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How To Grow Brazilian Plume

If you are looking for a stunning flowering plant to brighten up your home or garden, you might want to consider the Brazilian plume (Justicia carnea). This plant is native to Brazil and has beautiful tubular flowers in shades of pink, red, orange, or purple that grow in dense clusters. 

The flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies and have a light fragrance. The Brazilian plume is also known as Jacobinia carnea, flamingo flower, blood of Jesus flower, or paradise plant.

The Brazilian plume is a perennial evergreen shrub that can grow up to 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide outdoors, but can be kept smaller in containers. 

It has dark green leaves that are about 8 inches long and oval-shaped. The plant blooms from summer to fall and can be grown indoors or outdoors in warm and humid climates.

Here are some tips on how to grow and care for your Brazilian plume:

– Choose a location that gets partial shade. The plant needs bright light but not direct sun, which can scorch the leaves and flowers. A south-facing window is ideal for indoor plants, while a spot under a tree or a pergola is good for outdoor plants

– Use a well-draining potting mix that is rich in organic matter. You can add some compost, peat moss, or perlite to improve the soil quality. 

The plant likes moist but not soggy soil, so avoid overwatering or letting the soil dry out completely. Water the plant thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch

– Feed the plant every two weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer from March to October, when the plant is actively growing. You can reduce the frequency to once a month in winter, when the plant is dormant. Follow the label instructions for the dosage and application method.

– Prune the plant regularly to maintain its shape and size. You can pinch off the growing tips to encourage bushy growth and more flowers. 

You can also cut back any long or leggy branches to keep the plant compact. Pruning is best done in late winter or early spring, before new growth starts.

– Propagate the plant from stem cuttings or seeds. Stem cuttings are easier and faster than seeds. You can take 4-6 inch long cuttings from healthy stems in late spring or early summer. Remove the lower leaves and dip the cut end in rooting hormone. 

Plant the cuttings in moist potting mix and keep them in a warm and humid place until they root. Seeds can be sown in spring in moist potting mix and covered lightly with soil. Keep them in a warm and bright place until they germinate.

– Watch out for pests and diseases. The Brazilian plume is generally healthy and resistant to most problems, but it can be attacked by aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, or whiteflies. You can spray the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil to get rid of these pests. 

The plant can also suffer from fungal diseases such as leaf spot or root rot if the soil is too wet or the air circulation is poor. You can prevent these diseases by watering carefully, avoiding overhead watering, and providing good ventilation.

The Brazilian plume is a wonderful plant that will add color and charm to your home or garden. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy its spectacular flowers for many years.