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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.
Common Name: Tibouchina
Botanical Name: Tibouchina
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
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
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