Disneyland’s Pink Trumpet Trees & How to Grow Them
Southern California is already blessed with relatively mild winters, and still at the end of it, as the season transitions from late winter into spring, Disneyland guests are treated to something truly spectacular: the blooming of the Pink Trumpet Trees, or tabebuia trees. You can find them at various places around the parks (near Dumbo and the Casey Jr. Train in Fantasyland or by Minnie’s House in Toontown, among others), but the real stop-you-in-your-tracks sight is at the Hub. In my opinion, seeing Walt, Mickey, and Sleeping Beauty Castle framed by a riot of pink is as close to magic as real life can ever come.
These trees obviously thrive in Southern California, and I’ve noticed that some of my local neighborhoods have started planting the same, or at the very least extremely similar, trees. This led me to think that this might be a good tree to plant in a garden I could have if someday I live somewhere with a yard.
Here’s what I gathered from researching the basic requirements. If you’re looking to add a show-stopper to your own landscape, or (like me) thinking about your own future yard or garden, this is a good place to start:
Tabebuia Information & Requirements
Botanical name: tabebuia impetiginosa or handroanthus impetiginosus
Common name: Pau d’Arco or pink trumpet tree
Origin: Central to South America
Where it will grow: zones 10a-11 (find your zone)
Light requirement: full sun
Water requirement: regular watering in the first growing season to establish a deep and extensive root system, occasional watering after established with less watering in the winter.
Soil requirement: pH range of 6.1-7.8; very little fertilizing needed, and mostly just during the first growing season
Mature size: generally 25-30 ft tall and wide
While late winter/early spring is when this tree truly shines, it’s beautiful year round. In the winter, it will drop all of its leaves before the flowers bloom, which leads into several weeks of luminous pink blossoms, like pink clouds. At the end, the pink flowers will gradually be replaced by leaves.
If you’re determined to go the full DIY route, or you’re an avid gardener, this article from the SFGate provides general information on how to grow tabebuia trees from seeds.
Otherwise, contact your local nursery to see if they have young trees for sale, or for information on where to get them. I’d contact the nursery and/or a local landscape architect to find the best spot for the tree and determine the best plants that are native to your area and would make good companions for the tree.
Have you seen the pink trumpet trees in full bloom at Disneyland? Are you interested in planting one of your own or do you already have one?