Maple Leaved Dombeya
Dombeya Spectabilis is can be classified as a shrub or small tree of up to 5 m in height depending on the area it occurs in. It is multi-stemmed and the slender branches are smooth, wrinkled and often covered with glandular hairs. The large, velvety leaves are roundish to roughly triangular with the upper half sometimes lobed. It can be kept smaller with some trimming. Trimming should be done after the flowers are gone in the spring.
The upper surface of the leaves is green and covered with short, dense hairs, whereas the undersurface is covered in silvery or greyish white, velvety hairs. The velvety buds open into pale shade of pink flowers that often display a white centre. They turn brown later. The flowers are fragrant & borne on hairy stalks in bunches in the axils of the upper leaves & last for over a month. The bloom period is between Oct to March.
Dombiya's grows best in partial shade with morning sunshine but also tolerates full sun. It needs a fertile, well-drained soil. Water freely when in growth and sparingly otherwise.
It is a strong grower and even though it is possible to grow it
in a container for many years, it will perform better in the ground.
It is used primarily as a specimen plant for its large, showy, winter flowers and attractive foliage. The roots are not invasive, so it can be planted close to a building or in a patio.
Plants with thin leaves need daily watering and ones with thick leaves need watering 3-4 times a week. This will also depend on the season. Generally during the blooming period, plants love a lot of water. Try keeping the soil moist. During winters it is better to cut back on watering.
Keep the plants in a well drained soil with a drainage hole at the bottom. This will help to avoid over watering. Take care as to not leave stagnant water on top of the soil. Fertilise the plant once in 2-3 weeks during its blooming period. Do not fertilise it in winters.
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