Where does Delonix regia grow? How to plant the fiery tree

Delonix regia tree

Delonix regia, commonly known as the Royal Poinciana or Flamboyant, is a species of flowering plant native to the African island of Madagascar. Specifically, it originates from the dry, deciduous forests of the west coast. However, the tree’s flaming orange-red flowers and its adaptability have made it a popular ornamental tree well beyond its native region.

Today, you can find the Delonix regia flourishing in tropical and subtropical climates around the world. It thrives in countries like India, Australia, and the United States, particularly in states like Florida and Hawaii. The tree prefers full sunlight and well-drained soil. Given the right conditions, the Delonix regia can reach up to 39.4 feet (12 meters) in height. It also features an expansive, umbrella-like canopy that spawns an additional 40 to 60 feet.

One of the most captivating aspects of the Delonix regia is its vibrant flowers. These blossoms burst forth in a riot of orange and red hues. Some variations display yellow or even white petals. The tree’s blooming season is once a year, from late spring to early summer, providing a fiery contrast to the lush green foliage. It’s a treat to the eye.

Note: Madagascar is also home to the beautiful giant Baobab trees.

Delonix regia four seasons diagram
How Delonix regia appears during four seasons

Tips for growing a Delonix regia tree

For those considering adding a Delonix regia to their garden, proper care is essential. This tree thrives in full sunlight and prefers well-drained soil. Remember that it’s sensitive to cold and frost. The tree favors climates with warmer temperatures, ideally above 20°C (68°F).

If you’re starting from seed, remember that the hard seed casing needs soaking in warm water for at least 24 hours for effective germination. Once planted in a pot with well-draining soil, maintain a moist and warm environment for the seed to sprout, usually within one to two weeks.

For those eager to bring this radiant tree home, Delonix regia trees are available for purchase at various specialized online nurseries and local garden centers. Make sure to consult local horticultural experts to confirm its suitability for your region before buying.

If you’re intrigued by the Delonix regia but lack the space for a towering tree, consider growing it as a bonsai. This miniature version requires specialized care, including frequent pruning and root maintenance, but offers the same stunning visual spectacle in a compact size.