorry to ask "newbie" questions, but I have never even SEEN a mature Ylang Ylang in the flesh. I have one of the dwarf trees that's about 6 ft tall and it blooms all the time. But I have never seen an example of the real thing.

I guess me "fear" is that eventually I might have this huge diameter trunk with an itty-bitty crown.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 7:11PM
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gaza(10 la CA)

they can get up to 40 feet!,but that takes years.
there is one at my friends house in bel air.
the space you have will be fine,as it is not a tree that gets a massive trunk,its more like a large shrub in habit,i would compare it to an angels trumpet,which with tip pinching can be kept manageable.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 12:19PM
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bihai(zone 9)

Gary, I trust your judgement because I know what a good plantsman you are. So, I've decided to plant it in the ground in the greenhouse. Hopefully it will really take off. I can see what you mean by the sprawling habit. So far there's only one trunk, its about 18-24" tall, but the horizontal branches are as long as the trunk.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 12:55PM
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Has anyone see this tree in Pinellas county FL? Would it be OK here?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 6:46PM
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I grow one in St. Pete (9b/10a) It's been in ground 3 yrs and is about 14 ft now. It's been a very fast grower for me.
4 ft + per year.
I can't imagine it being very happy in a pot.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 9:19AM
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bihai(zone 9)

That settles it, into the ground it goes.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 11:38AM
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Thats good. My wife is from the Philippines and she is familiar with this tree. Junglegal where did you get yours?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 9:00AM
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I got mine from a fellow Gwebber. Just make sure you know if you have the dwarf or normal sized cananga. I thought I planted a dwarf, I didn't and now will have to keep topping it because it's not far from power lines.

Try Jene's Tropicals (727.344.1668) If they don't have it in stock she can order it for you.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 10:01AM
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gaza(10 la CA)

i think i am right in saying,that the dwarf form is not cananga,but a similar species?
it looks the same,but has very little scent,and nothing like odorata.
if you have to get one,get the reg size one and CLIP!
the other is not worth the effort or space

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 4:23PM
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aroideana(Tropical Australia)

This tree is native around here and can grow to enormous size , but is easily maintained very low for harvesting the super fragrant flowers . I read an excellent article on how the branches are bent down and pegged so as to grow horizontal for ease in picking . It may take up lots more space but the heavenly smell is well worth it .

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 6:21AM
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bihai(zone 9)

I planted it. I put a nice tree fertilizer spike in the hole and it looks very happy.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 9:01AM
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stressbaby(z6 MO)

Gaza, I believe that there is a true dwarf Cananga odorata, it is called C. o. var. 'Fruticosa.' More commonly you see "Dwarf Ylang Ylang" as Desmos chinensis.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 6:42AM
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bihai(zone 9)

yes Stressbaby, you are right, there is one. I have a lovely specimen of it C. odorata "Fruticosa" and its a very worthwhile plant. Here's a photo of mine in bloom. It does have a lovely fragrance as well. I have heard some people say that their "dwarf Ylang Ylang" has no scent...maybe D. chinensis has no scent? I have never seen a D. chinensis so I don't know. I also have an Artobotrys hexapetalus, the "shrub" Ylang Ylang, but it has yet to bloom.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 8:46AM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

That's very pretty. I was wondering if the dwarfs were as fragrant! I think I will get one. I might get the large one as well and try espaliering the branches horizontally like a grape vine, would that work? Anyone know how long the c. odorata take to flower from seed?

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 5:45PM
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Came upon this old post and hoping that Junglegal sees it.
Yesterday I purchased a Ylang Ylang tree from Jene's. $45 for a baby approx. 2' tall. Very healthy.
I've done a bit of research and want to be absolutely sure where I want my new baby to be planted.
Can you give me a vague idea where you've noticed mature Ylang ylangs in Pinellas Co. Junglegal? I'd really appreciate it and would enjoy taking a peek. I haven't noticed any in our area.
Thanks so much,
(I live in west St.Pete near 5th Ave N. and Tyrone Blvd.)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 8:16AM
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I'm not sure about mature specimens. I suppose long term, most take a hit with our occasional arctic frosts and storms. I can say mine is still growing happily and it about 25' tall now. Last year it even set seed. Just plant it in full sun and as far away from the house as possible. They are weak limbed and tend to lose a lot of leaf litter & branches. This one grows like a rocket!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 2:35PM
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Well, let's see, there probably is at least a dozen growing here in St Pete.
I brought back that many from South florida several years ago.
One is growing out at the Extention Office
at the Wasingham Street entrance, next to the first building.
It's right by the sidewalk across from the "coral man" sculpture.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 11:20PM
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Hello Help! I have a Ylang Ylang here in Hawaii. It is now about 50 feet tall. Believe it or not a lot of the branches have gotten really brittle and I have cut them off before they fall off. I have pole sawed about 20 feet up against the side of the tree removing the branches? I was reading can top the tree at 10' ? Do you prune that much in (1) year? The tree has been flowering for about two years now? This year wasn't as good as the past. The tree might be to tall already needs some pruning?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2014 at 9:19PM
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