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Care of the plant Quillaja saponaria or Soap bark tree.

Care of the tree Quillaja saponaria or Soap bark tree

The genus Quillaja, family Quillajaceae, includes 2 species of trees native to Chile, Brazil and Argentina. The species are: Quillaja saponaria and Quillaja brasiliensis.

Common names: Soap bark tree, Soapbark. This species is native to central Chile.

They are evergreen trees or shrubs with erect bearing and hanging branches that reach 20 meters (65.6 feet) in height. The leaves are 5 cm (1.96") long, leathery and bright green. They produce abundant cream-colored, star-shaped flowers, but without aroma. They bloom from mid-spring to mid-summer. The curious fruits have a star shape.

They are used in gardens and public parks as isolated specimens. The bark is rich in saponins that are used as a detergent.

Quillaja saponaria needs full sun exposure. They resist frost down to -10 ºC (14 ºF).

They grow in any type of soil that has good drainage.

Water regularly but with little water, waiting a couple of days with the substrate dry before watering again; they resist drought well.

Fertilize with compost at the time of planting in its final place and then every year coinciding with the general fertilizer of the garden.

They can be pruned in late winter to keep them compact and guide growth.

It's a tree quite resistant to the usual pests and diseases; they are sensitive to excess moisture.

They are propagated by cuttings or from seeds that germinate in a week.

Images of the tree Quillaja saponaria or Soap bark tree

Quillaja saponaria
Quillaja saponaria
Quillaja saponaria