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Jacaranda Tree | Australian Growing & Care Guide

It’s hard to talk about ornamental tropical garden trees without mentioning the stunning, globally-adored Jacaranda tree. Being widely planted in most areas that don’t have much frost over winter, this long-lived tree is the perfect pick for those with a lot of space in their landscapes looking to establish a large decorative tree. 

Here is your full guide to growing and caring for the Jacaranda tree. 

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Getting to Know the Jacaranda Tree 

Jacaranda tree features attractive and long-lasting violet-coloured flowers that form in large clusters during spring to early summer.

A true beauty, this sub-tropical tree features attractive and long-lasting violet-coloured flowers that form in large clusters during spring to early summer.

The arched branches will form an attractive canopy shape once established and the delicate fern-like leaves will allow dappled sunlight to filter through, creating relaxing shady environments in your garden for plants and people to enjoy. 

The Jacaranda tree is either semi-evergreen or deciduous depending on the climate it’s growing in, but either way, it will easily impress as an addition to your garden. 

Jacaranda mimosifolia, also known as the Jacaranda tree or blue jacaranda, is a part of the Bignoniaceae family and is native to tropical and subtropical regions of South America. Naturally, these trees thrive in similar environments so our endemic climates in Australia make for a perfect fit.

Being fast-growing in more tropical environments and more moderate in other areas, this tree will only flower once matured, which could take about 8 years or more. 

As a garden tree, Jacaranda will grow to about 8 to 15 metres tall and 5 to 10 metres wide but could also reach greater heights depending on conditions. This tree is considered an invasive species in some parts of Australia because of the deep, invasive roots that can out native species around it.

It also grows invasive surface roots that can disturb paving and other nearby constructs so the positioning in your garden will need to be well thought through. 

Plant Name:

Jacaranda  

Genus:

Jacaranda

Species:

mimosifolia

Common Names:

Jacaranda tree, blue jacaranda

Location:

Outdoor

Type:

Flowering tree

Growth:

8 to 15 metres tall, 5 to 10 metres wide

Sun requirements:

Full sun

Foliage Colour:

Green

Flower Colour:

Purple

Flowering:

Spring to summer

Fruit:

Seed pods in late summer

Maintenance level:

Low

Poisonous for pets:

Non-toxic to cats and dogs

Other Popular Jacaranda Tree Varieties

  • Jacaranda arborea – This variety is endemic to Cuba and is currently threatened by habitat loss in the area. This tree is not widely grown as a garden ornamental like its more popular mimosifolia counterpart. 
  • Jacaranda caroba – Also known as the Brazilian caroba tree, this variety is used as a medicinal plant and only grows to about 5 metres tall. 

How to Grow Jacaranda Tree

How to Grow Jacaranda Tree

These trees are widely grown from seeds or propagated using softwood cuttings. Seed grown trees will naturally take far longer to bloom than trees grown from cuttings.

Another great advantage of propagating by cuttings is that your plant will be a true to type copy of the parent plant whereas seed grown trees are less likely to do so. 

Ways to Propagate Jacaranda Tree

Propagating Jacaranda Tree Using Stem Cuttings

  • Using pruning shears, sharpened scissors or a pruning saw, cut away a healthy branch that is at least 2cm in diameter. 
  • Take a cutting from the branch that has grown past the bark and that contains some healthy buds. Cut just above the point where the leaf grows from the stem. 
  • Make a diagonal cut on the stem that is around 2cm as the longer cut surface will encourage rooting. 
  • Your cutting should be around 7 to 10 centimetres long and have at least three nodes on it. 
  • You can place the cutting into a jar filled with room temperature filtered water to root which can take about 2 to 3 weeks. Alternatively, you can use a container and place the cut end of your cutting into an enriched and moist soilless growing medium like perlite or vermiculite. 
  • You can optionally dip the cutting into some rooting hormone to boost the production of new roots. 
  • Place your cutting in a location that gets bright but indirect light. 
  • Water-rooted cutting should be transferred to a container once the roots have grown to around 2cm. 
  • Allow your cutting to establish itself for at least 8 months before transplanting it into the garden, keeping the potting mix moist. 
Propagating Jacaranda Tree

Growing Jacaranda from Seed

  • Collect dried and browned seed pods directly from the tree in late summer after flowering. Avoid collecting seed pods from the ground. 
  • Crack open the pods at home to extract the seeds.
  • Soak the seeds in water for about 1 day then place them onto a prepared soil bed in seedling containers or pots. 
  • Add a thin layer of soil on top of the seeds and keep moist. 
  • After a few weeks, the seeds should sprout. 
  • Thereafter, allow the seedlings to develop for about another 8 months before transplanting them into your garden. 
  • Once in your garden, you can let your new baby grow and flower. Jacaranda trees can live for up to 50 years!

Propagating Jacaranda from a Nursery Plant

  • Once you have your healthy seedling from the nursery, you can dig a hole in a spot in the garden you have chosen. The location should get as much full sun as possible. 
  • Your hole should be twice as wide and to the same depth as the root ball. 
  • Carefully transfer the seedling into your hole, being careful not to disturb the roots too much. 
  • Gently backfill with soil and form a mound around your seedling to guide water away from it. 
  • You can mulch lightly and feed occasionally as the tree develops. 

Sowing Seeds vs Planting Seedling: Find out which is Better.

Planting Jacaranda Tree

Location will be very important when growing a Jacaranda. These tropical trees require certain conditions to thrive and flower prolifically.  

Planting Jacaranda Tree

Best Lighting Conditions

Full sun positions are ideal for this tree to bloom best and grow optimally. Choose a spot in your front or back yard that gets at least 6 to 8 hours of sun per day. 

Ideal Soil for Jacaranda Tree

Plant in rich, well-draining sandy soil with a slightly acidic pH level for the best results. These trees can tolerate other soils as long as they are not heavy and clay-like.

Try to ensure your soil is protected from strong winds, especially during initial establishment. 

Climate Requirements

Warm and temperate areas with high humidity are best for Jacarandas but they can also grow in cooler areas as long as severe frost is avoided. Cooler areas will cause the tree to grow slower and smaller and it will also bloom less prolifically. 

Jacaranda Care Guide

Generally, these trees will be low maintenance and steady growers. But a little extra care can also go a long way in establishing a healthy, thriving specimen. Here are a few care tips for your Jacaranda tree. 

Jacaranda Care Guide

Watering Your Tree

Once established, this tree will be moderately tolerant to drought and short spells of light frost. Water your tree around its base when the top 8 to 10cm of soil feels dry. Water about once per week generally.

Water several times per week in extended hot and dry spells. Water about once per month over the winter period. 

Pruning Jacaranda Tree

Young trees will need to be pruned to form a main central trunk for strength and stability. Try to avoid pruning beyond that as your tree is maturing. Thereafter, prune only to remove dead, broken or diseased branches. 

What Fertiliser to Use

Feed your tree annually in spring with a balanced 10-10-10 tree fertiliser to encourage bigger blooms and new growth. These trees are sensitive to nitrogen so using a balanced fertiliser is best.

If you are fertilising grass near your tree, it is most likely already getting enough extra nutrients. 

Cleaning Around Your Tree

Leaves, flowers and seed pods can create a lot of litter when they drop around your tree. You will need to be diligent about cleaning it up as the litter can rot and become unpleasant if left to accumulate and sit on the ground.

This is also why many growers choose not to plant Jacarandas near pools, patios and other high traffic areas. 

Mulching Jacaranda Tree

During the hot summer months, you can mulch around the roots of your tree with organic materials like compost, straw and bark. This will help the soil retain moisture during this period.

Apply mulch to moist ground and not dry ground. Your mulch layer should only be about 50mm thick for the best results.

Common Jacaranda Pests, Problems & Diseases

Jacaranda trees are generally very resistant to pests and disease when grown outdoors

Small Insect Infestations

Luckily, these trees are generally very resistant to pests and disease when grown outdoors. In rare cases, trees can be infested by small aphids or mites which can easily be knocked off when sprayed with soap and water.

Alternatively, you can treat infected plants with neem oil or a similar horticultural spray. 

Yellowing Leaves

This is a clear sign that your tree is not being watered deeply enough. If your leaves are turning yellow, water deeply more frequently, especially on overly hot days. 

Dying Leaf Tips

Excessive fertilising will result in damaging the mineral ratio in your soil which can cause leaf tips to die or yellowing leaf edges to form. To treat this, remove any damaged or dying foliage and water the fertilised soil thoroughly to try to flush out the excess minerals. 

Jacaranda Tree FAQs

Where do jacaranda trees grow in Australia?

These trees are particularly widespread in south-eastern Queensland but also occur in most of the other states. Your jacaranda will love heat and humidity but be careful not to scorch or burn your tree if the temperatures get too high. 

How quickly does a jacaranda tree grow?

This tree will often grow to less than 8 metres tall in cultivation. But, in the ideal conditions, they can grow to 15m or more, taking about 20 years to reach full maturity and size. 

Do jacarandas have invasive roots?

Yes. These trees have vigorous root systems that dig deep but also create invasive surface roots. Always consider piping, drains and water lines before planting jacaranda tree.

Wrapping Up our Jacaranda Tree  Guide

The Jacaranda tree is an excellent choice for any gardener looking at establishing a large ornamental in their gardens. This tropical tree will create a beautiful silhouette in your landscape while also providing shade for those hot summer days once established.

The prolific purple blooms will add bursts of colour to your garden during flowering and the fern-like foliage will always be an attractive feature to add some texture to these spaces.

Being easy to grow and pretty low-maintenance, it’s no wonder the Jacaranda tree has garnered such global admiration. 

Jacaranda Tree Australian Growing & Care Guide

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Author:

Gary Clarke

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