Tropical Style

Can Jacarandas Lose Their Debate?

Jacaranda trees (Jacaranda mimosifolia) are indigenous to tropical areas and are hardy at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9b through 11. They are not reliably evergreen.

Leaf Drop

Jacarandas are “briefly deciduous” in southern Florida, as stated by the University of Florida Extension Service in Lee County. They are evergreen in only the warmest, wettest locations. Cold weather or dry intervals cause their airy, fernlike leaves to drop. Regular irrigation can help deter leaf reduction from dryness.

Attributes and Culture

Fast-growing trees which achieve 45 feet tall and broad, jacarandas create lavender-blue flower panicles in late spring and early summer followed by tan seed capsules. The trees are drought-tolerant once established and require fast-draining soil to avoid root rot. Plant jacarandas in websites which get full-sun exposure. Placing them at a lawn is wise because besides leaves that they drop many flower petals, which are slippery on walkways and driveways. Each young jacaranda tree needs careful pruning to develop a main leader or stem and an attractive shape.

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