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Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

Posted by xica_da_silva (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 13, 12 at 16:08

Hi fellow gardeners!!!

I just got back from Baker's nursery, but came home empty-handed because I feel overwhelmed by all the choices!

My main question is this: I've decided pretty much that, in spite of messiness and short blooming season, I'd like to have a Jacaranda in my backyard (no pool, so I don't care about litter). Originally, I was just thinking of having it planted smack dab in the center of my backyard (dimsensions=54 ft wide x 36 ft.length)
But this morning I suddenly saw a small Royal Poinciana tree at the nursery that I know from pictures is also gorgeous. For a historic home, my backyard is not too small...maybe it can handle both(???), as long as they're separated by a considerable amount (not sure precisely how much?)? Am I pushing my luck?! Anyhow, has anyone here had experience with the Royal? I know they are a bit frost tender, but since i'm downtown in the heat island I've had good luck so far with things surviving (using frost cloth and lighting).

Your thoughts? Is this a bad idea? I can't think logically because I just dream of the beautiful contrast of these 2 flowering trees in late spring...so pretty!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

No help here; I've avoided this tree after reading all the sob stories about losing them to frost. I may get another crape myrtle. Mine is probably 50 years old and still beautiful. I'd love a deeper pink or red one. Did you see any on your nursery jaunt?


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

LOL - sorry, but don't you think if the Poinciana tree were hardy here that you wouldn't see a ton of them here? Honestly, I'm not being a smarta$$ - they're just such incredible trees, everyone would want one if we could. I sure would!

There's another big bloomer that you might have noticed at Bakers - it's the huge-moungous tree right in the center of the place, a Silk Floss tree, aka Chorisia speciosa. Big ol' pink blooms and a really prehistoric looking trunk, with spines that look like rose thorns. It would take a the tree-hugger out of anyone, as fast as a Saguaro.


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

Btw, anyone want a baby vitex agnus, aka chaste tree? I have a couple of small ones that I need to move.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chaste tree


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

That photo was taken in '07; the tree is much larger now. I realize the pic isn't that good, so here's a closeup of the blooms.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chaste tree blooms


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

Hi Tomatofreak,

To answer your question, I did see several at Baker's, but they didn't look terribly happy, for whatever reason. It may be because they have them in shade- I think they like a good dose of sun.

As for crepe myrtle varieties in pink, I absolutely love my Pink Velour variety- the flowers bloomed on and off through the whole summer...still blooming right now, actually. Not only are the flowers pretty, but this variety has those leaves with a gorgeous dark red tint, that look stunning in winter before losing the leaves. I like it as much for its leaves as the flowers themselves! I think I saw several ones labeled 'pink' @ Bakers, but only one looked like the 'Pink Velour'. I'm sure they'll get more in, though. They seem to be popular. :) I'm hoping to go back and get some purple ones!


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

Hi Pagancat,

I had definitely considered the silk floss because I've seen several that are gorgeous, but a couple of people had warned me against it- but I forget why.

Anyhow, I am bad because I went ahead and bought the Jacaranda and Poinciana...but my rationale is: the Poinciana is a small one and I got it for only $20...so if it croaks, no biggie. Also, it's in the backyard so not going to ruin the look of my house or anything. Also, if it dies, I've already thought about replacing it with some small tree with yellow flowers...of which there are plenty of those I see in Phoenix! I think the purple of Jacaranda and something with yellow blooms would actually make a great contrast! :) I know...I'm a bit nuts! lol


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

PS...Tomatofreak...the Vitex looks gorgeous- always nice to see those around town!


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

Well, if you see someone short and blonde looking over your wall longingly at your Ponciana, you'll know it's me..... One of their common names is the "Flamboyant Tree". You could always try it in a container, to keep it small...?

I had a Jacaranda for years, and loved it. You might have to throw a sheet over it a few times to keep it warm while it is young, but once established, it should do fine; especially if you put it near a home or wall or something else that keeps heat.


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

Thanks, pagancat.

The Jacaranda has always had a special meaning for me as they were my favorite tree growing up in South Florida.

I already planted the Royal P. in the ground, in a place where it will get lots and lots of sunlight...but I will take care to cover it during frost warnings, too! Fortunately, it's such a little runt at this stage, it's going to be easy to cover! Maybe I should've started it from seed! lol :) Here's a photo:


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

Oh... and here's my newly planted Jacaranda:


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

Good for you, I hope they both grow to become beautiful specimens for you.


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

Thanks, pagancat!

Unfortunately, both trees are currently showing signs of stress- the Royal P. has lost quite a few leaves on the lower branches, especially.

And the Jacaranda has also lost some leaves, has some discoloration/browning on some, as well as a curling of some branches.

Neither are dead...there's still plenty of green, but I'm worried that I messed something up in the transplanting process- maybe too much water, or too much soil amending. Although the soil amending part is tricky because my backyard is pure mud. It's difficult not to feel tempted to use too much of the compost mixture! I may have overdone it and am hurting the trees? Hopefully this is just normal stress and they will adapt quickly! For now, I'm going to leave them alone...I'm afraid of over-watering!


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

Transplanting is always a huge stressor, I wouldn't be too worried about them, especially if they're keeping some leaves.

I also wouldn't be too worried about over watering right now - usually, the opposite happens. For the new trees that I put in this summer, we were doing an hour a day, every day for about a month (ridiculous, I won't do *that* again!). They were also bigger trees than what you're dealing with, which didn't help either.

Have you heard the blah-blah-blah on how to water trees here and how to figure out what depth the water has gotten to? I won't bore you with it unless you haven't heard it - but it is vital to the health of your trees.


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

Thanks, pagancat!

In fact, yesterday I could not resist the temptation to water them, as they both had this slightly pitiful droopy appearance that I normally associate with lack of water. It's hard to sit back and do nothing!

Instead of watering from the perimeter of the 'basin' (edge of the hole I dug out), though, this time I watered closer to the plant's perimeter(root ball). It seems to have made a difference as both seem to have perked up a bit (especially the poinciana, who is no longer dropping any leaves- in fact it looked very happy this morning...yay!). The Jacaranda, in spite of losing some leaves, seems to have just sprouted some baby leaves that look healthy and happy, so I'm cautiously optimistic there as well.

Anyhow, I've heard that with watering trees, it's good to encourage them to spread their roots out by watering where the drip line is, but I don't that's going to work just yet, as I feel like I'm just doing triage to give the plants the basics. I did try spreading the roots out prior to encourage spreading...maybe I didn't do it enough...but hopefully in time the plant will adapt as I water it a bit further out gradually?

Regarding the depth of watering, etc. I've read a bit but if you wouldn't mind refreshing my memory that would be awesome! Definitely appreciate your helpful advice!!! I'm watering by hose/hand right now since I haven't had time to set up emitters yet(I've got the supplies on hand and know how...maybe this weekend I'll do it). I've heard it's best to water very slowly, like a trickle over a long period of time. But not sure if that applies more to mature trees than newly planted ones? Hmmmm....

Thanks again...

Xica


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

Good luck with your new babies! You've got one of the best microclimates/neighborhoods for them to survive, so definitely keep us posted! You never know, you may get lucky. I shouldn't be able to grow plumerias in the ground in my garden but they've done great in this garden for over six years without any protection winter or summer, and that's including the coldest winter in 70 years two winters ago. Good luck and do keep us posted! It's fun to experiment. Happy gardening!


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

Oh, I'm so frustrated with this site - something else I took time to answer that I must have forgotten to hit the final "submit" button to, and is lost somewhere in cyber-space. Grrrrrr!

Okay, here's a link to the FAQ on watering, instead of trying to reprint it. I think it will asnwer all of your questions, but feel free to ask about anything that doesn't make sense.

One last comment - the drip line watering is only meant for *established* trees, not new plantings, so you did the absolute correct thing by flooding the root ball.

Here is a link that might be useful: Watering tips in the desert, FAQ


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

xica_da_silva: where did you get your Royal P.? Bakers?

Also, you mentioned you lived in an historic home and that your area has a good micro-climate for the tree. Do you live in one of the historic districts around downtown? I live in Encanto Palmcroft and am interested in getting a Royal P. but want to make sure it has a good chance of surviving.


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

Hi Nick,

Yep! At Baker's...mine was a just $20 pipsqueak, but with all this continuing warm weather, he's already grown quite a lot and is continuing to sprout new leaves! And he's a gorgeous deep green, even without the flowers! I think he's very happy in his very sunny, warm spot in my southern exposure backyard.

As for my location, I'm in the Coronado Historic District, not far from Good Sam hospital. Having been to Encanto Palmcroft for the annual home tours (i.e. I know where it is!), I feel it's safe to say you'd have as good a chance as I would for success! Perhaps it's the heat-island effect, the lack of elevation, proximity to the airport, but whatever the cause, it's generally warmer here during frosts than elsewhere in the valley. Still, I'm going to baby it each winter for a while...covering it during frosts, or even putting some old-style christmas lights around its base if needed.
I think an important thing to consider is where in your yard you should plant it. You can't really take advantage of garnering tons of radiant heat by planting it right next to the house, because it's a very lateral-oriented tree, and will need room to spread. I opted for roughly the middle of my backyard because it gets full sun in the winter (south exposure), and I've got rocks back there that reflect the heat pretty well. Of course there's mulching, too. Hope that helps...keep us posted! Assuming yours is only $20 like mine, I think it's definitely worth a try!

PS. Not sure if now is the best time to plant it; or whether it's best to wait till spring at this point(keeping it in a container in the meantime so you can bring indoors if it gets frosty?). My concern with planting it right now is that if we get a sudden cold snap right after transplanting- that may cause some issues? I invite others to chime in if I'm wrong, but it might be better to actually plant it in spring? Hmmmmm...


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

Thanks for your input. My next step is actually finding a spot in my yard. Keep us updated with pictures of your Royal P.


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RE: Royal Poinciana and other odds-n-ends

If you purchase the tree now I would wait until after the last frost date to plant it. These trees are *very* frost tender. I babied one by covering with sheets and had light below and still lost it.

This will give you time to find the warmest spot in your yard. But a bunch of cheap thermometers and place them around the yard where you might want to plant the tree. Check the temp each morning around 6am on days when it's especially cold to see if you have a warm spot. Good luck.


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