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- Melia azedarach : Chinaberry tree
- Family : Meliaceae
- Origin : India
- Height in its natural environment : 13 m
- Hardiness : -7°C
- Flower colour : white and purple
Height : about 10 to 30 cm (depending on seasons)
Description of the plant
Everything is joy with the Melia!
Its starry blooming with the scent of lilac bewitches us, its fruit in the shape of honey-colored balls delight us because, naturally pierced, they allow the creation of rosaries that keep grumpy spirits away! "Neem", "Rosary tree", so many singing nicknames!
Melia also knows how to make itself useful in our daily life: its seeds and leaves are insecticides, its fruits active against lice, its stems used as a toothbrush like Africa, as for its wood resistant to insects, it is used in the manufacture of musical instruments.
So many qualities that we can not help adopting it!
Frost resistant this exotic tree has everything to become the jewel of your garden.
Also known as: Persian lilac, Pride of India, Bead tree, Lilac tree
When you receive your plant, repot it in a pot slightly larger than the bucket, which must be well pierced. Avoid pot covers which prevent residual water from draining away and encourage fungal diseases. Choose a fine potting soil, ideally with added perlite or sand to lighten the substrate (do not use garden soil or acidic soil such as heather). Then plan two repottings per year (spring and autumn), gradually increasing the size of the pot and adapting it to the size of the root network (the roots must have room, but not too much as the plant must be able to dry out its substrate between waterings). This avoids having to add fertilizer, which always risks burning the fragile roots of the plants and making the plant wither as soon as the fertilizer is stopped.
Moderate watering: watering should be copious (the whole root ball should be wet), but wait until the substrate has dried deeply before watering again (you can stick your finger in the soil: as long as you feel moisture, do not water). Your plant will recover better from a lack of water than from an excess of water. Always water at the base of the plant, and do not mist it, because stagnant water in the armpit of the leaves favors cryptogamic diseases. If your atmosphere is too dry, put bowls of water nearby (above radiators for example), so that evaporation humidifies the air.
For an indoor planting
Unless you want to try a bonsai culture (yay!), this plant is not recommended as an indoor plant, but is meant to be planted outdoors (see next section).
For an outdoor planting
If your climate allows it, you will be able to plant your plant in full ground, a full sun is recommended. We advise you however to cultivate it in pot the first year and to make it spend the first winter in the heat, in order to strengthen it well. Plant it between the end of the risk of frost (generally at the beginning of May) and the end of August, in a soil which must be light and draining; do not hesitate to add sand and fine potting soil if necessary. Be careful with the minimum temperatures indicated: they are given for a mature plant, and you have to take into account the wind which accentuates the cold felt, as well as the water retention capacity of your soil, which can rot the roots if it is not sufficiently draining. So take a little safety margin!
This plant supports the pruning, but we do not advise it because that would make it lose its native form.
Our plants are grown naturally, without chemical fertilizers, so we advise you to repot them regularly (twice a year) rather than adding fertilizer.
In case of pest attack
If your plants are under attack by aphids or other pests, the best way to control them is by hand. Change their soil, remove as many undesirables as possible by hand and then shower your plants with a strong stream of water to eliminate any eggs that may be present. Spray them (insist on the underside of the leaves) with liquid black soap diluted in water. Repeat the operation several times at a few days interval. Take them outside in good weather, rain, sun and wind will kill most of the aggressors!