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Have Tabebuia Trees Your Way

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by Tom MacCubbin
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Picture: Tom MacCubbin


Gardeners love the tabebuia trees now in bloom in local landscapes. Often they don't know what they are but they just like the color. It's not abnormal for me to get an email asking to identify the tree. Well, you can have the tabebuia your way -- pink, yellow or both.

Personally I like the yellow - It is a show stopper shining so bright in the horizon. There are several species but all are equally pleasing. This is the least cold hardy of the colors but makes it through most winters in the central portion of the state. Yellows also flower after the pinks but this year, most likely due to the mild weather, they seemed to have blended together.

Pinks are hardy. I have never seen major cold damage to the pink trees, just the flowers. This tree also grows to over 25 feet tall and wide. There seems to be a lot of color variation giving rise to many shade of pink. Most are grown as a seedling selection that gives this variation.

Yellow tabebuia trees are normally smaller in local landscapes although they too can reach 25 feet in height and width. All tabebuias grow best in full sun and are drought tolerant once established but grow best with waterings every week or two during the very dry times.
After they flower, tabebuia trees produce long seed pods. Eventually they open and release lots of seeds. You can use the seeds to start new trees. Simply scatter them over a container of soil and cover them lightly with the potting mixture. Keep moist and they will be up and growing within a few weeks. Eventually transplant the seedlings one to a container and you should have plenty of new trees to share with friends.

Tabebuias are not that easy to find. Check your local independent garden centers. They are likely to have the trees in stock when they are flowering since this is when most gardeners are interested.


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