Saraca Asoca, Sita Ashok, Ashoka Tree – Plant
Saraca indica is a small evergreen tree. The leaves are paripinnate with 6 to 12 leaflets, oblong and rigidly sub-coriaceus.
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Ashoka tree is one of the most legendary and sacred trees in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Although it is originally a wild tree, growing it at home is not at all difficult. With the various medical properties and beautiful appearance of the tree, it is definitely worth a place in your garden.
Ashoka trees are fairly easy to grow.The only fuss about them is watering. They should be watered very carefully depending on the type of soil.
The tree flourishes under direct sunlight. It has no qualms with the hot overhead sun. The optimum temperature is 20-35 degrees Celsius.
The gardener should water the plants very carefully considering the soil type and the extent to which it can drain itself. Generally, the trees need lots of water during the summer and moderate amounts of water during winter. Watering should be scheduled so that the top of the soil is moist. The soil should be allowed to dry between watering sessions.
The plant grows well in soil with good drainage capacity.
The height of the plant varies from 3-40 feet.
To prune the plants properly, the gardener should know about the minimum height and width of the plant. The plant can be pruned all year round but preferably when they are dormant.
Pruning of the Ashoka tree involves removing the damaged leaves, dead branches, and dead leaves.
The most common disease of Ashoka tree is red blotches on its leaves. These red blotches weaken the trees by hampering photosynthesis. A tree suffering from blotches should be pruned properly to eliminate all the damaged leaves. Pruning also helps in increasing the air and light supply to the plant. Further, the plants should not be overwatered or overcrowded. The plant should be watered adequately but the soil should be allowed to dry before the next watering. Mulching also helps in this case. But care should be taken that it does not suffocate the stem. Fertilizers should not be applied unless it is recommended by a soil test to correct a nutrient deficiency.
The Ashoka tree bears startling yellow and orange coloured flowers mainly in January and February. The flowers appear in clusters which cling close to every branch or twig. The clusters consist of various small, long-tubed flowers which open up into four lobes.
Thebark of the Ashoka tree serves medicinal purposes and is said to have a stimulating effect on the endometrium and ovarian tissue. Though professional advice is necessary before using the tree medicinally. The bright flowers and the beautiful foliage of the tree make it an ornamental tree.