Psychotria viridiflora is a large shrub native to the tropical forests of Malaysia, reaching an impressive height of 5-10 feet. It is highly valued for its ethnomedical properties, making it sought after in many parts of the world. The shrub has smooth, glossy leaves which are arranged in opposing pairs and have a defined central vein. Both the leaves and stems give off a pleasant smell when touched.
It produces delicate, off-white to yellow-pinkish flowers with a corolla tube. These flowers are very small, measuring only 1/4 inches in diameter, and they cluster together in panicles. These blooms bring a special beauty to this shrub and they attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
Psychotria viridiflora can be grown in semi-shade, where it is sheltered from the sun and can receive indirect light. This ensures it can thrive without drying out, as it does not have a high tolerance for drought-like conditions. However, it does need regular watering and it is suited to USDA Growing Zones 9-11.
If you live in a region with lower temperatures, you can still enjoy growing Psychotria viridiflora by growing it as a container-grown plant. The shrub can be kept in a pot and placed in a position that receives sun for a few hours a day. It is important to make sure the plant is grown in well-drained, organic soil and watered regularly. To create a humidity-rich environment, mist the leaves with water on a daily basis and avoid placing the container in an area that is heavily exposed to the wind.
Overall, Psychotria viridiflora is a perfect addition to any garden, as it is both beautiful and versatile. With its ethnomedical properties, as well as its delicate flowers, this large shrub is sure to bring joy and beauty to your garden for many years to come.