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.

Growing conditions

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.

General care

Watering Water when young but trees are drought hardy once established. Trees grow taller and are more spreading with reliable water, particularly during summer. Apply Seasol regularly throughout the year for healthy growth, enhanced flowering and to help reduce stress from heat and drought.

Feeding and mulching Jacarandas are not heavy feeders. Feed throughout the growing season (spring to summer) with PowerFeed with Troforte All Purpose including Natives. Add to the soil prior to planting and reapply every 6 to 8 weeks.  You can also boost growth at any time of year with liquid PowerFeed All Purpose including Natives. 

Use leaf litter, fine gravel or a coarse wood mulch around the base of the plant to suppress weeds and retain soil moisture during dry times.

Pruning Pruning is unnecessary except to remove damaged growth. Poor pruning, especially to control height or spread, can lead to vigorous upright growth that requires further pruning.

Watch out These trees are rarely attacked by pests but can succumb to rot in very poorly drained conditions especially if trees are old. Avoid planting jacarandas near swimming pools as the leaflets can be a problem in the water and may block filters. If the tree is already growing, cover pools in late winter when leaves are discarded and during flowering. Jacarandas were a problem near underground pipes, but this issue has been alleviated in most areas with modern PVC pipes. If jacarandas overhang paving or paths, keep them well swept as flowers fall to avoid a slip hazard in wet conditions.

Note in some areas particularly warm, coastal regions, jacarandas are considered weedy. The tree is classed as an environmental weed in Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales.