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There are about 150 species of Ixora, the most common being the Ixora coccinea, or "Flame of the Woods," native to Southeastern Asia. Its compact habit, evergreen foliage, and abundance of bright red to orange blooms make it a favorite for hedge and foundation plantings. During the past several years, new Ixora hybrids have appeared on the market. These varieties are the result of cross-breeding, importing, and hybridizing.* Now Ixora may be obtained in white, pink, yellow, orange, salmon, and rose, as well as red.
PLANTING- Ixora is best adapted to an acid soil high in organic matter. If the soil is sandy, the plant will do best if liberal amounts of manure, muck, or peat, or mixtures of these materials are used to replace part of the soil on the planting site. While Ixora coccinea does best in full sun, most of the newer varieties seem to prefer partial shade. Ixora will tolerate some salt air if planted well back from the shore and has protection from direct salt spray.
FERTILIZATION- Fertilizer should be applied in early spring, mid-summer, and late summer. A special acid fertilizer such as 4-8-8 with minor elements made especially for Gardenia and Ixora is recommended.
INSECTS AND DISEASES- This plant is subject to nematodes and should be mulched heavily. It is also attacked by aphids, mites, and scale, which cause sooty mold.
SPECIAL PROBLEMS- Except under ideal conditions, Ixora exhibits a severe yellowing, or chlorosis, of the leaves during the winter and early spring. If not corrected, chlorosis may extend into the growing season. Chlorosis may be corrected by spraying the plant with a good nutritional spray. Since the spray will only correct the condition on the leaves it contacts, the spray should be followed with a soil application of 8 ounces of manganese sulfate and 8 ounces of ferrous sulfate per 100 square feet or area or 100 feet of hedge. 2 ounces of 6% or 1 ounce of 12% chelated iron may be substituted for the ferrous sulfate in the soil application. The chelated iron is very useful since it is readily available to the plant and is not as easily fixed by the soil as the ferrous sulfate.
BROWARD COUNTY AGRICULTURAL AGENT'S OFFICE
* Florida Plants Online Note- Since 1983, the variety 'Nora Grant' has steadily grown in popularity for its versatility and overall durability in the landscape. Most of the time 'Nora Grant' is kept too short at a height of 3'-4'. Given a wide enough bed, 'Nora Grant' will grow into a fine blooming tall screening hedge requiring occasional shaping.