Ginkgo biloba: planting, growing and caring

Native to China, Ginkgo (ginkgo biloba) or Tree with forty crowns is the only tree of the family of Ginkgoaceae. It is also called the Silver Apricot Tree. It has deciduous foliage. Its leaves have an exceptional shape that cannot be found in any other tree of any species. Devoid of a central vein and composed of two lobes whose shape resembles palms, the bright green leaves of Ginkgo biloba take on the color of gold in autumn. There is no doubt that there is no shortage of ornamental assets. Let’s see how to plant and maintain this exceptional tree which can live more than a thousand years without great demands.

Plant a Ginkgo biloba

Spring is ideal for planting a Gingko as long as the risk of frost has been eliminated. The Tree with forty crowns can also be planted in October but not beyond because it must have time to take root well before the onset of winter.

The method of planting a Ginkgo biloba in the ground is the following.

  • Dig a hole about 2.5 times the size of the root ball.
  • Work the extracted soil to loosen it, then add organic manure and sand if it is really very compact.
  • Also work the bottom of the planting hole so that it is loose.
  • Rehydrate the root ball by immersing the container in a large basin of water for about 2 hours.
  • Take the root ball out of the container and position the tree in the center of the hole.
  • Recap with the earth / manure mixture (sand).
  • Firm the surface of the earth.
  • Water copiously.

After this first watering, it is useful to deposit a mulch leaves or lawn clippings to keep the soil cool. There is nothing to prevent the planting of ground cover plants at the foot of this wonderful tree.

It is necessary to reserve sufficient space for it because Ginkgo biloba can reach 20 meters in wingspan. As it is not desirable to move it once it is in place, you might as well anticipate.

Obviously, today we find cultivars less bulky, even dwarf varieties can be grown in pots as is the case, for example, with Gingko biloba Mariken not exceeding 2 meters in height against 30 to 40 meters for the type species. It may also be wise, if you have a very small garden, to opt for a Fastigated ginkgo, that is to say whose growth is done mainly in height but is limited in width.

It is finally possible to cultivate a potted Gingko, but this requires choosing a suitable cultivar such as Ginkgo biloba ‘Troll’. Care is taken to install it in a rich and light mixture, consisting of 35% garden soil, 35% potting soil and 30% sand. We obviously use a container of good size, imperatively fully drilled to ensure perfect drainage and a good drainage layer of the coarse gravel or clay balls type for example is placed at the bottom of the pot, on which part of the planting mixture is placed.

Here again, the root ball is rehydrated for a good 2 hours before placing it in the vat. Then simply place the shrub in the center of the pot, fill with the substrate prepared upstream, tamp lightly and water generously. It only remains to ask pebbles on the surface and to install the potted Ginkgo biloba on the terrace where it will bring a note that could not be more refined.

Growing a Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba likes sunny to slightly half-shaded exposures. The ideal is to install it where it can be protected from direct sun during the hottest hours of the day. It supports all climates and is sufficiently rustic to resist down to -30 ° C.

His preference goes towards fresh soils corn well drained, siliceous clay and slightly acidic but he perfectly tolerates a moderately calcareous soil. We recommend lightening heavy soil with sand. A contribution of compost at the time of planting is possible if the soil in the garden is particularly poor. Note however that this tree supports any type of soil, from the richest to the least fertile, and could even be satisfied with a pile of pebbles … Its only requirement is to never have your feet bathed in water.

Caring for a Ginkgo biloba

This sumptuous tree is very easy to grow and has very few requirements.


It is especially during its first years that a Gingko needs regular watering, especially in the event of drought or very high temperatures. Nevertheless, however, we keep a light hand because it absolutely does not support stagnant water. The point is just to keep the soil cool. It should therefore never be soggy. The soil can dry out a bit between waterings.


As far as possible we do not prune a Ginkgo biloba.

Parasites and diseases

Ginkgo biloba resists everything, whether to parasites and pests as to diseases.

Her phenomenal resistance enabled it to resist the multiple natural transformations that our planet has undergone as well as the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It still exhibits today the morphological characteristics of long extinct species that existed 200 million years ago. This is why the species Ginkgo biloba is said panchronic. In a colorful way, it is sometimes nicknamed the fossil tree …