Blackboard tree is famous for its therapeutic and commercial uses. So, check this article to know How to Grow Alstonia Scholaris.
Alstonia scholaris adds the tropical dimension to the places where it thrives. So, here is everything you need to know about How to Grow Alstonia Scholaris and its uses.
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What is Alstonia Scholaris?
It is an evergreen, ornamental, tropical tree, which is native to China and Asia. Besides, this tree has many therapeutic uses in ayurvedic medicines. Alstonia tree is widely cultivated all across the country and thrives in tropical, sub-tropical, to moist deciduous climates.
In favorable conditions, the tree can grow as tall as 12-20 meters in height. It bears a whorl of five to seven leaves, which are deep green, oblong, and thick. Besides, it also produces a cluster of fragrant, green-yellow flowers from March till July.
Common Names: Blackboard Tree, Devil’s tree, Saptaparna, Kashim, Chhatwan
Alstonia Scholaris Medicinal Uses
1. The infusion of the barks is given to cure periodic fever and headache.
2. Bark infusion is helpful in curing skin ailments and rheumatism pain.
3. The juice of the roots is consumed with milk to cure leprosy.
4. It has wound-healing properties, so its leaves and bark extract are used in healing wounds.
5. Latex of the Alstonia is used in making chewing gum.
6. The fragrant flowers are used in preparing essential oil.
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Propagation of Alstonia Scholaris
You can propagate Alstonia tree via seeds. You can either harvest seeds from the fruits, but a more convenient option is to buy the seeds from the local vendor. Sow these seeds in well-draining and porous potting media. And, mist the soil thoroughly and place it at any indirect, bright sunlight location.
Tip: You can purchase a well-established sapling from the local nursery and plant it in an ideal container or garden.
How to Grow Alstonia Scholaris
The tree is native to the subtropical and tropical climates, and thus, performs well in such Indian climatic conditions. However, the Blackboard tree grows easily where the average temperature falls between 15-32 C with 1,000 – 3,800mm of annual rainfall.
The plant can adapt to a wide range of soil types but well-draining, fertile and loose soil, especially red alluvial soil works best for growing this tree.
Blackboard tree responds well to the sunny location, therefore, any place that receives 5-6 hours of full sunlight works great here.
When the plant is young, water it adequately whenever topsoil is dry. Water regularly and deeply to keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. Once the plant becomes mature, it will take care of itself on its own. Also, practice watering the plant in the morning and evening time to avoid any potential fungal issues.
The application of well-rotted cow dung manure during the growing phase of spring and summer is beneficial for plants.
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Harvesting Alstonia Scholaris
The tree finds great value due to its medicinal bark and latex. It takes around 8-10 years for the tree to attain maturity and become harvestable. Also, the months from October to January are considered best for bark harvesting.