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The Ultimate Guide to the Fried Egg Plant: A Unique Addition to Your Garden Landscape

by Jack Grover
white colored flower
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Every gardener eager to add a touch of novelty to their garden should consider planting the fried egg tree. 

Also known as Gordonia, this plant is known for its peculiar features.

The first thing you might notice about it is its unique appearance. Thanks to its unmistakable look, the fried egg tree stands out in any green space. It produces a distinct fried egg flower with a bright yellow center surrounded by white petals.

Another intriguing aspect of this plant is how it grows. It has a fascinating growth pattern that sets it apart from other plants.

Finally, the fried egg tree plant has a rich history. Taking care of it means not just tending to a plant but also preserving a piece of heritage.

No doubt, this plant has the potential to be the start of many interesting conversations. So, if you’re looking for something different to add to your garden, it’s an excellent choice.

Here’s all you need to know about it.

Key Takeaways

  • Fried egg plants offer a distinctive appearance with their egg-like white flowers.
  • They’re relatively easy to care for, needing basic maintenance and the right soil conditions.
  • These plants bring a touch of the unique and unusual to gardens, sure to catch the eye and spark a conversation.

What Is the Fried Egg Plant?

Often referred to as the ‘fried egg tree‘ or ‘Gordonia plant,’ this unique flora is native to Southeast Asia. It’s primarily known as Polyspora axillaris.

Found thriving in swampy areas in the U.S., especially along the Atlantic and the Gulf Coastal Plains, the fried egg plant offers a blend of beauty and resilience.


  • It’s an evergreen tree that can reach heights of up to 16 feet (4.9 m).
  • The tree gets its quirky name due to its white flowers, about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter, resembling fried eggs.
  • Its leaves are glossy and dark green. They turn red at the tips during winter.
  • Blooms from autumn to spring.

Care Tips for the Fried Egg Plant

white colored flower

The fried egg flower, with its sunny blooms, thrives in full sun. However, it can also grow in partially shaded areas. Therefore, a place that gets a mix of sun and shade would be an ideal planting spot for this plant.

Drainage plays a crucial role in the fried egg flower’s health. For best results, consider planting it on a slope where water can naturally flow away.

Alternatively, if you have a wet area in your garden with good drainage, it could be another suitable location.

Lastly, pay attention to the soil pH levels. The fried egg plant prefers slightly acidic soil. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fare well in soil rich in calcium. So, if your garden’s soil is calcium-loaded, it may not be the best home for this particular plant.

Here’s a brief overview of this plant’s preferred conditions.

  • Sunlight: Loves full sun to partial shade.
  • Soil: Thrives in slightly acidic soil. Avoid calcium-rich soil.
  • Drainage: Optimal in sloped areas near wet regions.

Maintenance Guide

First, let’s talk about mulching. It’s essential to keep those pesky weeds at bay. Applying a layer of mulch around your plants can suppress growing unwanted weeds and help the soil retain its moisture. This simple task can make a big difference in the health of your garden.

Moving on to fertilizing. For optimum growth and blooms, using azalea and camellia food in the springtime is advisable. This type of fertilizer contains essential nutrients needed for the fried egg plant to thrive. Follow the package’s specified directions to avoid damaging the plant with over-fertilization.

Thirdly, pruning is an option you may want to consider for bushier growth. Although these plants naturally assume a dome shape, some gardeners prefer denser foliage. If that’s the case for you, pruning will be your best tool to archive this look. Remember to prune at the right time of the year with a clean, sharp pruner.

Finally, let’s address trimming. When fried egg plants are young, they can be shaped like a hedge with periodic trimming. It guarantees tidy growth, encouraging thicker foliage and more branches. However, it’s important not to trim too extensively as it could potentially damage the plant.

Thankfully, concerns related to pests or diseases are minimal with this plant.

Growing the Fried Egg Plant

Since they can reach a height of 12 inches, fried egg plants are perfect for outdoor settings. Their eye-catching flowers flourish from fall to spring.

If you’re interested in growing these plants, here’s a simple guide.

When it comes to initial growth, the end of winter is the best time to get started. Plant your seeds in a container indoors during this period. It’s an outstanding method to ensure the plants begin their life cycle under controlled and protected conditions. 

The next step requires a bit of patience. You need to wait until the seedlings are strong enough to be moved outside and the risk of frost has passed. Transplantation can either be in outdoor containers or directly into the ground, depending on your preference and available space.

Adapting this approach will give your fried egg plants a solid head start and greatly enhance their chances of thriving.


With its stunning visuals and unique characteristics, the fried egg plant can be an exquisite addition to your garden. Offering a beautiful contrast to typical green foliage, it brings a noticeable spark of difference.

The care instructions are quite simple. Everything about this plant spells ‘low maintenance,’ from providing adequate sunlight and drainage to proper soil composition and timely pruning. Even pests or diseases pose minimal threats, making it easy to grow for both seasoned gardeners and beginners.

If you’re prepared to gift your garden something unique that echoes a time-tested legacy, consider the fried egg plant. By doing so, you don’t just nurture a plant; you nurture heritage and conversation. Its unique feature guarantees it won’t go unnoticed.

Take the leap, try your hand at gardening with the fried egg plant, and enjoy every minute spent caring for this plant wonder. Happy gardening!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I care for a fried egg plant?

To care for a fried egg plant, you must provide it with appropriate growing conditions. It requires full sun exposure, well-drained soil, and regular watering.  Regular pruning and fertilizing are also necessary for optimal growth.

Can I grow a fried egg plant in a small garden?

Yes, you can. It is a compact plant that doesn’t require much space. However, make sure to provide it with adequate sunlight and soil nutrients for healthy growth.

Is there anything special I need to do when growing a fried egg plant?

While growing a Fried Egg Plant is relatively straightforward, there are a few things to keep in mind. It is essential to stake or provide support for the plant to prevent it from falling over. This way, it will become a strong tree.

Additionally, regular pest and disease monitoring is necessary to ensure the plant’s health.

Is it necessary to fertilize a fried egg plant regularly?

Yes, it is. Use a balanced fertilizer rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to provide the plant with essential nutrients for growth.

Can a fried egg plant grow into a large plant?

If given the right growing conditions and care, a Fried Egg Plant can grow into a large plant. It has the potential to reach heights of several feet.

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