Silk tree: Albizia julibrissin

This mimosa-like plant has a tree-like to shrubby habit and is native to the tropics and sub-tropics. The large feathery leaves consist of numerous small single leaflets that fold up at night time. For this reason it has been called the ‘sleep tree’. The bright pink fragrant flowers that appear in summer look like brushes, with their long filaments. A. iophanta has yellow inflorescences similar to those of the callistemons.

Albizia prefers partial shade but it needs warmth. In summer it requires a lot of water because lack of water causes leaf drop. However, it hates being waterlogged as this would lead to root rot. During the growth period it should be fertilized on a weekly basis. The skin of the seeds should be scratched a little before sowing. In winter, the plant should put in a bright place, at a temperature of 5-10° C (41-50° F), and be watered only sparingly.

The umbel-shaped crown is pruned regularly to maintain its shape while older specimens can be rejuvenated by vigorous pruning. Albizias are occasionally troubled by spicier mites.

18. April 2014 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Fruit Trees | Comments Off on Silk tree: Albizia julibrissin


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