How to Treat an Ixora Shrub

Overview

Ixora is a flowering tropical evergreen shrub that thrives in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11 and blooms all year long in these warm and humid climes. The foliage is a rich glossy green and the color of the domed flower heads varies widely by variety of the species from coral red to deep cerise pink to white. According to the University of Florida, ixora is relatively low-growing, never reaching taller than 8 feet at peak maturity and under ideal growing conditions. It is planted in beds, borders and containers, and is also used as a low- to medium-height hedging material.

Step 1

Provide a growing location for ixora with a full-sun exposure, light shade for part of the day. or dappled shade for the majority of the day. Shade will inhibit bloom performance and drives leggy growth so heavy shade will not allow the plant to perform well.

Step 2

Ensure an acidic soil pH hovering near 5.0. Conduct a soil test if you are unsure about your soil conditions and amend the surrounding soil as necessary to lower or raise the pH to suit the plant. Refrain from planting ixora near sidewalks, concrete driveways or in planters ringed by concrete blocks as these will result in an alkaline growing soil that the plant will not like. Use peat moss, shredded bark and/or compost as an annual mulch to help gently acidify the soil

Step 3

Water your ixora consistently but not heavily. Maintain evenly moist soil at all times but not persistently wet soil as the roots can easily become waterlogged and suffocate or rot.

Step 4

Prune you ixora once a year in the early spring before new growth appears. Thin out older, longer and low-performing branches down to the parent branch or down to the main stem. Never remove more than 1/3 of the older branches each year and spread the pruning cuts evenly through the shrub to maintain the natural form.

Step 5

Fertilize your ixora two ways each year: by boosting the soil nutrition and by spraying the foliage with necessary micro-nutrients to prevent chlorosis. Use a soluble soil fertilizer product for acid-loving plants like azalea, rhododendrons or holly. Use an iron chelate or manganese spray for the foliage. Follow the product label directions and frequency of application.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil pH amendments
  • Organic mulch
  • Water
  • Pruning shears or loppers
  • Distilled water
  • Refillable spray bottle
  • Iron and manganese supplement foliage spray
  • Acid-rich fertilizer

References

  • University of Florida IFAS: Ixora for South Florida
Keywords: ixora shrub care, growing conditions ixora, handle ixora shrubs

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.