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How to Grow Pachystachys

Lollipop Flower, Pachystachys lutea
Lollipop Flower, Pachystachys lutea

Pachystachys is a tropical evergreen perennial that is grown for its tubular, 2-lipped flowers that are borne in erect terminal spikes with large, overlapping, usually brightly colored bracts.

Pachystachys flowers can be scarlet or white; bracts can be pale green or bright golden yellow. Flower spikes are 4 to 6 inches (10-15cm) long. Leaves are ovate to lance-shaped and mid-to dark green.

In tropical regions, Pachystachys is a colorful addition to a border. Where temperatures fall below 50°F (10°C) grow Pachystachys as a houseplant.

Pachystachys is a genus of 12 species of evergreen perennials and shrubs native to tropical woodlands in the West Indies and Central and South America.

Get to Know Pachystachys

  • Plant type: Tropical evergreen perennial
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 11-15
  • Hardiness: Half-hardy to tender; where temperatures fall below 50°F (10°C) grow Pachystachys as a houseplant
  • Height and width: 3 to 6 feet (1-2m) tall, 18 to 36 inches (45-90cm) wide
  • Foliage: Simple, ovate to lance-shaped mid- to dark green leaves
  • Flowers: Tubular, 2-lipped flowers borne in erect, terminal spikes with large overalapping bracts
  • Bloom time: Spring, summer
  • Uses: Border plant, houseplant
  • Common name: Lollipop plant, Cardinal’s guard
  • Botanical name: Pachystachys
  • Family name: Acanthaceae
  • Origin: Woodlands from West indies and tropical Central and South America
Pachystachys lutea
Pachystachys lutea

Where to Plant Pachystachys

  • Light outdoors: Plant Pachystachys in full sun.
  • Light indoors: Plant in full light with high humidity.
  • Soil outdoors: Grow Pachystachys in fertile, moist, well-drained soil.
  • soil indoors: Grow in a soil-based potting mix.

When to Plant Pachystachys

  • Set container-grown Pachystachys outdoors in spring.

Planting and Spacing Pachystachys

  • Space Pachystachys 18 to 36 inches (45-90cm) apart.

How to Water and Feed Pachystachys

  • Water Pachystachys freeling during the growing period.
  • Fertilize Pachystachys with a balanced liquid fertilizr monthly.

Pachystachys Care

  • Where temperatures fall below 50°F (10°C) grow Pachystachys as a houseplant.

Growing Pachystachys as a Houseplant

  • Grow Pachystachys in a warm room with bright light and high humidity.
  • The growing medium should be soilless and well drained.
  • Water to keep the medium evenly moist at all time.
  • Fetilize monthly during the growing and flowering period.

Pachystachys Pests and Diseases

  • Whiteflies, spider mites, leaf spot, and root rot may occur.

Pachystachys Propagation

  • Root softwood cuttings with bottom heat in summer.

Pachystachys Varieties to Grow

  • Pachystachys coccinea, Cardinal’s guard. Erect shrub, sparsely branched, ovate strongly viened dark green leaves to 8 inches long; tubular , 2-lipped scarlet flowers are borne in terminal spikes to 6 inches long.
  • P. lutea, lollipop plant. Grows to 12 inches tall indoors; leaves are oval, 5 inches long and dark green with depressed veins; flower spike is 4 inches long; flowers are white, 2 inches long and open goledn yellow.

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