Chitalpa El Niño™ Desert Orchid

Chitalpa El Niño™ Desert Orchid
Chitalpa El Niño™ Desert Orchid

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5 (1)
Long Blooming in Fragrant, Orchid-Like Flowers
SKU 29324
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Item Form
Key Characteristics

6 - 9

Mature Height

8 Feet

Mature Width

6 Feet

Sun / Shade

Full Sun, Part Shade

Moisture Level

Moist, well-drained

Description / Chitalpa El Niño™ Desert Orchid

A Proven Winners® ColorChoice® Flowering Shrubs variety, Chitalpa El Niño™ Desert Orchid is a deciduous shrub or miniature tree that blooms in late spring/early summer, continuing sporadically throughout the summer. The fragrant, dark purple, pollinator-friendly flowers look very much like orchids and attract bees to the garden.

Chitalpa El Niño is an intergeneric hybrid of desert willow (Chilopsis linearis) and catalpa (Catalpa sp.), commonly called desert orchid. Its tolerance to poor soils and dry heat comes from Chilopsis, and its mildew resistance is attributed to Catalpa. Its compact, pyramidal habit of light-green leaves makes El Niño a gorgeous specimen, but it is shown to best effect when massed or grouped in beds, borders, and foundation plantings. It also makes a great screen or hedge.

Chitalpa El Niño grows best in sunny to partly sunny locations with well-draining soil. At the colder end of its hardiness range, it may die back to the ground in cold winters. Wait until new growth begins to emerge before removing any dead wood. Any desired pruning should be done in early spring.

A native hybrid, Chitalpa El Niño is indigenous to North America. Native plants are not only beautiful but also environmentally friendly. Naturally adapted to the climate and soil conditions of the region, they thrive without fertilizers or extra watering, once established. They also act as natural pest controls, reducing the need for pesticides in the garden. Landscaping with native plants promotes biodiversity and provides shelter and quality food for wildlife and pollinators, bringing gardens to life.

Product Details

Item Form 1-Quart
Genus x Chitalpa
Species hybrid
Variety 'NCXC1'
Plant Patent PPAF
Product Classification Shrubs
Habit Upright
USDA Zone Low 6
USDA Zone High 9
Sun / Shade Full Sun, Part Shade
Bloom Color Magenta
Bloom Season Start Early Summer
Bloom Season End Late Summer
Foliage Color Medium Green
Resistance Deer Resistance
Special Features Butterfly Lovers, Easy Care Plants, Fragrance
Uses Beds, Specimen
Zone 6, 7, 8, 9
State Shipping Restrictions GU, HI, ID, PR, VI

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Customer Reviews

Review by Charlotte
I bought 2 El Ni├▒o Desert Orchids last year bc I was so taken by the photos and description. I held my breath when the little plants arrived just hoping they would perform. I was thrilled to see, in their first year, both grew and bloomed well!

I planted both in full sun, fairly dry spots. We hand water pretty regularly. The spot with slightly more sun and better drainage did a little better than the other. That plant still has its leaves and we are in late December.

IÔÇÖd guess the bigger of the two is about 24ÔÇŁ after its first growing season. It bloomed early summer, then repeated again later summer. Blooms were abundant and very long lasting.

IÔÇÖm excited to see what they do in coming growing seasons! I was very happy with their growth and bloom in this, their very first year!

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