The slim and lovely false ashoka tree shoots straight into the air with a narrow form of drooping branches of layered, feathery leaves.
Polyalthia longifolia is often called just "ashoka tree" but that name
actually belongs to Saraca indica. The similarity of foliage causes
people to confuse the two trees.
These are columnar trees with a weeping habit that stay full to the ground with greenery from top to bottom.
They have an artistic, charming and somewhat formal look, especially effective when planted in rows.
One of the most unique South Florida landscape trees, a false ashoka is perfect for narrow areas since it gets very tall but stays slender.
This tree works well as a subtropical substitute for Italian Cypress tree, which prefers the cooler temps of Zone 9B and northward.
In the same family as ylang-ylang tree, the tree's spring flowers are pale green and not showy.
ashoka is also called the Mast Tree, since builders of sailing ships
used the lightweight and flexible wood of the tall trunks to create
Surprisingly wind-tolerant for such tall, narrow trees, these are often used in group plantings for windbreak trees, privacy hedges and even to cut down on noise pollution.
A moderate grower to 30 feet, this tree rarely grows more than 6 to 8 feet wide.
Tropical and cold-sensitive, false ashokas do best in Zone 10B and warmer areas of Zone 10A.
These are evergreen trees that prefer a sunny location but will also grow in part shade.
Add top soil or organic peat humus to the hole when you plant. You can also add composted cow manure to enrich the soil around the tree's rootball.
No trimming is necessary, since the tree's natural shape is a big part of its beauty.
Regular irrigation is best but make sure the planting area is well-drained.
Fertilize 3 times a year - in spring, summer, and autumn - with a top quality granular fertilizer.
Here's one tree you can plant very close to the house - 3 feet out - provided it won't eventually grow into easements and gutters.
When planting in rows to form a hedge, allow 4 or 5 feet between each tree.
As a specimen you can plant 3 or 4 feet away from the nearest shrub.
Looking for a certain plant? Search this site:
The Best of the Grow-zines - gardening inspirations & solutions from past issues of our monthly newsletter
A set of ebooks by
Chase Landre, author of
Get a finished look to your new landscaping - Here's how!
Lazy Gardener's Guide to South Florida - a unique ebook about low-maintenance plants and landscaping!
Take a crash course!
Ebooks on South Florida gardening!
Are you a
Here's a handy paperback guide just for you!