The paulownia tree, also known as the princess tree, takes its names from Anna Paulowna, a princess of the Netherlands in the 1800s. Paulownias are deciduous trees that grow to 50 feet tall with a 25- to 30-foot spread. They bloom profusely in mid-spring in highly fragrant flowers. The paulownia tree is hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 5b through 9b.
Mix together equal parts of sand, perlite and peat moss and pour it into the seeding tray to within 1/2 inch of the top. Pour water over the mixture until it is evenly wet, then set the tray aside to drain completely.
Scatter the paulownia seeds on the surface of the soil. Do not cover them. Place the tray in an area that remains bright all day, but not in direct sun.
Keep the soil moist at all times. Even a few hours of dry soil can halt germination. The seeds should begin to germinate within two weeks.
Thin the seedlings when they reach 6 inches in height. Pull any weak seedlings first. Gradually thin out the weak plants until you have 10 or 15 seedlings by the time they reach 12 inches tall.
Allow the paulownia seedlings to overwinter indoors for their first year. Keep the soil slightly moist and the tray in bright light. Plant the seedlings into the landscape the following spring, when all danger of frost has passed.