The ixora plant, also known as isoca plant , Maltese cross or coral among many other common names, is an original plant of the tropical areas of Asia, although at present it is also widespread in the tropics of America and in other parts of the planet. It is a fairly adaptable and easy to grow plant, which tends to grow well in most warm or temperate climates, and whose main utility is aesthetic thanks to its small flowers that grow in the shape of a cross in bunches that form spheres in the own plant when its flowering is abundant. If you want to know the care of the ixora plant , as well as some of the most common varieties that can be found, keep reading and we will tell you about it.
Ixora plant care
The care of the isoca plant is quite simple since it is a fairly resistant plant. However, if what we want is for the ixora flower to grow strong and look as beautiful as possible, it is best to follow a series of tips to improve all its conditions as much as possible.
Light and location
One of the aspects that we have to take into account when caring for an ixora is that it will need indirect light. Although it supports direct sunlight well, it is preferable that the light that reaches it is slightly filtered. In this sense, it will be enough to place it near a window or on a terrace that is protected from the most intense solar radiation or for several hours a day.
Substrate and irrigation
Regarding the soil, you need a substrate that is slightly acidic and, if possible, a soil that is rich in organic matter. In addition, it is also recommended that it be a soil that has good aeration, since it is a plant that does not tolerate waterlogging too well. Despite this, it is a plant that needs to have a continuously humid soil and environment. Therefore, it is advisable to water it often and, from time to time, spray a little water on its leaves to moisten the environment and all its parts. However, it is better to avoid that water accumulates in the pot plate, since it is not recommended that the substrate is flooded.
Plagues and diseases
Some of the problems that this plant presents, whether it is in a pot or planted directly in the ground, is the attack of some pests, among which the mealybugs stand out . These can be fought with a natural insecticide formulated from a mixture of soapy water made from potassium soap.
How to plant an ixora: reproduction and transplantation
When planting an ixora we have two ways of doing it. On the one hand, you can directly choose to plant your seeds. In this case, it should be taken into account that the isoca or ixora plant is slow-growing, which means that those specimens that grow from ixora seeds may take several years to develop sufficiently until they present flowers.
Reproduction by cuttings
On the other hand, if we want the new ixora to present flowers in a maximum period of six months, the best option is to reproduce it through cuttings. To do this, it is necessary to cut a branch from an adult ixora , for example after pruning, and place it in water for a few days until it takes root. Afterwards, we will have to transplant the cutting into a pot with a substrate that has a slightly acidic pH and water it abundantly. In this case, the new ixora will most likely flower the same year it was planted, so this is often the most popular method of planting a new ixora .
Transplant an ixora plant
If what you are looking for is to transplant an ixora plant from the pot to the ground or from a small pot to a larger one, then you will need to take into account that the plant should be as healthy as possible at that time and better if it is not in full bloom or starting it. Always make sure that the substrate, whether in soil or in a pot, drains well enough and when you finish planting it in its new site add compost and water it.
Types and varieties of ixora plant
Actually, when we talk about the ixora plant we are referring to a family of plants made up of more than 500 species . Although most have many elements in common with each other, each of them has its own peculiarities and differences. Some of the most common are the following:
- Ixora coccinea: this is by far the most representative ixora of the genus and the most widespread of all. It usually reaches one meter in height, although specimens have been known that have grown to three meters.
- Ixora chinensis: it gets its name from its origin in China and certain areas of Southeast Asia. It is characterized by being somewhat smaller than the ixora coccinea and by the intense red or yellow color of its flowers.
- Ixora maui: This is a hybrid of ixora that is usually found in the southernmost parts of the United States. It is characterized by its orange color reminiscent of apricots.
- Dwarf Ixora: also known as compact ixora, it is characterized by its small size. It is highly valued in landscaping, since its flowers attract both butterflies and hummingbirds, which adds an added value to the aesthetics of the gardens.
- Dwarf or mini: also known as West Indian jasmine, it is a type of ixora that is characterized, in addition to its smaller size, by a variety of colors, among which pink and fuchsia stand out. Likewise, its leaves are somewhat longer than those of other varieties of ixora.