The ixora shrub (Ixora coccinea) brings large swaths of bright colors to tropical gardens. Its 4-inch clusters of colorful blooms will flower almost continuously in hot sun. Its dark-green leaves and multibranched, compact shape make it excellent for borders, screens and hedges. Ixoras grows 4 to 6 feet wide and tall and there are some dwarf cultivars that reach less than 3 feet. Ixora is an easy shrub to grow if you have the right conditions.
Plant ixoras in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 10 to 11. Ixora is native to tropical Asia, and it grows well in hot, humid climates.
Prepare a garden bed in full sun to partial shade. Ixora requires well-drained, acidic soil (with a pH below 7.0) to avoid developing chlorotic (yellow) leaves. To make your soil more acidic, amend it with peat moss, aluminum sulfate or iron sulfate. The peat moss also will help with drainage. Contact your local cooperative extension service for a soil test and information on how much amendment to add.
Do not plant your ixora near stucco or concrete, as the lime runoff from rain will make the soil too alkaline and damage the shrub.
Water your ixora once a week during warm weather, twice a week during drought conditions. In the winter, water ixora sparingly.
Feed your ixora with a high-nitrogen fertilizer during the growing months. Mulch with pine needles to boost the soil's acidity.
Prune only to shape your ixora or to remove dead branches. Too much pruning will drastically reduce the number of blooms.
Cover your ixora with sheets or light blankets if a heavy frost (very rare in zones 10 and 11) threatens. Remove the covering once the temperature rises above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. While a light freeze may kill your shrub to the ground, it will return in the spring.
Place your potted ixora in an area that receives bright light, but not full sun.
Water once a week or when the top 1 inch of soil is dry. Use a liquid high-nitrogen fertilizer every two weeks. Reduce watering and feeding during the winter months. If your house has very low humidity, mist your ixora occasionally.
Keep your ixora out of drafts. The ideal temperature year round for indoor ixora shrubs is above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.