Ixora coccinea1

Edward F. Gilman 2

Introduction

Four to six-inch globular clusters of bright red, orange, yellow, pink, or white tube-shaped flowers bloom continuously under ideal conditions in full sun (Fig. 1). The two to three inch-long leaves are bronzy when young, later turning to a glistening dark green. The much-branched, compact habit of Ixora makes it ideal for hedges, borders, screens, or as a specimen planting, and it may be pruned at any time. Shearing to maintain a hedge will reduce the flower display.

Figure 1. Ixora.
Figure 1.  Ixora.

General Information

Scientific name: Ixora coccinea

Pronunciation: ick-SOR-uh kock-SIN-ee-uh

Common name(s): Ixora

Family: Rubiaceae

Plant type: shrub

USDA hardiness zones: 10 through 11 (Fig. 2)

Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round

Origin: not native to North America

Uses: screen; border; container or above-ground planter; hanging basket; superior hedge; accent; attracts hummingbirds; small parking lot islands (< 100 square feet in size); mediumsizedparking lot islands (100-200 square feet in size); largeparking lot islands (> 200 square feet in size)

Availablity: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range

Figure 2. Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 2.  Shaded area represents potential planting range.

Description

Height: 10 to 15 feet

Spread: 4 to 10 feet

Plant habit: upright; oval

Plant density: dense

Growth rate: slow

Texture: medium

Foliage

Leaf arrangement: whorled

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: entire

Leaf shape: ovate

Leaf venation: pinnate

Leaf type and persistence: evergreen

Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no fall color change

Fall characteristic: not showy

Flower

Flower color: red; yellow; pink; white; orange

Flower characteristic: year-round flowering

Figure 3. Flower of Ixora
Figure 3.  Flower of Ixora

Fruit

Fruit shape: round

Fruit length: less than .5 inch

Fruit cover: fleshy

Fruit color: purple

Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not particularly showy; typically multitrunked or clumping stems

Current year stem/twig color: reddish

Current year stem/twig thickness: thin

Culture

Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun

Soil tolerances: clay; sand; acidic; loam

Drought tolerance: moderate

Soil salt tolerances: poor

Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches

Other

Roots: usually not a problem

Winter interest: plant has winter interest due to unusual form, nice persistent fruits, showy winter trunk, or winter flowers

Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more

Invasive potential: not known to be invasive

Pest resistance: very sensitiveto one or more pests or diseases which can affect plants health or aesthetics

Use and Management

Ixora thrives in full sun in moist but well-drained acid soil but can tolerate some shade. Foliage turns yellow in alkaline soil such as next to sidewalks and foundations, where it is often planted. A continued micronutrient fertility program is neededto maintain green leaf color in alkaline soil. The cultivar 'Fraseri' has brilliant reddish-salmon flowers. 'Crimson King' has bright red flowers. Dwarf cultivars are available and are well suited for container planting.

Propagation is by cuttings.

Problems include nematodes, aphids, bagworms and scale.Chlorosis in alkaline soil makes this a high maintenance plant in many coastal landscapes. Treatment with an appropriate micronutrient fertilizer can temporarily prevent or correct chlorosis. Chelates with iron and/or manganese correct and help prevent chlorosis.

Pest and Diseases

Mushroom root rot can be a problem for Ixora.

Footnotes

1. This document is FPS 291, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed March 2015. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.
2. Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Publication #FPS 291

Date: 2015-03-15
Shrubs Fact Sheets

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Contacts

  • Gail Hansen de Chapman