How to Care for an Albizia Summer Chocolate Tree

Written by megan mattingly-arthur
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Albizia julibrissin, also known as mimosa, is a fast-growing deciduous tree that is native to eastern Asia, China and Korea. "Summer Chocolate" is a mimosa tree cultivar that features lacy, fernlike foliage that emerges green and deepens to an attractive brownish-purple as it matures. With proper care, "Summer Chocolate" trees can live for up to 20 years in United States Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 7 through 9b.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Garden hose
  • Water soluble fertiliser
  • Pruning saw

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  1. 1

    Position or plant Albizia "Summer Chocolate" trees in locations that are exposed to six or more hours of direct sun each day. Note that "Summer Chocolate" trees can survive in partial sun sites that receive as little as four hours of direct sunlight, although their growth will be inhibited.

  2. 2

    Irrigate your Albizia tree weekly during the spring and summer months to give its foliage a more lush appearance, according to the University of Florida Extension. Provide "Summer Chocolate" trees with 1 inch of supplemental irrigation each week that nature fails provide enough rain to maintain evenly moist soil. Withhold supplemental irrigation during the fall and winter months.

  3. 3

    Fertilise "Summer Chocolate" trees lightly in the early spring, before they present new growth. Feed the tree with a half-strength application of a balanced, water-soluble fertiliser. Apply the fertiliser product according to instructions on the package.

  4. 4

    Prune "Summer Chocolate" trees in the spring to control their size or shape, or to remove winter-damaged branches. Cut dead or damaged branches from the tree with a sharpened and sterilised pruning saw. Make clear pruning cuts just outside of the branch collar.

Tips and warnings

  • Top the surface of the soil around your tree with 2 inches of peat moss, pine straw or bark pieces to prevent weeds from growing at your planting site. Replenish the mulching material, as necessary, to maintain a 2-inch layer.
  • Albizia trees may experience problems with mimosa webworms, spider mites, cottony cushion scale and other insect pests. Treat affected trees with an insecticide or horticultural oil spray.

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