Culture and characteristics of Catalpa bignonioides

Today, in Gardenprue, we are going to talk about one of those trees that grows and grows and becomes the star of the garden. A tree that comes from the United States but we can find it in other parts of the world such as Spain.

It is also known as the Indian tree and it even has medicinal properties. It is time to talk about  Catalpa bignonioides.


Catalpa bignonioides  can reach 15-20 meters in height, which is why it is considered a tall tree. It has large leaves between 20 and 30 centimeters in length, and its white flowers have a stumpy appearance.

Its use is practically adapted to the ornamental and is part of the landscape of many cities . In fact, it is considered a species that resists pollution quite well, which is why it is so widely used in cities in the United States and in southern Spain.


One of the characteristics to highlight in the cultivation of this great tree is its resistance to cold . It is a deciduous tree that resists temperatures below 0ºC very well. On the other hand , they have a hard time when high temperatures arrive in the spring or summer, especially the heat of southern Spain.


When choosing an appropriate soil in our garden for Catalpa bignonioides  we have to choose a deep soil, with good drainage  (we will never stop repeating it), with medium fertility and a medium or slightly acidic pH.

In this last aspect we have a great power of action by adding compost or decomposed manure at the base of the trunk of our Catalpa,  to ensure that with irrigation it infiltrates until the roots can absorb the released minerals.


With what we have said before about the climatic needs, we believe that we have given you a clue regarding the irrigation requirements.

In winter , depending on the size of the tree (when they are small we must provide some monthly irrigation) we may not need to provide any irrigation , but in summer, as they are not very used to hot climates, it is necessary that they have constant humidity in the soil .


When it comes to multiplying this tree we can do it through seeds , whether they are extracted from the Catalpa of someone we know or bought.

The seed is usually soaked overnight to plant it the next day in a pot with half peat, sand and soil, 1 centimeter deep and controlling the temperature and humidity. It usually takes 3-4 weeks to see the seedling, so you will have to be patient.

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