Image by Joao Medeiros; Flickr.
The jacaranda tree is one of the more unusual and striking trees you can plant. Once you see a jacaranda tree in bloom, it is a sight you will not soon forget. Native to Brazil and Argentina, these hot weather loving trees produce long clusters of tube-shaped, white or light purple to dark lavender flowers that cover the tree in a mass of colour. Jacaranda trees aren't suited to the UK's climate, and won't grow outside in your garden. However, you can grow one in a pot inside a conservatory or greenhouse.
Purchase jacaranda seeds from a garden centre or nursery. Only a handful of jacaranda suppliers exist in the UK, so contact the Royal Horticultural Society for details of stockists near you.
Scratch or nick each of the seeds using a small hobby knife, a nail file or a piece of fine sandpaper. The idea is to remove just a small section of the seed coat, about 3 mm.
Fill a small bowl, saucer or saucepan with water. Place the jacaranda seeds into the water and let them soak for 24 hours, but no longer.
Scoop a good-quality humus-rich potting mix into 4.5 litre pots until each is full to about 2.5 cm from the top. Using large pots will allow the jacaranda trees time to grow to a decent size.
Place the pots in a sheltered location in your greenhouse or conservatory. The temperature should not be allowed to go below 18.5C.
Saturate the potting mix with water. Pack the mix firmly into the pots using your hands or a block of wood. If necessary, add more potting mix to keep the mix 2.5 cm from the top.
Poke two holes in each of the pots using a pencil or chopstick. Plant two jacaranda seeds in each of the holes.
Scoop approximately 1 cm of potting mix over the jacaranda seeds.
Water as often as needed in order to keep the potting mix moist, but avoid watering so often the seeds become drenched. Germination of jacaranda seeds can begin in 10 to 12 days.
- To encourage growth, fertilise the jacaranda trees beginning when the seedlings are about 7.5 to 10 cm tall. Use an all-purpose balanced fertiliser such as 10-10-10. Follow the directions given by the manufacturer as to how much fertiliser to use.
- Keep the tree pruned to ensure it remains a manageable size.
- Image by Joao Medeiros; Flickr.