Botanical Name: Ixora coccinea
Big, bright flower clusters give this beautiful tropical a couple common names: Flame-of-the-Woods and Jungle Geranium.
Now you can find cultivars available with blooms in shades of pinks, oranges and reds. Each star-like flower has 4 petals and can grow up to 1-in (2.5 cm) wide. Not that impressive, but put dozens of blooms together and those flower heads pack a lot of sizzling color on this compact shrub.
Glossy leaves grow in opposite pairs on upright stems. Prune the plant back after flowering is over, if you want to keep it compact.
This magnificent Ixora shrub prefers sunshine, warm temps and high humidity, like in its native tropical habitat.
No blooms? Ixoras that don't bloom aren't getting enough light. Put it in a warm greenhouse or sunroom to give your plant what it wants. Depending on where you live, moving Ixora to your patio for the summer may be ideal.
High humidity is a must. It's a good idea to use a pebble tray or room humidifier for Ixoras. If the leaves get brown edges and flower buds shrivel without opening, the air is too dry.
Repot in spring, moving up 1 pot size to give this beautiful flowering plant more room to grow. Use a pot with drainage holes to prevent soggy soil.
Origin: India and Sri Lanka
Height: Up to 2 ft (30 cm)
Light: Full sun to bright light
Water: Water thoroughly then allow the potting medium to dry out a bit before watering again. Use rainwater, allowing it to warm up to room-temperature because cold water will shock this tropical native. Water less in winter.
Humidity: Moderate to high humidity. If relative humidity drops below 50%, place pot on a tray of wet pebbles or use a room humidifier.
Temperature: Keep warm year-round (75°F/24°C) with a mininum temperature of 60°F/16°C.
Soil: Peat moss-based mix or African violet potting mix.
Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks in summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
Propagation: Take 3-inch (8 cm) stem tip cuttings in spring or summer. Dip the cut end in water, then hormone rooting powder. Put the stem in moist potting mix, then firm the mix around the stem so that it stands up. Enclose the whole pot in plastic to maintain humidity. Roots should develop in about a month.