How to care for a China Doll plant - Knowledgebase Question

Biloxi, Ms
Avatar for jtaymon
Question by jtaymon
October 17, 2006
Help my

Answer from NGA
October 17, 2006
China Doll is Radermachera. It has shiny, deeply-veined leaflets with long tapering points and when conditions are just right, it develops tiny blue flowers with bright yellow centers. Yellowing leaves can indicate over-watering, or not enough light. Since yours is under fluorescent lights, it should be getting adequate light so let's concentrate on changing your watering habits. You can't really estimate the amount of water a plant will need so a cup of water every other day may be too much or too litte. Plants use water as they grow, and some water can evaporate from the saucer or tray. During active growing periods (spring through summer) your plant will use more water than during the resting months (fall through winter). I suggest you immerse the pot in a large container of water to thoroughly wet the entire root mass. Allow to drain and set the container on a saucer to collect excess water. Wait a few days and stick your finger into the potting soil. If it is still moist one-inch below the surface, you won't need to water for a few days. If it feels dry, water thoroughly, until water seeps out the drainage holes. Keep checking before you water and you'll eventually be able to determine just how often you'll need to water your China Doll.

General care guidelines include providing average household temperatures, bright light (but protect from direct sunlight), keep soil moist but not soggy wet. Fertilize in the spring when new growth begins with a liquid fertilizer diluted to label directions. Enjoy!

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