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Ixora odorata is a large evergreen shrub that grows 5-10 feet tall and can be found in gardens and landscapes of the tropics and subtropics in USDA zones 1011. In addition to its attractive evergreen foliage, these large shrubs also produce clusters of white or off-white, fragrant flowers in summer and fall. It does not thrive in the full sun so it is best suited for semi-shade or indirect light. The soil should be moist and well-drained and acidic. It is a very tough shrub that can tolerate some salt spray from nearby seaside and also thrives in coastal areas.
For those living in colder climates, Ixora odorata can also be grown in a pot where you will need to take extra care to provide them with ideal growing conditions. It is key to ensure the soil doesn't become dry too often and remains constantly moist, without becoming soggy. During winter, it is essential to move the pot to a protected spot where temperatures will remain above freezing point. You can also add a mulch layer on top of the soil and a frost cloth over the pot during the coldest months to further protect the plant.
Ixora - from the name of an Indian deity - is a genus with about 400 species, some of which rival Hibiscus as garden shrubs. I.javanica, one of the most often used, is a sizeable shrub with largish, pointed leaves and red-orange or pure red flowers that appear in rounded clusters of as many as sixty at the tips of the branches. I.cocdnea is smaller, with glossy, more ovate leaves; usually red, but there are white, pink, yellow, and orange varieties, and a dwarf often used as a low hedge. I.jinlaysoniana, a native of Thailand, can become a small tree and has large, fragrant, pure white flowers. In full sun or light shade, Ixora flowers almost continuously needing little pruning except for a more formal shape. When grown as a house plant, it needs high humidity, warm temperatures, and exposure to strong light. Propagation is easiest by air-layering. Species and varieties:
The Thai Snow Ixora is a rare and lesser known Ixora Hybrid from Thailand. It has small rounded leaves glossy medium to deep green leaves that vary from splashed and speckled with white variegation to almost solid creamy white new growth.
The growth habit is semi-dwarf, maturing at around 2 feet with and a dense, tight, growth habit. It blooms in clusters of white to near white star shaped florets beginning in early summer. The flowers are nectar rich and attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Its best and most interesting feature however is the variegated foliage and slower growth habit. This is one makes especially nice potted plants and works well as in light shade to brighten and add texture. It does not bloom as prolifically and is not as showy as most of the green leaved ixoras, so the primary feature to consider when placing is the strikingly pretty variegated leaves which vary from being lightly mottled and sprinkled cream on the older to leaves to near solid creamy white barely dusted with emerald green.