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Champaka Plant - Grafted (Dwarf Chempaka)

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Chempaka (Magnolia Champaca)

Note that this is dwarfing variety so wont grow too tall and perfect in garden container or pretty looking pot by your outdoor dining or pool area.

Magnolia Champaca, known in English as champak, is a large evergreen tree in the family Magnoliaceae. It was previously classified as Michelia champaca. It is known for its fragrant flowers, and its timber used in woodworking. In Magnolia family Champaka is the rarest variant and the hardest to graft with only 10-20% of success rate, hence this plant is highly sought after.

Although the Champaca is a lovely tree, it’s the scent from its nonshowy flowers that will linger in your memory. The only thing harder than describing the scent of the Champaca’s blooms would be describing the scent of your newborn baby. Breathe in, and you’ve arrived at a place of purity, peace and happiness.

Himalayan region and subtropics of India, Champaca has jasmine like blooms that locals use as offerings during prayers and rituals because they believe the heady scent rises up to heaven to get the gods’ attention as they ask for good fortune. This scent will permeate the air on warm, humid nights, or infuse your hair when you adorn it with a single bloom. A home can be scented by floating blossoms in bowls of water here and there around the house, or try it on your bedside table for a good night’s sleep.

So prized is the scent that essential oil from the Champaca’s blossoms is blended with the oils of more than 600 roses to make the world’s most expensive perfume, Joy by Jean Patou. As a landscape plant, this member of the magnolia family can resemble an avocado tree. While useful to disguise fences and a reliable semitropical foundation plant for the backyard, Champaca is probably best grown in pots so you can move them into courtyards and near doorways and windows to welcome guests with their delicious fragrance.

Tibetans believe the Buddha of the next era will find enlightenment under the flower canopy of the Champaca tree. I believe you can share in the enlightenment by taking the opportunity now to plant and enjoy this beautiful tree.

Plant Care  

Light

Partial to full direct sunlight

Water

Plenty of water around summer, less during winter. Never let the soil dry out or the root to soak in water

Soil

A well-draining, rich potting soil such as cactus mix amended with a light manure. It is recommends custom-mixing an azalea/camellia potting soil blend with leaf mold, pumice, composted pine needles, horticultural coconut coir and a handful of activated aquarium charcoal to keep the soil well-drained and sweet.

Fertilizer

To enjoy this tree to the fullest, you’ll need to add fertilizer, especially if growing in a container. Feed with a fertilizer made for acid lovers. Try alternating feedings of acid-loving and super-blooming fertilizers to encourage flower production. The normal leaf color is light grass-green or apple-green, but if leaves begin to look more yellowish, the plant could need iron. A dose of liquid chelated iron every other month will help correct the problem

Wind

Keep away from strong wind. Young or small plants will require a wind break. Stake the plant to give support against wind

Frost

Frost tender when young, provide shade or cloth cover during winter

Flowering

1-2 years for grafted and cutting grown. 10+ years from seedlings

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