Unhapy African Tulip, Spathodea campanulata

20 posts in this topic

I have an African Tulip Tree that has been in the ground about 18 months.  Last year we had lots of beautiful blooms.  This year it is much bigger however we have had only a handful of mediocre blooms and it drops lots of leaves and small branches.  I would not be concerned with dropping leaves if it was in the winter however the weather has been great between 80 and low 90s mostly. In the third picture, the thin spot in the middle is noticeable. I have noticed that the glassy winged sharp shooter enjoys bouncing between this tree and some of my others if that matters.

Anybody have any ideas?

Is this normal?

TIA

20170910_165906.jpg

20170910_170111.jpg

20170910_165803.jpg

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

   They stress easily but always rebound. Rainfall affects (or lack thereof) their blooming and leaf-drop times. I wouldn't worry at all.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/11/2017, 8:40:45, Jesse said:

This year it is much bigger however we have had only a handful of mediocre blooms and it drops lots of leaves and small branches.

I agree with Gonzer.  Relative to the small branches which you see with leaves, it is perfectly normal.  As it gets bigger, you will become accustom to raking up a "ton" of these. Well maybe not 2,000#'s, but they will fill your recycle bins.  Despite the fact that it isn't blooming in the full tree shots you have posted, it looks pretty healthy.  In years to come, as you rake up dropped flowers on a daily basis, you may reflect differently on the year that it didn't drop too many flowers.  A beautiful tree when placed well! 

I sort of miss when mine was smaller and dropping a few less flowers.  It has grown significantly in the eight years since this photo.

20090815-IMG_4554 Spathodea.jpg

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input!  I am under the assumption that I am watering it plenty.  I also fertigate with 23-13-8.  Could it have been the recent high heat?  We had a hand full of days just over 100 and many days in the 90s. I would like this tree to become a statement maker in my palm garden and I placed it so that the whole tree would be viewable from the kitchen window.  I hope we get a lot more blooms next year as we love the flowers.  I contemplate supplementing my fertigation with a bloom booster next year on my flowering plants and trees.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 High heat even for a short while can make Spathodeas get all goofy. Ask our fellow forumites in Hawaii and Queensland what they think of the tree. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Gonzer said:

Hawaii and Queensland what they think of the tree.

Invasive in both places.  Funny how something which is detested in one climate, can be a prize or at least appreciated in another climate.  My hated tree right now is the Brazilian Pepper in my neighbor's backyard, shooting roots everywhere, and sprouting where ever the breeze blows their seeds.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I like the tree, especially the yellow form.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Wife and I enjoy the African Tulip very much however all my friends from Hawaii always shake their head at the invasive plants (to Hawaii) I put so much effort in growing.

I'm also not a fan of the Brazilian Pepper Tree.  My neighbor also had one which started to destroy the block wall between us. Thankfully he cut it down after I showed him the damage. I'm still pulling out the seedlings though.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The orange ones are nice, but the yellow...wow!

IMG_9820.JPG

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the yellow ones but have never seen one in person.  There is something about the orange color that is absolutely demanding of attention which I may favor.  Matt, is the picture you posted from Costa mesa?  If so, I'd like to perform a drive-by viewing.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those trees are spectacular! @Tracy do you have any recent pictures of your tree?

On 9/13/2017, 2:38:00, Gonzer said:

 High heat even for a short while can make Spathodeas get all goofy. Ask our fellow forumites in Hawaii and Queensland what they think of the tree. 

I always imagined these trees were from hot savannas. Do you know if anyone grows these in the interior deserts in CA? 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Jdiaz31089 said:

@Tracy do you have any recent pictures of your tree?

I don't, it is hard to shoot, as it is near the patio cover, which obscures the view from the lower level, along with a P reclinata, and from the upper patio, where the other shot was taken, you can't get a sense of the tree anymore. 

 

23 hours ago, Matt in OC said:

The orange ones are nice, but the yellow...wow!

 

7 hours ago, Jesse said:

I like the yellow ones but have never seen one in person.

There is at least one yellow among the collection at the Self Realization Center in Encinitas, right next to Swami's surf parking lot (above the right point break).  You can see them as you drive by on the Coast Highway if you ever heading south.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love the photos! I still like this tree, but in the wetter parts of Western PR it is quite aggressive. It will regrow if cut off level to the ground with a chain saw or machete.

Any pieces of branches or trunk turn into new trees. It is much better behaved in other areas though.

There is a nice yellow flowering one at the University of PR Mayaguez Tropical Agricultural Research Station (TARS). Sorry, no photo.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a couple or three of the orange version on my wild acre in Hawaii -- the "mother" tree and a few offspring.  In the wet forest, they grow very vertically, not providing the spreading canopy shown in Matt in OC's photo above. Too many plants competing for sunlight.  Although they can be invasive, I appreciate the flowers and very infrequently need to remove new seedlings.  No plans to remove the 50-60 ft. mother tree.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your tree is fine. New growth is vigorous, of good color; don't worry about a few older leaves yellowing.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok Thanks everyone.  Only unanswered question is, why so few blooms this year?  With all the rains this past winter, all the heat and humidity we have had this summer, I expected to get TONS of those rich orange flowers. Instead I got less than 5 flower clusters.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think they are heavy feeders. Did you fertilize? 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt, Yes I do regularly.  I actually installed fertigation about a year ago and have been using 23-13-8 in my entire garden. Almost everything looks great.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/11/2017, 8:40:45, Jesse said:

I have an African Tulip Tree that has been in the ground about 18 months.  Last year we had lots of beautiful blooms.  This year it is much bigger however we have had only a handful of mediocre blooms and it drops lots of leaves and small branches.  I would not be concerned with dropping leaves if it was in the winter however the weather has been great between 80 and low 90s mostly. In the third picture, the thin spot in the middle is noticeable. I have noticed that the glassy winged sharp shooter enjoys bouncing between this tree and some of my others if that matters.

Anybody have any ideas?

Is this normal?

TIA

20170910_165906.jpg

20170910_170111.jpg

20170910_165803.jpg

This is my observation here in San Diego over 18 years.  All African Tulip trees have different blooming cycles.  Some bloom during winter others during fall through winter or spring.  Most do go through a semi-deciduous period...it can be any time of the year.  My tree goes semi-dormant in August and Sept, while its still flowering.  During the first rains if grows like crazy!  

My tree bloomed almost 4 years without stopping (even though its semi-dormant period).  This was during the severe drought.  It actually stopped flowering last mid-December when we received the good rains.  

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's very interesting.  I have only had it in the ground 18 months so its possible I haven't observed the full cycle yet. Thanks for your input.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • NEW EDITORS: January IPS Newsletter
      By Kim
      All about Chilean Wine Palm! What to do for yellow palm leaves? Read it here in the monthly newsletter of the International Palm Society, featuring our new editors, Francisco Daniel Meza Rengel and Kevin Hrycay.  
      http://online.flipbuilder.com/IPS/jvjt/mobile/index.html#p=1

       
       
    • Tropical Garden in Imperial Valley
      By chinandega81
      I recently purchased a home with a double lot in Brawley, CA...and the yard was a blank canvas. I have seen some tropicals here and there around Imperial County, so I thought I would give it a try.
       
      I have planted two 6 foot Roystonea Borinquenas, several Royal Poincianas, an African Tulip tree, a Keitt Mango, two Biscmarckia palms, quite a few Sea Mahoe trees, a Black Olive (Bucidas bucera), Plumeria and some Ponytail palms. Oh, and a Tipu tipuana tree as well.
       
      Does anyone have experience growing these types of trees in the lower desert heat/cold? I am in a solid 9B zone. There are regular light frosts here in the winter, however I have seen large fruiting Mangos and Royal Palm trees in the area....so I figure if I baby the trees through their first few winters they should do well.
       
      I would love to hear others' stories and experience since most people that try tropicals are on the coast in cool zones.
    • Butia capitata yellowing
      By County Ag Agent
      Dear Palm Enthusiasts, I am new to this blog...frankly I have never been on one. I have over 250 cold hardy palms on my 1/4 acre of land in Las Cruces, NM. Our elevation is 3,850' and it is in the Chihuahuan Desert. I can grow palms very well despite our rainfall of <8", unlimited sunny skies and lack of water. However I am having a problem that I just cannot seem to correct. I have four Pindo Palms planted in a palm garden along with Brahea armata, Jubaea chilensis, Butiagrus and Chaemerops humilis var. cerifera. The trouble is that while all of the other palms look spectacular, the Pindo's have yellow new growth that continues past maturity. I have Pindo's in my front yard and they are fine. I have applied potassium, boron, magnesium, manganese, zinc and iron to the palms with only slight success wiith the EDDHA Chelated iron. I have given them balanced palm fertilizer as well. This has been going on for three years now. The palms have been very well fed as per the others surrounding them. They have been watered properly and not overfertilized. they are growing well, but they are not the color you'd expect with a healthy Pindo. I am the Horticultural Agent for the county and I have been diagnosing and growing plants for over 40 years...yet I cannot figure out why I cannot improve these palms. The palms were purchaased at different times and all were healthy when planted. I have suggested to the IPS that a data base be formed by the IPS that contained healthy leaf analysis of all the palms of the world so that sick palms would have a standard to diagnose from. Therefore, I am opening up a two parted discussion. Any suggestions?

    • Post your prettiest weed
      By Cindy Adair
      I had one of these for years in a pot in Virginia Beach that I carefully tended to and gave space in my greenhouse. I knew it would probably never bloom but I'd seen photos in my books and wanted one anyway.

      Now my husband machetes them down right and left and they come back stronger when we next visit Puerto Rico. He has declared war on them but I think he will lose. The photo is of one he had just toppled still in flower.

      Somehow someone in Virginia left our small one in a pot out when it turned cold a couple of years ago and it died. My husband says it was me, but I'm not so sure. Pretty suspicious to me.

      So what's your prettiest weed?