Botanical Family: Rubiaceae
Ixora may be the most common flowering shrubs seen in South and West Africa. Pictured here is the Ixora casei “Super King.” Related to the gardenia and coffee plants. Ixora is said to be native to Asia and whose names derives from an Indian deity. There are about 400 species spread from Africa to India to Southern Asia. For red color, ixora is popular in warm weather with blooms all year long, but maximum beauty is from late spring through the early winter months, peaking in the hot months. The many types used in South Florida vary with leaf size, plant height, flower size and flower color. Cut flower stems are long lasting brought indoors. Often Ixora coccinea is use for hedges. All ixoras do best in full sun, acid soil, free from nematodes, a moist organic mix that is also well drained. Ixora can endure some salt spray on the wind. Planted in shady areas or with excess water on leaves, sooty mold usually set in. A common problem is alkaline soils, specially near concrete and pools, causing poor health, poor foliage and poor blooming. This is especially true for yellow and dwarf ixora varieties. Older ixora plants may be attacked by rootknot nematodes, tiny worm-like creatures which bore into roots and weaken the plant.
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