Chinese lantern tree: cultivation and care to be devoted to the treeKoelreuteria paniculata, better known asChinese lantern tree.
The speciesKoelreuteria paniculatabelongs to the Sapindaceae family and is native to Northern China. It was introduced in Europe in the second half of the 18th century and has adapted well to the Italian climate.
Chinese lantern tree, characteristics
L'Chinese lantern treeit can be grown in the garden only if you have enough space: it reaches a height of 8 - 10 meters and, thanks to its thick vegetation and expanded foliage, it can cover a diameter of 10 - 12 meters.
If you start growing this plant by planting a young specimen, you will notice that in the juvenile phase theKoelreuteria paniculatahas a sparse and irregular hair. Only the adult specimen can develop an almost umbrella-like crown, able to create shaded areas in your garden.
The leaves oflantern treethey can reach 35 cm in length, are oval in shape with a serrated edge. The leaves areimparipennate, that is, in turn constituted by an odd number of leaflets which generally oscillates from 5 to 15.
L'Chinese lantern treeit's not popular just for its beautifulflowersbut also for the ornamental leaves that change color according to the seasons. In spring they are pinkish green, in summer they become very intense green and in autumn they turn yellow.
Chinese lantern tree, flowering
Therefloweringoccurs in the summer months, between July and August. The flowers are small and gathered in large panicles that stand out at the apex of the branches. Afterfloweringparticular triangular-shaped fruits develop. Each fruit contains a large number ofseeds. The fruit, initially, is of a peach pink-reddish color (the fruits are visible in the photo above). If you want a tree that blooms in winter, take a look atcalicanthus.
As autumn progresses, the fruits become increasingly dark and remain hanging on the plant even after the capsules have been opened, which led to the fall of the seeds. Thanks to the presence of small fruits, the plant never remains completely bare even in winter. In late autumn theChinese lantern treeit loses its leaves but the small fruits remain inserted on the branches until spring.
Chinese lantern tree, cultivation
How to grow the Chinese lantern tree? ThereKoelreuteria paniculatait should be planted in autumn, after the leaves have fallen. It is actually possible to plant theChinese lantern treefrom November to March, however, we advise you to continue planting in the autumn period when the intense colds cannot interfere with the root system and the roots have a better chance of developing effortlessly.
If you proceed with the planting around March - April, theChinese lantern treeit will not flower because the plant does not have a sufficiently developed root system to support flowering.
The plant should be placed in full sun. If well exposed to the sun, theChinese lantern tree it will provide you with lush flowers and vibrant foliage coloring.
In the first two years after transplanting, it is recommended to keep the soil moist, especially in dry seasons. To prevent the water from dispersing, arrange a roundel around the root ball of the plant directly at the time of planting. If you do not have the patience to keep the washer clean, at the time of planting, arrange a pipe that comes out of the ground near the clod: this pipe will act as a connection between the irrigation water and the roots, carrying the water directly level of the root system.
You cancultivate the Chinese lantern treein any area of Italy, it resists the winter cold and summer heat well and adapts to all types of soils: it is a very rustic plant and does not require special care. In the first years of planting, given the arboreal habit, it is advisable to prepare a stake with an above-ground pole that you can eliminate when the tree is firmly fixed to the ground.