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Plant of the Month

Dazzling, vibrant and intensely colored flowers, evergreen and velvety leaves --  Tibouchina is the perfect evergreen shrub to add a touch of the exotic to your garden.  Of the family Melastomataceae it is well known as Tibouchina.  It is easy to grow and loves full sun, good soil and plenty of moisture.  Tibouchina is native to Mexico, South America and the West Indies.

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Plant Facts:

Common Name:  Tibouchina

Botanical Name:  Tibouchina

Family:  Melastomataceae

Plant Type:  Evergreen Shrub

Origin: Mexico, South America and the West Indies

Zones: 9 - 12 -- Subtropical, withstands light frost

Height:  4' to 6'

Rate of Growth: Fast

Salt Tolerance: None

Soil Requirements:  Fertile, moist soil

Water Requirements: Water freely when in growth, sparingly in winter

Nutritional Requirements: Balanced liquid fertilizer monthly

Light Requirements: Full sun

Form:  Shrub

Leaves:  Large elliptic, ovate or lance-shaped leathery or velvety leaves

Flowers:  Saucer to cup-shaped 5-petaled.  Purple (T. clavata, T. urvilleana) or Pink (T. granulosa) -- blooms year-round

Fruits: None

Pests:  Gray mold, Mushroom root rot, Leaf spots, Spider mites

Uses:  Show piece, shrub border

Bad Habits: Prone to wind damage, prune or groom after flowering

Cost:  $$ to $$$ -- reasonable to expensive (pink variety sometimes difficult to locate)

Propagation:   Softwood cuttings in late spring, semi-ripe cuttings in summer

Sources:   A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, The Subtropical Garden

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Last updated 06/03/08