Hong Kong Orchid Tree – Beautiful Orchid-Like Blooms
The Hong Kong Orchid Tree, also known as Bauhinia
blakeana, is a tropical flowering tree that grows 20 – 40 feet tall
with a spread of 20 - 25 feet.
The rounded crown is composed of grayish-green leaves and beautiful
Flowers consist of five overlapping petals and appear in clusters at
branch tips. They are four to six inches in diameter, and bloom in
shades of purple, rose, and pink from late winter to early summer.
The evergreen leaves are two to four inches long and rounded with
ends and heart shaped bases.
The flowers are sterile, they will not set seed – this means
that Hong Kong Orchid Trees will not drop pods like other orchid trees.
They flower best in dry soil and are drought tolerant. Occasional
pruning is necessary to maintain preferred shape.
Kong Orchid Tree - Growing Information and Plant Care Tips
Bauhinia blakeana grows best in USDA Zone 9B – 11.
This tropical tree will usually recover from brief freezes after
dropping its leaves. It will grow to its full height in tropical
locations; however, will likely stay shrub like when exposed to frost
and/or freezing temperatures. Avoid temperatures below 30° F (-3.3°C).
In order to bloom well, Orchid Trees require full sun to partial shade.
newly planted trees daily to establish the root system in the
surrounding soil. Since orchid trees are drought tolerant, seasonal
rains will provide sufficient moisture.
Propagation is by cuttings or air-layering – there are no seeds.
Bauhinia blakeana prefer fertile, well-draining soil.
Only minimal pruning is required to maintain shape. The best time to
prune is after flowering.
Pests and Diseases
Possible pests include borers, caterpillars, and mites. Keep an eye out
for leaf spot, leaf scorch diseases.
Trees can be used to create shade, line a driveway or walkway, or be
featured as a focal point in tropical and subtropical landscapes.
Kong Orchid Trees - Planting Tips
Dig a hole two feet wide and two feet deep (at least twice the size of
the root ball). Place the root ball in the hole.
fill the hole with the native soil that was removed. You can finish the
hole by making the surrounding soil an inch or two recessed to form a
Supply nutrients to the newly planted tree by
adding a thin layer of compost to the tip of the soil. This will also
help to conserve moisture.