Autograph Tree: Care, Growing Guide, & Facts
Autograph Tree Description
Clusia is a vast genus of trees and shrubs endemic to tropical America that are distinguished by their horizontally growing branches and thick, leathery leaves. Clusia rosea, sometimes known as the autograph tree, is the only Clusia species that is routinely grown.
It is famous for its proclivity for growing on top of and strangling other plants. It’s often thought of as an invasive plant. Another unique feature of this species is that it belongs to the only genus of plants that can absorb carbon dioxide at night.
The leathery leaves of the signature tree are rigid, dark green or olive-colored, and grow to be around 8 inches long. The leaves are strong enough to cut into, earning it the nickname “autograph tree.”
It blooms in the summer with tall flower heads of pink or white flowers, followed by little green fruits that develop to black and break open to expose brilliant red seeds. Birds and other animals are drawn to the seeds.
Indoors, the signature tree is a popular choice. It may be cultivated in the spring or fall in zones 10 and 11 which can live outside. It grows up to 8 to 10 feet tall and wide.
How To Care Autograph Tree?
As it matures, the autograph tree likes to spread out quite a bit. It should be clipped once a year, in the early spring, to maintain its shape. Fertilization will aid in its ultimate development.
Because of its thick growth pattern and low maintenance requirements, the plant forms an excellent hedge. However, if you grow it large enough to be a tree, you may underplant at the base.
The autograph tree is resistant to salt and may be cultivated in open areas near the sea. The signature tree, when grown as a houseplant, requires warmth, humidity, and a modest quantity of daily sunshine.
A space with a south- or west-facing opening will get a few hours of direct sunlight, as well as some indirect light and shadow.
How To Grow Autograph Tree?
Although full sun is preferred, this plant may also thrive in moderate shade. It can handle medium light levels and partial shadows when grown as a houseplant indoors.
The ideal soil is sandy, soft, loose, and well-draining. It should be fertile and organically rich. While cultivating orchids in pots, combine the potting mix with a tiny amount of orchid-specific growth media.
Until the signature tree is well developed, it should be watered on a regular basis for the first year or two. After then, you can reduce the amount of water it gets, however frequent watering will help it develop more completely.
Although this plant is drought resistant, you should never allow the soil to become entirely dry. In the summer, water your autograph tree houseplant weekly, and 3 times a month in the winter.
iv. Temperature and Humidity
This plant should only be kept outside in tropical climates since it cannot withstand temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It enjoys temperatures of 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit indoors.
It also likes a lot of dampness. If you have an indoor potted plant, set it in a shallow gravel pan with water and sprinkle it periodically.
In the spring, summer, and fall, fertilise three times a year. Use granular organic fertiliser. You may also fertilise more regularly, but you should use a liquid fertiliser that is evenly balanced and diluted.
Autograph Tree Potting and Repotting
C. rosea can quickly outgrow its container due to its rapid growth. To repot, remove the entire root ball and place it in a bigger container that can hold the root system.
Unless well-pruned, the plant may grow too large to be kept in pots at all as it grows. If the climate permits, giant plants can be transplanted outdoors.
How To Propagate Autograph Tree?
C. rosea is classified as a hemiepiphyte. It starts off as an epiphyte—a plant that grows on another tree or building instead of being parasitic and gradually moves closer to the ground, finally planting itself in the soil.
It outgrows its host over time and finally suffocates it. Because of its growth strategy, the autograph tree has become a harmful invasive species in various tropical places. Seeds or cuttings are both effective ways to reproduce the tree.
Cuttings can be propagated by severing the stems and replanting them in warm, damp soil to allow them to root. This is a robust, fast-developing plant that is relatively simple to reproduce, particularly in pots.