Albizia julibrissin, Persian Silk Tree is a very fast growing deciduous tree with highly attractive bi-pinnate compound foliage and characteristic fluffy and silky pink and flowers. Native to southwestern Central Asia across to Eastern Asia, it forms a medium-sized sized tree with a broad shady canopy.
Albizia julibrissin is hardy throughout much of the UK, tolerating frost and snow as well as dry conditions during the summer. Planting in a warm sheltered aspect is however a good idea and a thick mulch to keep its roots warm is a sensible winter precaution. It loses its leaves from October onwards with the first frosts and is dormant for a long period during the winter and on into the Spring, the highly ornamental foliage not appearing until as late as May in some regions. There is something about this leaf loss and the long deciduous rest that is slightly unnerving and for peace of mind it's often best to keep them warmer and more protected during the winter than they probably need. It is always a relief to see the foliage again and to know they made it through another year.
It likes a well-drained soil but benefits from plenty of water during the short growing season. It responds well to liquid feeding once the foliage appears, starting with a nitrogen-rich feed to get it moving and followed by a high potash feed to encourage flowering and prepare it for winter. Stop feeding by mid-August to give the wood time to harden off.
Lovely foliage, beautiful flower, tougher and hardier than often given credit for, Albizia julibrissin should be grown more often.
|Synonyms||Acacia julibrissin, Acacia nemu, Albizia nemu, Albizzia julibrissin, Feuilleea julibrissin, Mimosa julibrissin, Mimosa speciosa, Sericandra julibrissin|
|Geographical Origin||Central Asia to East Asia|
|Cultivation||Sunny sheltered warm aspect. In colder regions the protection of a south-facing wall may help. Keep watered and well-fed during the short growing season|
|Hardiness||Hardy in much of the UK, it benefits from a deciduous habit, its tender foliage falling with the first frosts and not appearing until late in Spring. A warm sheltered aspect is a sensible precaution, perhaps a south-facing wall. A good mulch is beneficial|
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