Paulownia tomentosa [syn. imperalis] (Foxglove/Princess Tree) seeds
A very fine tree with beautiful, soft, downy, large leaves and gorgeous, foxglove-like flowers. As the flower buds are formed in autumn, they are often damaged by late frosts in this country and as such is best grown as a stooled tree, ie. all growth is cut down to ground level in March. The result is a splendid, architectural plant with absolutely huge, exotic leaves which has an amazing growth rate - shoots can often reach up to 3m in a season. Used to great effect by many well-known TV gardeners in their planting schemes!
Height: up to 3m but best cut back every year to ground level.
Packet of 50 or 250 seeds
Sowing Instructions: Sow any time of year. Sow onto the surface of a moist, free-draining peat based seed compost (eg. Levington). Do not cover seed and do not exclude light which is beneficial to germination. Propagate at 18 to 20C in a propagator, greenhouse or on a windowsill indoors sealed in a polythene bag. Germination should begin to take place in 30 to 60 days. As soon as some of the seedlings begin to emerge, ventilate gradually by opening the propagator vents or the bag, then maintain a temperature of around 15C and take care not to over-water.
Growing Instructions: When large enough to handle, pot up individually into 9cm pots. Grow on in cooler conditions (about 13-15C) with plenty of light, but shaded from direct sun and over-winter in a frost-free greenhouse or coldframe. When established, gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions and grow on until mature enough to be planted out in the garden in a sunny position. After the first growing season, cut back all growth to ground level each March.