The Chinese Tallow tree grows best in full sun and can tolerate some shade. It should be planted in well-drained soil, and is drought-tolerant once established. Watering should be moderate, as overly wet soil in conjunction with full sun can be fatal to the tree. It is hardy to USDA zones 9-11, but can be grown in colder regions with certain precautions.
When growing the Chinese Tallow tree in cold regions, the soil should remain very lightly moist and the root system should be insulated with mulch. Planting in a container will help protect the roots and insulate them better at the same time, since a pot can be placed in interior part of the room or greenhouse during cold winter nights to minimize tree distress. The container should be large enough to hold sufficient soil and encourage sustained, healthy growth. Make sure to select a pot with adequate drainage, as standing water can cause root rot.
The Chinese Tallow tree is a native to China and a popular ornamental choice with pale-green foliage, an appropriate height of 10-20 ft and a rounded or conical crown. It produces attractive small red fruits, which serve as an excellent source of seeds for ethnomedical uses. The foliage provides a splendid autumn show of yellow, orange, and maroon along with successively whitening fruits. However, this species has been considered invasive in certain regions.
The Chinese Tallow tree can thrive in a wide range of soils and conditions, making it a great ornamental for a variety of outdoor spaces. While its growth and care requirements are low, gardeners in cold regions should take extra precautions to ensure the longevity and vitality of their trees.