The Paulownia tree is a rapidly growing, blooming tree that can reach mature heights of up to 50 feet. The tree's wide branch reach (with up to 50-foot extensions), make it ideal for shade. Native to China, the tree is easily cultivated and has a long lifespan of typically 100 years.
Find the appropriate location for your new tree. Avoid planting your Paulownia tree in areas that have limited space. The minimum recommendation for planting space is 20 feet. However, a fully matured Paulownia's root system can have a range and width of up to 50 feet. Therefore, plant your tree at least 50 to 60 feet from your underground components, such as septic systems and pipelines. This will help to avoid the root system from quickly overtaking these components, rendering them useless. If you choose to plant more than one Paulownia, plant them at least 12 to 18 feet from one another.
Select a planting area that is well-drained. These trees cannot tolerate wet feet and may become susceptible to disease and death if left to rest in puddles of water. However, Paulownia trees can adapt to almost all types of soil and often thrive in poor, nutrient-lacking soil. These trees are known to remove and convert many pollutants from the ground, providing an improved soil balance and increased oxygen levels. The area should also provide a full day of direct sunlight.
Plant your Paulownia seeds in freshly dug, shallow holes during the early spring, just after the last frost has passed. Though they do not require indoor growth, you can choose to grow the seeds in a pot, planting the sapling after it develops some height. Paulownia field plants can be planted between four to eight inches in height. The tree should be removed from the potting container and placed into the ground immediately to prevent drying of the roots.
Fertilize your Paulownia tree regularly during the early spring through mid summer. This vigorous grower requires a combination of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous, all of which will promote green foliage, stronger structure, and longer blooms. Use a well balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10. Broadcast the fertilizer around the base of the tree and incorporate some of the fertilizer directly into its soil. Avoid placing the fertilizer directly onto the roots of the tree to avoid potential root burn.
Water your Paulownia tree regularly. First year Paulownia trees require avid watering, especially during the dry summer months. During this period, water your Paulownia daily. As the tree develops, it will require less watering. Mature trees can be watered once or two per week during the summer months and once a week during the spring and fall.