How to Properly Grow China Doll Plants

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The China doll plant, with its feathery green foliage, is a popular indoor plant. For home gardeners, China doll plant care consists of a few simple steps.


What Exactly Is a China Doll Plant?

The China doll plant (Radermachera sinica) is an evergreen small tree in the Bignoniaceae family. The China doll plant is native to Asia's subtropical mountainous regions and thrives in warm, humid conditions. China doll plants thrive in USDA hardiness zones ten through twelve in the United States.

The serpent tree and emerald tree are two other common names for the China doll plant. The China doll plant has green leaves that can become leggy if the light is too low. A healthy China doll plant with glossy leaves requires the proper balance of light and moisture. These plants grow slowly, but mature plants can grow to be six feet tall and three feet wide. This plant type thrives in warm temperatures and can be an eye-catching addition to your indoor garden.


How to Properly Plant a China Doll Houseplant

Planting a China doll houseplant is a simple procedure.

1. Plant at any time of the year. You can plant your China doll plant any time of year if you grow it indoors.

2. Select a soil that drains well. Give your houseplant a solid foundation by using a well-draining potting mix. If your soil isn't draining well, add sand or perlite to your potting mix.

3. Select a location with some shade. Put your China doll plant in a bright but partially shaded area of your home.

4. Use soil that drains well. A moist, well-draining soil is essential for the health of a China doll plant. Perlite should be added to potting soil to improve drainage and prevent root rot.


How to Grow and Cater for China Doll Plants

Follow these tips after planting your China doll plant to ensure it thrives.

1. Light: A combination of direct and indirect light is ideal for China doll plants. Avoid direct afternoon sunlight, which can cause yellowing and leaf drop.

2. Environment: Keep your China doll plants away from drafty areas for the best results. In general, it's critical to maintain consistent growing conditions for your China doll plant. The China doll plant thrives in a consistent environment and is prone to leaf drop when conditions change abruptly.

3. Temperature: China doll plants thrive in temperatures ranging from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with plenty of humidity. If your indoor environment is dry, consider purchasing a humidifier.

4. Watering: Water your China doll plant according to the appearance of the soil. Wait until the top inch of soil becomes dry before watering. Overwatering wet soil can cause fungal diseases, whereas slightly moist soil is beneficial to your plant.

5. Feeding: During the spring and summer growing seasons, apply a liquid fertilizer once per month.

6. Pruning: You should prune your China doll plant four times a year, or once per season. Pruning the China doll plant prevents it from becoming leggy and promotes new leaf growth.

7. Propagation: Take stem cuttings and place them in fresh moist soil to propagate your plant. New roots should appear within a month if the soil is kept consistently moist.

8. Repotting: Repotting your China doll plant is not advised because these houseplants thrive when they are root-bound.

9. Pest control: The bushy leaves of a China doll plant attract spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs. If an infestation occurs, use a gentle organic insecticide such as neem oil to control it.
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