Planting a loose tree - tips for location & soil

The exotic lot tree is a feast for the eyes in every front yard. So that it also thrives splendidly, there are a few things to watch out for when planting.

If you like it exotic, you will really enjoy the breathtaking lottery tree. The large flowers and leaves conjure up an Asian flair in the home garden. And the best thing about it: all without much effort, because the (bot.) Clerodendrum trichotomum is really frugal. Nevertheless, we have summarized the most important things about the so-called tree of fate.

Profile Losbaum - Interesting facts about Clerodendrum trichotomum

Height and width
  • usually 1.5 to 2.5 or 3 meters high and wide
  • in the wine-growing climate, a height of five meters and a width of four meters is also possible
  • as a shrub or small tree
  • the lot tree usually has several trunks
  • it grows very slowly (5 to 20 cm per year)
  • Flachwurzler
  • widespread and fleshy root
  • often forms foothills
  • since the roots are very sensitive, be careful when working close
  • the crown is loose and open
  • it can also become umbrella-shaped in old age
  • the leaves of the lotus tree are large and elliptical or egg-shaped
  • they grow up to 8 to 14 cm long
  • they appear purple during the shoot
  • later the leaves are dark green
  • the curtain remains until the first frost, after which they fall off without autumn color
  • if you touch the leaves more firmly, a strong smell comes out
  • The lotus tree is in full bloom from July / August to September
  • they are about three centimeters tall
  • their color is white-red
  • they grow like umbels
  • her goblet is green-red
  • the scent is reminiscent of vanilla
  • the fruits are pea-sized and juicy
  • their color varies between light, dark and black-blue
  • unfortunately they are not edible

Different lot tree types

Since there are around 150 species of this genus Loose Trees, a look at the subspecies is worthwhile. The best-known representatives in German gardens include:

  • Clerodendrum trichotomum fargesii (lighter leaves, turquoise fruits, pink goblets)
  • Clerodendrum bungei (large pink flowers)
  • Clerodendrum bungei Pink Diamond (red buds, pink flower umbels)
  • Clerodendrum speciosissimum (orange-red flowers)
  • Clerodendrum thomsoniae (white-scarlet flowers)
  • Clerodendrum ugandense (long blue panicles)

Advantages and disadvantages of the lot tree

✔ Thanks to its relatively small size and width, the Clerodendrum trichotomum is also ideal for smaller gardens.
✔ Under the wine-growing climate, the shrub or small tree unfolds its full size.
✔ Except for water and fertilizer, the so-called fate tree is easy to care for.
✔ Trimming is minimal.
✔ Fertilization is also limited.
✔ The flowers enchant with a great scent reminiscent of vanilla.
✔ There are numerous types available, which differ in colors and care needs.
✔ You can sit on the terrace in its shade
✖ Unfortunately, the fruits of the Clerodendrum trichotomum are not edible. In traditional Chinese medicine, however, people swear by extracts from the loose tree as a hypertension agent.
✖ It is frost hardy only up to approx. 15 ° C below zero. Officially, the indication -20 ° C is sometimes used, but you shouldn't rely on that. The location and the winter protection used is definitely decisive for successful wintering. We explain more about this in our guide “Maintaining a lottery tree”.

Doom Tree - the alternative name and its meaning

It is believed that this 'fateful' description of the tree goes back to ancient times. The semi-poisonous berries are said to have decided the fate of offenders at that time. They were given the fruits and their survival or death was placed in God's hands. Anyone who survived the consumption was considered innocent. If the person died as a result of this measure, it was assumed that he was guilty.

Planting a lottery tree - that's what matters

❖ Shape:

Similar to the apple thorn, you can also plant the plant as a shrub or small tree in the loose tree. If you let nature run free, you can soon look forward to an expansive, bushy growing large shrub. Whoever fixes the trunk to sticks while planting influences the direction of growth. So the tree of fate soon lives up to its name.

❖ Location:

The Clerodendrum trichotomum and its pollinators love it sunny and warm. However, the shrubs in their original habitat benefit from the protection of the sparse forest, since they are found there in particular as wild hedges on the edges of the forest. That is why the lot tree also copes very well in partial shade. Ideally, the blazing midday sun is avoided, but generally heat is not a problem.

Temperatures up to 15 ° C below zero cannot harm the lot tree. At lower values, it is unfortunately less frost hardy. Therefore the Clerodendrum trichotomum is happy about a protected place.

The exotic wood has to be cross-pollinated, which is why it is recommended that several or at least two shrubs be planted. The background: Although the flowers have female and male genital organs, they are hardly able to fertilize each other. The female stamps only mature when the male stamens have already faded. The lotus tree is quite attractive for pollinating insects.

❖ floor:

The Japanese lotus tree, which is mostly found as an ornamental shrub in domestic gardens, thrives best in fresh, slightly damp garden soil, but waterlogging should be avoided. Permeable substrates are therefore ideally suited. The loose tree is extremely tolerant of the soil pH. Despite its hardy properties, it should be covered with leaves if the frost persists on the ground.

However, the soil itself should not be too nutritious, otherwise the shoots will not mature well in the autumn season.

❖ Instructions:

Many specialist retailers offer shrubs with bales that can be planted in the garden in no time at all. To do this, proceed as follows:

❶ First a hole is prepared for the lot tree. This should be about twice the size of the root ball of the young plant.
❷ The bottom of the planting hole should be loosened to make it easier for the crop to settle.
❸ The young Clerodendrum trichotomum can now be inserted.
❹ The free space around the bale is filled with the excavated earth.
❺ This should be pressed on well so that the loose tree has a good hold and the soil does not slip when watering.
❻ Especially in the first weeks after planting, the loose tree should be watered extensively.

If everything went well, you can look forward to the first flowering the following year. If it doesn't go so quickly: don't give up! Some gardeners report that the first flowering only appeared in the fourth year after planting.

❖ Plant the lot tree in the bucket

Planting in a bucket is similar. For this we recommend a substrate made of clay, sand, grit, bark compost and horn shavings. Alternatively, conventional potting soil is of course also suitable.

Combine lottery tree

Like humans, there are plants that harmonize better than others. Therefore, in the following we give an overview of which crops grow particularly well under or near the lot tree.

kindRecommended plants
Flowers and herbs
  • hibiscus
  • Hydrangea
  • astilbe
  • Liriope
  • Saxifrage or Saxifraga
  • Meadow diamond or Thalictrum
trees and shrubs
  • gold larch
  • Japanese maple
  • Mulberry trees
  • cork trees
  • bladder ash
  • ferns