One of the most popular ornamental trees, appreciated for its eye-catching beauty, the Royal Poinciana tree, will be the topic of our discussion in this article.
Also known as Flamboyant, the royal poinciana is scientifically known as Delonix regia. It hails from the Fabaceae family, and is a species of flowering plant. It is noted for its fern-like leaves, and the reason why it is also known as Flamboyant is because of the proud display of its flowers. There is no way a person passing by would possibly miss getting a view of this strikingly gorgeous tree, all thanks to its vivid vibrancy of red/orange/yellow/vermilion flowers, accompanied by a bright green foliage. The regions of Madagascar’s dry deciduous forests happen to be the native place of this showpiece of nature. The tree is known to shed its leaves in areas where dry seasons prevail. However, in other areas, it stays virtually evergreen.
Sunlight and Soil
A spot that receives full sun and a soil that is well-drained, moist, and acidic, are the primary requirements for the growing this tree. This species is known to grow to a height of 40 ft, and achieve a width of 40 – 60 ft. So, plant it in a place which can provide it with enough space to spread out. For this, avoid places near to your house, walls , pavements, etc. At the same time, the tree must also be provided with protection against the wind. The shallow roots of the tree may cause it to collapse in strong winds and storms.
After having chosen a spot for plantation, dig a hole which measures twice as large as the root ball. Then, stuff ⅓ of the hole with organic compost. Plant the tree in the center and in a straight position, and refill the hole with the loosened soil and tamp down well. Do not forget to water, so that the soil gets evenly moist. Thereafter, cover the soil around the tree with a filing of a 2-inch layer of mulch. Also, do not put the mulch close to the trunk of the tree.
Watering must be done on a regular basis during the season when the rainfall in your area goes down 1 inch per week. However, during late fall, start cutting down the water supply gradually before completely stopping it during the winter months. Remember that in late fall, you can add a fresh 2-inch layer of mulch. This helps in keeping the roots from the pangs of the winter and also seal in moisture.
A balanced liquid fertilizer every month is what the tree is required to be fed with. Coming to the pruning part; do it in the tree’s first two to three growing seasons in spring. This will make way for the tree to gain a more attractive uniform shape. Get rid of sucker stems growing from the side of the tree and limbs which are less than 8 to 12 feet from the ground. Dead, dying branches or those which are broken or crossed must also be done away with, in order to make space at the center of the tree. This will encourage more circulation and increase sunlight exposure.
As a concluding point, propagation of the Royal Poinciana can be done through sowing its seeds. After you have the seeds, scratch each seed coat with a sandpaper for 15 seconds. This must be done in order to help the seeds uptake ample amounts of water. Thereafter, soak the seeds overnight. The following day, sow the seeds 20 mm deep, directly into the pots. Within 4 – 6 days, the seeds will start showing signs of germinating.