Brazilian Rain Tree

Brazilian Raintree ‘Pithecellobium Tortum’ is part of the legume family and native to the Brazil rainforests. This tree has compound leaves which fold up in the evening.


Raintrees like full sun to filtered light. They can be kept indoors but need a lot of light. Can handle temperatures above freezing but protect the tree if below 45°F or during times of extreme heat and sun on the hottest days of summer.


Keep soil evenly moist, never let dry out completely. Provide additional humidity if environment is dry by misting or a humidity tray.


A regular weekly feeding program with a balanced liquid fertilizer during the growing season and once a month during cooler weather will keep the raintree nourished. A slow-release fertilizer will work just as well.

Pruning and Wiring

When cutting branches and twigs leave a small nub to allow for the possible die-back that often occurs. Many artists do not use a concave cutter on the Brazilian raintree for this reason. Later this can be refined. Once the initial trunk and branch shape is established, clip-and-grow is the best way to develop a Brazilian raintree.


Most of the styles used are upright because of the nature of the tree to grow straight when not affected by the winds in their natural habitat. Mame and shohin are excellent possibilities, especially when begun from air layers. I have seen somewhat large branches air layered as good small trees!


The sandy growing environment in Brazil demonstrates how well P. tortum tolerates dry conditions, however it prefers to be evenly moist in a container. By planting it in a fast-draining soil this can be easily accomplished. Marcelo Miller, Rio de Janeiro wrote ” when these trees are collected at seaside, they are replanted in 100% pure sand (no soil).” Too much organic in the soil mix can create wet conditions which causes root rot, fungus and branch die-back.

Pests and Disease

Mostly pest and disease free. If grown indoors, look for common greenhouse pests.