- Author: Mary B. Gabbard
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting my son in San Diego, and became completely enthralled by the beautiful, blooming, Jacaranda mimosifolia tree. Every time we had to run an errand, I noticed the Jacaranda lining the city streets, all in full bloom, with each tree displaying a beautiful spray of lavender purple, trumpet-like flowers. It was quite spectacular! So of course, I wondered if this tree could grow and thrive in Solano county.
A little background information about this tree:
-They are considered a true southern tree, it thrives in Florida, and parts of Texas and California. Considered a Deciduous or semi-evergreen tree.
-USDA plant hardiness zones 9b through 11: which means temperatures remain well above 27 degrees Fahrenheit. Jacaranda trees do best above the freezing point.
-Great drainage is a must, as well as a lot of space: this tree can grow 60 feet tall, but usually stays in the 20- to 25-foot range.
-Typically planted as street trees: the reason for this is because once the flowers drop, they cover the ground in a thick layer, decomposing into slime if not raked-up in a timely fashion.
-Fairly low maintenance but do need to be pruned early spring: trimming smaller branches, click off suckers-keeping 1 main trunk. Keep excess branches cut to prevent the weight of the tree from splitting trunk.
-Jacaranda is very resistant to pests and diseases.
Can they grow in Solano County?
-I think yes…however, just because you can, may not mean you should!
A few concerns…temperature, soil, and location:
- Temperature. Although our area does fall in the 9b USDA hardiness zone, I've read that the cooler temperatures of our zone, may cause the tree to flower later in the season and the tree will be smaller in height and spread. Also noted if the tree is damaged by cold winter temperatures, it is likely to recover, but blooms and/or growth may be affected.
- Soil. The Jacaranda prefers well-drained soil, sandy soil. Getting the right soil mixture will require a lot of amending w/organic matter before planting.
- Location. This is a large growing tree with spent blooms that will require raking before they decompose. Typically planted as a street tree as it has low potential damage to sidewalks and fallen flowers will drop in the street rather than in your yard, however, you may want to consider planting in a pot as a specimen tree on your patio. Planting in a pot will allow you to move the tree to a warmer area in your yard during our cold winters.
Enough said, if you're traveling next Spring-early Summer find you in L.A County or San Diego County, you too will become mesmerized with the beautiful Jacaranda mimosifolia tree.
-Here is some additional information regarding planting: