Friday, October 7, 2011
Empress Tree (Paulownia tomentosa) at 2 Months
The Empress Tree has a reputation for growing extremely quickly. That being said I was a little disappointed with the growth rate of the seedlings. They germinated within less than a week but were quite delicate and took their time developing. At just over a month the growth rate started to pick up. Within the last two weeks they have doubled in size! I kept one seedling that was putting out 3 leaves at a time instead of the usual two. Unfortunately, it seems to have reverted to the standard from though.
Although the Empress Tree should be hardy here, I decided to only leave a few outside and move these ones into the greenhouse for the summer. They've been growing so well that I thought it might be time to transplant already. When I checked, there were no roots growing out of the bottom of the pot. It seems that at least as seedlings they have a much smaller roots system then expected.
I should mention that these trees become invasive in warmer climates. This can be controlled by cutting them down every year. Unfortunately this mean you won't be able to enjoy the lovely purple flowers. I'll probably leave some trees to grow large and cut others down each year. The new growth has very large leaves which can add some dramatic foliage to a garden.