How to Grow Flamboyant Tree — Delonix

Sharing is caring!

Delonix – commonly called Flamboyant tree–is a wide-spreading, umbrella-shaped tree that grows rapidly to 30 feet (10m) tall and nearly as wide. It has bright green finely cut, fern-like leaves and bears large trusses of orange to scarlet flowers with white markings from spring to early summer. Delonix is also sometimes called Royal Poinciana (though there is another tree that more commonly goes by that name) or flame tree.

Delonix is easy to grow but sensitive to cold and also to long, dry seasons. Where winters are chilly or summers are long and dry, Delonix which is semi-evergreen will be fully deciduous.

Where Delonix is not hardy it can be grown in a greenhouse as a foliage plant but will usually not flower.

Delonix is a genus of 10 tree species native to open dry forests in Madagascar, tropical Africa, and India. The variety Delonix regia is commonly grown in gardens.

Delonix regia
Delonix regia, Flamboyant tree

Get to know Delonix 

  • Plant type: Deciduous, semi-evergreen, or evergreen trees 
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 10-11
  • Hardiness: Hardy to Zone 10
  • Height and width: To 30 feet (10m) tall and 15-30 feet (5-10m) wide 
  • Growth rate: Fast 
  • Form and habit: Wide-spreading, umbrella-shaped 
  • Foliage: Elegant, alternate, 2 foot (.6m) long, 2-pinnate, fern-like leaves cling to the branches for a year or more before dropping 
  • Flowers: Large, terminal, corymb-like racemes of irregularly shaped, 5-petaled flowers 
  • Fruits: 2 feet (.6m) black seedpods, which hang on bare branches in winter 
  • Bloom time: Early summer 
  • Uses: Specimen, shade trees, lawn ornament  
  • Common name: Flamboyant, Roya poinciana 
  • Botanical name: Delonix 
  • Family name: Fabaceae 
  • Origin: Madagascar, tropical Africa, and India 

Where to plant Delonix 

  • Plant Delonix in full sun.  
  • Plant Delonix in fertile, moist but well-drained soil.  
  • Shelter Delonix from strong winds. 

When to plant Delonix 

  • Set container-grown Delonix in the garden in spring or autumn.
  • Sow Delonix seed at 64-70°F (18-21°C) in spring. 
Delonix in autumn
Flame Tree, Royal Poinciana or Delonix regia in autumn

Planting and spacing Delonix 

  • Plant Delonix 15-30 feet (5-10m) apart.  
  • Delonix this buttress roots may lift up pavements if they are planted near a street. 

How to water and feed Delonix 

  • Give Delonix regular water. 
  • Feed Delonix with an all-purpose organic fertilizer in spring. 

How to care for Delonix 

  • Delonix are easy to grow, but sensitive to cold. 
  • Pruning Delonix is rarely required.  

Delonix pests and diseases 

  • Delonix are susceptible to attacks by thornbugs.  
  • Crown gall, mushroom root rot, wood rot, leaf spots, and dieback can also be a problem. 
Blooming red flowers Delonix regia
Blooming red flowers Delonix regia

Delonix propagation 

  • Sow Delonix seed at room temperature.
  • Root semi-ripe Delonix cuttings in summer, with bottom heat.  

Delonix varieties to grow 

  • Delonix regia, Flamboyant tree, Flame tree, Royal poinciana, semi-evergreen tree, fully deciduous in areas with a long dry season. It has a wide -spreading, dome-shaped crown and broadly ovate, 2-pinnate, bright green leaves, 12-20 inches (30-50cm) long, each pinna divided into 10-25 pairs of elliptic to oblong leaflets. From spring to summer, bears many scarlet flowers, 4-5 inches (10-13cm) across; the standard petals are pale yellow and striped with red. To 30 feet (10m) tall and 15-30 feet (5-10m) wide. Madagascar.  

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

How To Grow Tips

How To Grow Tomatoes

How To Grow Peppers

How To Grow Broccoli

How To Grow Carrots

How To Grow Beans

How To Grow Corn

How To Grow Peas

How To Grow Lettuce

How To Grow Cucumbers

How To Grow Zucchini and Summer Squash

How To Grow Onions

How To Grow Potatoes

How to Grow Paper Mulberry — Broussonetia

How to Grow Diospyros – Persimmon