Primeval Gardens Paulownias
When your potted trees reach 10-12 inches in height they are ready to plant in the ground.
Pick a sunny area. Paulownia trees will not survive if they don't receive full sun.
Dig a hole that is approximately 2-3 feet deep and 2-3 feet wide. The bigger the hole the better, as the soft soil will give your tree a good start.
Fill the hole with a good quality potting soil. You can add some compost and sand as well. Plant the tree in the center of the hole and mound the dirt up around the edges to create a basin to hold water. Fill with water. Add some B-1 root stimulator to help with transplant shock. If you live in a very windy area it's a good idea to stake your tree for the first two years to protect it from wind damage. Make sure not to tie anything too tightly around the trunk of the tree.
It's important to give your tree good deep waterings only when the soil has dried out.
This will encourage the roots to grow straight down. Soggy soil will rot the roots and cause the tree to die.
Fertilize with an organic high nitrogen fertilizer every 10-14 days throughout the growing season. It's best to fertilize in the evenings, and never when the soil is really dry.
Here's a fertilizer recipe that I use for organic fertilizing:
6 Tbsp Fish Emulshion
4 Tbsp Urea
1 tsp Super Thrive
4 Tbsp Seaweed Extract
Mix this up in a 5 gallon bucket and fill with water. Pour slowly around the base of tree. If the tree is small, pour it on the leaves as you dump the bucket. The leaves will help soak up all the good nutrients.
You should be able to find all the ingredients at most garden centers.
Caterpillars love to feast on the leaves of young Paulownia trees. If this becomes a problem Safer brand Caterpillar Killer is an excellent solution.
Spinosad is another safe natural bug killer.
You can also sprinkle the leaves and ground around the tree with Diatomaceous Earth. This can be found at most garden centers.
(These are all organic products and will be carried by garden centers with an organic selection).
Growth Rate & Pruning
If your Paulownia tree does not reach at least 10 feet height the first summer, it will be necessary to cut it back to the ground in early spring, before the leaves emerge. This sounds very frightening to most people, but your tree will come back and it will grow twice as fast in year two. This is a very important step to ensure rapid growth and strong roots.
Paulownia trees can be cut back to the ground 5-7 times and regenerate from their roots. This is one of the things that makes them so valuable to the timber and agriculture industry. Once the new shoots start to come up, pick out the strongest, straightest looking one and keep all others cut back. If you don't do this you will end up with a multi-trunked tree that will be short and scrubby looking.
Keep all branches that start to grow pruned back until the tree has reached at least 10 feet high.
Fall & Winter Instructions
If you purchase your tree in Fall or Winter, it will be shipped dormant and will arrive without any leaves. This is a natural state for the tree to be in. Follow the instructions above for planting upon arrival, but once it is planted in a gallon pot, place it in a location that receives full sun.
If there are frequent rains you may have to place it under an overhang so that the soil has a chance to dry out.
If you are expecting frost, bring the pot inside overnight, but get it back out into the sun as soon as possible. These trees cannot survive inside for very long. Young trees are more susceptible to frost than older ones, so it is a good idea to protect them until they are bigger.
Do not fertilize until you see new growth emerging in spring.
When you see buds start to appear, cut the stem back to ground level. This will encourage it to grow much faster & stronger.
Once planted in the ground, mulch roots heavily with straw or leaves in the Fall in areas that get below 15 degrees F. Pull the mulch away in the Spring when the weather warms above freezing.
Carefully unpack your young Paulownia trees as soon as they arrive and water immediately. They may appear droopy at first, especially if the weather is hot, but should perk up after planting & getting a good drink.
If you have recieved 4-8" tall trees, plant each tree in a 1 gallon pot with a good quality, well drained potting soil. Add some B-1 (root stimulant) to the water when you water them in.
It is very important that you let the soil dry out between waterings. The roots will rot in soggy soil.
If the temperature is in the 90’s or higher, place the newly planted tree in an area that receives only morning & early afternoon sun.
After 1 week fertilize with a high nitrogen fertilizer.
Paulownia Planting Instructions
Here's 2 pictures of the same Paulownia taken 1 month apart. It was planted at 8 inches tall (left picture), and is now 1 foot tall (right picture). This is typical growth for the first month. They usually don't grow much the first couple of weeks they are set out while the roots get established, then they really start to take off.