Champa Plant: Details and best care

Champa Plant: Details and best care
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Image Source: Renesis / CC BY-SA (Image cropped)

Champa plants are one of the most commonly grown ornamental flowering trees. They are famous for their pleasant-smelling flowers of multiple colors. Champa Plants require very little care and maintenance and they can survive in varied climatic conditions with very little care. They add beauty to the area and the large canopy provides shade.

Quick Details of Champa Plant

Other Common NamesPlumeria rubra, Champa, Frangipani,
TypeOutdoor flowering ornamental plant
FloweringSpring- summer
LightBright direct sunlight or partial shade
WaterRegular watering
TemperatureWarm humid conditions
SoilWell draining nutrient-rich soil
FertilizerAny house plant fertilizer, cow dung powder, compost
HabitatSubtropical regions of Asia, America
ToxicityThe sap can act as a skin irritant to a few.
Common DiseasesMostly resistant to diseases and pests
Scientific namePlumeria spp.

Champa Plant Buying Instructions

  • Buy a healthy plant with a strong stem.
  • Go for the plant which is having multiple branches.
  • Champa comes in multiple varieties so select the plant of your choice.
  • Do not immediately re-pot the plant after purchasing. Replant it at least after 10 days after bringing it home.

Overview of Champa Plant

They are evergreen or deciduous plants or trees belonging to the family Apocynaceae. They are native to the tropical regions of Mexico, Central America, and Polynesia. There are almost 300 species in the genus. They are noted for their pleasant and sweetly fragrant flowers which are mostly white in color and they can grow quite tall when in their natural habitat. The leaves are oval, leathery, and green in color. The bark is mostly grey in color.

Significance of Champa in India

Five types of Champa flowers have great significance in India due to their use in religious rituals. Besides this, Champa Plant is mentioned several times in many Hindu scriptures and is considered sacred in Indian culture. 

  • There are five types of Champa that have great religious significance in the Hindu religion. They are Naga Champa, Swarna Champa, Kanaka Champa, Kathari Chama, and Sultan Champa.
  • Champa plants are usually grown in and around the temples for two primary reasons. First, to purify the temple environment, and second, to use the flowers in Puja.
  • Champa is considered the main flower to worship Maa Lalitha Ambika along with other flowers. Similarly, Champa is one of the flowers of Lord Kamadeva’s five favourite flowers.
  • The Champa flower has five petals each representing a special human value as per Hindu beliefs. The five petals of Champa respectively represent Faith, sincerity, devotion, surrender, and ambition. The flower symbolizes psychological perfection as a whole.
  • Top Hindu scripture Bhagavata Putana talks about the Champa tree in chapter 3 verse 21. There were many Champa trees in the Ashrama of Sage Kardama Muni at the Puranic Lake Bindu Sarovara.
  • Champa is one of the trees that are listed to be present in Lord shiva’s residence in Mount Kailash.
  • Gopis in Brindavan asked Champa tree the whereabouts of Krishna while searching for him desperately.

Special features of Champa Plant:

  • The essential oil is used as an astringent, to cure headaches, reduce stress, and acts as a stimulant helping maintain the circulatory and nervous systems.
  • The Champa oil acts as an antioxidant. The infusion from the flower is used in the cosmetic industry.
  • In Mexico, it was used in treating diabetes.
  • Bark and other parts of the plants are used in treating fever, diarrhoea, skin complaints, dropsy, and gonorrhoea.
  • In Myanmar, it is used in treating leprosy, and boils.
  • Latex was used to cure toothache. It was also used to reduce menstrual pain.
  • The bark was used in healing wounds.
  • The sap is used to reduce the inflammation caused due to bee stings, wasps, etc.
  • The leaf is wrapped like a cigarette and inhaled as a cure for asthma.
  • Champa essential oil is popularly used to relieve mental tension and headache. It acts as a stimulant for the circulatory and nervous systems.
  • Champa oil has great demand in the cosmetic industry as it has anti-oxidant properties.
  • This is one of the many reasons why Champa plant care is gaining momentum everywhere.

Usage and Advantage of Champa Plant

  • Grown as an ornamental plant.
  • This is an easy-to-care plant and can survive for a very long time without much effort.

General Care for Champa Plant

Soil type for Champa Plant:

They prefer well-draining nutrient-rich soil. A mix consisting of sand and soil works best. If you are planning to grow Champa in a pot, make sure the pot along with the soil is well-draining. Mix the soil with perlite or cactus and the sand should be fine. Use a soil moisture gauge to ensure that the pot or soil in the pot has proper moisture.

Water needs for Champa Plant:

The requirement of water for Champa depends upon the climatic conditions. They require a lot of water. in warmer regions, when placed under direct sunlight, water the plants regularly. In cold or humid conditions, check for the moisture content of the soil before watering them. Overwatering can lead to root rot.

Sunlight requirement for Champa Plant:

The plants prefer bright direct sunlight. They need at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight for proper growth. They also grow under partial shade.

Temperature needs for Champa Plant:

They prefer warm humid climatic conditions. The plants can tolerate a certain amount of heat. They are not resistant to cold conditions. Therefore, in regions with extreme winters, shift the plants indoors.

Special Care for Champa Plant:

The plants do not require much care. Prune the tips of the plants to promote growth and branching. This also helps in more flowering. Prune the tips once the flowers fall.

Fertilization needs for Champa Plant:

The plants grown in pots require frequent feeding to let it flower. Fertilize the plant in 15 days. A nitrogen-rich fertilizer can be used. Any organic fertilizer, vermicompost or cow dung can also be used. Feed the plants from spring to summer.

Pests and other problems for Champa Plant

They are resistant to most pests and pathogens. Very rarely they get attacked by pests. Some of the pests that attack green paradise plants are white flies and spider mites. The plants can be sprayed with a mild soap solution or a pesticide. Neem oil solution can also be used.

Propagation of Champa Plant

The propagation is mostly done through stem cuttings. Any sized cutting can be used for propagation. Leave the cuttings to dry for 3-5 days, this helps in developing callus. Planting the cuttings that have developed callous increases the rate of root formation. In some cases, the root formation might get delayed to a few weeks or even months. Do not discard the cuttings. The development of roots takes when the conditions are right.

Don’t water the cutting but mist it regularly. Make sure that you put it in a humid atmosphere. Once you find new growth on the cuttings, know that the roots started growing on the cuttings. Now you can water the cuttings and even use fertilizers.

Question and Answer

Is the Champa plant good for home?

There are multiple varieties of the Champa plant which can be grown in a home garden, outside of your home and on the terrace. They are considered auspicious and provide a special fragrance to the home. Flowers add beauty to the garden. Based on the variety Champa flowers are Pink, White, Green and Yellow. There is another variety of the Champa which is known as Naag Champa, this also can be grown easily at home in-ground as well as in pots.

What is the Champa plant called in English?

Champa is known as Plumeria in English. English speakers mostly know the Champa plant as Plumeria. It is also known as Frangipani in most English countries.

How to grow the Champa plant?

Champa plants can be grown by cutting. The rainy season is the best time to grow Champa cutting. The Champa plant required full sunlight to grow. Champa plants can be grown on the ground and in pots. If grown in a pot, please use a big pot so that the plant can grow long. Keep feeding plants with quality compost and manure especially if grown in pots.

How do you take care of Champa flowers?

Champa plant care is very easy. For Champa plant care we need to follow some basic practices such as:

  • If growing in pots, we need to regularly provide manure and compost to the plant.
  • Hard prune the plant at least once a year. This will help the plant to get bushier.
  • If grown on the ground, we must ensure the plant receives sufficient sunlight.
  • Even if we are growing plants on the ground, we can provide manure and compost to the plant.
  • Champa plants require full sunlight for at least 5-6 hours in a day.
  • Properly water the plant as per the season. The Thumb rule, water the plant once the top 2 inches of soil gets dry.
  • Prune the tip of the plant for better growth. Make sure you are not pinching the flower buds.

How many types of Champa flowers are there?

There are dozens of varieties of Champa flowers. They are different based on the leaf arrangement and shape. Also, the Champa plant can be differentiated by different colours of flowers.

  • Champa plant with Red flowers
  • Champa plant with Pink flowers
  • Champa plant with White flowers
  • Champa plant with Green flowers
  • Champa plant with Yellow flowers
  • Naag Champa with White flowers
  • Plumeria Rubra Hybrid

Why is Champa not flowering?

  • Do not overwater and have well-draining soil
  • At least provide 6 hours of direct sunlight
  • Normally we should provide manure and cow dung compost in the month before the start of summer. It will help in the overall growth of the plant.
  • Still, if flowers are not coming in the Champa plant, the reason can be low phosphorus in the soil. An adequate quantity of phosphorus is required for better flowering in Champa plants of any variety. To meet this need we can provide a mixture of 4-gram Bone meal, 2-gram Red potash and 4-gram Seaweed granules. Dig a circular area around the plant but at least four inches from the stem of the plant. Pour the mixture into the dug area and cover the fertilizer with soil again. Water the plant well and your problem with Chapa, not flowering should be eliminated.
  • Banana peel liquid manure can also be an alternative to the above fertilizer. 

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How do you take care of a Champa plant?

Champa does not require a lot of care and maintenance. As a deciduous plant, Champa can grow by itself like a wild plant. Keep an eye on a few basic things as below to grow the plant indoors or outdoors in pots or on the ground.

1. Make sure of the bigger size of the pot for enough space for the roots. Prepare the soil with sand and appropriate fertilization.
2. Remember, the Champa plant requires enough sunshine for at least 6 hours a day.
3. Water the plant when the soil is dry.
4. Pruning is essential for healthy growth and the best blooming.
5. Stop watering the Champa plant when the leaves start to fall.

Does the Champa plant need sunlight?

Champa plant essentially requires enough direct sunlight on a daily basis. You must put the plant in direct sun for at least 6 hours a day.

Are Champa plants good for home?

Champa plant is considered very auspicious for homes, offices, and business centers. Champa plants bring good luck as per Vastu and Feng Sui. Place the plant at the southeast corner of the home to get the best results. The plant is also considered holy and sacred and that is why they are grown in and around temples and Ashrams.

How do you grow Champa plants at home?

Growing Champa indoors is easy and safe. Plant it in a container or pot and place it near the window where it gets enough sunlight. However, you must expose the plant to direct sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. Above all, keep an eye on the soil type in the pots, and appropriate watering and fertilization when growing and taking Champa plant care at home.

How often do you water Champa plants?

Appropriate watering is crucial and an essential part of Champa plant care for growing the plant indoors or in the garden. Champa never requires maximum watering or watering during falls. Wait for the soil to dry to water the plant. Put your finger an inch into the soil and if you feel damp then stop watering.

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