A plant genus such as Brachychiton is directly related to the Sterculia family. This genus unites about 60 species of plants. In nature, they are found in Oceania, Australia and Southeast Asia.
This genus is represented by large enough trees that have a thickening in the lower part of the trunk. It is there that the accumulation of nutrients necessary for the normal growth and development of the plant occurs. The tree begins to spend them after the weather conditions become unfavorable. It was the external feature of the brachychiton trunk that served the appearance of the second name “bottle tree” among the people.
This tree is becoming more and more popular with flower growers every year. And they like it for its not quite ordinary appearance and relative unpretentiousness.
Home Care Brachychitone
For plants, a window of western or eastern orientation is best suited. It can also be placed near the south window, however, in this case, the plant will need to be shaded from the direct midday rays of the sun. If it is placed near a window of northern orientation, then the tree will not be able to grow and develop properly due to lack of light. The plant you just bought should be accustomed to bright lighting gradually, the same applies to brachychiton after wintering.
In the spring-summer period, brachychiton needs heat (24–28 degrees). With the onset of the autumn period, the temperature is gradually lowered, and in winter they keep the tree cool (from 12 to 16 degrees). At any time of the year, the room should be properly and regularly ventilated.
How to water
For irrigation use exceptionally soft water, which must stand before that for at least 24 hours. In the warm season, watering should be plentiful, on hot days, watered after the top layer of the substrate dries. With the onset of the autumn period, watering is reduced, and in winter time it is necessary to water carefully, avoiding either overdrying or overflowing of the soil. At this time, the plant has a dormant period, and it needs coolness and moderate watering.
Humidify a plant from a sprayer is not necessary. In winter, the tree should be removed away from heating appliances.
Brachychiton needs regular feeding in the spring-summer period of 1 time in 3 weeks. For this, special mineral fertilizers are used. In the autumn, as well as in winter, it is not necessary to feed the plant, since at this time the fertilizers applied can only harm it.
In spring, the tree needs to be pinched and pruned. Thus, you can form a beautiful crown, getting rid of the branches stretched out over the winter.
A transplant is carried out only if necessary, for example, when the overgrown root system ceases to fit in the pot. When transplanting, make sure that the root neck is not deepened. While the plant is young, it should be replanted once a year, more adult specimens need this procedure, as a rule, once every 3 or 4 years.
For planting you need loose soil. So, a suitable soil mixture may consist of sheet land, sand and peat, taken in a ratio of 1: 2: 1. And you can mix sod, leaf and humus soil, as well as peat and sand, taken in equal proportions.
Propagation of brachychiton
Brachychiton is usually propagated by seeds and apical cuttings. The most common propagation is by apical cuttings. After cutting, they should be processed with agents that stimulate growth, and then planted. For planting, use a mixture consisting of equal parts of sand and peat. Put in heat (at least 24 degrees), systematically sprayed, and the container must be covered with cellophane.
Pests and diseases
Scalefish and whitefly can settle. If the room has low humidity, then a spider mite may appear.
- It is forbidden to smoke in the room where the plant is located, because it negatively reacts to tobacco smoke.
- Dry spots appeared on the foliage due to exposure to direct sunlight. With a lack of light, a tree can also get sick.
- Rot appeared - too abundant watering.
Types of brachychiton with photo
Brachychiton acinifolia (Brachychiton acerifolius)
This species is represented by branched evergreen trees, which can reach a height of 35 meters and a width of 12 meters. Shiny, leathery leaves are painted in rich green color and grow up to 20 centimeters in length. They have 3 to 5 shares. The red cup-shaped flowers are quite small (up to 2 centimeters in diameter). They are collected in large inflorescences shaped like panicles. The plant blooms in the summer.
Rock brachychiton (Brachychiton rupestris)
It is popularly called the “bottle tree”, and that’s all, because the trunk of this plant from a distance is very similar to a bottle of impressive size. In height, it can reach 15 meters, and the lower part of the trunk can be up to 2 meters in diameter. In this part of the trunk, fluid accumulates, which is wasted with the onset of drought. If the tree grows at home, it has a more compact appearance.
Variegated Brachychiton (Brachychiton populneus)
This evergreen, highly branched tree has a rather bulky trunk. So, it can reach a height of 20 meters and a width of about 6 meters. Oval, dark green leaves with a glossy surface have a length of about 12 centimeters. On the same plant you can see leaves with both 3rd and 5th lobes. Inflorescences in the form of a shield resemble panicles in shape and are axillary. Small flowers (diameter 1.5 cm) have a green, cream or pink color. On the surface of the petals there are brownish or red spots. Flowering lasts from June to August.
Brachychiton multicolored (Brachychiton discolor)
Foliage may fall from this plant. It reaches a height of 30 meters and a width of 15 meters. A thick and straight trunk has a pale green bark. The pubescent green leaves have from 3 to 7 lobes and have a wide oval shape. Their length is about 20 centimeters, and they are attached to the branches using fairly long petioles. Axillary, very dense inflorescences in the form of a shield have the shape of a panicle. Bell-shaped pink or red flowers reach a width of 5 centimeters. Flowering continues throughout the summer period.