Jacaranda trees (Jacaranda mimosifolia) are tall blooming trees that cannot grow to maturity in a plant container in a balcony garden. Just like many trees, this tree can be grown in a balcony garden (or even indoors if you have a sunny spot) while it is young. Eventually every Jacaranda in a plant container will need to be transplanted into the ground, so you may have to part with your Jacaranda someday (unless you buy a house with a nice big yard).
These trees are native to South America and grow to 50 feet. They have bloom several times a year with an abundance of purple flowers (which will litter the floor below it – they need to be cleaned up right away or they will rot and smell.) The Jacaranda flourishes in the Southwest, and they can even be grown in Florida and other southeastern states. You may not be successful in growing the Jacaranda tree outside if you live in a colder climate because it doesn’t take well to frost. You may need to overwinter it indoors.
After the Jacaranda flowers, it will produce fruit (seed packets), which should be picked dry and off the tree (if the packet is on the ground, it probably has already released its seeds). Collect a couple of seed packets from a local park, crack open the packet and plant the seeds found inside. Sprouting takes two to three weeks, and they will grow slowly, looking like ferns in their first year.
Small Jacaranda trees can grow in shade, but more mature trees need more sun. Don’t expect your young trees to produce the Jacaranda’s beautiful purple blooms, though. Only older Jacaranda trees will bloom.
Growing this tree from seed is an interesting project, and may pay off if you can sell or trade in your young trees at a friendly local garden shop. If you live in an area where there are Jacarandas, the seeds will be easy to collect, and the small trees are easy to grow alongside the other container plants in your balcony garden.