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| | |-+  Propagating Delonix regia - Flamboyant Tree / Royal Poinciana
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Author Topic: Propagating Delonix regia - Flamboyant Tree / Royal Poinciana  (Read 33355 times)
MG
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Propagating Delonix regia - Flamboyant Tree / Royal Poinciana
« on: May 28, 2007, 14:56:14 PM »

Delonix are very colourful deciduous trees that do well in the Maltese Islands. They are medium sized and the delicate looking foliage is a bright green colour of a density that provides shade but is not a total blackout as is the case with many commonly planted trees.

Obviously the flowers are the highlight of this species.

More information about Delonix regia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Poinciana

Unfortunately this tree is far from common in Malta and Gozo, which is a shame as it is not demanding and also a fast growing tree.

One possibility is that propagation, by seed, while not at all difficult requires that certain steps be taken to ensure success. The seeds have a very hard and impermeable seed coat which inhibits the uptake of water, so simply sowing these will generally result in a very low germination rate, possibly 5% or less. (See http://www.maltagardening.com/gardentalk/index.php?topic=5.0 for more about hard-coat seed dormancy)

The way to overcome this problem is to scratch the seed coats of each individual seed by rubbing one side against medium grade sandpaper laid on a flat surface, for about 15 seconds.

Soak these scarified seeds overnight, and the ones where the process has been sufficiently thorough will show signs of peeling of the seed coat. Plant these seeds about 20mm deep directly into pots, a useful size pot would be about 12cm but if you wish you can sow into larger pots and skip a repotting stage.

The seeds will germinate in about 4-6 days, with an extremely high success rate.

Tips - Sow these from May - August latest, so that the seedlings grow sufficiently before they lose their leaves and go dormant.
Do not leave the seeds in the water more than overnight. Seeds left in water very long can "drown" and die.
Any seeds that have been soaked and have not peeled but have remained completely unaffected by the water, re-sand and re-soak.
If the seeds you obtained are still within the 60cm long and very hard seed pod, you will also appreciate that getting them out of the pod can also be a hammer-and-chisel challenge in itself. To save effort, soak the entire pod in water (overnight also sufficient) and this will soften. Twist/bend the pod, and the two halves should be quite easy to separate, and if you fancy the ornamental value of the pod the halves can then be reattached, although the inside is just as attractive if not more.

I may have a couple of "surplus production" 3rd year saplings, anyone interested please post a message here, I don't really want any money but pots and compost do go into everything and aren't free so exchange with some sizeable empty pots (21-23cm+) whether new or used is appreciated.

MG
« Last Edit: October 01, 2008, 16:23:29 PM by MG » Logged

markocall
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Re: Propagating Delonix regia - Flamboyant Tree / Royal Poinciana
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2008, 08:12:32 AM »

mg

Where can I get seeds for this plant or can I buy plants already propogated?

Thanks
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MG
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Re: Propagating Delonix regia - Flamboyant Tree / Royal Poinciana
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2008, 10:18:34 AM »

Seeds had been collected in Egypt, but there is a specimen at San Anton, (close to the Palace, right hand side) also apparently outside the Dolmen Hotel. Also one near Castille. PM me for more info.

MG

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Re: Propagating Delonix regia - Flamboyant Tree / Royal Poinciana
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2008, 16:17:46 PM »

I'm glad to know more about this tree whose name I didn't know. I've seen a beautiful specimen in Triq il-faqqiegh, Attard. At first I thought it was a Chilean Firebush but realised that the leaves were different.

Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful with my attempt to grow the Firebush tree from seed (from Santiago, Chile) as it was repetetively attacked by insects and red spider mites. Maltese soil is too alkaline - eventually it became impossible grow it in a container.... Sadly, I did not know about the website's existance 10years ago or so. Mind you I didn't have internet access until 5 years ago - we might have saved it Sad

At any rate I think the Delonix regia is a very beautiful tree and although it is in a private residence's garden, it really does makes the street so much more attractive!
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