Ixora is a flowering deciduous shrub, native to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia. Ixora is an acid-loving plant, and can be treated much like hibiscus, gardenia or azalea in terms of its cultivation needs. Like these acid lovers, it needs frequent fertilization and maintenance to reach its potential. While the ixora may be a challenging plant for beginning gardeners, its summer display of delicate blossoms makes it worth all of the effort.
Conduct an annual soil test to ensure that your soil's pH remains near 5.0. Your local county extension office provides this service for a nominal fee. The soil test results or the horticultural experts at the extension office will provide soil amendment recommendations for lowering the pH level of the specific type of soil in your yard.
Water your ixora whenever the top 4 to 6 inches of the soil dry out. Water the ixora with a slow-running hose until the soil is moist to the depth of the root ball. If water pools on or runs off the surface, stop watering and allow the water to absorb into the soil before continuing.
Fertilize your ixora shrub during the growing season with a fertilizer manufactured for use on azaleas. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for application rates and amounts based on the size of your ixora shrub. Water the soil with 3 to 4 inches of water after every fertilizer application.
Prune your ixora shrub once annually in spring as soon as it begins to develop new growth. Use sharp pruning shears to prune any dead or diseased wood back to its point of origin. Shape the izora shrub by pruning back the new growth on its terminal branches. But keep in mind that an izora shrub's buds are also on its stem ends and excessive stem-end pruning may result in fewer blossoms this season.
Spread 3 inches of organic mulch around the root zone of your ixora shrub. Then pull the organic mulch away from the base so that it is not touching it on any side.