Catalpa: propagation by seeds

catalpa propagation by seeds Blog

The amazing Catalpa tree can serve as a wonderful decoration of the garden, it intoxicates with an incredible apple aroma and conquers with the beauty of flowers similar in appearance to an orchid. The decorativeness of the tree will conquer even the impregnable hearts of sophisticated gardeners.

A bit of history

The Italian botanist Scopoli was the first to discover Catalpa to the world, he was interested in this amazing tree, he thoroughly studied it and presented it to the public. There are up to thirty-eight varieties of Catalpa. The main part of the species grows in virgin nature, but due to the incredible decorativeness, some types of trees began to be cultivated in our native latitudes, so after studying the recommendations described below, you yourself can grow exotic in your garden.

Types and varieties of wood

Catalpa is a tree from the Bignoniev family, North America is considered the birthplace of the tree. The tree is covered with abundant foliage and can rise up to thirty meters in height, in our territory Catalpa grows up to a maximum of seven meters.

Tree flowers – vary from small to large, inflorescences concentrate up to fifty flowers. At the end of flowering, fruits appear in the form of pods. The length of the boxes reaches up to forty centimeters. During the winter period, the boxes invariably hang on the tree.

The amazing individuality of the exotic is that the leaves remain green until the first frost, that is, the greenery of Catalpa pleases the eye even in golden autumn. The flowering period takes one month, and the tree blooms in June.

Catalpa tree

Methods of propagation of Catalpa: by seeds and by cuttings.

Eleven varieties of wood have taken root well on our territory, among them the most popular are: ovoid, magnificent, ordinary.

Catalpa hybrid (catalpa hybrida), or spherical catalpa

The hybrid representative of Catalpa is distinguished by a round, spherical crown, elongated branches. The tree grows up to twenty meters. Differs in large leaves in width – fifteen centimeters, in length – twenty. Leaf color is light green.

Also, the hybrid is characterized by abundant flowering, lasting about a month. Blooms spherical white flowers, decorated with patterns of yellow stripes and reddish specks.

To plant a beauty in the garden, take care of fertile, non-acidified land. Caring for seedlings involves regular watering and loosening the soil. As soon as the spherical Catalpa is pruned, it begins to sprout.

Magnificent catalpa (catalpa speciosa), or beautiful catalpa


Catalpa beautiful is distinguished by the density of foliage in the shape of a pyramid. The height of the tree is thirty meters. Barrel color is grey. The species has huge leaves up to thirty centimeters long and up to fifteen wide.

The flowering period takes about twenty-five days. The flowers of the tree exude a pleasant aroma, they reach up to seven centimeters, the color of the flowers varies from white to cream, the border is wavy, inside there is a pattern in the form of yellow stripes and brown dots. The fruits are pod-shaped.

In order to acquire a magnificent garden plot, it is important to choose the right place: it should be well lit, it is important to minimize the contact of the seedling with the wind. Seeds are sown in spring or autumn, the growth of a tree in one year is one meter, while flowering can only be expected in the twelfth year of life, flowering lasts all of July.

Common catalpa (catalpa bignonioides), or catalpa bignonioides


This variety of Catalpa grows up to twenty meters, upon reaching maturity, forms a chic, spreading crown. Bignoniform leaves are very large, length – twenty centimeters, width – fifteen. The color of the trunk is brownish.

Catalpa ordinary blooms in the fifth year. The color of the flowers is white with red specks, with pronounced yellowish stripes, reaching a size of up to five centimeters. The flowering period lasts almost a month. When grown, it tolerates frost well, but young trees still need to be insulated.

A distinctive feature of this species is the color of the leaves in autumn, they acquire a golden hue. This type of tree will perfectly decorate a garden plot, an alley, an arboretum, a park, a square.

Bignonian varieties: Kene (yellow leaves with a green core and veins) and Dwarf (spherical crown, tree height – two meters)

Catalpa Nana

A representative of the species, characterized by slow growth, reaching a maximum length of six meters. The silhouette of the tree resembles the shape of a ball, densely populated with foliage. The flowers have a delicate fragrance. Beige flowers are decorated with yellowish stripes with red dots. As soon as the tree fades, pod fruits begin to show off on the branches.

catalpa ovoid

This species grows in central China. Reaches a length of up to ten meters, in the garden up to four. The leaves of the plant are very large and massive, the flowers are tender, pronounced. In order for this species to grow well, it needs fertile soil, watering and plenty of sunlight.

catalpa purpurea


It is distinguished by an interesting, purple hue of the leaves at the initial stage of appearance, but as soon as the leaves reach their full size, they acquire a light green color. Also, this species is distinguished by flowers, they are very small and look like bells.

Catalpa Bunge

It grows mainly in China. The shape of the tree is pyramidal, the leaves are very huge, saturated green, but Bunge’s inflorescences are not as large as those of its counterparts, there are up to twelve small flowers. Bunge fruits are pod-shaped.

catalpa graceful

Differs in grace and curly shape of the crown. In the wild, this species reaches a height of up to twenty meters, under domestication conditions, up to a maximum of ten. The dense foliage is a rich green color, and the white flowers are effectively grouped with large ones. Like other species of Catalpa, flowering occurs in the month of June.

Catalpa Aurea

Spreading tree, reaching a height of up to eight meters. It has large leaves that form a chic, dense crown. An adult tree forms the shape of a sprawling pyramid. Like other species, the color of Catalpa Aurea falls on the month of June. Small flowers eventually make up large inflorescences.

Catalpa Fargheza

China is considered the birthplace of this species. In its natural environment, it grows up to twenty meters. It differs from other species in the coloring of flowers – shades of pink intertwined with orange splashes make the flowers special, they are all collected in huge brushes of fragrant compositions. The foliage is very dense, forms a kind of ball of dark green color.

Propagation by catalpa seeds

catalpa seeds

In appearance, the seeds of the tree resemble bean pods. Plant seeds in March. Immediately before sowing seeds in a container, they are soaked for two hours. Then wet seeds are evenly distributed on the soil surface and covered with earth from above, covered with polyethylene. Seedlings should be protected from direct sunlight, watered regularly. Seeds will sprout in 4 weeks. Seedlings need to be grown for about a year, then planted in the ground, on the site.

Flowering catalpa. The process of foliage emergence begins with buds, as a rule, they appear in early spring, flowers begin to bloom in early summer, bloom for twenty-five days. The flowers resemble orchid flowers, the beauty is diluted with a wonderful apple aroma. Inflorescences are close to chestnuts. The largest flowers grow up to seven centimeters. Gently creamy flowers are decorated with a beautiful border, and in the center they are diluted with purple blotches and yellow stripes.

Reproduction by cuttings

Harvesting seedlings-cuttings should be done in the month of July. A prerequisite is the presence of 4 kidneys and a length of eight centimeters. Cuttings must be taken from a mature tree. The composition of the soil is similar to the soil for planting seeds, cuttings are deepened into it, covered with polyethylene. A sign that the cuttings have begun is the appearance of foliage. In May, cuttings can be planted in an open area.

Growing conditions

The composition of the soil for Catalpa: humus + leaf soil + sand + peat , from a combination of 3: 2: 2: 1, seven kilograms of ash and fifty grams of phosphorus flour will also be useful. Soil acidity should not exceed a factor of 7.5.

A prerequisite for cultivation is fertile soil, watering and a well-lit place in the garden. It is also recommended to isolate the tree, especially the young one, from winds and drafts. Winds can easily damage the fragile foliage of a tree, not to mention the flowers. It is good if, when planting, you take into account the presence of groundwater, it is desirable that they be deep. If you decide to plant several trees, it is important to keep a distance of about five meters between them to give the root system room.

Catalpa care


Tree care comes down to prudent watering, loosening , weed removal , fertilizing, pruning, pest removal, proper care for Catalpa’s wintering.

Watering. The tree is moisture-loving and requires regular watering in care . Catalpa should be watered once a week, if the summer is dry, then irrigation increases to two times a week. An adult catalpa needs about twenty liters of water. If for some reason the tree does not receive enough moisture, the foliage begins to wither, lose elasticity and former beauty.

When the summer is saturated with rains, you need to irrigate the plant only twice a month. As soon as the moisture has been absorbed, the ground near the catalpa is loosened and weeds are removed.

Fertilizers for catalpa. Catalpa needs periodic feeding with fertilizers, preferably twice a season. The composition of the top dressing: rotted manure and water (1 to 10). For an adult plant, six liters of solution will be needed, and for a young one, three is enough.

In the spring, the tree is additionally fertilized with nitroammophos, in the autumn, with phosphorus and potassium, thus saturating the tree with the nitrogen it needs.

Pruning and crown shaping. In order for Catalpa to look decorative and aesthetically pleasing, it is regularly trimmed and shaped into a crown. In the spring, before the buds appear, the tree is cleared of frozen, damaged, dry branches.

Formation: the skeleton of the tree consists of five main branches, up to two meters high – this base is subsequently covered with a dense crown, if necessary, the branches are subsequently shortened again.

Catalpa transplant. One of the stages of transplanting a tree involves moving from a small container to the ground in the garden. The second stage is needed only under circumstances when Catalpa has little space on the site. The tree is transplanted either in spring or autumn. They do this without damaging the root system, it is best to transfer the lump formed around the root system along with the tree.

Preparing for winter. Mature plants are resistant to frost, but young plants do not tolerate low temperatures. So that the tree is not damaged during the winter, the following manipulations should be done: wrap the trunk with burlap, cover the ground near the tree with dry leaves, cover with burlap, so you can protect the roots of Catalpa. In the spring, all means of insulation are removed. The older the tree becomes, the better its frost-resistant qualities become.
Egg-shaped catalpa – the most resistant to frost, Aurea – the most freezing species.

Pests and diseases

Pests and diseases

Tree parasites and diseases are not terrible for a tree in adulthood. The exception is the young age of the tree, when Catalpa is a fragile tree, not strong and not rooted, there is a risk of attack from Spanish flies and horntails. Insecticides will help to defeat this pest: Decis, Fastak, Aktellik.

Horntails climb under the bark of a tree, parasitize there, laying eggs and eating the inside, a young tree may not withstand such an attack and dry out.

Verticillium wilt is a disease that spreads to the crown of a tree, the foliage is affected gradually from the bottom to the rest of the foliage. This is expressed in the withering of the leaves, its yellowness and eventually falling off. You can defeat this fungus with the help of Rovral and Maxim, for preventive work they use the drug Previkur.

Catalpa: useful properties


Catalpa has medicinal properties: the bark is used to improve digestive processes in the body, the fruits are used to treat cancer and respiratory diseases, the flowers of the tree are actively used in the fight against skin ailments.

The medicinal properties of Catalpa are widely used in veterinary medicine, its vitamin properties are used to increase immunity in animals.

Application in cosmetology

The tree has a beneficial effect on the condition of the skin: it eliminates imperfections, cleanses, smoothes, moisturizes.

The use of wood. It is durable and moisture resistant, so it is widely used for the manufacture of benches, swings, gazebos. Decorative color allows you not to spend a lot of money on painting, just varnish it. The wood is suitable for carving art.

Catalpa in landscape design

Catalpa in the garden

Catalpa is a very original tree, ranging from huge leaves to bizarre fruits that have been dubbed pods, elephant ears, etc. Pyramidal, spherical, egg-shaped forms dilute the boring landscapes of parks, alleys, squares and even an ordinary garden. Catalpa is hardy to the urban climate. The tree looks good as a single plantation, also in tandem with an ordinary oak or magnolias.

Catalpa is so amazing and different, a real masterpiece donated by the creator, its aroma and beauty serve as a real decoration of the natural landscape.

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