Ixora plants for gardens and bonsai, learn how to grow it. Ixora is an evergreen perennial flowering shrub very popular in tropical regions. There are more than five hundred varieties of Ixora plants in the world. The beautiful flowers in clusters, can definitely add colour to our gardens.
Ixora coccinia, the most common plant in the family, usually grows up to a height of about three metres. Some of them grow even taller, so that we can use it as shade trees.
However, Ixora plants are ideal for growing directly in soil as well as in pots. Moreover we can use it as the center plant in landscaping or for hedging. Likewise beautiful dwarf Ixora plants are ideal for making bonsai.
Also the plant has got medicinal values and it is one of the main ingredients in a lot of ayurvedic medicines.
In South Indian temples, red Ixora flowers are widely used for pooja purposes.If you are a garden lover, Ixora is really a must have plant in your collection. Because you can grow this low maintenance plant very easily, either directly in the soil or in pots. Bright sunlight for a few hours, is the only requirement for growing this plant.
Let us see how to grow Ixora Plants directly in soil as well as in pots.
Propagation of Ixora plants for gardens and bonsai.
Usually stem cuttings collected from mature and healthy mother plants are used for propagation. Making saplings of the plant through germination of seeds is also possible. But the former method is more common and better for a faster growth.
We can also buy saplings of different varieties of the plant directly from sellers.
For rooting the stem cuttings, first make a mixture of river sand, garden soil and coco peat in the ratio 1:1:1.Fill 3/4 of a pot or grow bag with the medium. Then plant the Ixora stem cutting in it about three inches deep.
You can also apply some rooting hormone on the wound for better results.
Keep it in shade for a few days and water regularly.
After four to six weeks, new leaves begin to sprout and then you can replant the saplings.
Generally the Ixora plants adapt faster to the new environment, either directly in soil or in pots.
Using the same saplings, we can surely make beautiful Ixora bonsai plants.
Replanting Ixora plants.
For replanting your Ixora sapling directly in soil, first dig a hole with dimensions 1*1*1 foot. Then fill it with a mixture of soil, compost, coco peat, neem cake and bone meal.After that, carefully take the sapling out of the pot or grow bag and plant it in the hole.
Provide shade for a few days if there is direct sunlight. Water regularly, and remove the shade when the plant get adapted to the new environment.
Never forget to feed your Ixora plant with an organic manure at intervals of one or two months.
If you care it properly, your Ixora plants begin to bloom within a period of one year.
Growing Ixora plant in pots.
Certainly you can use ceramic or terracotta pots with sufficient holes for proper drainage.
Make a potting medium in the following ratio for filling the pot.
River sand 25%,
Garden soil 25 %
Coco peat 25 %
A mixture of bone meal and neem cake 25%
Give proper caring for your Ixora saplings after transferring them to the pot. For example, watering your plant daily, feeding it with any organic manure at regular intervals, etc.
Repotting the plant every two to three years is essential to keep the plant healthy.
Pruning Ixora plants for gardens and bonsai.
Pruning really helps to maintain the beauty of your Ixora plants. Remove the dried flower stalks and unnecessary branches with a sharp knife or cutting shears. Definitely you can prune your Ixora at any time during the year, except the heavy monsoon months.
Generally the Ixora plants that grow in tropical regions are resistant to diseases. However, you can use some pesticides for certain conditions like brown leaves, rotting of stems etc.
With the above simple guide, try to grow your own Ixora plants and make your garden really awesome.