Tropical Florida Gardens - What's in Bloom at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates?

Tropical Florida Gardens

What's in Bloom at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates?

Planting & Caring For Your Tropical Hydrangea (Pink Ball, Dombeya Wallichii)

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 28th

            If you are interested in adding a striking new specimen to your garden, then perhaps you might consider planting one of the Dombeya varieties. The Pink Ball, better known as Tropical Hydrangea, is a large shrub or small tree that provides a beautiful show of color in the first months of the year that last for over a month.

             Some say that Dombeyas smell like frosted cake. Their pendulous flowers are round in shape and resemble pompoms hanging about the leaves. Once the flowers have finished their blooming cyle they will remain for quite some time, so it is best to remove them in order to keep a neat appearance.

Caring for Tropical Hydrangea:

  • Watering your Dombeya may be necessary in the dry months as it an average to high water consumer
  • Plant your new shrub in a sunny to partially sunny location
  • Allow enough space for the shrub to grow up to 15 feet (it can be maintained at a smaller size with regular pruning after the plant is done flowering)
  • It can be pruned back as needed without deforming the shrub
  • Dombeyas are fast growers and need some fertilizer in the growing season
  • It is possible to grow Tropical Hydrangea in a container (however, they perform the best when planted in the ground)
  • It performs best in temperatures above the low 30’s and it will lose its leaves if the temperature dips into the 20’s
  • It is best suited for sub-tropical to tropical climates, but has been grown in zones 9B with some frost protection

            We have several varieties planted at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates; a pink variety called Dombeya wallichii and a white variety known as Dombeya pulchra. 

             The Tropical Hydrangea will be a great addition to your garden and will offer you an exciting display when in flower. Pink Ball is available for purchase in one gallon containers at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates Garden Shoppe.

13 Responses

  1. Jeff Szilage Says:

    Please confirm that you have Dombeya Wallichii or Tropical Hydrangea in 1 gallon containers in your garden shop. How much are they?

    Posted on August 4th, 2013 at 9:07 am

  2. claire olson Says:

    What a beauty! In our climate, however, would not survive. How adaptable is this plant to the indoors thru the winter? We have had good luck with Brugmansia and Hibiscus indoors in winter and back out for summer. And, if adaptable, do they ship well?


    Posted on January 25th, 2014 at 1:55 pm

  3. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Claire-Yes-Dombeyas are beautiful tropical (highly tropical)-we call them the tropical hydrangea because we miss regular hydrangea. They will lose their leaves when they are shipped, but will get them back as the weather warms. This is a large shrub (10 feet high and 6 feet wide). Not easy to grow in a pot and to bring inside every winter. Just enjoy in pictures or come visit us at the Edison Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers. The plant blooms in the winter so it wouldn’t do well in a cold climate when it blooms in your off-season.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    Posted on January 30th, 2014 at 8:16 am

  4. Lauren Brooks Says:

    Im wondering if you have this plant available for sale? The link to the store only shows a book for sale. Please let me know via email with the price.
    (I can pick up)

    Posted on February 19th, 2014 at 8:35 am

  5. Carol Drury Says:

    Does Dombeya Wallichii attract birds and butterflys?

    Thank you for your help.

    Posted on April 30th, 2014 at 2:29 pm

  6. Hoa Tran Says:

    I live in Massachusetts and have recently bought a pink ball tree in a 4-inch pot. Are you saying that this plant would not do well in a container and be brought inside for the winter? Please give advice as to what kind of potting mix is best, and whether this plant can be kept small in a container. Thanks.

    Posted on May 27th, 2014 at 9:14 am

  7. Susan Tuttle Says:

    Do you currently have a pink dombeya (pink ball) bush available? We just got into bee keeping, and want winter blooming plants. Thank you, Susan

    Posted on May 27th, 2014 at 9:44 pm

  8. janet klein Says:

    we are sitting in our kitchen looking out at our Dombeya Wallichiii now and it burst into bloom today, New Years Day and the flowers are like champagne to the hummingbirds! beautiful plant.. I must say that calling it a shrub can be has the appearance of being a tree and is fast growing..Now that you identify this a sa shrub, I can see why we do have to do so much pruning from the sides of the trunk and suckers from the keep it’s tree shape.. amazing and unusual!!

    Posted on January 1st, 2015 at 2:40 pm

  9. Nancy Burton Says:

    I live in the Bradenton-Sarasota area and I would like to find a hydrangea that will grow here. I have a northern exposure with filtered light in front of my porch. No afternoon sun, but filtered morning sun. Any recommendations?

    Posted on March 13th, 2015 at 10:46 am

  10. Charlotte Nycklemoe Says:

    My dombeya plant has lush green leaves but now I see there are many holes in the leaves that have developed over the last couple of weeks. What do I do?

    Posted on June 22nd, 2016 at 11:55 am

  11. James Johnson Says:

    I have a house in Thailand and would love to grow hydrangeas there. I have not found them available in local nurseries. Do you have seeds for tropical hydrangeas?

    Posted on August 8th, 2016 at 7:13 pm

  12. kathy Says:

    my dombeya has leaves and flowers on top, but from the bottom of the dombeya to the flowers on top there is not a leaf to be seen. What can I do?

    Posted on May 15th, 2017 at 11:07 am

  13. kathy Says:

    my dombeya has flowers on top along with leaves, but from the bottom of the plant to the top there aren’ any leaves at all. What can I do?

    Posted on May 15th, 2017 at 11:08 am