How to Grow a Tabebuia
Tabebuia is a genus of over 100 species of deciduous and semi-deciduous tropical flowering trees that are prized for their colorful clusters of trumpet-shaped blossoms. Native to South and Central America, Tabebuia trees grow best in warm, humid climates such as United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zones 10 and 11. Despite all of their showy brilliance, Tabebuia trees are low maintenance ornamental trees that thrive with the very simplest of care.
Plant your Tabebuia in a location that matches the tree's sunlight and soil requirements. Look for a sunny spot in your garden or home landscape that receives at least six, but preferably eight, hours of direct sunlight each day. Choose a location that also offers nutrient-rich soil with good drainage.
Dig a planting hole for your Tabebuia tree that is two times as wide as its nursery container; the depth of the hole should match the height of the tree's container. Mix two large shovelfuls of peat moss and one shovelful of perlite into the displaced soil to aid aeration and drainage.
Position the Tabebuia tree in its planting hole. Add some of the displaced, amended soil to the bottom of the hole, if necessary, to ensure that the tree is planted at the same height it was growing in its nursery container. Push half of the amended soil back into the hole and pack it around the roots of your tree. Add the remaining amended soil and firm it down around the Tabebuia with the palms of your hands.
- Plant your Tabebuia in a location that matches the tree's sunlight and soil requirements.
- Add some of the displaced, amended soil to the bottom of the hole, if necessary, to ensure that the tree is planted at the same height it was growing in its nursery container.
Provide your Tabebuia with 1 to 2 gallons of water immediately after planting to ensure that the soil surrounding the tree's roots is thoroughly moistened. Continue to water the Tabebuia once a week, in the absence of rain, to maintain consistently moist soil. Reduce the frequency of watering in the cooler winter months because the tree is not actively growing and does not need as much irrigation. Allow the top 1 inch of soil to dry to the touch between watering.
Fertilize the Tabebuia with a specially formulated flowering tree fertilizer twice each growing season to facilitate healthier growth. Apply the first fertilizer application in the early spring, as soon as new growth is observed. Apply the second fertilizer application in early June. Follow the application directions on the fertilizer label to ensure successful fertilization.
- Provide your Tabebuia with 1 to 2 gallons of water immediately after planting to ensure that the soil surrounding the tree's roots is thoroughly moistened.
- Tabebuia trees can be container-grown using this same cultivation advice. When growing a Tabebuia tree in a container, use a well-draining growing medium comprised of two parts peat moss and one part perlite.
- Don't allow diseased, damaged or dead branches to ruin the health and appearance of your Tabebuia tree. Prune problem branches from your tree, as needed, with sharpened and sterilized loppers or a pruning saw.
Megan Mattingly-Arthur has been writing professionally since 1998. She has contributed to various publications, including "Teen Voices" and "Positive Teens" magazines, as well as a book, "The Young Writer's Guide to Getting Published." Mattingly-Arthur is studying travel and tourism through Penn Foster Career School.