Ylang ylang - Cananga odorata


Cananga odorata, known as Ylang Ylang, is a tree up to 12-15 meters tall, native to Indonesia, widespread also in Australia and part of Asia, evergreen or semisempreverde; it has an erect stem, very branched, which gives rise to a well balanced crown; the large leaves are dark green, shiny, lanceolate and with wavy edges; on the lower page they are slightly pubescent.
In spring and autumn it produces numerous leaf axil flowers, solitary or gathered in small bunches; they have 3-5 elongated, pendulous, yellow-greenish petals; the adult trees in the areas of origin bloom throughout the year. The flowers of cananga odorata they have an intense aroma, very penetrating and pleasant, which has long been used in the cosmetic industry, also present in very famous perfumes; the essential oil extracted from the flowers of this particular variety is also used in herbal medicine.


For the best growth of Ylang Ylang specimens it is recommended to place it in a sunny or partially shady place; these trees do not fear the cold very much and can be cultivated in areas with mild winters, but need protection from the cold during the months of December, January and February.
The trees of cananga odorata they have very rapid growth, even specimens of only 2-3 years of age have luxuriant blooms.
When planting a plant of this type it is good to remember the dimensions that the adult specimens will take and establish an adequate space in advance to allow them to grow at their best, without these covering the surrounding plants.


To obtain a good flowering and keep the specimens of this species healthy, from March to October it is necessary to regularly water the cananga odorata trees, avoiding the excesses that can lead to the formation of water stagnations, very harmful for the health of the plants that belong to this particular genus; this type of tree does not tolerate the prolonged dry periods very well.
The well developed trees, which have been planted for some years, do not need watering and can be satisfied with the water resulting from atmospheric precipitation.


The trees that belong to this species native to Indonesia, in the places of origin, generally grow in medium-textured soil, quite soft and loose, which presents a good drainage. It is important that the soil allows the disposal of excess water, so that water stagnations that could compromise health are avoided.
They are however plants of good resistance and rusticity that can easily develop even in soils that are not ideal for them.


The multiplication of cananga odorata trees occurs by seed, or even by cutting; the easy germination of the seeds has made this plant widespread in some areas of the globe, where it is even considered a weed tree for its ease of development and propagation, as well as for the rapid growth it presents.

Ylang ylang - Cananga odorata: Pests and diseases

This variety of plants has a rustic and resistant character and, in general, is not affected by pests or diseases. For this reason it does not require special cultivation techniques or pesticide treatments.