Dombeya Plant Information: How To Grow A Tropical Hydrangea Plant

Dombeya Plant Information: How To Grow A Tropical Hydrangea Plant

By: Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)

For those living in frost free climates, choosing flowering plants and shrubs to incorporate into the garden may feel overwhelming. With so many options, where do you start? Well if you’re focused on ornamental beauty, then choosing varieties that bloom profusely and provide full season interest is the way to go. The pink tropical hydrangea (Dombeya burgessiae) is one such plant.

Dombeya Plant Information

Tropical hydrangea plant, also known as pink wild pear flower, is a native of Africa. Reaching heights of 15 feet (5 m.), this medium sized shrub produces large clusters of pink blooms. Though technically not a member of the hydrangea family, wild pear tropical hydrangea receives its namesake for reminiscent mop-like flowerheads.

These fast-growing plants are ideal for adding privacy or color to yard spaces.

Growing Pink Wild Pear Tropical Hydrangea

Though some have attempted to grow pink wild pear Dombeya in containers, the plants are best suited for growth outdoors in tropical regions.

Before planting, select the ideal location. Make certain to consider the size of the plant at maturity when placing within landscapes. Tropical hydrangea plants grow best in sites that receive light shade throughout the day.

Pink wild pear tropical hydrangea plants are fairly carefree, as long as growth requirements are met. This includes planting in soil that is both well-draining and slightly acidic.

Routine pruning can be done each growing season after flowering has ceased. This will help gardeners maintain the desired shape and size of the plant, as well as help to keep flower borders looking neat and tidy.

Though tender to frost, pink wild pear Dombeya is able to tolerate occasional cold temperatures. Within their native range, these plants behave as evergreen perennials. Brief exposure to cold may cause yellowing and leaf drop. Most plants that have been damaged in this way will recover and resume growth when temperatures warm in the late winter or spring.

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Peach Tree Plant Profile

Every year, the Environmental Working Group publishes a list of the "dirty dozen" produce items that contain the most pesticide residue, and peaches are usually in the top half of that list. If you don't want to give up the succulent taste of a fresh summer peach, consider growing your own peach tree. By growing peaches, you can also grow thin-skinned types that are too delicate to make it to supermarket shelves but will make a great addition to your breakfast table or snack time. Peach trees come in all sizes, even dwarf cultivars that you can grow in a container, so there's nothing stopping you from nurturing a peach crop that you can add to cobblers, canned preserves, smoothies, or salsa.

Botanical Name Prunus persica
Common Name Peach
Plant Type Perennial tree
Mature Size Four to six feet for dwarf trees 25 feet for standard trees
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Sandy and well-draining
Soil pH Acidic 6.0-6.5
Bloom Time Spring
Flower Color Pink
Hardiness Zones 4 to 9
Native Area China
The Spruce / Kara Riley

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The Spruce / Kara Riley

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The Spruce / Kara Riley

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Size and Form

3 to 5 feet high and wide multi-stemmed, mounded form.

Tree & Plant Care

Thrives in rich, moist, well-drained soil, pH adaptable (can handle soils from acid to alkaline).
Best in part shade. Drought-sensitive may need to be watered in hot summer weather or leaves will droop.
Plants benefit with a layer of mulch to conserve moisture and moderate soil temperature.
Prune in late winter. This species can be cut back to the ground or thin colony to control size.

Disease, pests and problems

Native geographic location and habitat

C-Value: 10 (native to only one county near the Chicago area)
Native to southern Illinois, east into Virginia and south into Alabama and Georgia.

Bark color and texture

Smooth, shiny gray-brown stems.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple, opposite leaves 2 to 8 inches long oval, dark green with serrated edges fall color yellow or brown.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Large rounded clusters of early summer flowers that start out pale green and turn to white.
Dried, tan flower heads add winter interest to the landscape.

Fruit, cone, nut and seed descriptions

The actual fruit (a dry capsule) is not ornamentally important, but the remains of the dry flower heads that surround them do provide winter interest.

Cultivars and their differences

Annabelle (Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'): One of the most popular hydrangea cultivars because of its extremely large rounded inflorescences. Individual creamy-white flower heads can be 12 inches in diameter and bloom in mid-June against dark, serrated foliage. It was selected from a plant found growing in the wild near the town of Anna in southern Illinois. Plants reach 3 to 4 feet high.

Bella Anna(Hydrangea arborescens 'PIIHA-I'): Similar to 'Annabelle' but with pink flowers strong stems to support the large flower clusters. Plants reach 2 to 3 feet high.

Hayes Starburst (Hydrangea arborescens 'Hayes Starburst'): Clusters of white, double flowers producing a starburst effect. Plants reach 2 to 3 feet high.

Hills-of-Snow hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens 'Grandiflora'): Commonly used cultivar is admired for its large, clean, white flower clusters. The 6 to 8-inch flower heads are not as large or symmetrical as the cultivar 'Annabelle' hydrangea, but they contrast well against the dark, serrated foliage. Plants reach 3 to 4 feet high.

Incrediball® (Hydrangea arborescens 'Abetwo'): An improved, large version of 'Annabelle.' Large, 12-inch, creamy white, ball-shaped flower heads are held upright on thick stems. Plants reach 4 to 5 feet high.

Invincibelle® Spirit (Hydrangea arborescens 'NCHA1'): Dark pink buds open to 6 to 8 inch wide rosy pink flower clusters, changing to soft pink as they mature dark green leaves turn a buttery yellow in fall flowers are good for drying. Plants reach 4 to 5 feet high.

White Dome® (Hydrangea arborescens 'Dardom'): White, dome-shaped, lacecap flowers, 4 to 6 inches wide, appear in June on loosely branched, suckering stems with dark green foliage. Plants reach 4 to 6 feet high.

While there are a lot of tasty edible flowers to be found in the garden, there are plenty of toxic flowers too. This is by no way an inclusive list, but here are a few toxic flowers to avoid:

  • Azalea
  • Daffodil
  • Dogbane
  • Henbane
  • Hyacinth
  • Hydrangea
  • Oleander
  • Wisteria

Here’s a much more exhaustive list of toxic flowers, but it’s obviously not all that exist, just most of the common ones.

What’s your favorite edible flower? Did I miss any? Leave me a note in the comments.

Edible Flower Recipes for some of the most common garden blossoms

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