Dwarf ixora plants need to be monitored pretty closely when it comes to temperature. They don’t handle either the cold or the heat very well, and so, are best kept inside. It also needs plenty of sunlight, so make sure it’s near a window. Finally, make sure the soil’s pH level is 5 or 6. When you follow these precautionary measures, you’ll be rewarded with nearly continual star-shaped, clustered flowers in various colors.
Dwarf Ixora Overview
|Scientific Name:||Ixora taiwanensis|
|Common Names||Dwarf ixora, flame of the woods, jungle flame|
|Watering||Maintain moist soil|
|Light||Full sun to partial shade|
|Humidity||Moderate to high humidity|
|Pests||Common houseplant pests|
Ixora encompasses a whole genus of flowering shrubs and trees, with the Dwarf ixora being a smaller version of Ixora coccinia, which is commonly known simply as ‘Ixora.’ Other varieties of ixora include the following.
This variety is commonly known as the white jungle flame, the white Siamese ixora, and the fragrant ixora. It is a large shrub which produces clusters of delicate white fragrant flowers (Urban Forest).
Known as the torch wood tree, this small evergreen tree is native to India.
This tropical hybrid is known as the super king for good reason. It has erect branches spanning 10 feet, and bright red clusters of flowers.
This plant is native to Java, and features large glossy leaves and coral colored flowers.
This plant is commonly known as Chinese ixora, and is a medium-sized evergreen shrub, usually growing to around four feet in height.
This plant likes to have continuously moist soil, and like most flowering plants, it should not be allowed to dry out. Aim to keep the soil moist but not wet by watering it once the top layer of soil has dried out. You can test this by dipping your finger in the soil. Remember that the temperature and light your plant receives will affect its watering needs, as well as whether it is kept in a container or grown directly in the ground.
Ensure the soil is well-draining so that any accidental overwatering won’t cause problems, and can simply be drained away. Like most plants, the Dwarf ixora can suffer from root rot and other diseases if it sits in soggy soil.
The ideal temperature range for the Dwarf ixora is 65° to 70° F. This type of ixora is known to be one of the hardiest, but it does like warm conditions and will suffer if temperatures drop. Low temperatures will cause this plant to shed its leaves. Interestingly, Dwarf ixora plants with pink or white flowers tend to be more susceptible to damage from the cold, and these especially should be grown in a warm climate.
This plant will react equally badly if it gets too hot, so try to give it some shade during the hottest time of the day to prevent it from overheating. The plant is ideal for keeping as a houseplant as it will be perfectly happy with average room temperatures.
As a natively tropical plant, the Dwarf ixora loves sunlight. If planting outside, it will need to be in a position that benefits from at least a few hours of direct sunlight each day, ideally in the morning. This plant can suffer if it gets too hot, so the perfect lighting scenario would be for the plant to get full sun in the morning and shade in the heat of the afternoon sun.
If the plant does not get enough sunlight, you will notice it with a distinct lack of flowers, though equally too much sun can cause the flowers to wilt and drop. Aim to strike a good balance by allowing both some direct sunlight and partial shade. If you have this plant indoors as a houseplant, you can put it in a bright window with lots of bright but indirect light. Otherwise, as long as your home is relatively cool, the plant will tolerate a position of direct light, just keep an eye on the plant in case it responds badly to this and needs to be moved to a place with a little more shelter from constant sun.
This plant is very low maintenance in general, but one area where it is quite fussy is soil. It likes acidic soil, and it will let you know if you have incorrectly planted it in alkaline soil, so save yourself the time and trouble and test the pH of your soil before you plant the Dwarf ixora to make sure it is going to be suitable. It likes the soil to be in a pH range of 5.0 to 6.0.
If your soil doesn’t fit the bill, you can adjust the acidity of it by adding compost, which will help to adjust pH levels. It’s also a good idea to use a fertilizer for acidic loving plants, as this will also help to maintain the right pH for the Dwarf ixora. If your plant is growing directly in the ground, add a layer of mulch on top of the soil after planting. The mulch will help to maintain the correct pH level but also serves double duty to retain moisture levels.
The decision of whether or not to prune your Dwarf ixora depends on what you are trying to achieve. Due to its size, this shrub is very versatile and can be grown in many ways. It typically won’t grow any taller than two feet, so it is ideal to use as a hedge along the border of a footpath. For this purpose, the plant will need to be pruned into shape. This is best done at the end of fall as it will encourage new growth and more abundant blooms next season.
You can also plant your Dwarf ixora amongst other plants in a bed, and as it is fairly compact, it will happily grow next to neighbors without encroaching on their space. It can also be grown outdoors in a container, or it also makes a nice houseplant. When used in a flower bed, container, or as a houseplant, you can allow it to grow naturally without pruning it down, though you can also prune it if you prefer a more manicured look.
Whatever your reasons for pruning, this plant responds very well to being cut back, so don’t worry about being too harsh or pruning incorrectly because the Dwarf ixora is very forgiving and will grow back. Aside from pruning for shape, you will also need to undertake pruning for health. Cut back and dead or damaged branches as you spot them, and prevent the plant from invading other plants space.
The showy flowers of this plant are the reason it is loved by so many. The flowers grow in clusters, and each small flower is shaped like a star. They come in a variety of colors, including pink, orange, white, and red. The plant gives the impression that it is continuously blooming all year, when, in fact the blooming periods are so close together that it’s easy to be fooled into thinking the flowers are everlasting (University of Florida- Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences- Gardening Solutions).
Common Pests and Diseases
The Dwarf ixora is mostly pest and disease-free, though it can fall victim to common houseplant and greenhouse pests, such as thrips and whitefly. Combat these by forcefully spraying the plant daily with water when you notice the beginning of an infestation.
Have you found it or easy or difficult to take care of your Dwarf ixora? Let us know in the comments below! And if you know anyone who has or wants to grow one of these plants, share this page with them!