Dombeya : Greenhouse Plants
W – warm, minimum of 13°C (55°F)
Even Dombeya X cayeuxii, although capable of reaching 6 m (20 ft) tall, is well mannered enough to produce its drooping heads of powder pink flowers when only small enabling it to be grown in pots, successive batches being raised from. Planted out this large plant can be pruned regularly to obtain the height required. This is best done by training a stem and then pollarding after flowering at the end of summer. It does make an ugly plant when this operation has just been carried out but shoots and large soft furry leaves will quickly grow to make a new head. I always wear an overall and goggles when pruning a tall plant. If you are working under the head of the plant hairs fall off the leaves and stems and are extremely itchy. This is a hybrid between D. wallichii and D. burgessiae and is very showy. However, D. burgessiae is worth growing and is easier, only reaching 2 m (6 ft) under glass. Flowers are white with pink suffusing outwards in veins from the centre and are produced between August and December. Pruning after flowering consists of thinning out older shoots by cutting them right back to within a few buds of the base or of older wood. I should use a loam-based especially in pots as they will require a lot of watering and food in summer, and being large plants will be more stable in a heavier compost.