Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia) is a tall, spreading tree much loved for its vibrant show of jacaranda blue flowers from spring to early summer. Plants flower from early spring in the subtropics, during late spring in warm, temperate zones such as Sydney and Perth, and in mid to late summer further south.
These trees are a feature of many park and street plantings and have been grown in Australia since the early 19th century when they were first brought to keen Colonial gardeners by ship captains travelling to the east coast of Australia from South America.
Jacarandas are dry season deciduous dropping their leaflets in late winter before flowering begins. Before the leaves drop, they turn a strong yellow that brings colour to winter gardens and streetscapes. In subtropical and warm temperate zones, jacarandas flower on bare wood. In cold areas, where flowering is in summer, blooms appear after the tree has regrown its foliage.
Large trees create a carpet of blossoms beneath the tree, which is another appeal of the tree especially in parks and where the flowers fall on grass.
As trees can reach 7-15m high and 4-9m wide, they need to be planted with plenty of room in every direction. Plant well away from houses, neighbours and swimming pools to avoid conflict. Well sited in a large garden, these trees provide welcome summer shade to an outdoor eating or play area as well as the enjoyment brought by their spectacular flowers and late winter leaf colour.
While it is the large blue jacaranda that is best known, jacarandas are also available in white (‘Alba’). There are also dwarf forms for in small spaces or large containers including ‘Bonsai Blue’, which grows 2-3m high and wide. Check our hardware and garden centres for varieties and advice in your local. neighbourhood.
Aspect Jacarandas need a bright, sunny location with sun all day. Young trees are frost tender and need protection in frost-prone areas until at least 2m high. In very cold zones, plant jacarandas in a warm microclimate, in a sunny spot.
Soil These trees grow in a wide range of soils with reliable moisture but good drainage. Before planting add home-made compost and organic matter and/or Seasol Super Compost. The dwarf varieties of jacarandas grown in large containers with a Premium potting mix such as Seasol Advanced Potting Mix.
Climate Although jacarandas are native to the subtropics such as Brazil, they tolerate all but the coldest climates and do very well in coastal zones.