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The Hour of the Hong Kong Orchid Tree

The hour of the Hong Kong Orchid Bauhinia x Blakeana

Most of the time, we get caught up in the moment, and almost without even realizing it, everything changes. Suddenly, it’s Hong Kong orchid tree bloom time.

In South Florida, all of a sudden, the hot summer nights begin to cool down, and some of our trees lose their leaves as a prelude to one of the most beautiful times of the year. And even though in the ‘Sunshine State’ we don’t get a feel for all seasons, the last and first months of the year do announce changes that most commonly present themselves as blooms or, as we know, the flowering season for some of our deciduous trees. Including the Indian Native, the Hong Kong Orchid Tree.

The Decidious Nature of the Bauhinia x Blakeana

Bauhinia X Blakeana hong kong orchid

To our benefit, we have deciduous trees, and it’s not that we don’t love our evergreen trees. But deciduous trees, which means ‘falling off at maturity,’ clearly refer to how they shed leaves, change, evolve, and put on a genuine show.

The Bauhinia x Blakeana, or Hong Kong Orchid Tree, as it is commonly referred to, is no stranger to this feeling of awe. The tree, which grows to an average height of 30 feet and a spread of around 25 feet, is almost as wide as it is tall. It features a somewhat irregular, dense crown that reflects the general shape of the tree. Its smooth gray bark and long, droopy branches add to its unique silhouette.

Furthermore, its eye-catching foliage of large, green to big, gray leaves tends to form shapes resembling hearts or butterflies, depending on the beholder’s eye. They are bilobate in shape and measure around 3 to 4 inches (10.16 cm) wide and 4 to 5 inches long (12.7 cm). During their early stages, the leaves are glossy-light green and are borne on the branch’s ends.

But what really takes our breath away is the show it puts on every time it starts to bloom. The large and showy flowers begin to fill its branches distinctively and attractively. Its exotic, orchid-like flowers are full of magenta color with white veins, appearing as if carefully carved onto all 5 petals, while the white stamens delicately bend over as they protrude. Flowers profusely cover the tree, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies!

Everything You Need to Know about the Hong Kong Orchid

Bauhinia X Blakeana Hong Kong Orchid tree landscape application

As the Hong Kong orchid tree thrives in tropical and subtropical climates, it performs exceptionally well in South Florida’s warmth! It is recommended for USDA hardiness zones 9–11, aligning well with the area. Expectedly, this tree prefers full sun to partial shade, so ensuring it receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily is ideal. While the tree adapts to various soil types, well-drained soils are recommended, as it does best in moderately fertile, slightly acidic, and neutral pH soils.

With moderate drought and salt tolerance, it is best to avoid direct salt spray from the ocean or areas directly exposed to ocean spray, as the tree might struggle or require more care and protection. Although the tree can handle some soil salinity, it prefers and performs best in soils that are not heavily saline.

Once established, it is fairly drought-tolerant, benefiting from occasional watering during prolonged dry spells. Remember, regular watering is important during the tree’s establishment phase. Additionally, the best fertilizer for the Hong Kong Orchid Tree is a slow-release type applied in the spring to encourage growth and flowering.

Hong Kong Orchid Tree Pros and Cons

Hong Kong Orchid Tree Blooming Time

The Hong Kong Orchid Tree (Bauhinia x Blakeana) is a popular ornamental tree known for its beautiful, orchid-like flowers. These stunning blooms add a vibrant splash of purple, pink, and magenta to any landscape.

One of its notable features is its blooming period, which uniquely occurs when many other plants are not in bloom. The Bauhinia x Blakeana starts flowering in November and, in many cases, continues to brighten landscapes until the end of spring. This characteristic makes it an excellent choice for those seeking a year-round flowering garden.

Landscaping Usage

Plus, due to its size and growth habit, we highly recommend planting it in large to medium-sized properties as an accent tree or single specimen. And thanks to its large, spreading canopy, it acts as a good shade tree.

In urban landscaping, it works well as a street tree or parking lot tree since the tree is sterile and produces no fruits or seed pods, although it can get messy when the tree sheds flowers.

Hong Kong Orchid Tree Growth Rate

The Hong Kong orchid tree’s growth rate is known to be moderate to fast, as under optimal conditions, it can grow anywhere from 1 to 2 feet per year. This rate allows the tree to reach its mature height and spread relatively quickly compared to slower-growing species. At full maturity, the tree typically reaches a height of about 20 to 40 feet with a canopy spread of about 20 to 25 feet. The time it takes to reach this size depends on the growing conditions and care provided.

Hong Kong Orchid Tree Diseases

Finally, Hong Kong orchid tree diseases include aphids and caterpillars, as well as diseases such as root rot in overly moist conditions. So it’s important to follow through with proper Hong Kong orchid tree care, as mentioned before.

It Is Not Poisonous to Dogs

Finally, a recurrent question: are Hong Kong orchid trees are poisonous to dogs? And no, that we know of, but it is important to keep in mind individual sensibilities because, while the tree itself is not toxic, individual dogs might have sensitivities or allergies to certain plants. So if you have any concerns about your dog’s or pet’s interaction with any plant, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian.

Bauhinia x Blakeana Availability at TreeWorld Wholesale

Remember, the tree is a natural hybrid of two different Bauhinia species: Bauhinia purpurea andBauhinia variegata. The ‘x’ in its name signifies its status as a hybrid. So as for cultivation, propagation must be done by cuttings, as growing a Hong Kong orchid tree from seed is not possible. But at TreeWorld Wholesale, you’ll find the Bauhinia x Blakeana starting from 25 gallons up to 200 gallons. If you need further information on our sizes, download our tree specification chart for approximate height and spread.

A Greater Selection of Bauhinias:

But, if your heart is not set on the Hong Kong Orchid tree and you want to consider other options of the same family: the Bauhinias. You can always check our tree farm where you can find the shiny Red Bauhinia (Bauhinia Galpinii), the pure White Orchid tree (Bauhinia Variegata Candida), and the creamy yellow St Thomas tree (Bauhinia Tomentosa).

Contact us!

At TreeWorld we are ready to guide you on your upcoming landscape project, contact us at (305) 968-2427 or [email protected] and check our availability!

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