The monsoon is well and truly upon us now and most of us gardeners have gone into preservation mode for our plants. Time has been spent, carving canals in the soil, setting up borders against water stagnation and preventing pests.
Perhaps you’ve read our rain water harvesting blog and even taken that on as a monsoon project (let us know in the comments if you have!).
But that’s not all that you can do during this season. Monsoon is a great season to sow seeds and plant new seedlings.
Well, not all plants but certain ones that have a high threshold for water and can withstand somewhat soggy conditions. Now, what if the plant that we have in mind could light up your garden like a warm, cozy fire on a rainy day? The Gulmohar can do just that for you!
Gulmohar Tree Information:
Also known as the Royal Poinciana, the royal flame tree, the peacock tree and scientifically called Delonix regia, this is a unique flower. Its bright crimson flowers adorn many beautiful gardens in the tropics and subtropics.
It is a large spreading and somewhat umbrella shaped tree with light, feathery, typical bipinnate leaves. The flowers are borne in large masses covering the whole tree. The flower color may be light orange, or deep scarlet and various intermediate shades.
So, do you want to give these glorious flowers a try? Then here’s what you need to know about growing delonix regia:
1. Growing Gulmohar Tree from Seed:
To start the growing process, the first thing you need to know about is a process called Scarification. This is when you cut or in any other way weaken the outer coating of the seed so that it can germinate easily. Do this gently to the Gulmohar seed’s surface before planting.
Alternatively, the seed may be soaked in hot water for about 10 minutes before sowing for better germination.
If you prefer, use the cuttings can to propagate this plant. Some find this an easier, less labour intensive and faster method to grow the flower. So, if you are just starting out, then you could definitely use this method. Read about plant propagation by stem cutting and growing plants by air layering.
2. Soil Requirements:
Once you’ve prepared the seed, you now need the right kind of soil. This plant is naturally native to Madagascar, but it has adapted to soils of other tropic regions. So, all it requires is soil that is above freezing temperatures and offers enough warmth.
Besides that, it should also have a right amount of natural organic compost or fertilizer to help it develop and grow in the initial stages.
3. Sunlight Requirement:
Though this flower can withstand relatively heavy rainfall, it still needs some moderate to heavy sunshine to germinate and start growing. So, you can keep this in your mind as you are choosing a spot for the Gulmohar in your garden.
4. Blooming Time of Gulmohar Flowers :
In India, the flowering time is between April and May and sometimes continuous till July. In south India the tree may flower as early as march and continue to bloom till August. It is a beautiful tree when in full bloom and is suitable for planting along avenues and in parks.
5. Gulmohar Tree Maintenance:
Another thing that is a factor is the size that it grows to. This plant can grow up to five feet per year and so matures and develops pretty fast. Give it some room, and it will blossom to be the pride of your garden. As for maintenance, prune the plant carefully and regularly during the initial growth stages. Later on, this won’t be much of an issue.
6. Pests & Diseases:
Finally, pests won’t be a problem for you because this plant is extremely resistant to most kinds of pesky pests.