Golden Champa (Magnolia champaca) Plant
Golden Champa is one of the most popular flowering trees. It belongs to the Magnoliaceae family, the family of sub-tropical bushes and small trees; It is also one of the ancient families of the plant kingdom having existed for 95 million years. The flowers of Golden Champa are best known and used in India for several purposes. They are primarily used for worship at temples, floated in bowls of water to scent the room, as a fragrant decoration for bridal beds, for garlands, in religious ceremonies, and generally worn in hair by women as a means of beauty ornament as well as a natural perfume. Golden Champa is a very useful agroforestry tree too! It is known to fix the atmospheric nitrogen in soil with the help of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae.
The leaves of the Golden Champa offer highly valuable mulch, enhancing the soil beneath tree cover through pH elevation, augmentation of soil organic carbon, and increased availability of phosphorus. Consequently, it finds application in the reforestation of extensively eroded regions. Silkworms and butterflies utilize its leaves as a source of larval fodder, adding to its ecological significance.
- Light: Plant it in well-draining soil in a sunny or partially shaded location.
- Watering: When the top inch of soil seems dry to the touch, water the plant. Maintain appropriate drainage in the pot to avoid overwatering, which can cause root rot.
- Soil: Use well-draining soil that retains some moisture but doesn’t become waterlogged. A mix of potting soil and perlite works well.
- Fertilization: Feed the plant with a balanced liquid fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). Avoid fertilizing during the dormant period (fall and winter).
- Pruning: To encourage a bushier shape, cut back on lanky or unhealthy growth. Pruning after blooming might encourage new growth and additional flowers.