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How to Grow Tibouchina – Glory Bush

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Tibouchina is a tropical evergreen shrub grown for its showy deep-purple and satiny textured saucer- to cup-shaped, 5-petaled flowers. Tibouchina flowers appear among ovate or elliptic velvety mid- to dark green leaves.

Tibouchina grows from 10 to 20 feet (3-6m) tall and 6 to 10 feet (2-3m) wide in tropical and subtropical regions. It is a colorful addition to a shrub border or can be grown as a specimen. Where temperatures fall below 45°F (7°C), Tibouchina can be grown as a houseplant or in a container that can go outdoors in summer.

Tibouchina grows best in fertile, moist, but well-drained soil. It can be grown in full sun but should be protected from the midday sun in hot regions. It also should be protected from a constant breeze or wind that can tear or suck moisture from its leaves.

Tibouchina is a genus of about 350 species of evergreen shrubs and subshrubs native to rainforests in Mexico, the West Indies, and tropical South America. One species, Tibouchina urvilleana, is commonly cultivated in gardens and as houseplants.

Get to know Tibouchina

  • Plant type: Tropical evergreen shrubs
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 12-15
  • Hardiness: Half-hardy; grow indoors when temperatures fall below 45°F (7°C)
  • Height and width: 10 to 20 feet (3-6m), 6-10 feet (2-3m) wide
  • Foliage: Large, elliptic, ovale, leathery leaves with prominent veins in pairs
  • Flowers: Saucer- to cup-shaped mostly 5-petaled flowers borne singly or in threes
  • Bloom time: Summer to autumn
  • Uses: Shrub border, specimen, houseplant
  • Common name: Tibouchina, glory bush, peacock flower, tiger flower
  • Botanical name: Tibouchina
  • Family name: Melastomataceae
  • Origin: Rainforests in Mexico, West Indies, tropical South America, especially Brazil
Glory flower, Tibouchina urvilleana
Glory bush, Tibouchina urvilleana

Where to plant Tibouchina

  • Light outdoors: Grow outdoors in full sun with shade from hot sun.
  • Light indoors: Grow Tibouchina indoors in full, bright light.
  • Soil outdoors: Grow in moist fertile soil.
  • Soil indoors: Grow Tibouchina in a soil-based potting mix.

When to plant Tibouchina

  • Set container-grown Tibouchina outdoors in spring.

Planting and spacing Tibouchina

  • Space Tibouchina 6-10 feet (2-3m) apart.

How to water and feed Tibouchina

  • Water Tibouchina freely during the growing season; water sparingly in winter.
  • Fertilize Tibouchina with a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly.

Tibouchina care

  • Shelter Tibouchina from wind; wind can cause papery brown spots on leaves.

Growing Tibouchina as a houseplant

  • Grow Tibouchina in a room with average tempeature, bright light, and medium humidity.
  • The growin medium should be well drained, soilless and evenly moist at all times.
  • Fertilize Tibouchina every month during spring and summer.

Tibouchina pests and diseases

  • Spider mites can attack Tibouchina.
  • Gray mod, mushroom root rot, leaf spots and root rot can occur.

Tibouchina propagation

  • Sow seed in warm soil.
  • Root softwood cuttings in late spring or semi-ripe cuttings in summer, both with bottom heat.

Tibouchina varieties to grow

  • Tibouchina urvilleana, glory bush. Grows 10 to 20 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide (4 to 6 feet tall indoors); erect to spreading shrub; 4-angled, red-hairy stems and olblong to ovae or elliptic, velvety mid to dark green leaves 2 to 3 inches long; satin-texture, saucer-shaped, deep purple flowers 2 inches across with dark hooked stamens.

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.

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