Grow poinciana tree as house plant?

richterJuly 29, 2008

I was recently in S. FL and fell in love with the poinciana tree! Does anyone know if it is possible to grow this tree as a house plant? I live in zone 6, near St. Louis, MO. I was going to order some seeds, but wanted to see if anyone has had success with this.

Thanks!

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subtropix

I also first became familiar with them in S. Florida and had to have one. Yes, you can grow them as a "houseplant". But you should keep in mind that in their native state they are semi-deciduous(at the least). This means that they loose a good many of their leaf canopy in the S.Florida "winter" (the dry season). What this means for growing it indoors is that the plant will probably loose all its leaves for the northern (indoor) winter. Don't worry, it may not look good but IT'S NOT DEAD! When it's dormant, you want to cut way back on watering. I might water mine twice over the course of the winter (if that much). In the Spring it will show signs of regrowth. Mine goes outside in full sun from about late April through October. It is a FAST grower. when it's in active growth (outside in full sun), I water every day. I hope I have not made them seem complicated, they are really an easy containerized plant if you remember that the plant's natural tendency is to want to rest for part of the year. They should be easy from seeds. I purchased mine as a rooting cutting on eBay. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 8:05AM
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amccour

I started one of these from seed. They grow fast. And yeah, I've got mine a little overpotted for that reason -- extra water and it's, quite frankly, probably getting a hefty enough root system that it's not going to be overpotted soon.

Anyway, how do you keep them small enough to use as a house plant? I've heard they tolerate hard pruning.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 5:47PM
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subtropix

You just answered your own question!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 7:16AM
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ankraras(8/9AZ)

I am presently growing two. They started out at 10 inches tall when I first bought them, now one stays 2 feet tall and the other is around three feet in height. Lucky, I am in a warmer region so growing year around outdoors is not a problem at all.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 2:08PM
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richter

njoasis-thanks for the detailed information! I can't wait to try growing one now.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 4:38PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Hi
Would suggest you try some members of the dwarf poincianna group You can easily keep these under 10 feet and will fower their heads off. I've tried dwarfing the large members of the family . While it can be done they will not flower well nor produce that gourgeous bearing that your after. The large growing members of the family
need to get large to produce well . At least in my experience. gary

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 6:21AM
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amccour

As I said, I'm personally not after the flowers.

ankaras, how do you keep yours under three feet tall and get it to develop that norfolk island pine-esque shape?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 10:01AM
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amccour

And for that matter, I just went out and eyeballed the height. Seedling that sprouted back in June is already about a foot tall.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 10:33AM
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ankraras(8/9AZ)

Amccour ;- I didn't really know what I was doing when I first came into possession of these two plants. lol.

One as you describe as 'norfolk island pine-esque shape' does really resemble just that in the photo. I had not perceived it like that before. I decided to cut it down to a stump about 4" above the soil line. Once it grew back it started to branch out. It now has a total of seven branches altogether.

Supannee

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 1:43PM
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amccour

So, what, I really can just cut them down to a stump every couple years and they'll form new leaders? I'm not doubting you or anything. I'm just surprised. Then again, I guess a lot of trees can do that, apparently. I heard people used to cut their dawn redwoods down in the winter, thinking they'd died, and they'd get a fairy ring coming up.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 12:50AM
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Rorion

hello I started the seed I was given I have lost two of them but now my last two are showing signs of dying and im not sure why? I don't know if I am watering too much or what. pls if anybody can help let me know thanks

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 3:11PM
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tropicbreezent

If you've got the seedlings coming up now (your winter) it could be too cold and wet for them. You're better off if you germinate them so they're growing into summer. I have one huge tree, as big as a 3 storey house, a few smaller ones, and hundreds of seedlings. They're quite tough plants in respect of taking wet heat and dry cold. But with wet cold they're goners.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 7:47PM
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