Tibouchina – Evergreen and Long Flowering shrubs
It is amazing how Australia has fallen in love with the many Tibouchina varieties now available. Originally from South America they will grow well in cooler areas and thrive in warmer climates. Here in our cool winters, they thrive in a sunny frost free position.
Varieties such as ‘Alstonville’ and the dwarf Tibouchina ‘Jules’ are a popular flowering shrub or small tree that require very little care, they do flower throughout the year and are easy care.
Characterised by large purple flowers, they come in other colours than purple including pink and white. They also come in dwarf forms. So variety is available to fit most landscaping needs.
Other species Varieties and cultivars include the well known Tibouchina ‘Alstonville’ and T. grandiflora ‘Purple Glory Shrub’ which have been the most popular.
However T. urvilleana ‘Princess Glory’ and ‘Jules’, T granulosa and T heteromalla ‘Silver Leafed princess flower’ are all good forms and are usually available for sale from good Garden Centres and Mail Order Nurseries, all worth considering.
Tibouchina ‘Totally Moonstruck’ is a new cultivar with pearly white flowers.
T. grandiflora ‘Purple Glory Shrub’ (previously known as Lasiandra) is a much loved plant in QLD, however in the right conditions it is a plant that can be grown as far south as Melbourne where we have seen them growing successfully in the Dandenong Ranges outside of Melbourne as shrubs or small trees.
In a good protected position they require very little care, a slightly acidic soil will assist with growth.
All varieties prefer a well drained, slightly acidic soil, a ph of 5-6, however they are reasonably versatile and will grow in most warm to temperate regions. Tibouchina can be pruned after flowering to maintain shape. These are pest and disease resistant plant.
If your Tibouchina is not flowering it could be for a number of reasons.
- Pruning at the wrong time of the year, they are a plant that needs to be pruned just after flowering.
- To much fertiliser, if you over fertilise with nitrogen rich fertiliser you will get leaf growth rather than flowers.
- T. ‘Purple Pixie’s’ is a low growing variety to 2m.
- T. Jazzie is even smaller to around 1.5m similar to Jules in height.
- T. urvilleana grows to 4m.
- T. Alstonville grows to around 5m.
- T. ‘Kathlene’ will get to 2m +
The new Varieties
- T. ‘Groovy Baby’ is a small growing hybrid cultivar with purple flowers, well suited to growing in containers.
- T. ‘Peace Baby’ is a white flowering hybrid, again dwarf and suited to container growing.
Growing and Pruning summary
- These are a plant that naturally grow well in an open understory position.
- They flower in late summer to autumn.
- A frost free position and protection from very hot sun is best.
- Branches are prone to wind damage especially when laden with flower buds so protect from strong winds.
- A humus rich moist soil and remember to mulch in summer.
- Tip prune to keep in shape in spring to late summer.
- Hard prune in early spring if required.
- Slow release fertilizer in spring and some liquid seaweed fertilizer in late summer seems adequate, although these do not seem to be a ‘hungry’ plant.
Tibouchina Plants are available from the following nurseries and growers
412 James Lane, Fern Hill VIC. 3458 - Phone 0419002651
Large range of Rare plants, Climbers, Bulbs, Perennials Fruit Trees, Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. Available both Retail and by Mail Order
14 Grays Road Doonan, QLD 4562 - Phone 07 5449 1997
Wholesale Nursery - Pandanus, Bamboo, Frangipani, Grasses, Ground Covers, Bromeliads, Trees and Shrubs, Palms, Cycads, Ferns and more . Deliver to QLD, NSW, VIC & SA