How to Care for Tibouchina

tibouchina pink. image by mdb from Fotolia.com

Tibouchina urvilleana, also called "glory tree" or "princess flower," is a fast-growing evergreen shrub native to Brazil. It has numerous thin stems lined with red-edged leaves and large purple blooms that last from early summer until late fall. Tibouchina can grow up to 15 feet tall, and its foliage can create mounds to 12 feet high. This shrub does best in full sun but benefits from light afternoon shade in very hot climates.

Dig a hole twice the depth and the same width as the container the tibouchina is growing in.

Add 2 to 4 inches of organic compost to the loosened soil and mix well. Place the roots into the hole at the same level they were previously planted. Replace the loosened soil and pat down to remove air pockets.

Water until the soil is moist at least 3 to 4 inches deep. Continue to add water when the top inch of soil feels dry during the first growing season. Once established, tibouchina will need only supplemental watering during drought conditions.

Pinch the tips of the shrub back in early spring to promote fuller growth.

Clip off the flowers as they fade to maintain an attractive appearance. Feed with all-purpose fertiliser after the blooming cycle is complete, per label instructions.

Prune heavily in spring to maintain the desired size and shape.

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