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Caesalpina gilliesii - Care Guide

Caring for Caesalpina gilliesii

Bird of paradise shrub

C. gilliesii is a frost tender large shrub or small tree from Argentina that is best grown in the greenhouse or conservatory where its long racemes of yellow flowers with scarlet stamens can be enjoyed in July and August. It has acacia-like leaves of up to 8in in length with many oblong leaflets. These plants are related to Gleditsia but not as hardy.

Outdoors at Ventnor Botanic Garden in the Isle of Wight this plant thrives up against a sunny wall with poorish soil and baking conditions. Elsewhere it should be treated as a wall shrub in only the warmest and most sheltered locations.

Under glass C. gilliesii needs a loamy rich potting compost with plenty of water and fertiliser in summer and very little watering in the winter months. It will need frequent potting on unless you have a soil bed in the frost free greenhouse and some restrictive pruning to keep it under control.

Propagation is best from softwood new growth cuttings. If you start with seed thee need soaking in warm water for a day or so.


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