Cultural Information & Care Sheet

Silk Floss - chorisia speciosa

Light:

  • Bright light & direct sun, to 30% shade

  • Eastern or Northern Exposure here in Tucson

Temperature:

  • Hardy to the mid 20's

  • Does very well in our heat

Humidity:

  • Does well in our dry climate

Watering:

  • Needs regular watering when young, once established its pretty drought tolerant

  • November to January back off water until temps start to pick up

  • Needs well drained soil or it can be subject to rot

Fertilizer:

  • They moderate feeders. Use a 8-8-7 fertilizer 3 times a year. Do not fertilize during the time when you cut back water. 

  • Not a salt tolerant tree, but tolerates high pH

  • When planting add worm castings, compost/manure, trace minerals like "Atomize", and a good mycorrhizae to start of the beneficial fungi and microbiology for your young tree. Make sure the soil drains well as Silk Floss hate soggy feet. Mulch moderately. A base of mulch 6"-10" deep is recommend, as is the addition of worms if your soil does not have them.  

Pruning:

  • Plant at least 15' away from structures as the tree can grow large surface roots that will damage structures, sidewalks and pavement

  • Prune the young tree so that there is only one central trunk. As the tree ages the central leader becomes less vigorous. This allows lateral limbs to develop off the main structure producing a spreading form. 

  • Most branches are horizontal and well attached, but upright branches can develop embedded bark causing branches to split from the trunk. Prevent this by pruning limbs that are over half the diameter of the trunk.

Insects and Disease:

  • Silk Floss have few insect problems. 

  • Watch for scale insects

  • Susceptible to root rot if left soggy

Container Planting:

  • Silk Floss can be container grown as long as you provide them adequate room for growth

  • 18-24" pot or 30 gallon or larger with adequate drainage required. 

  • glazed pots need watering less often

  • soil, sand and perlite mix for good drainage

Comments:

  • Silk floss are one of the best flowering large trees that we can grow in our area. These are show stoppers when large. Whether in its dormant stage in the winter with its large bulbous trunks, and its thorn filled twisting branches. Or in the late summer with their green foliage and its amazing flowers, it will be a conversation piece in your yard. 

  • Plant companions would be drought tolerant shrubs and plants around the base. Bougainvillea is a great option for around the base of these giants.  

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