Pithecellobium tortum

Brazilian
rain tree

Bonsai care and maintenance

The Brazilian Rain Tree, as his name suggests, is native to Brazil's rainforests. Its compound leaves fold up when it gets dark and open up again with the light. The pretty puffy flowers have a pleasant scent.

Brazilian rain tree Bonsai video
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Brazilian rain tree Bonsai Care guidelines

Placement

The Brazilian Rain Tree can be kept indoors but needs a lot of light. It prefers a sunny place outside during the growing season. When temperatures drop below 7° C / 45° F the tree should be taken into the house and placed at a window facing south or under grow lights.

Watering

Keep the rootball slightly moist, never let it dry out completely. When the Rain Tree is placed indoors, try to provide extra humidity by spraying or placing the bonsai on a tray with wet gravel. Continue reading about watering Bonsai trees.

Watering

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Fertilizing

Use a liquid fertilizer every week during the growing season and once a month in winter.

Pruning and wiring

When the Brazilian Rain Tree is pruned, leave a small stub in order to avoid a possible die-back. Don't use of a concave cutter on the Brazilian Rain Tree for this reason. Later the dry stubs can be refined. Trim the shoots regularly. Wiring is possible, but the use of guy wires seems to be a better technique for the Rain Tree. Continue reading about pruning Bonsai trees.

Repotting

Repot the Brazilian Rain Tree every two or three years with moderate root pruning. A well-draining soil mix is important to avoid root rot. Continue reading about repotting Bonsai trees.

Propagation

The Brazilian Rain Tree can be propagated from seeds and cuttings. Air-layering is also possible.

Pests and diseases

The Brazilian Rain Tree is quite resistant to most pests and diseases, but it can be attacked by nematodes, which provoke visible root nodules that are integrated into the roots. Use a nematicide in this case. If kept as an indoor plant, aphids, spider mites, and white fly can bother the tree. They can be controlled by using specific pesticides. For more detailed information on these techniques, check out our Bonsai tree care section.

General information about the Brazilian rain tree Bonsai

The Brazilian Rain Tree, or Pithecellobium tortum, is a hardwood tree native to Brazil's rainforests. The Rain Tree has delicate branches and compound leaves with tiny light-green leaflets. The leaves fold up in the evening and open up again in the morning. The fragrant flowers are puffy and white or pinkish. The Brazilian Rain Tree belongs to the legume (Leguminosae) family, together with species including the Acacia, Tamarind and Powder puff. The Rain Tree tolerates dry conditions, however it prefers to be evenly moist in a container. It likes warm temperatures and full sun in nature, but in a bonsai pot it should be protected from extreme heat and sun during the hottest days of tropical summers. The Brazilian Rain tree does not tolerate frost. If you need help identifying your tree, take a look at our Bonsai tree identification guide.

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Fertilizing

Fertilizing

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Tree species

Tree species

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Repotting

Repotting

How to repot your tree

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