The ixora, native to tropical Asia, is an evergreen shrub that blooms in clusters of white, yellow, soft orange or pink flowers. If grown under the proper conditions, and within its USDA hardiness zones (9a to 11), ixora will bloom all year. The shrub can grow, depending upon variety, 3 to 8 feet tall and is generally used as a shrub or accent plant. Ixora, pronounced ick-SOR-uh, will even do well in a large container in a sunny to partially shady spot.
Amend the soil in which the ixora is being grown so that it has a pH of at least 5. This is an acid-loving plant and will not thrive in alkaline soil. Scientists at the University of Florida caution against planting the ixora near concrete foundations or sidewalks and to screen the soil for any pieces of concrete, as this material can cause the pH to rise to levels too high for the plant. Consult with your county cooperative extension agent to determine which soil amendments are appropriate for your region.
Water the plant only when the soil is completely dry. Over-watering is one of the biggest problems for the ixora.
Apply a 3-inch layer of organic mulch around the base of the ixora shrub, keeping it at least 2 inches from the trunk.
Prune the ixora once a year, in early spring. Master gardeners at the University of Florida Extension warn that excess pruning toward the tips of the branches may cause the plant to produce fewer flower clusters.
Fertilize the ixora shrub with soil sulfur at the rate recommended on the package. Acidic fertilizers, such as those for azaleas, also work well.