Often called the glory bush or princess flower, the many members of the Tibouchina genus are native to Brazil and provide a tropical look to summer gardens in all climate zones. The leaves of this shrub to small tree are large and the 1 1/2-inch purple flowers are showy, making it suitable for sunny locations. You can grow Tibouchina in a large pot and move it indoors for the winter if your climate drops to freezing or below.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Amend your garden soil or potting mix by digging 1 gallon bucket of organic compost into each 4 or 5 gallons of soil.
Dig a hole slightly larger than the root system of your young plant, whether you plan to grow it in the garden or in a container.
Remove your Tibouchina from its nursery pot and gently loosen the roots. Then set it into the planting hole and refill with the soil and compost mixture you dug out. Water it well and do not expose it to hot, direct sun for several days to one week.
Fertilize after your plant ends a cycle of flowering. Use a balanced plant food, such as one having an N-P-K ratio of 10-10-10, following package instructions for mixing and application.
Prune your Tibouchina as much as you want to keep it a manageable shape and size.
This plant prefers its soil to dry slightly between waterings. Do not allow it to remain in waterlogged soil.
In areas with high summer temperatures, the Tibouchina responds well when you plant it where it will receive some afternoon shade or filtered sun.
To encourage maximum blooming, do not prune off forming flower buds.
If you live in a tropical region, such as Hawaii, beware of introducing this plant or the closely related Tibouchina urvilleana, Melastoma candida and Clidemia hirta to your garden because they are classified as highly invasive species.