The Amazonian jacaranda tree, Jacaranda mimosifolia, is a popular shade and street tree that produces a spectacular show of lilac or blue flowers during the late spring and early summer. It reaches about 40 feet tall with a broad, irregular crown and feathery leaves. Jacaranda also is available in a white-flowered variety called Jacaranda mimosifolia "Alba." Jacarandas are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 and above, which includes parts of Texas, California and Florida where temperatures get as low as -6.67 degrees C.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Pruning shears or loppers
Choose a jacaranda sapling that has a single trunk and well-spaced branches. Trees with divided trunks are prone to splitting and shedding whole branches. Ask for a grafted plant, because seed-grown jacarandas take a long time to flower.
Plant your jacaranda in a sunny location with well-drained soil. Choose a site away from paths or swimming pools, since jacarandas shed a lot of leaves and flowers and have large surface roots. Leave at least 15 feet between plants to allow for them to spread.
Water the jacaranda regularly during the warmer months. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely, but don't let it get waterlogged, either. Water deeply every other week while the tree is growing, then just once or twice while the tree is dormant, recommends the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension.
Prune your jacaranda tree with pruning shears or loppers to maintain an even shape and branch distribution. Remove any side branches that are thicker than half the diameter of the trunk.
Propagate your jacaranda by planting fresh seeds in standard potting compost after soaking for 24 hours. Plant seedlings during cool weather once they are eight to 10 months old. Jacarandas also can be propagated from cuttings taken from shoots that are six to nine weeks old.
Tips and warnings
- The jacaranda tree is also known as Jacaranda acutifolia in plant nurseries.
- Jacarandas are not fussy about soil type and might even produce more flowers if grown in poor soil.
- Jacaranda trees are rarely bothered by disease or insect pests.
- Plant jacarandas in the sunniest spot available to increase the number of flowers.
- Jacarandas won't tolerate salt spray, so don't plant them if you live close to the sea.
- Avoid planting jacarandas next to homes or power lines, because jacarandas can lose branches during storms.
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- University of Florida IFAS Extension; Jacaranda Mimosifolia; Edward F. Gilman et al; March 2007
- University of Arizona Cooperative Extension; Jacaranda Mimosifolia; Pat Perry and Barbara Schneidau; March 2006
- IFAS Okeechobee County Extension Service; A Lovely Lavender Look for Your Landscape; Dan Culbert; April 2007
- Floridata: Jacaranda Acutifolia
- World Agroforestry Centre: AgroForestryTree Database -- Jacaranda Mimosifolia
- University of Florida IFAS Extension; Propagation of Woody Ornamentals by Cuttings; David F. Hamilton; October 2003