Catalpa, a majestic tree to decorate all kinds of gardens

Catalpa in bloom

Catalpa is a magnificent tree: it can be had as a shade plant as a shrub, since there are different varieties. In addition, it recovers well from pruning, so that even if it grows from 6 to 25 meters in height, you can always trim its branches to control its development.

Its beautiful white flowers are a real wonder: they can measure 4-5cm in diameter and when they appear, they attract numerous pollinating insects while brightening up the place where they are.

Characteristics of the Catalpa

Catalpa bignonoioides 'Aurea'

Catalpa bignonoioides 'Aurea' 

When we talk about Catalpa we are talking about a deciduous tree that is left without its heart-shaped leaves during autumn-winter. In spring and summer it produces white or yellow flowers in large panicles, and after the end of the hottest season of the year, the fruits, similar to legumes, will ripen until they measure 20 to 50 cm in length.. Inside you will find the seeds, which have two thin wings that allow them to disperse with the help of the wind.

33 species of Catalpa are known, distributed by North America, the Antilles and East Asia. The best known are the following:

  • C. bignonioides: is the most common. It grows naturally in the southeastern United States, reaching a height of 15 meters.
  • C.ovata: Originally from China, it grows to a maximum height of 9 meters.
  • C speciosa: It is native to the midwest of the United States, and one of the largest of the genus. It can reach a height of 20 meters, with a trunk over 1m in diameter.

What care do you need?

Catalpa erubescens 'Pulverulenta'

Catalpa erubescens 'Pulverulenta'

To have a magnificent copy of Catalpa, we invite you to follow our advice:

  • Location: place your tree in an area where it gets direct sunlight.
  • Land: the soil has to be slightly acidic (pH 5-6), fertile, loose. It is also important that it has good drainage to prevent the roots from suffocating from excess moisture (you have more information on this subject in this article).
  • Irrigation: frequent in summer, somewhat scarcer the rest of the year. Generally, it should be watered every 2-3 days in the hottest months and every 5-6 days the rest of the year.
  • Subscriber: for it to grow well, it should be fertilized during the spring and summer with organic fertilizers, such as worm castings or manure, putting a 2-3cm thick layer around once a month.
  • Planting time: in spring, when the risk of frost has passed.
  • Pruning: late winter.
  • Multiplication: by seeds in spring and by semi-woody cuttings in summer.
  • Rusticity: withstands cold and frosts down to -15ºC.
catalpa bignonoides

catalpa bignonoides

What did you think of this tree?

The content of the article adheres to our principles of editorial ethics. To report an error click here!.

10 comments, leave yours

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.



  1. Responsible for the data: Miguel Ángel Gatón
  2. Purpose of the data: Control SPAM, comment management.
  3. Legitimation: Your consent
  4. Communication of the data: The data will not be communicated to third parties except by legal obligation.
  5. Data storage: Database hosted by Occentus Networks (EU)
  6. Rights: At any time you can limit, recover and delete your information.

  1.   remich2002reypelayo said

    Can't read anything

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Remich.
      How do you see the blog? I'm telling you because the background is white and the letter is black, so it looks good. Nothing has changed.
      If you want, upload an image to tinypic or imageshack and we'll see it.
      A greeting.

  2.   marcela said

    I love this tree. It is similar to the Kiri ??? I wanted to know if they are fast growing and if the roots are dangerous to be near a house. Thank you

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Marcela.

      Yes, they have a certain resemblance, but the Pawlonia tomentosa or kiri is from China, and the catalpa bignonoides it is more of America (although it is also in Asia, specifically in East Asia).

      Catalpa grows fast if it has water at its disposal, as long as the soil is not waterlogged. It does not have invasive roots, but it needs to be at least 4-5 meters away from the walls for its crown to grow well.



    I loved this tree I fell in love like the pawlonia

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      We are glad to know that. Both trees are very similar when they do not have flowers or fruits 🙂

  4.   Cris said

    Can it be planted near a wall? How much does it grow in a year?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Cris.
      No, at least there must be about 5 meters between the tree and the wall.

      It can grow 20-30cm per year, more if the climate is warm-mild.


  5.   Graciela said

    It is very beautiful, they gave me a sapling and I pray that I can make it prosper!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Graciela.

      In the article you will find information about their care. If you have questions, just ask us 🙂