Albizia julibrissin

Common name: Silk flower

A frost tender flowering deciduous tree that can grow to a height of 12m (40ft). but only really succeeds outdoors in the mildest areas of the UK

Growing in a container can restrict the size and allow it to be moved in to a sheltered area for winter protection.

The pink flowers appear July to August, forming bean like seeds pods that ripen from September to November, and the fern like foliage is green in Summer, and bronze in Autumn.

They prefer acid, neutral or alkaline moist soils that are nutritionally poor, and a sunny sheltered spot but not early morning sun.

They are tolerant to periods of drought but not shade.

Any pruning is best done in late winter or early spring

They sometimes suffer from fusarium wilt and caterpillar attacks.

All parts of this plants are toxic and may cause severe discomfort if ingested.

Cultural Notes

Week 15: Pre-soak 24 hours in hot water and sow in pots / trays of seed compost and germinate at a temperature of 10-12°C (50-55°F) or collect and sow as soon as they are ripe and germinate in a cold frame.

Germination can take 8-10 weeks.

Week 21: In their second year pot them up into suitable containers and place in a sheltered sunny spot outdoors.

Week 30: Prick out the seedlings into individual pots of potting compost when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on in a frost free environment for at least their first winter.

Week 32: Take semi-hardwood cuttings and root them in a frost proof coldframe / greenhouse.

If the tree has produced any suckers, these can be planted up now.





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