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How to Grow Ixora

Ixora coccinea
Ixora coccinea

Ixora is a tropical shrub grown for its vibrantly colored, scented flowers. Ixora has shiny, leathery green leaves and four-lobed tubular flowers that can be red, yellow, orange, pink, or white.

Ixora grows best outdoors in a warm, humid climate. It can be planted in a shrub border or grown as a free-standing specimen. Where temperatures drop below 59°F (15°C), Ixora should be grown as a houseplant.

Ixora is a genus of about 400 species of evergreen shrubs and small trees. Ixora is native to tropical woodland and mountains worldwide.

Get to Know Ixora

  • Plant type: Bulbous perennials
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 14-15
  • Hardiness: Tender; where temperatures drop below 59°F (15°C) grow Ixora as a houseplant
  • Height and width: 6 to 8 feet (2-2.5m) tall, 3 to 6 feet (1-2m) wide
  • Foliage: Whorled leaves are simple and entire
  • Flowers: Large, vibrantly colored, sented 4-petaled, salverform leaves in terminal panicles
  • Bloom time: Summer
  • Uses: Shrub border, freestanding specimen, houseplant
  • Common name: Flame of the woods
  • Botanical name: Ixora
  • Family name: Rubiaceae
  • Origin: Tropical woodland worldwide
Flame of the woods, Ixora coccinea
Flame of the woods, Ixora coccinea

Where to Plant Ixora

  • Light outdoors: Plant Ixora in a spot that is shaded from midday sun.
  • Light indoors: Grow Ixora in bright filtered or indirect light.
  • Soil outdoors: Plant Ixora in fertile, moist, but well-drained soil.
  • Soil indoors. Grow Ixora in a soilless potting mix wiht added leas mold and grit.

When to Plant Ixora

  • Set container grown Ixora outdoors in spring.

Planting and Spacing Ixora

  • Space Ixora 3 to 6 feet (1-2m) apart.

How to Water and Feed Ixora

  • Water Ixora freely during the growing season; water sparingly in winter.
  • Fertilize Ixora with a blanced slow-release fertilizer.

Ixora Care

  • Prune Ixora after flowering to keep it compact and shaped.

Growing Ixora as a Houseplant

  • Ixora coccinea can be grown as a houseplant.
  • Place Ixora in a room with warm temperature, high humidity, and direct light.
  • Grow in average, soilless potting medium and keep it evenly moist when te plant is growing and flowering. At other times, allow the medium to dry out slightly begween waterings.
  • Fertilize twice monthly during sprng and summer and monthly in fall and winter.
  • After Ixora flowers, it can be pruned to keep it compact.

Ixora Pests and Diseases

  • Aphids and scale insects may attack Ixora.
  • Iron deficiency, Xanthomonas spot, and fungal leaf spots can occur.

Ixora Propagation

  • Root semi-ripe cuttings in summer with bottom heat.

Ixora Varieties to Grow

  • Ixora chinensis. Bushy, grounded shrub to 6 feet tall and often as wide; ovate, semi-lustrous mid- to deep green leaves; bears flattened cymes of red, orange, pink, or white flowers in summer.
  • I. coccinea, flame of the woods. Bushy , rounded shrub with oblong glossy mid to deep green leaves; produces loose cymes of red, orange, pink, or yellow flwoers. Several cultivars: ‘Fraseri’ has salmon-red flowers.

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