Flowers are known for turning our grey world into a vibrant work of art. For the times when things are not looking that great in your life, looking at a beautiful flowerpot inside your house will help you find some hope. If you have grown dozens of blooms in your abode now and are racking your brain to grow something out of the box, here’s the solution. What if we tell you that there is a shrub that grows wonderful and captivating blooms perfect to enhance the aesthetic look of any room? This plant’s name is as exotic as its nature, are you eager to know? Let’s dive further!
Ixora is an extraordinary shrub that is native to Asia. The plant is pleasing to the eyes and will catch all the attention of your visitors and guests. They are small and shoot up in subtropical areas. Their nature of germination makes it tough for them to grow outdoors in many of the countries. Ixora is normally grown indoors, and after growing their large clusters of red, yellow, white, and orange blooms, they look like puffballs, which have been flourished from the evergreen leaves consistently all over the year. It’s not that they can’t be grown outdoors, to be grown in your garden, they just need the right amount of necessities. Although prefer to grow inside, keeping them contented indoors also can be a challenge, even for a pro gardener. This plant needs your time, if you can’t keep your patience, it might give you a hard time, but if you give them their time as the plant grows at a slow place, they can turn out the most beautiful thing you have ever encountered. With glossy, leathery leaves, the Ixora plant is shaped like an oval. The plant is related to gardenia and can even be called its doppelganger.
Let’s talk about its biodata, as you are going to keep it inside your home, you must know it in depth.
- The botanical name or the scientific name of the Ixora plant is Ixora Coccinea.
- The common name or some of the popular names associated with the plant are the flames of the woods, iron tree, West Indian jasmine, and jungle flame.
- Ixora is a type of Broadleaf evergreen.
- They can reach up to the height of 4-6 ft tall, and 3-5 ft, wider.
- They are peckish for sun, they need an abundance of sun exposure.
- They love soggy soil but it should be well-drained.
- The soil pH should be acidic, otherwise, it can get harmed.
- Their bloom time is year-round.
- The blooms are grown in red, pink, and orange hues.
- Their hardiness zone is USDA 9-11.
How to plant an Ixora?
- First of all, you need to select a site that is properly drained, and must not be made of concrete. There shouldn’t be any overhangs and downspouts too.
- You need to loosen the soil up to 10-12 inches and remove the pebbles if there are any.
- If the soil is abundant in clayey matter, you can mix organic materials such as compost, pest moss, or composted cow manure. All these will help in lowering the pH level of the soil.
- Now the time comes to dig a hole in the soil, and that must be a few inches larger in comparison to the root balls.
- You are now in the position to keep the plant in the pit and slowly spread the roots in the outward direction. Do not forget to cover the base of the plant with the soil, refrain from covering the crown.
- For better growth, water them with the help of a root growth stimulator.
- You are advised to pat the soil so that it can fit inside the pot appropriately, try not to compact it.
- Water them frequently to have an excessive root growth and they can entrench themselves.
How to care for the Ixora plant?
As charming as they are, Ixora plants can prove to be quite as demanding in nature as houseplants. Even a small change in weather, location, soil can turn your evergreen Ixora into a deciduous one. Their leaves can turn droopy even by a small switch in nutrients. Ixora plants demand good airflow to block the black sooty mold, which causes their shiny leaves to turn into dull ones, and abruptly disrupt their growth.
In the perfect environment, Ixora is a greenhouse or glasshouse plant where their flowers blossom extensively. Don’t dishearten yourself, you can even grow it in your home if you maintain their needs and provide enough nourishment.
The most essential part of their growth is proper light. Ixora loves bright light, thus you should place them near the brightest spot of your house, where they can feed themselves 8 to 10 hours of sunlight in a day. But you should not keep them under the direct harsh sun rays in the summer season, as it can result in burning of leaves.
You want to grow a healthy and happy Ixora, then you need to plant them in a mixture of soil. The soil should be based on peat and must consist of organic matter. Plus, Ixora plants flourish in a soil that has some degree of acidic pH level, lying between 5.5 to 6.5. However, soil that has a pH level of 7.0 can cause damage to the plant. And can result in dull foliage color
Without water it is impossible for any plant to flourish. As the Ixora plant is tropical in nature, it should be kept in moist surroundings. If you are planning to keep an Ixora at your home, you are advised to water them regularly. The amount of water solely depends on the environment of your home. The best you can do is never let the soil dry and try to reduce the the amount of water in winters.
Temperature and humidity:
Searching for a key to reach Ixora’s heart? Well, you don’t have to scratch your head that much, all you need is a warm and moist ambiance to make them blossom. The key ingredient is temperature, and for Ixora’s growth, you must keep the temperature up to 60 degrees Fahrenheit at all times (even in winters), refrain from keeping the plant at any random cool spot, for instance, a nearby window or in an air-conditioned room.
As you know Ixora is a great lover of humidity, so try to keep the plant in an exotic humid room of your abode, for instance, your kitchen, or bathroom, wash area. You can also try to mist your plant by sprinkling water on it, and it will help to increase the humidity. You can also invest in a humidifier and place it close to your Ixora, or any other tropicals you have in your house.
Every human gets sick and needs antibiotics to prevent themselves from the virus and be healthy, same goes with the plants they need to be healthy and good. So they must be fed with fertilizers. The best time to feed your Ixora fertilizer is in the spring, and do it with slow-release fertilizer pellets, or else you can do it weekly during its productive season with the help of liquid fertilizer. Adequate nutrition will aid in increasing the chances of your plant blooming.
Pruning of Ixora:
Trimming your plants is the best stress buster therapy, but the best time to trim your Ixora is right after it grows flowers, and whenever you think it is looking bad or messy. Ixora plants bear the pruning well and can be trimmed by many inches. You can trim the shoot of Ixora till one bud. Blooming gets on its peak when the pruning is done, so trimming is the best way to increase the blossoming nature of your plant.
Propagating of Ixora:
For propagation of the Ixora plant, you are advised to wait for the spring. The toughest task is the root of this plant and you might need help with the rooting hormone and bottom heat for useful propagation. Traditionally, the flowers give rise to dark purple berries with seeds that are occasionally viable. If you spot any of these, you need to rush and wipe the pulp off the seeds.
Common Pests and Diseases
It is vital to prevent the I from catching any disease or pests. They are prone to aphids and scale. If you witness any kind of signs of either of them, you are strictly advised to use an insecticidal spray or soap and wash all of them with it. Neem oil is the best ingredient one can use to keep the pests away from the Ixora plant. There is a lot of unusual stuff Ixora suffers from. For instance, you can also catch a glimpse of the plant developing a dark spot, so don’t be scared as it mainly happens when the plant is in short supply of two micronutrients: iron and manganese. This is a general issue that occurs with the acid adoring plants, you can treat the problem with the help of a chelated micronutrient foliar spray, which needs to be strictly applied only on the leaves. Young leaves perform much better than old leaves as they are more reactive to the treatment.
If your Ixora is suffering from a weed problem then you must use 2 to 3 layers of mulch around the root area to keep them safe from excessive water retention. You can also try adding organic nutrients to the soil that can enhance their performance.
Facts about the Ixora plant:
Did you know that the leaves of the Ixora plant are antiseptic, and they are used in the treatment of cuts, wounds, rheumatism, diarrhea, and fever in some countries of Asia?
Its fruits are also eaten as food in some areas around the world.