Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Beauty Blossoms in Varieties; Weekender Columnist Neil Fisher Is from Fisher's Nursery, North Rockhampton. You Can Chat with Neil on Radio 4ro's Gardening Hour after the 6am News on Tuesdays

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Beauty Blossoms in Varieties; Weekender Columnist Neil Fisher Is from Fisher's Nursery, North Rockhampton. You Can Chat with Neil on Radio 4ro's Gardening Hour after the 6am News on Tuesdays

Article excerpt

Byline: NEIL FISHER

IT WOULD be hard to find a shrub more colourful than the Ixora at the moment. With their glossy, deep green leaves and spectacular heads of scarlet, orange, yellow, pink or white flowers, a position could be found for this plant in almost any garden.

Commonly known as the Jungle Geranium or Jungle Flame the Ixora has been grown in Central Queensland for more than eighty years.

Over the last two decades a number of very hardy dwarf Ixoras have become available to gardeners. All proof that good things can come in small packages.

The dwarf Ixoras are very hardy and can be grown from almost the beach front to western gardens and all these plants would be providing a stunning floral display at the moment.

It would be easy to think that the Ixora will require thousands of litres of water a year to survive, yet surprisingly, most Ixoras will use less than three litres of water a week.

It is best to water your Ixora in early morning so as little water as possible is lost through evaporation or by drip irrigation. This will also help keep the plants as healthy as possible while the local water quality is poor.

When growing Ixoras in Central Queensland, you will find that they need regular water during the warmer months and very little during the cooler months. Ixoras need humus-rich, moist but freely drained, friable soils.

I would recommend a light pruning of the Dwarf Ixoras after flowering in late autumn or winter, to maintain a neat shape.

The cooler times of the year are the best for pruning, as the plant does not need to be watered as much. Spent flower heads should be removed immediately. Propagate from cuttings in summer or from seed in spring.

The Ixora is a part of a large genus of about 400 species of evergreen shrubs and small trees, native to tropical regions of Africa, Asia and the islands of the Pacific.

These shrubs are used for massed bedding displays, hedges and screens, and can also be grown in containers. …

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