Golden Rain Tree – Care, Growing, Watering, Flowering, Propagation

Golden Rain Tree, also known as Koelreuteria paniculata is one of those rare trees in the United States that are famous for their midsummer flowerings.

They bloom beautiful yellow flowers followed by colorful fruits that resemble Japanese lanterns. The colors of the fruits change from green to yellow and it develops into a stunning fleshy pink color.

In this article I am going to offer you a closer look at this mesmerizing plant. Also, I am going to discuss some useful care tips and the most common questions regarding the Golden Rain Tree.

Golden Rain Tree Care Tips

To fully understand the ideal environment and cultivation requirements of the Golden Rain Tree, let’s take the plant care tips one by one:

Plant size

Regarding its size, at its full potential the Koelreuteria paniculata grows 30-40 feet high. The flowers usually get 12 inches long, while the length of the leaflet blade reaches a length of 2 to 4 inches.

This relatively small sized plant can be a great choice for those who prefer plants that don’t require a large space, since it fits perfectly into small urban backyards and gardens.

Light Requirements

Golden Rain Tree enjoys bright, sunny locations. You don’t have to worry about too much light exposure, this plant performs the best if it is placed in full sun.

To help the plant reach its full potential, try to find a spot where it can be at direct light for 6 hours a day. If this is not possible, there is nothing to worry about either: The Golden Rain Tree performs well in shade too.

This stunning yellow flowering tree is a perfect option for urban planting, and it makes a beautiful patio tree, rewarding the cultivator with a light shade.

When placing your plant in a certain spot, there is one important thing you should be careful about. Due to the brittleness of the wood, the plant can break easily and usually the damage is done by the wind. So next to the light requirements, take this factor too into consideration.


When it comes to watering, Golden Rain Tree appreciates regular watering, especially during the growing season.

There are many benefits of having a Golden Rain Tree, but one of them is definitely their tolerance to drought and flooding. Whether you forgot to water it or accidentally you flooded it, it won’t damage the health of your plant.

Temperature & humidity

Being outdoor plants, Rain Trees enjoy warm temperatures and they make sure of you knowing this by blooming beautiful large flowers during the summer.

From late spring until mid-fall they perform the best. But they grow and bloom perfectly as well in backyards or gardens in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9.

Soil type

Regarding the planting soil, the Rain Tree grows the fastest and performs the best in rich moist and well-drained soil.

It can be planted in a broad range of soils if the soil is well drained. Soil types such as clay, sand, loam, alkaline, acidic soils are all good options when planting your Golden Rain Tree.

However, be careful with compacted soils because Rain Trees can develop root rot when planted in those.


Fertilize your Rain Tree once per month during the first 3 years after planting it. You can do this by using a 16-8-8 tree or shrub fertilizer.

Potting & Repotting

Rain Trees can be easily planted in your garden in a bright, sunny place. They also enjoy being planted in containers, above-ground planters, large or medium-sized parking lot islands or even in medium to wide lawns.

In case they are planted close to a vehicular or pedestrian passage, the pruning of the tree is required. Being thin and easy-to-damage by mechanical impact, the pruning process can actually help the Rain Tree gain a stronger structure.

When it comes to transplanting the tree, the recommended time to do this is in the spring. Golden Rain Trees transplanted in autumn sometimes have difficulties surviving the winter period.

Golden Rain Tree Propagation

The Golden Rain Tree can be propagated by seeds. To increase the chance of germination, it is advised to soak the tree seeds for 24 hours in warm water.

The best time to plant the seeds in their final location is late spring or the beginning of summer. The reason for this timing is that during that period there is no chance of frost, which could damage the plant.

Golden Rain Tree FAQs

After learning the requirements of planting and growing a Golden Rain Tree, let’s see the most common questions coming from Rain Tree cultivars:

What are the possible diseases of Golden Rain Tree?

Rain Trees don’t require much attention and maintenance and as you could see they are highly tolerant of dry sites, occasional drought and alkaline soil too.

However, canker diseases, leaf spots are possible and sometimes it is attacked by insects as well. In order to make sure your plant is not in danger, check the branches regularly for scale insects.

You can also spray your tree in the spring using a horticultural oil such as neem oil. This way you can smother the hidden insect eggs.

How fast do the Golden Rain Tree grow?

The Golden Rain Tree has a moderate or fast growth rate. Naturally, the growing and blooming period can be affected by the soil type it is potting in, the amount of watering and other factors can also play an important role in the development of the plant too.

When does the Golden Rain Tree bloom?

The Rain Tree usually blooms its beautiful bright yellow flower in May. The large panicles that hold the seed pods look like little Chinese lanterns.


As you could see, this stunning tree with yellow to pinkish flowers can be an excellent choice for cultivators who prefer plants that don’t require much maintenance and attention.

The Golden Rain Tree is a very adaptable, beautiful tree that tolerates the challenges of urban conditions. Whether you pot it in a container or in the back of your garden, it will reward you with a little shade you can enjoy while looking at its colorful lantern-like flowers.

Trees   Updated: June 14, 2022
avatar Hi, I'm Amy, a devoted horticulturist and the creator of, where I use my expertise to help beginners foster their green thumbs. My blog is a vibrant community where I unravel the complexities of gardening and share my profound love for nature.
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