The Albizia tree is famous for its fabulous summer blooming.
A summary of Albizia facts
Name – Albizia julibrissin
Family – legume family (Fabaceae)
Type – tree
Height – 20 to 40 feet (6 to 12m)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – ordinary
Foliage – deciduous – Flowering – Summer – Invasive in – USA, Canada, Australia
Care and pruning are such actions that support the albizia’s proper blooming and growth.
- Take note: Albizia is an invasive species in some parts of the USA.
Either of the following two seasons can be the right time to plant Albizia: fall or spring, preferably in a spot sheltered from wind. The most promising season that favors root development is fall, in order to promote settling in, but only if the winter weather is mild enough.
Where winters are cold, favor planting in spring in a sunny spot that is sheltered from wind, because it originally is best suited to mild temperate climate.
Albizia can hold to temperatures as low as about 22-23°F (-5°C).
- Find our advice on planting trees here.
Pruning and caring for albizia
Albizia is a very easy tree to grow because it requires practically no care.
- Letting its branches spread out freely is what will give it the most beautiful stature.
It naturally grows to form an umbrella-like shape that it is best not to try to change.
- Remove suckers often, those shoots that emerge at the base of the tree.
If you wish to reduce the size or balance branch growth:
- Wait for the end of the blooming.
- Try to keep its umbrella-like shape.
How to increase the blooming of your albizia
To enhance the albizia’s blooming, you can add granulated flower tree or shrub fertilizer in spring.
- Scratch the ground down to an inch (a couple centimeters) deep around the trunk.
- Bury a few handfuls of flower shrub or flower tree fertilizer there.
- And then cover with soil.
- The rain will do what’s left to be done, slowly washing out the granulated fertilizer to make the nutrients available for the roots.
You can also simply prepare your own liquid fertilizer if you’ve got weeds in the garden you must get rid of:
- Prepare fertilizer from fermented weeds
All there is to know about albizia
Pink red flowers with long soft needle-shaped stamens really seem to burst out and are very elegant. Both the leaves and the flowers contribute to establishing a feeling of airy lightness.
This is the reason this tree is also called the “silk tree”. After being formally identified and described in the late 18th century, botanist
Filippo degli Albizzi introduced it in Europe, from whence it spread across the planet.
Another name for it is acacia tree, or sometimes also the Persian mimosa tree.
- In the United States, many people call this tree “mimosa”, which is confusing because another tree holds that name in Europe: Acacia dealbata.
Its beauty should lead you to plant it as a standalone to best take advantage of its many appealing characteristics.
- More about the different acacia tree types
- Learn where about native and invasive ranges for Albizia
- A non-invasive alternative to Albizia: black locust, native to the US of A
Smart tip about albizia
Plant albizia in full sun because it loves heat and its flowers will be even nicer!
CC BY 2.0: Wendy Cutler
CC BY-NC-ND 2.0: Max Guitare
Hi. I live in Wales and have a 10/12 foot Albizia julibressin growing in my garden which appears to be evergreen as it’s never lost its leaves. It’s a seedling from my son’s tree in France. However, the leaves are solid and not fern-like as I expected them to be. When it was a new seedling, some of the leaves were fern-like but, as it’s grown, they’ve changed. It is about 5 or 6 years old and has never flowered. Do you think it will ever bloom or am I too far north?
That’s interesting. The first thing that comes to mind is that it might be an other tree altogether, because of the solid leaves. As for the flowering, at 12 feet, you should expect some to appear this year, in my opinion. Even in Wales, the silk tree can bloom.
I have three mimosa trees that have grown very quickly over the past 2 years but all of the flowers are white with virtually no pick color. Is this just a variation of species or is there some nutrient that I could add to the soil to enhance colorful blooms?
Hello Otto, for Albizia the flower color is really related to the variety or cultivar. The white one you have must likely be the Alibizia julibrissin ‘Alba’, which has white flowers, while other cultivars might have colors such as ivory-cream or even dark pink. There isn’t much you can do to change the color, since it isn’t a problem of nutrient availability.
I have a ALBIZIA TREE, it’s leaves are turning YELLOW, it’s February in W A AUSTRALIA, WOULD IT BE GOING INTO BECOMING DECIDUOUS THE TREE IS 15 YRS OLD AND HAS JUST BEEN REPOTTED
Hi Rosslyn, I don’t think this may be the case, except if you’ve moved the pot to a new location, or if the tree was previously in the ground. Indeed, Albizia would turn deciduous if moved to colder weather, or to a more exposed / windy portion of the garden. Putting a ground-grown tree into a pot might also have that effect, as potted trees are more vulnerable to cooler temperatures than grounded ones.
Since temperatures in Western Australia have increased over the past 50 years, it wouldn’t be due to climate change.
I’d say it’s more likely the tree adjusting to the recent repotting. Sometimes when repotting, roots are disturbed and have to grow back. A good practice is to prune the branches back a bit every time you repot, so that the disturbed roots don’t have to sustain as heavy a load.
Another possibility is that a different type of soil is used, perhaps one with a higher pH (less acidic). It may be that your tree is developing chlorosis. This would also happen if watering exclusively with tap water. Since you’ve repotted, however, I don’t think chlorosis is at play.
Lastly, make sure that drainage is excellent. This means that excess water has to be able to drain away. There should be a hole in the pot, gravel to keep soil and roots from stopping the hole up, and if you’ve a saucer or tray catching excess water, then the pot shouldn’t rest on it directly but be set up higher so that water doesn’t stay in the lower part of the pot.
My Albizia has lost its leaves this month, it is in a sheltered part of the garden against a wall , is this normal?
Hi Mandy, if you’re in the Northern hemisphere and winter is coming in, yes, it’s perfectly normal. Albizia is a deciduous tree that looses its leaves in winter. The tree will go dormant and wake up again in Spring. Nothing to worry about!
Thank you for your quick response and reassurance, I do live in the north of England and i was concerned that something was wrong with my plant.
Albizia is a weed and is often invasive in North America. It is not recommended by many Plant and Horticulture university departments anymore. I recommend you at least make a note of this on the albizia page so that you are not found supporting invasive plants. The tree is beautiful though! For a similar look, I recommend Robinia pseudoacacia (in the American Southeast) or Styphnolobium japonicum. Thanks for supporting gardening!
That’s a very helpful insight, Miles. I added that particular point in the article, readers will surely find it helpful! I also drew up a map of where Albizia is native and invasive, just to make sure it’s as clear as can be. Thanks for your own support, too!
I love the smell of the flowers. Very soft, almost like baby powder.
That’s true, but I have to admit the scent is very light. Sometimes too much wind or rain will wash it away immediately 😥