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How to Care for an Orchid Tree

By Jason M. Bruner ; Updated September 21, 2017
Orchid trees are actually not an orchid at all.
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Orchid trees are praised for their beauty and delicate blooms. These medium-sized deciduous trees are actually not an orchid at all and can grow to a height of 30 feet. Usually found growing in tropical or subtropical areas, these trees can grow in full sun areas that do not drop below 22 degrees F in the winter. Orchid trees are a cousin to the red bud and bloom during the winter and spring months, which makes them a good pick for a garden that retains some color during winter.

Plant the orchid tree in an area that receives full sun for at least eight hours per day and has well-drained soil.

Water the orchid tree weekly or as needed afterward to keep the soil around the base of the orchid tree moist, but not soaked, at all times.

Add a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch around the base of the orchid tree to aid in weed prevention and help store some moisture close to the roots of the tree.

Pruning the tree is generally not necessary. However, if there are dead segments or branches of the tree, removing them with clean, sharp pruning shears is acceptable.

Fertilize the orchid tree once per year at the beginning of spring to promote new, thicker growth during the upcoming growing season. Use a tree and shrub fertilizer for best results.


Things You Will Need

  • Peat moss
  • Spade
  • Water
  • Mulch
  • Sharp pruning shears

About the Author


Jason M. Bruner is a freelance writer who has been in the field for more than five years. His content has been previously published on various websites.