How to care for the tree of paradise

The Paradise Tree, whose scientific name is Melia azedarach, is an arboreal plant that has the qualities that are always sought in a garden species of a certain size: its growth rate is quite fast, it produces very decorative flowers and gives a very good shade. But also, during the fall its leaves turn yellow before falling.

For all this, if you get a specimen you will surely wonder how to care for a tree of paradise, right? Although it is not difficult at all, below we will tell you what attention you should provide.

Origin and characteristics of the paradise tree

Melia azedarach tree in autumn.

The tree of paradise is a deciduous plant that reaches a maximum height of 15 meters, with a 4 to 8 meter diameter crown native to the Himalayas, in Asia. Popularly it receives the names of cinnamon, cinnamon, piocha, parasol paradise, lilac or tree of paradise.

The leaves are odd-pinnate, 15 to 45 cm long, with oval leaflets 2-5 cm long, green on the upper side and lighter on the underside. The flowers are grouped in panicles 20cm long, and fragrant. The fruit is a drupe 1cm in diameter, pale yellow when ripe, and contains a single seed that is poisonous to humans if eaten.

What care do you need?

If you dare to have a copy, we recommend you take care of it as follows:


The Melia azedarach is a tree that has to be outside, as it needs to feel the passing of the seasons. For this reason it should be planted in the garden, at a minimum distance of 5 meters from any wall, wall or upper floor, because in this way we can contemplate it in all its splendor.

It needs to be in a sunny exposure, although it tolerates semi-shade.


If we talk about the soil, it grows in any type, even those that are poor in nutrients, so you will not have any problem with it .

Of course, if you want to have it in a pot for a few years, you can fill it with universal substrate.


The tree of paradise is very resistant to drought. In fact, I can tell you that, as long as it has been in the soil for more than a year, it will not be necessary to water it if at least 350 liters per square meter of rain fall per year.

But if it is grown in a pot, it will be convenient to water it 2-3 times a week during the summer and a little less the rest of the year.


The truth is that it is not a tree to which it is necessary to fertilize, not even if it is in a land with few nutrients. But it is interesting to do it during spring and summer, especially the first year or if it is potted, so that it has a better development.

You can compost with mulch or compost, for example.


To multiply it, you just have to sow its seeds in a pot during spring. Make sure they are as far apart as possible, since it is normal for all or practically all to germinate. Moreover, the ideal if you can is to plant one or a maximum of two in each pot, this way it will be more likely that many will survive.

They will germinate very soon, in 7-14 days, but keep them in the seedbed until roots grow out of the drainage holes.

Plagues and diseases

It is quite resistant. It may have a mealybug, but nothing serious.


You don’t need it. You can cut off dry, diseased or weak branches, but I don’t recommend pruning it drastically since, although it is likely to sprout strongly, it would lose its charm. The attraction of this tree is its wide and dense crown; If you remove more than necessary, it will never look the same again.

Now, a trick if you want it to give more adult shade is to cut the main branch a little when it is only a young plant. Thus, somewhat lower branches will sprout, and two of them will become main.


The Melia azedarach is a perfect plant. It resists drought, has a high ornamental value and, as if that were not enough, it is capable of withstanding frosts down to -18ºC. What more could you want?

What uses is given to the tree of paradise?

Image – Flickr/ Scamperdale


It is the most popular use. It is planted in gardens, avenues, parks,… It is excellent as a shade tree, either as an isolated specimen or in groups.


It is of good quality, with a medium density, so it is useful for making furniture.

Hair dye

The leaves were formerly used to dye hair black and, incidentally, make it stronger.


The fruits, once dried and crushed, serve as an insecticide, as well as an anti-lice.

Where to buy tree of paradise?

It is a fairly common plant in nurseries, but you can also buy it from here:

TROPICA – Cinnamon (Melia…

€ 3.50

View deal

What did you think of this tree? Did you know him?

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