Tips for Planting Acacia

The acacia tree is drought tolerant, showy when in bloom, has a striking form and requires little in the way of care. Acacias offer desert gardeners a blooming shrub or bush to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Grown as full-sized trees or potted as tiny bonsai or houseplants, acacias are low maintenance additions to the home and garden. A few acacia species include, Dalby wattle (Acacia stenophylla), Harrow wattle (Acacia acanthoclada), two-veined hickory (Acacia binervata), heath wattle (Acacia brown) and the whispering myall (Acacia sibilans).

Provide Proper Drainage

Plant acacia trees in well-drained areas. Improve soil drainage by digging in pebbles, compost, bark mulch and other bulky organic amendments. If planted in pots, a general-purpose, chunky soil mix will provide nutrients and plenty of drainage. Avoid planting them in areas where water puddles for extended periods.

Watering and Fertilizing Tips

Water deeply, less often. This encourages a deep root system. Keep the tree protected from direct sun until established to help prevent transplant shock. Once established, acacias require little additional water. Keep in mind that potted acacia trees require more water than those in the ground. Cut back on watering by adding mulch around each plant--shading the pot helps as well. Feed acacia trees with a low-nitrogen fertilizer twice a year.

Proper Placement Tips

Provide acacias with full sun for the most blossoms. Acacias have thorns; supervise pets and children when playing around them as their thorns pose a potential safety hazard. If potted, partial shade is helpful to keep the plant from drying out.

Pruning and Mulching

Sterilize all equipment before pruning acacia trees. Remove any weak or damaged branches. Acacia wood is brittle so these pieces are dangerous if left unchecked. Keep mulch away from the trunk to prevent rot issues. Prune acacias after flowering to retain a compact habit. If desired, wait to prune until after gathering seedpods for future planting.

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About this Author

Izzy McPhee has been a freelance writer since 1999. She writes about gardening, nature conservation, pond care, aquariums, child care, family, living on a budget and do-it-yourself projects. Her paintings have appeared in the well known gallery The Country Store Gallery in Austin, Texas. Her work can be seen on and Demand Studios.