Ixora Plant Care

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Ixora Plant Care Guide - picture of zoomed in flowers of dward ixora plant

Ixora is a tropical and subtropical shrub with large clusters of tiny flowers. Ixora loves being watered and needs a well draining, acidic and moist soil. Ixora plants need indirect sunlight for about 6 hours a day.

 

In this article I will share my personal experience with Ixora plant care, how to grow and propagate, what Soil to use, Repotting, Pruning and how much Water, Sunlight and Fertilizer is needed. You will know the best and most recommended ways to care for your Ixora plant.

Ixora General Info

  • Origin: Tropical Asia
  • Genus: Ixora
  • Common Names: Flame of the wood, Jungle Flame,  jungle geranium, West Indian Jasmine, viruchi, rangan, kheme, ponna, chann tanea, techi, pan, siantan, jarum-jarum/jejarum, cruz de Malta
  • 👪Family: Rubiaceae
  • 🌵Type: Flowering plant
  • 🌼Flowers: large clusters of tiny flowers in summer (pink, red and orange varieties).
  • 🍃Leaf Colors: green leathery leaves 3-6 inches in length
  • 🌵Climate: tropical and subtropical
  • 🌡️Temperature: 65° to 70° F (18° C to 21° C)
  • 🌼Growing season: Summer to Rainy season (upto October)
  • 💧Watering: Frequent watering keeping the soil moist.
  • ☀️Light: 4-5 hours of indirect shaded sunlight
  • 🐛Pests: Mealy bugs. 
  • ☠️Toxicity: 
  • Propagation🌱: using stem cutting or fruit
  • Height📏: 4-6 ft.
  • Soil: Well draining slightly acidic soil. (Soil + Sand + Compost with neem cake)
  • Fertilizer: Organic acidic fertilizer in early spring

Plant Care Problems

Ixora Problems

Reason and Solution

Leaves turning yellow

Soil is turning alkaline. Deficiency of iron and manganese. Add some vermicompost. You can also add some Alum Stone (Phitkari) or Epsom salt to make soil acidic and get rid of Mg deficiency.

No buds/flowers

  • Soil might have become acidic. Add some vermicompost and alum stone (Phitkari) to make soil acidic.
  • No Fertilization leads to difficulty in forming buds
  • Ixora blooms on new growth. Prune your plant.

Flowers burn

Too much direct Sunlight, keep it in shade

How to water💧

Ixora plants require a lot of water. Keep the soil always moist. Even if you overwater them, it won't cause root rot. Just make sure that the soil is well draining as the root can rot if soil is water clogged.

 

When watering your Ixora, remember the 2 D’s

  1. Drench: Water until the pot starts to drain the water, and the soil is completely drenched.
  2. Drain: Water should be completely drained

 

Sunlight Requirements ☀️

The Ixora plant needs 4-5 hours of indirect sunlight. If you place your ixora plant in a south facing location or where you get direct sunlight, the flowers start to wilt and burn.

Soil

Ixora will grow in any kind of soil except clay soil. Ixora plant needs following properties in its soil

  • well-draining soil
  • Acidic (pH 5)
  • Moist at all time but not water clogged

 

Garden Soil + Sand + Coco Peat + Compost with a little bit of neem cake is a good combination of soil for an Ixora plant. Spread organic mulch like compost, shredded leaves, bark chips or pine needles on the soil to hold soil moisture. It will also help in maintaining an appropriate amount of acidity in soil. Just keep the mulch 2-3 inches away from the stem.

 

If the soil gets slightly alkaline, the leaves start to turn yellow (chlorosis - lack of chlorophyll).

Fertilizer

Without proper feeding, the Ixora plant struggles to form buds. Fertilize the plant in early spring (February or March), mid summer and autumn. Water thoroughly after adding the fertilizer.

 

Fertilize your ixora plant with organic and acidic fertilizer. 200 gms for a 12" pot and 500 gms for a 16" pot. You can also use NPK with higher phosphorus and potassium ratio and less Nitrogen content.

Repotting

Do not re-pot ixora in a container that is too big compared to its previous pot. Just select a pot that is a few inches bigger than the previous one. 

How to Prune✂️

You can prune the ixora plant when the shrub looks untidy or when there is no more bloom.

 

Prune away the shoots up to 2-3 inches or prune as you like the plant shape and size to be. Pruning will make your ixora more bushy. The best time to prune your ixora plant is during the spring season as it is the growing season which the plant prefers.

How to Propagate🌱

You can propagate ixora by planting a stem cutting or the fruit into the soil. Best time to propagate is in February and also during the rainy season.

 

To propagate Ixora by Stem cutting:

  1. Cut 6-8 inches of semi wood branch (greenish brown branch) of an ixora plant below a node in a 45 degree angle. Take the cutting only from a blooming ixora plant for maximum success.
  2. Trim off the leaves from the cutting.
  3. Dip the cutting in water and then dip it into a rooting hormone powder.
  4. Prepare a sandy soil or just sand. Don’t use clay soil as it will hold water more and cuttings might rot.
  5. Place the cutting in the soil with at least one node inside the soil.
  6. Water thoroughly and keep the pot away from direct sunlight.

Roots will start to develop in a month.

 

To propagate Ixora by fruit

  1. Let the fruit turn brown and dry.
  2. Soak it in water overnight
  3. Remove the pulp and take the seeds out.
  4. Plant the seeds in a sandy soil and water thoroughly.

Ixora plant care during winter 🌡️

Ideal temperature when ixora grows well is between 65° to 70° F (18° C to 21° C)

 

Ixora is native to tropical and subtropical climates and is not tolerant to cold temperatures that reach below 0 degree C. When winter arrives, cover your ixora with a plastic sheet to protect it from cold dry winds and retain some of the moisture. 

Pests 🐛and Diseases🦠

Mealy bugs. You can easily get rid of these pests and diseases.

Flowering🌼

Ixora plants bloom on new growth. The top tip of the branches get buds and flowers. This means that you need to prune your ixora plant, and then it produces 2 more branches and produces new growth which leads to more flowering. Ixora plants have a very long bloom cycle and flower almost around the year. Once they bloom, it remains for 4-5 weeks.

Uses of Ixora

The Ixora plant is used in hindu worship and is also a part of ayurveda and folk medicine

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