Couroupita guianensis or the Cannonball tree is a must-have in the garden if you want to add an eye-catching appeal!
Couroupita guianensis, also known as the cannonball tree, is a large tropical tree species native to South America, including the Amazon Rainforest. If you want flowers that stand out, this is the one to grow!
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Couroupita Guianensis Information
Couroupita Guianensis can reach up to 25 meters (82 feet) tall and has a broad, spreading crown. Its most distinctive feature is its giant, round, woody, cannonball-like fruits, covered in hard, woody spikes. They are not edible but are popular in traditional medicine to treat various ailments, such as fever and rheumatism.
The tree has large, showy flowers pollinated by bats and large insects. The flowers are fragrant and range in color from pink to red. Couroupita Guianensis has a long history of use by indigenous peoples for its medicinal properties. Various parts of the tree have been used to treat multiple ailments, including skin conditions, fever, and snakebites.
How to Grow Couroupita Guianensis?
Propagating from Seeds
Couroupita guianensis seeds should be planted in well-draining, fertile soil. Plant the seeds about 2 cm (0.8”) deep and water regularly. The seeds will typically germinate within a couple of weeks.
Propagating from Cuttings
Cuttings can also be taken from a healthy Couroupita guianensis tree and rooted in a potting mix. The cuttings should be taken from a healthy, mature tree and should have at least three leaves. Place the cuttings in a potting mix and keep the soil moist. The cuttings should root within a few weeks.
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Requirements to Grow Couroupita Guianensis
Couroupita Guianensis prefers complete sun exposure, requiring at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight daily. It can tolerate partial shade, but growth may be slower.
Do not choose a spot that gets shade for the most part of the day, as it will result in fewer or no flowers.
The tree grows best in well-draining, fertile soil and prefers a slightly acidic soil pH of 6.0 to 6.5. You can improve the soil quality by adding compost or organic matter.
Couroupita Guianensis needs regular watering to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Water the tree when the topsoil feels a little dry to the touch. Once it grows to a height of about 4-5 feet, it will take care of its own.
It prefers temperatures between 24-34°C) during the day and no lower than 18°C)at night to thrive, making it perfect for most regions in India.
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Couroupita Guianensis Care
You can apply a balanced fertilizer (such as a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 formula). Apply the fertilizer in the spring before the tree begins to leaf out and then again in the fall after the leaves have fallen.
Make sure to follow the directions on the fertilizer package for proper application. Additionally, adding a layer of compost to the soil around the tree can help provide additional nutrients for the tree.
Prune Couroupita Guianensis in late winter or early spring to remove dead or damaged branches, improve the tree’s shape, and promote new growth. Remove any suckers or water sprouts that may appear at the tree’s base.
Pests and Diseases
The tree is susceptible to fungal diseases such as anthracnose, leaf spot, and root rot. To prevent these diseases, avoid overwatering the tree and make sure the soil has good drainage. Apply a fungicide if necessary.