If you are looking for a peculiar, but gorgeous houseplant to enrich your plant collection, Ixora a.k.a. West Indian jasmine is the perfect candidate. Especially when you have so many options to choose from!
Ixora is a very large genus that contains about 562 species of evergreen trees and shrubs and you’ll surely find the perfect one for your garden.
Now that you know you have plenty of options for your landscaping ideas, it is time to learn what you have to do to give your Ixora the time of its life! Ixora might not be among the easiest plants in terms of growth requirements. But the time and effort you put into caring for it will really be worth it.
Keep reading our guide to find out more about Ixora a.k.a. West Indian Jasmine!
- Besides “West Indian jasmine”, Ixora shrubs go by various other common names. Some of these are Jungle geranium, Jungle flame, Techi, Kheme, Ponna, Kiskaara, Jarum-Jarum, Cruz de Malta, Chann Tanea, Pan, or Rangan. The common name ‘Ixora’ is derived from the Arabic words ‘Jur’/’Izor’ and translates to ‘rose’.
- Ixora is a member of the Rubiaceae family of flowering plants, usually known as Bedstraw, Coffee, or Madder family. It shares this family with other popular ornamental plants Gardenia, Bouvardia, Nertera, Crucianella, Mussaenda, and Coffee plant.
- The plant is native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Ixora has its centre of diversity in Tropical Asia. Still, it also grows naturally in subtropical areas of the United States like Florida.
- If you don’t live in a tropical or subtropical region, you might not be familiar with Ixora shrubs. However, these beautiful ornamentals can be grown in containers anywhere, as long as you move them indoors during the cold months.
- Although the Ixora genus contains so many interesting species, only some of them are more common in cultivation. But it’s important to remember that there are lots of them! The most common Ixora species Ixora Chinensis a.k.a Chinese Ixora, Dwarf Ixora, Ixora coccinea, and Ixora javanica. Ixora coccinea ‘Magnifica’ and Ixora Chinensis ‘Rosea’ produce spectacular fiery flowers while Ixora casei ‘Super King’ can grow up to 3 meters and produces clusters of yellow flowers.
- Several Ixora species play a big part in traditional medicine, especially in India and China. These plants have astringent, antiseptic, analgesic, sedative, and diuretic properties, so they have been used as a treatment against headache, fever, bronchitis, colic, sores, ulcers, tuberculosis, dysentery, bloodshot eyes, and other health issues.
- Ixora can make for an excellent companion plant to numerous other species, such as Croton, Gold Mound, Ligustrum Sinensis, Plumbago, Schefflera Arboricola, and Thryallis.
- As far as we know, Ixora is pretty toxic to both humans and animals if ingested in large quantities. For safety purposes, keep this shrub in a spot where your children or pets cannot reach it.
Ixora Features: An Overview
- Ixora is a perennial evergreen tree or shrub. Depending on the species, this plant can reach from 4 to 6 feet in height (1.2-1.8 m) and 3 to 5 feet (0.9-1.5 m) in width. With a bit of care, it can grow much smaller as a houseplant.
- Ixora plants come in many different forms including shrubs, ground covers, and trees. Perfect for warm climates, Ixora plants can be grown as climbers as well.
- Ixora is usually a dense, multi-branched plant. Its foliage consists of leathery, ovate, dark green leaves that can measure from 3 to 6 inches (7.6-15.2 cm) in length.
- Although Ixora may bloom all year round, it is most likely to produce flowers throughout the summer months. Ixora plants exhibit large flower clusters that can appear in different shades of white, cream, yellow, red, pink, orange, and even bright green.
- The fruits of this plant show up once its flowering period has come to an end. They are small capsules that firstly emerge in a fresh green colour, turning a beautiful bright red through dark purple hue when they are ripe.
- If you don’t have a lot of space in your garden, you can opt for dwarf Ixora, also known as Ixora taiwanensis. This small evergreen shrub is extremely pretty and produces long-lasting flowers. The average sizes of dwarf Ixora shrubs are between 20 and 90 cm, so they are perfect for gardens with limited space.
- Ixora shrubs are beloved by gardeners worldwide thanks to their ability to withstand a wide range of environmental conditions including drought, wind, heat, saltwater, and resistance to pests and diseases such as scale insects, mites, and fungal infections.
We know that Ixora has the reputation of a fussy plant, but this does not mean that it is impossible to grow and care for. With proper environmental conditions and a bit of patience, you can expect this shrubby friend to thrive for a very long time. Let’s get you more familiar with this fascinating plant!
In terms of lighting, Ixora is generally a big lover of bright and direct light, except for the summer months. Make sure you place this plant in a spot where it can receive about eight to ten hours of sunlight daily. In summer, as mentioned above, you will have to protect your Ixora from harsh direct sunlight. This kind of exposure at this particular moment of the year will turn the foliage of your plant into a dry, burned one.
As a rule, this shrub does well in a warm and humid environment. Temperature-wise, Ixora is more than hardy in the USDA zones 9 to 11. We recommend you spoil your Ixora with temperatures that are somewhat higher than 60 °F (16 °C), especially during the winter. If you want to avoid problems with this plant, avoid exposing it to cold conditions, such as air conditioners in summer or near windows in winter.
Now, we need to talk about humidity. Ixora will do well if you keep it in a humid room. In general, these locations are the kitchens or the bathrooms. In case you do not want to keep your Ixora in either of these two, you can mist it daily with water. Likewise, you can also buy a humidifier and place it somewhere near your Ixora to increase the overall humidity around the plant.
- 100 Rare Ixora flower Seeds
- Growth depends on soil and weather conditions.
- Item Package Quantity:1
- Feed butterflies and bees! Ixora attracts butterflies and other pollinators
- Great for planting along pathways or mixing in landscape beds
- Thrives in a sunny location that receives at least 6 hours of bright light a day
- Water regularly, especially in hot, dry weather
- Zone 10 cold hardiness means it can withstand winter temperatures from 30 to 40-degrees
- 100 Rare Ixora flower Seeds
- Growth depends on soil and weather conditions.
- Item Package Quantity:1
Last update on 2023-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
When it comes to soil, Ixora is the type of plant that grows at its best in slightly acidic substrates with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Avoid planting your Ixora in soil that is too acidic, as it may cause the shrub to have a dull foliage colour. Plus, this plant will be thankful if you plant it in a growing medium that is rich in organic matter and also peat-based. And, as for other moisture-loving species, you should find a well-draining mixture to prevent the roots of your Ixora from rotting.
Fertilizers play an important role in a healthy and thriving Ixora. There are two ways to fertilize your Ixora during the year and you can pick any of these two, but not both. One way you can do this is by feeding your Ixora with a balanced liquid fertilizer once every week during its active growing period. Another way is feeding it with a slow-release fertilizer only once every year in spring. Either way, the nutrients are mandatory in its growing process and necessary if you want your Ixora to show profuse blooming.
Sometimes, Ixora may develop dark spots on its leaves. This is a common indicator that the plant lacks its two primary nutrients – iron and manganese. You can fix this issue by treating your plant with a micronutrient foliar spray. Apply this product on the foliage, especially the young leaves, because they absorb the spray better than the older ones.
If you want your Ixora to always look fresh and be in its best shape, we suggest you prune it after it blooms. You should do this whenever your plant looks somewhat untidy. Ixora can tolerate heavy pruning, so you can cut each shoot by several inches down to only one bud. This method is effective not only for new, healthy growth, but also to encourage flowering on your plant.
Mulching is also important when it comes to growing Ixora shrubs as it will protect your plants from the elements. You shouldn’t skip mulching because it has so many benefits – it can help you conserve water, it prevents weeds, and it adds nutrients to the soil. So, to help the roots of your Ixora grow strong, make sure you apply mulch around the base of your plants.
Since Ixora is a tropical species, it will perform well if you provide it with moisture constantly. In general, the amount of water this shrub requires will depend directly on the environmental conditions in which you are growing it. But we want to avoid complicating things, as Ixora already needs more attention than other houseplants.
A great way to find out whether your Ixora needs another drink or not is to always check its soil in-between waterings. You can use your thumb to see if the growing medium of your Ixora feels dry to the touch. If it does, this is the ideal time to spoil your Ixora with another drink. Once the winter arrives, you can decrease the frequency of watering to avoid fungal problems like root rot.
The easiest and most time-efficient method to make more Ixora for you or your loved ones is propagating it through stem cuttings. However, you will not have nice results if you do not use two well-known secret weapons – rooting hormone and bottom heat. These particular conditions will improve the success of propagation, so it would be wise to bring them in the process if you want to become a skilled grower with time.
When the warmth of spring has arrived, you can start looking for healthy stems on your Ixora and cut about 4 inches (10 cm) off them using a sharp knife. Remove all but the top leaves from each cutting, then place the cut ends in rooting hormone. After this, you can plant the cuttings in a bed filled with moist, well-draining soil. Place the container in a well-lit area and make sure the bottom of it receives heat constantly. With proper care, the cuttings will develop a root system in a few months or so.
Another way to obtain more Ixora is through seeds. If you are lucky, the flowers of your Ixora will produce berries that are full of seeds. In this case, you can remove the seeds from the berries, clean the pulp off the seeds, and soak them in water overnight. On the next day, you can sow the seeds in a pot filled with seed-starting mix, water the mixture well, then cover the pot with a plastic bag. Keep the container in a warm, moderate-lit spot. When germination occurs, you can remove the plastic bag and move the tiny plants to a location with bright light.
Ixora Pests and Diseases
Ixora is a resistant plant but it can still be affected occasionally by various pest infestations, mostly from aphids and scale insects. If you happen to notice any signs of infestation on your Ixora shrubs, it’s best to take action. The first signs of an aphid infestation are unhealthy-looking leaves. Aphids can cause the foliage of Ixora shrubs to turn yellow and to become misshapen. These insects will usually hide on the underside of the leaves and they will produce a sticky substance, known as ‘honeydew’, that can easily be noticed.
The honeydew can be a problem in itself as it can attract other insects such as ants. An effective way to get rid of aphids and of honeydew is by spraying cold water on your shrubs. A strong blast of water will dislodge the aphids. Repeat this process a few times until your plants are clean. Read our complete guide to aphids to find more effective ways of ridding your plants of these annoying insects.
Ixora shrubs, like most deciduous shrubs and trees, can be affected by anthracnose, which is a fungal disease that causes dark lesions on leaves. Plants that thrive in wet environments are more prone to fungal infections. Other diseases that result from wet environments and that can damage your Ixora shrubs are leaf spot disease, sooty mould infection, and mushroom root rot. These plant diseases can easily be avoided if you don’t overwater or overcrowd your plants and keep them in a clean environment.
At the end of the day, Ixora is not as picky as people might think. This plant can basically thrive with bright light, warm temperatures, acidic, well-draining soils, a bit of fertilizer, and regular watering. If you manage to provide it with these particular growing conditions, you will enjoy this stunning Ixora plant and its blooms for a long time.
Are you growing Ixora? Share your experience in the comments!