Ixora Plant: Easy to care plants with small star shaped flowers
These colorful flowered Ixora plants are one of the easily grown plant in tropical region and their colorful flowers and dark green leaves add beauty to the garden. The plants are evergreen and the bloom lasts for 4-6 weeks. They are easy to care and requires very little maintenance. These less demanding plants are one of the best addition to the outdoor/indoor garden especially for beginners.
Quick Details of Ixora Plant
|Other Common Names||Flame of the woods, Ixora, jungle flame, West Indian jasmine, Iron tree.|
|Type||Evergreen tropical outdoor/indoor plant|
|Flowering||Summer; All around the year|
|Light||Bright direct sunlight|
|Temperature||Warm humid conditions|
|Soil||Well draining acidic soil|
|Fertilizer||Well balanced fertilizer|
|Habitat||Asia and other tropical regions|
|Common Diseases||Pests, black mold|
|Scientific name||Ixora coccinea|
Ixora Plant Buying Instructions
- Buy a bushy Ixora plant as it will produce more flowers.
- Buy a plant with strong stem, this will ensure the healthy and quick growth of the plant.
- Buy a healthy plant with no pest attack.
Overview of Ixora Plant
They are evergreen tropical flowering shrubs belonging to the family Rubiaceae and native to Asia. The plants are also grown in tropical and subtropical parts of the world and are commonly called as West Indian Jasmine.
The leaves are dark green glossy and oval shaped. They are leathery and stiff. They produce flowers that are star shaped and has four petals. The flowering usually takes place during summer but can also bloom throughout the year and can last for 5-7 weeks. The flowers are either pink, orange, red or yellow in color. Some plants produce white blooms as well. The flowers are in cluster and are seen at the tip of the stem.
The most common type are the red flowers. The flowers are long slender tube like with the corollas arranged as at the top of the tube.
Some of the varities of Ixora plant are:
- Ixora Maui Yellow
- Ixora Maui Red
- Ixora Taiwanese Red
Usage and Advantage of Ixora Plant
- Grown as an ornamental plant.
General Care for Ixora
They prefer a well draining, nutrient rich acidic soil. Any change in the soil pH can alter the plant growth and the leaves can turn yellow.
They require a lot of water. Therefore water the plants regularly to maintain the moisture. Make sure not to over water the plants.
They prefer bright direct sunlight for at least 5-7 hours a day. If placing the plants indoor make sure they receive bright direct sunlight. Do not expose the plants to harsh summer sun. It can burn the leaves.
They prefer warm humid conditions for their growth. They are tropical plants and thrive best in tropical climates. If grown inside home make sure to place them in places which are warm and away from cold drifts. The are best suited in climatic conditions above 15 degree Celsius. The plants can tolerate extreme summers but are not resistant to extreme cold conditions. If grown indoors, place them away from windows or air conditioners. Maintain humidity by placing a pebble tray or humidifier.
Special Care for Ixora Plant
Make sure to maintain the acidity in the soil. Alkaline soil can turn the leaves yellow and make the plant unhealthy. Do not over water or underwater the plant. Prune the plants regularly to maintain shape. Do not pot them in oversized pots. They prefer to be root bound than having an extra space. Mulch the soil with compost to prevent the growth of weeds and to retain moisture.
Fertilization of Ixora Plant
They require a nutrient rich soil. Feed the plants with a balanced fertilizer ones a month during the growing period. A complete liquid foliar fertilizer can also be used every month or use a slow release fertilizer weekly ones to enhance flowering.
Pests and other problems for Ixora Plant
The ixora plants are prone to pests attack that can also carry some fungal pathogens to the plants. Some of the commonly seen pests in these plants are aphids, spider mites and scales. A mild insecticide or pesticide can be used to get rid of them.
Aphids can sometimes carry fungal pathogens that can cause sooty mold. A black powdery layer starts to appear on the infected leaf which can spread to other parts of the plant. Remove the infected leaves and use a mild fungicide to get rid of them or spray neem oil.
Other than the pests and fungal diseases, the plants can also show symptoms of nutrient deficiency. Dark spots develop on the leaves if there is an deficiency in manganese.
The leaves may turn yellow and appear anemic if there is a lack in iron.
The deficiency in micronutrients can be rectified by foliar application of chelated micronutrients. This helps the leaves to absorb the nutrients directly and faster. Preferably spray the younger leaves for easier and faster absorption.
Excess sunlight can cause the leaf edges to turn brown. Shift the plants to spots where there is enough shade.
Overwatering of the plants can cause the leaves to turn yellow and fall. Avoid over watering and if the soil is waterlogged or soggy allow the water to dry out completely before watering again.
Propagation of Ixora Plant
The Ixora plants can be propagated either through cuttings or through seeds.
The propagation through stem cutting is the most common method of propagation. Select a healthy, growing stem tip and cut at least 15-25 cm long cutting. Dip the cut tip of the cutting into a rooting hormone and plant in a nutrient rich well draining potting mix. Water them regularly. The roots should develop within 2-4 weeks.
These plants can also be propagated through seeds. Propagation through seeds is a difficult process as it is difficult to spot the dark purple berries and not all seeds are viable. The seeds can be soaked overnight and later sown in a pot with a seeds starter mix or a nutrient rich potting mix. Water the pot and cover it with a poly bag and leave it in a a spot where there is bright direct sunlight. The seeds should germinate within 7-15 days.