Gardening

Brachychiton Tree: [Planting, Care, Watering, Substrate]

The Brachychiton ( kurrajong, bottle tree ) is a genus of 31 species of trees and large shrubs, native to Australia (the center of diversity, with 30 species), and New Guinea (one species).

The fossils from New South Wales and New Zealand are estimated to be 50 million years old, corresponding to the Paleogene.

It is a tree that has been considered an ornamental type because of how beautiful it can be. It does not need much care.

Important points when planting the Brachychiton tree
  • The family: Malvaceae.
  • Scientific name: Brachychiton acerifolius.
  • Plant type: Small tree, Large tree.
  • Height: 10 ~ 40 meters.
  • Width: 5 ~ 15 meters.
  • Flower color: Red.
  • Flowering time: spring, summer .
  • Ph level: Acid, Neutral.
  • Soil type: Loam, sandy loam, clay loam.
  • Climate zone: Subtropical, Warm temperate, Cold temperate, Mediterranean.
  • Light: Sunny, light shade.
  • Growth habit: Deciduous, recreation.
  • Soil Moisture : Well drained, moderately moist drainage.
  • Propagation method : Seed .
  • Frost tolerance: Slight.
  • Use of the plant : Ornamental .
  • Special Uses : Edible, Street Tree.
  • Attracts wildlife : Bees, Birds that eat nectar, Butterflies, Other insects.

Brachychiton characteristics

They grow up to 4 – 30 m tall, and some are deciduous from the dry season. Several (but not all) species are peaceful plants with a very robust stem for their overall size, used to store water during periods of drought.

The leaves show intraspecific variation and generally range from entire to deeply palmately palmed with long, slender leaf-like lobes, united only at the base.

Its size varies between 4 and 20 cm in length and width. It is very common in Australia.

All species are monoecious with flowers male and female separate on the same floor. The flowers have a bell-shaped perianth consisting of a single series of fused lobes that is considered a calyx despite being bright in color in most species.

The female flowers have five separate carpels that can each form a woody fruit that contains several seeds. Flower color is often variable within each species. Eastern forest species drop their foliage before flowering, but those in drier regions bear the flowers while on the leaf.

A few species of Kurrajong, as the tree is known in the Dharuk language, are popular garden trees and have been introduced to hot, dry regions such as the Mediterranean, South Africa, and the western United States.

These species are also hybrids for horticultural purposes, with B. populneo-acerifolius being an example.

Kurrajongs are known to flourish erratically in cultivation.

Prepare the land

Succulents tent soil is suitable with a small addition of sand.

For a self-made mix, take: three parts coarse sand or perlite, two parts garden soil, two parts humus (leafy soil), one part charcoal and bone meal, lime or a little eggshell .

Good drainage is required. The pH is ideal at 5.5 – 6.5.

Irrigation of the brachychiton

Due to its amazing water storage capacity, the Queensland bottle tree is drought and wind tolerant, but may drop some leaves during dry spells.

The healthiest plants are known to grow in areas that experience prolonged dry spells as the roots will grow very deep in search of water.

Planting a brachychiton tree step by step

  1. Plant the bottle tree in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. Avoid rocky planting locations. Choose an area with plenty of vertical space to allow for its 45-foot height to maturity. Space the tree 30 feet away from other trees and buildings.
  2. Water the tree deeply every 14 days during the spring and fall months and every seven days during the summer months.
  3. Soak the surrounding soil with a garden hose. Let the water drain through the soil, leaving the soil completely moist. Don’t let the ground get soaked with standing water.
  4. Fertilize the tree in the spring, just before new growth begins, with a 10-10-10 nitrogen , phosphorous and potassium slow release type fertilizer .
  5. Spread the fertilizer as evenly as possible in a ring around the tree.
  6. Select the strongest vertical branch , or central leader, of the tree. Prune all other leaders to create a strong vertical trunk. Eliminate competition leaders every three years.
  7. Prune bottle trees in early spring while the tree is still resting. Use hand pruning shears on branches. Use pruners or a pruning saw on all larger branches. Remove any broken, dead, or diseased branches. Prune lower branches that impede traffic. Make each cut above a side branch, with the bud facing outward or the circular neck that surrounds the base of the branch.

Brachychiton care

The brachychiton tree requires very little, if any, care and maintenance. Although it is drought tolerant, it likes to be watered regularly during the summer.

Feeding is usually not necessary unless potted, but can be fed with a balanced complete fertilizer once a year, usually in spring , to maintain vigor.

Plagues and diseases

The brachychiton tree is generally free from pests and diseases, but feeding can encourage bushy, leafy growth that may attract the Kurrajong leaf roller caterpillar or birds seeking shelter.

However, it affected by spider mites, scale insects and flies white .

Root rot is possible with excessive watering.

It suffers from a lack of light: it grows slowly, the shoots are stretched, the leaves become less, they become pale. Young plants can suffer from excess light because sunburn occurs on the leaves.

Pruning

Pruning is also not necessary but will respond well to light pruning if planted in a situation where size or shape needs to be controlled.

The tree can drop its leaves before flowering, usually between the months of September and December. This will give rise to a new sprout of fresh leaves and give the tree a new burst of life.

Thanks to their slow growth, brachychiton trees can grow as container plants or become bonsai. Its unique shape creates a conversation piece even for people who would not normally be interested in plants.

These bottle trees are hardy, as well as drought and sun tolerant. They are a perfect tree for the xeriscape landscape, requiring little care once they are established.

Caution: The juice released during pruning irritates the skin, so avoid contact with the eyes.

The reproduction of the brachychiton

The most suitable way is to multiply the seeds soaked for 24 hours, which are planted in a mixture of peat, perlite and sand.

They sprout at high temperature and not in light. It sprouts between one and three weeks, but together they take a long time.

When the seedlings reach a height of 2.5 cm, they are immersed and transplanted into a small pot. It is also propagated by cuttings about 12 cm long, which, after drying, are placed in a loose substrate of sand, moss and perlite with the addition of fungicide. It is covered with a film.

Types of brachychiton

Brachychiton acerifolius

Large tree: 20-30m tall. Masses of bright red bell-shaped flowers in late spring and early summer.

It adapts to a wide range of soil types.

Brachychiton Beau Bells

Small tree: 4m-5m high x 2m-3m wide. Clusters of deep pink bell flowers in late spring and early summer.

It adapts to a wide range of soil types. Tolerant to drought and frost. Magnificent tree with a brilliant display of flowering.

Brachychiton Belladonna

Medium tree: 5m-10m high x 4m-6m wide.

Masses of large, delicate pink flowers in late spring and early summer. It adapts to a wide range of soil types.

Tolerant to drought and frost. Gorgeous tree of features.

Brachychiton bidwillii

Small shrubby tree: 4m-5m high x 2m-3m wide.

Clusters of star-shaped red flowers in late spring and early summer. The lobed leaves are deep green with new pink growth.

They adapt to a wide range of soil types. Tolerant to drought and frost.

Brachychiton Clarabelle

Small tree: 4m-6m high x 2m-3m wide. Clusters of red / pink star-shaped bell flowers in late spring and early summer.

The lobed leaves are deep green with new pink growth. They adapt to a wide range of soil types.

Tolerant to drought and frost. Magnificent tree with a brilliant display of flowering.

Brachychiton Griffith Pink

Small tree: 5m-8m high x 2m-3m wide.

Bright, deep green foliage with clusters of large pink bell flowers in late spring and early summer. It adapts to a wide range of soil types. Resistant to drought and frost down to -7C. Fits well in South Australia.

Brachychiton Noel’s surprise

Small tree: 4m-5m high x 2m-3m wide.

Clusters of bright red / pink bell-shaped flowers. Blooming from early spring to early summer.

Deciduous tree with bright, deep green foliage. It adapts to a wide range of soil types. Tolerant to drought and frost. Magnificent tree of characteristics with a brilliant display of flowering.

Brachychiton Jasper Bell

Small tree: 4m-6m high x 2m-3m wide.

Clusters of orange / pink bell flowers are carried in arms and by trunk in late spring and early summer.

It adapts to a wide range of soil types. Tolerant to drought and frost. Magnificent tree with a brilliant display of flowers.

Brachychiton spectablis

Small tree: 4m-6m high x 2m-3m wide.

Clusters of orange / pink bell flowers are carried in the arms and by the trunk in late spring and early summer. The lobed leaves are deep green with new pink growth. They adapt to a wide range of soil types.

Tolerant to drought and frost. Magnificent feature tree with a brilliant display of flowering.

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