Tibouchina are a varied group of plants, all are commonly called the ‘Glory Bush’, Purple Glory Flower and sometimes the Princess Flower. It is Tibouchina urvilleana (syn. T. semidecandra) and T. grandiflora that are most widely grown.
Although these plants are native to tropical to sub tropical climates they can be grown in much cooler areas.
They thrive in Florida, most of California, Texas and Louisiana. However they also grow well as far north as New York and New Jersey.
In a protected frost free position they are very adaptable plants.
Although different species and hybrids are available, all require similar care and attention.
Grown for the masses of purple flowers that appear in late summer this is an easy care plant in zones 9 to 11.
As it is also easy to prune, and a few dwarf varieties are becoming available it can also be grown in containers which means it is easy to grow outside of the zones.
Tibouchina are particularly popular in Florida, North and South Carolina, California and Louisiana.
These are a plant that require a good humus rich soil, moisture through summer, along with good drainage.
They are not regarded as frost or drought tolerant, however are very hardy and will bounce back from occasional light frosts.
A lack of moisture in the heat of summer will see them wilt, especially if planted in full sun.
A deep watering once a week in summer is usually adequate and we recommend planting them in a position where they receive afternoon shade. In colder zones, grow these attractive plants in containers and overwinter them on an enclosed patio, or indoors.
Regular tip pruning will not only keep the plants smaller and easier to manage, it will also help promote more flowers.
You can also prune them back hard, almost to one central trunk before overwintering them.
Always use sterilised pruning shears to prevent disease, water and fertilise after pruning to assist with new growth.
Many named varieties are offered for sale, including the smaller growing or dwarf cultivars. It is from these 3 main species that we see the best varieties, including some hybrids.
- Tibouchina urvilleana is perhaps the most commonly grown species, it will reach around 6 ft in height.
- Tibouchina granulose is taller growing and can be trained into a small tree at around 15ft tall.
- The smallest growing species is Tibouchina heteromalla, small growing to around 3 ft in height and ideal for containers.