HONG KONG ORCHID TREE

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COMMON NAME Hong Kong Orchid Tree, Blake’s Bauhinia
BOTANICAL NAME Bauhinia x ‘blakeana’
HEIGHT 20′ to 40′
WIDTH 20′ to 25′
INFERTILE
EVERGREEN
LIFESPAN 40 to 150
PERENNIAL
COLD TOLERANCE 28° F
SOIL TYPE Well drained, dryer soils
WATER REQUIREMENTS Water after planting in ground, and water every day for 2 weeks. Week 3 and week 4, water deeply twice a week. From week 5 forward water deeply at least once a week. Best results with regular irrigation. Supplement with water during droughts and the hot, dry months to keep your plant lush and thriving. Reduce watering in the Winter when growth slows.
DROUGHT TOLERANCE High
SALT TOLERANCE Salt aerosol: Medium
LIGHT REQUIREMENTS Full sun to part sun
FERTILIZING Sparingly use a general purpose 10-10-10 three times per year: Once in the Spring, again in the Summer, and then in the Fall. Alternatively, use a slow-release fertilizer 3 times a year. Halt fertilizing from the Fall to Winter, then begin again in the Spring. Do not allow fertilizer to clump, be sure to disperse evenly. Clumped fertilizer can potentially burn roots, potentially harming or killing a plant. Avoid getting fertilizer on the leaves, flowers, and stems. Do not over-fertilize, as this will result in more foliage and less flowers.
FLOWER 6″, 5-petaled, showy blooms with long stamens. Beautiful fragrance. Pink, purple.
MONTH OF COLOR Summer, Fall, and early Winter
FRUIT None
ALLERGENS, TOXICITY AND ANIMALS Unknown.
COMMENTS Medium-sized tree, very desirable for the orchid-like flowers it produces. Fast growing shade or specimen tree with an rounded, spreading canopy. Flowering is better with dryer soils. Excellent for planting along streets and in wide medians. Foliage is comprised of grey-green leaves that are circular and clefted, 6″ to 8″. Produces showy pink-purple flowers all year. Produces no seeds, therefore is not invasive. Does not create a significant mess. Moderately cold tolerant, frost will kill back smaller and thinner twigs. Prune back when necessary to maintain shape. Somewhat weak wooded, susceptible to breaking in storms. Susceptible to nutritional deficiencies. Can be propagated by cuttings or by air-layering.
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