The Indian hawthorn is a tiny, slow-growing shrub that thrives in sunny areas. It’s simple to maintain since it maintains a clean, rounded form without the need for pruning. The shrub is attractive all year, but in the spring, when huge, loose clusters of fragrant pink or white flowers emerge, it becomes a focal point. Small blue berries follow the blossoms, attracting animals. Continue reading to learn how to cultivate Indian hawthorn.
The Indian hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica) is a tiny shrub that develops in a clean, rounded form naturally. It does not just grow in India, despite its popular name. It is native to China, although it may also be found in other countries of Asia and Australia. Furthermore, it’s an excellent hedge, foundation planting, and other landscaping alternatives for warmer areas. It’s also a great container plant.
The somewhat golden leaves of this evergreen shrub, grow to a rich green tone. It has oblong leaves with a leathery feel and serrated edges that are around 2 to 4 inches long. The shrub produces stunning, fragrant light pink or white blooms in bunches throughout the spring. The flowers have five petals and are star-shaped. After the shrub blossoms, small, dark blue fruits develop, which can stay on the plant throughout winter unless eaten by mammals. Because of its modest growth rate, this shrub should be planted in the early spring.
Indian Hawthorn Cold Hardiness
According to the USDA, Indian hawthorn hardy in USDA plant hardiness zone 8 and can withstand temperatures as low as 10 to 15 °F. Indian hawthorn shrub is susceptible to cold harm when temperatures dip below 10 degrees.
How Tall Does the Indian Hawthorn Grow
Most cultivars reach a height of 3 to 6 feet and a width of roughly the same. There are a few huge shrubs that can be groomed to seem like little trees.
Care for Indian Hawthorn Shrub
If you plant Indian hawthorn bushes in the right growth circumstances, they’re rather straightforward to care for. They prefer to grow in a sunny location with well-drained soil and sufficient air circulation. If you’re going to put them in a container, make sure it has plenty of drainage holes and a loose potting mix. Keep in mind that wet weather can induce illness.
Indian Hawthorn Prefers Sun or Shade
This shrub prefers full sun, which means at least six hours of direct sunshine each day on most days. It may, however, withstand mild shade, but the full sun is ideal for healthy growing and flowering.
Selecting the Best Soil
As long as there is excellent drainage, Indian hawthorn may grow in a variety of soil conditions. The shrub’s roots may rot if the soil is too wet. Furthermore, it prefers a slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soil pH.
How Often to Water
For Indian hawthorns, a moderate level of soil moisture is excellent. Young Indian hawthorn bushes like damp (but not soggy) soil, but older plants may tolerate moderate drought. Give the shrub a good bath when the soil begins to dry up owing to a lack of rain. However, avoid getting water on the leaves, as Indian hawthorn is prone to leaf spots, a fungal or bacterial disease of the foliage brought on by excessive moisture. Reduce watering over the winter when the shrub is not actively developing. Wilting leaves and stems indicate that the shrub needs to be watered
Temperature and Humidity
Warm areas with moderate winters are ideal for this plant. It has been reported to withstand temperatures as low as 5 °F, although continuous exposure to the cold can harm the plant’s leaves and even kill it. The shrub can withstand temperatures far from about 90 °F in the summer. It prefers a level of humidity that is moderate.
Should I Fertilize Indian Hawthorn
The bushes of Indian hawthorn aren’t substantial eaters. However, they will benefit from feeding in the spring with an all-purpose, slow-release fertilizer. Healthy development can also be aided by adding compost to the soil around the plant.
What about Pruning
Because they naturally grow in an aesthetically pleasing mounded form, these shrubs don’t require much trimming. Lightly trim your shrub after it has finished blooming if you want to change its form. Any dead, damaged, or diseased stems can be removed at any time during the year.
Indian Hawthorn Varieties
Indian hawthorn comes in various types, including:
- Rhaphiolepis indica ‘Little Pinkie’: This cultivar has pink blooms and can bloom twice a year in the spring and the fall. It only reaches a height of around 2 feet and has grayish-green leaves.
- Rhaphiolepis indica ‘Indian Princess’: This variety has white and pink blooms with brilliant green leaves and grows to be approximately 4 feet tall and broad.
- Rhaphiolepis x ‘Montic’: This hybrid grows up to 24 feet tall and 10 feet broad, making it bigger than the average shrub. In the spring, it blooms with pink flowers.
How to Propagate Indian Hawthorn
When the bush is dormant in late autumn, propagate hawthorn from cuttings. The night before cuts, water the mother shrub to a 5-inch depth to keep the stems and foliage plump and moist.
Fill a 6-inch container halfway with coir or peat and halfway with perlite. To guarantee that the coir or peat is properly wet, soak it in water for one hour before combining it with the perlite. Poke a 4-inch-deep hole in the center of the mixture.
Cut an 8-inch-long stem from the tip of a lush Indian hawthorn branch. Choose a cutting with 1/4-inch stem diameter, pliant tip growth, and firm base growth.
Using extremely sharp scissors, cut the stem about 1/16-inch below a pair of leaves. To reveal the growth nodes, remove the leaves from the lowest half of the stem and discard them.
A tablespoon of 0.3 percent IBA (indolebutyric acid) rooting talc is measured out and poured over a piece of paper. Dip the severed end of the hawthorn cutting into the powder until it’s completely covered. Remove the excess powder and throw it away.
In the prepared container, place the cutting into the hole and push it securely against the stem. Dribble water around the incision to help the coir mixture settle even further.
Inside a cold frame, place the potted hawthorn cutting. Warm the pot on a propagation mat set to 75 °F. Reduce the temperature to 70 degrees at night. On bright days, drape a piece of 20% shade cloth over the cold frame to avoid sun scalding.
To keep the leaves fresh and moist, mist the pink Indian hawthorn cutting with water twice a day. Every day, check the moisture level in the coir mixture. If the top 2 inches of the growth media feel practically dry, add water.
Four weeks after potting the clipping, look for roots. To see if the stem is connected to the coir mixture by roots, lightly tug on the base of the stem. After the cutting roots, turn off the propagation mat.
Three weeks after rooted, transplant the Indian hawthorn into an 8-inch container filled with potting soil. It should be grown in a cold frame until the final spring frost, then moved to a gently shaded location.
During the first summer, keep the plant in the shade. Irrigate the shrub when the top 2 inches of soil feel mostly dry. After the first rain in the autumn, transplant it into a permanent bed.
How to Plant Indian Hawthorn
To avoid heat or cold stress, plant during the milder months of spring or fall. Choose a sunny location with adequate air circulation and well-draining soil. Plants thrive in full light, but they may also take a little shade. Over-shading can result in poor blooming, lanky growth, and disease issues. Fungal illnesses can be exacerbated by poor air circulation. Compost or other organic matter should be used to loosen the soil in the planting area. Dig a planting hole that is 2-3 times bigger and slightly deeper than the diameter of the root ball. Make multiple incisions in the root ball or tease out roots. To allow for settling, place the plant in the hole with the top of the root ball level or slightly above the surrounding earth. To eliminate air pockets, cover the root ball with dirt and push it down. Water thoroughly and equally moisten the soil till it is established. Allow ample room around plants to grow to their full potential.
If you’re going to plant Indian hawthorn in a container, make sure the pots have enough drainage holes. Use an all-purpose potting soil of good quality.
What to Plant with Indian Hawthorn
When Does Indian Hawthorn Bloom
From mid-April to May, fragrant pink or white crabapple-like flowers emerge in clusters above the Indian hawthorn leaves. The bluish-black berries develop in the late summer and last into winter. The spherical, leathery, dark evergreen leaves are 2 to 3 inches long and become purple in the winter.
Is Indian Hawthorn Toxic
According to Specialty Produce, while the Indian hawthorn plant is not dangerous, certain types produce berries that can be harmful if eaten. Because there are so many types of this plant, it’s crucial to pick one that’s completely safe to consume. The good news is that Indian hawthorn berries have been used in medicine and food for generations, and the berries produced by your plants are likely edible. The berries are most commonly used in jams and sauces. The abundance of antioxidant flavonoids in the berries has made them a favored therapy for heart issues throughout time.
Indian hawthorn plants are popular with deer. So, if you live in a region with a significant deer population, you’ll either need to safeguard your bushes or consider planting something new. Aphids, nematodes, and scale are among the insect pests that attack Indian hawthorns. Keep an eye out for leaf damage or discoloration, and treat any infestations with an organic neem oil spray. In addition, the shrubs are susceptible to fungal infections, which can result in leaf loss and damage. Keep the foliage dry and ensure that it has adequate air circulation to avoid illnesses.
Hawthorn is an example of an excellent tree that requires the most modest care, but in return gives good health and brings a special touch to garden design. Try growing it yourself, and you will see how easy it is!
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