Cubanola, also known as Portlandia, is a slow-growing small tree that is native to Cuba and is known for its attractive off-white, greenish, trumpet-shaped flowers that have a fragrance reminiscent of warm chocolate. This plant is suitable for growing in hardiness zones 9-11 and prefers filtered light, although it can also be grown in full sun, which will result in more profuse flowering but smaller leaves. The leaves of the Cubanola plant are silvery-green and shiny, and it is important to water the plant regularly but avoid overwatering and ensure that the soil is loose and well-drained. This plant grows slowly, adding about 4-5 inches per year, and may initially grow as a tall single stem before filling out and becoming more shrub-like with age.
Cubanola plant is cold sensitive and should be planted with protection from winter winds in order to prevent the leaves from dropping and the plant from being knocked to the ground by severe cold. However, with proper care, the plant should recover from cold temperatures. The Cubanola plant is an excellent choice for attracting pollinators such as hummingbirds and butterflies, and its fragrant flowers last from late spring through the fall, adding beautiful color to the garden.
In colder climates, it is a good idea to plant the Cubanola in a pot so that it can be moved inside during the cold winter months. When planting, mix in some grit or sharp sand and place the plant in partial sun. Keep in mind that the roots will fill the container within a few years and you may need to repot the plant into a larger pot. Fertilize the root ball in early spring with a balanced fertilizer to promote healthy growth. This large shrub or small tree is easy to care for and will surely brighten up any landscape with its attractive flowers. Don't wait - plant Cubanola today and let it bring beauty to your doorstep!