Flame-of-the-forest is admired for its flowers and beauty. If you too want to have it in your garden, here are all the details on How to Plant Palash Tree!
Belonging to the pea family, the Palash tree is prized for its medicinal uses and showy blossoms. Growing up to 35-40 feet tall, the tree features irregular branches covered with trifoliate leaves. It sheds its leaves during the early winters, followed by producing red-orange flowers. If you too are interested to grow flame of the forest, here is all the information on How to Plant Palash Tree!
Botanical Name: Butea monosperma
Other Names: Flame of the Forest, Tesu, Battle of Plassey tree, Bengal kino, Sacred tree, Bastard teak, Parrot tree
How to Plant Palash Tree?
You can either purchase the seeds from the local seed supplier or use freshly harvested seeds for this purpose. Sow the seeds directly in the garden, at a spot that gets bright sunlight. The seed will germinate within 10-14 days.
The best way to plant the tree is by getting a well-grown plant from a nursery.
Growing Requirement for Palash tree
Though it can grow in a shaded area as well, yet it grows best in full sun to partial shade. Around 6-7 hours of bright sunlight is beneficial for its growth.
It can grow in a vast range of soil types in India including shallow, black cotton soil, clay loam, and water-retaining soils. But, its best growth is observed in fertile loamy soil with consistent moisture. A slightly saline soil, having a pH between 8-9, is best for the tree. For heavy clay soil, amend the quality using compost or manure.
The plant needs moist soil, so keep the soil evenly moistened throughout the growing period. As a rule of thumb, water the plants deeply, when the topsoil looks dry, especially in summer. Reduce the rate in winter and rainy season. Once established, this drought-resistant does not require much attention.
The plant does well in tropical and subtropical climates. It dwells in a wide temperature, ranging from 30° C to 45° C (85° F-115° F). But, thanks to its hardy nature that allows it to tolerate even the lowest temperature of 2° C (35° F).
You can apply organic fertilizer or well-rotted cow dung manure during the growing season (December to February), once a month. You can even use a fertilizer with high nitrogen content like 3:1:2, twice the growing period. Make sure to loosen the top of the soil before applying fertilizer, and water thoroughly immediately after application.
Mulch the base with grass clippings, or shredded leaves for preventing water loss. The leaves falling during early winters can also work as a great organic mulch for the purpose.
Pest and Disease
Young plants may be susceptible to porcupines, rats, or insects, as they damage the roots of the tree. To protect the plant, you can spray neem oil or eucalyptus oil at the base. And, remove any infected or dead parts as soon as you spot.
Uses of Palash Tree
The whole tree has medicinal properties, and all parts like fruits, leaves, and stems can be harvested. When the tree attains maturity, it will start bearing flowers from January till April and pod fruit from May till July. You can store these parts in a dry and cool place for further usage.
Palash Tree Benefits
- The leaves have astringent, diuretic, antitumor, and anti-diabetic properties that many Ayurveda practitioners use to treat ailments like blood pressure, and diarrhea.
- The roots are beneficial in controlling problems like night blindness, cataract, piles, ulcers, and tumors.
- The flowers are used in worship by Hindus and its extract is used in making Holi color ‘Kesari‘ as well as a fabric dye.
- People also use the paste of seeds and honey as antifungal and antibacterial for infections.
- The stem bark finds great use in medicines of goiter, diarrhea, ulcer, and sore throat.
- The leaves of the splash tree work great as organic mulch for plants.