Hong Kong Orchid Trees bring the winter to life by opening their large, pink to purple blooms that are nearly six inches across. Their fragrant blooms first appear in November, just in time for the holidays and last for an entire 5 months to fill barren landscapes with vivid color.
They thrive in containers up north and are often used as the perfect accent piece for patios and porches. Don’t worry if you live outside of their recommended growing zones 9 – 11 because they will grow inside without any fuss and look great once added in to any room’s existing home décor.
Hong Kong Orchid Trees are prized for being both ornamental and versatile. In the south by growing up to about 20 feet tall they are perfect for a privacy screen. Their thick, lush foliage will grow together to create a solid living wall that will block your neighbor’s view of your home.
Their attractive smooth grey trunks lead up to a massive umbrella shaped canopy that creates a large shaded area beneath it. Hong Kong Orchid Trees are an excellent choice for shading the yard and driveway to create cool areas that beat the summer heat.
Forget the myth that Orchids are sensitive because Hong Kong Orchids are extremely low maintenance and produce even more blooms when neglected. Throw your watering and care schedule out; Hong Kong Orchids don’t need constant attention or babying.
Hong Kong Orchid Trees will adapt to a variety of poor soils ranging from sandy to soils that are heavy with clay. With a high level of drought tolerance and heat resistance they flourish in dry, hot conditions. Nothing stops the Hong Kong Orchid from blooming for months.
Planting & Care
The Hong Kong Orchid Tree (Bauhinia blakeana) is one of the most attractive flowering evergreen trees with their large pink to purple blooms. The tree starts blooming in the fall season and last for up to 5 months. They can grow in full to partial sun and perform their best in USDA growing zones 4-8 on the patio (or potted) and 9-11 outdoors. Hong Kong Orchid Trees are moderate growers maturing to a height of 15-25 feet and width of 15-25 feet.
Location: When planting Hong Kong Orchid Tree, find a site that offers full to partial sun. Avoid planting in a high wind areas because the trunk is a little light weight.
Planting Instructions (in ground): Select a site with moist or well draining soil for your Hong Kong Orchid Tree.
1) Dig the hole twice the size as the root ball and just a little shallower.
2) Loosen the soil in and around the hole so the roots can easily break through.
3) Use your fingers to separate the roots and gently position downward in the hole. The top of the root flare (where the roots end and the trunk begins) should be about and inch above the surrounding soil.
4) Hold the tree straight as you begin to backfill the site, tamping down the soil as you go.
5) Apply water to settle the soil and remove the air pockets then mulch to retain soil moisture.
Planting Instructions (potted): Hong Kong Orchid Trees can also be successfully grown in containers.
1) When selecting a container for your Hong Kong Orchid Tree, be sure it has plenty of holes in the bottom as drainage is essential. The pot size should be at least 2 times the size of the one it initially came in.
2) A good potting soil such as Miracle Grow should be fine for filling in the open space, try to leave a small gap from the top for easy watering.
3) Choose a location on the patio, back yard, or the front/side of the house providing it will receive full to partial sun.
4) If bringing indoors during winter, keep by a sunny window and water as needed. Avoid exposure to both drafts and/or heat from a window or vent.
Watering (in the ground): Your Hong Kong Orchid Tree will need deep watering twice weekly to keep the soil moist but avoid over saturating. Mulching really helps with retaining soil moisture as well as keeping competing growths at bay.
Watering (potted): Stick you finger into the potting soil down to a depth of 2 inches and feel around for any moisture. If the soil is dry to the touch, go ahead and water it until you see it escaping the drainage holes and then stop. If there is some moisture present, leave it be until the soil dries a bit more.
Fertilizing: Your Hong Kong Orchid Tree will need fertilizing 3 times a year, in spring, summer and autumn with a good granular fertilizer, like a slow release osmacote fertilizer.
Pruning: Hong Kong Orchid will not need pruning the first year. Start the second year by pruning off all the dead branches. The best time to prune is in winter after the tree has finished flowering for the season.