Herbs

Maintaining the flame tree - what you need to know about the carob plant

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Adult flame trees are fairly easy to care for, young plants need a little more attention. Here are our tips for watering, fertilizing and cutting.

© etfoto - Fotolia.com The flame tree - also known botanically as Delonix Regia - is a very popular ornamental plant that originally occurs in the tropics. Although it does not survive colder temperatures and frost, more and more fans in this country are banking on the unusual crop. Why is that? The unusual, decorative look of the tree, which offers a real firework display with orange-red flowers and pointed, densely populated leaves in the garden. If the tree, which is part of the carob family, bears fruit, they form long, teardrop-shaped arrangements that are particularly spectacular for lovers. If you want to buy a flamboyant, you should know beforehand whether its maintenance can be managed with your own wealth of experience. How easy is it to maintain the flame tree and what should not be disregarded?

Consider the origin of the flame tree

If you want to buy a flame tree, you should research its origin and consider that the plant comes from the tropics and can grow up to 17 meters high. The tree top of the flame tree grows quite broad, but has grown densely with pointed leaves, which are arranged in groups and thus provide local people with a lot of shade, which is very welcome due to the high temperatures.

Since the flame tree is a tropical plant, you should expect that it prefers high temperatures and lots of sunlight. However, moisture is just as important for the tree. The flame tree does not tolerate frost and temperatures below 10 degrees, it only bears fruit in sunny and very warm summer months - in rainy summers there are no fruits.

Important information about the location of the flame tree - how can the flamboyant hibernate?

First of all, it should be clear that the flame tree should never be planted directly in the garden floor. Even in more moderate regions, frost still occurs in the cold months, so there is a great risk that the flame tree will not tolerate the temperatures and die. For this reason, the flame tree in this country is only kept as an ornamental plant, which has enough space in a bucket for its large root system.

In summer, the flame tree can easily be kept outdoors on the balcony, in the garden or on the terrace - here it needs a sunny and sheltered place. However, when autumn and winter are approaching, the plants should be brought to a heated greenhouse or home to spend the winter there. Under no circumstances should he stay outside, even with frost protection covers. It should be noted that the flame tree should not be allowed to grow too large even in the bucket - the plant grows very quickly, so that it can be very difficult together with the bucket, which makes it more difficult to bring the tree back in for the winter.

If you bring the flamboyant indoors for the winter or if you want to keep it indoors all year round, you must also choose a suitable location. This should be sunny, or at least very bright, and offer temperatures of around 20 degrees. In general, it is better to bring the flame tree inside a little earlier than too late.

Important for watering and fertilizing the flame tree

If you want to buy a flame tree, it is quite easy to care for the fully grown tree - however, this is somewhat more complex for growing young trees and seedlings. You only need to water a fully grown tree moderately, fertilizer is only needed if it blooms, if at all.

A young plant, on the other hand, needs plenty of water because a lot of moisture is conducive to the growth of the plant. In the summer months, young plants should be fertilized every three weeks - from May to around October. Since the tree only blooms after a few years, its flowering can be supported with a little fertilizer. Otherwise, caring for the tree proves to be quite simple: if you take care of sufficient sunlight, avoid waterlogging and wind, you cannot do too much wrong with the flame tree. The fertilizer should have been specially made for container plants in order to offer the flame tree exactly the nutrients it needs.

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Tips for cutting the flame tree

Since the flame tree is associated with strong growth, it should be cut and pruned regularly from an early age so that it maintains a reasonable size as an ornamental plant. Since a regular cut promotes branching of the crown, this helps to make the tree crown grow particularly dense and appealing. The cut is always made from top to bottom, trimming too long shoots. A certain shape can also be achieved over time to make the flame tree look particularly magnificent. It is important in any case that the growth of the flame tree is controlled by regular pruning in order to achieve a healthy, strong and not too large plant that is easy to care for.

Don't lose sight of growth

As already mentioned, the flame tree is characterized by strong and very fast growth - seedlings, for example, can be expected from planted seeds after about a week. Therefore, when it comes to care, it is particularly important to repot the young tree regularly and to exchange it for larger tubs even when it is growing rapidly, so that its root system has enough space. It can also be checked whether the roots are intact and whether the earth's moisture is correct.

The most important care criteria in brief

Noteworthy when caring for the flame tree
Bring it into the house, the garage or a heated greenhouse in good time for the winter
Winter temperatures must not be below 10 degrees Celsius
choose a sunny, warm and sheltered location
provide sufficiently large buckets as living space
Water young plants frequently, but prevent waterlogging
Fertilize the young plant every three weeks in the warm months
Water mature plants only moderately and only fertilize when they bloom
Cut regularly - right from the start to avoid excessive growth and to get the right shape
Repotting frequently as a young plant, offering adult plants sufficient space for the root system
nutrient-rich, air-permeable and loose soil is preferred
Fertilize with conventional fertilizer for container plants
As you can see, you don't have to be an expert to grow one of the magnificent flame trees as an ornamental plant.

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