What is Radermachera?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

Radermachera is a genus of flowering plants native to tropical and subtropical areas of southeast Asia. These plants are cultivated ornamentally in gardens in regions of the world with similar climates, and they can also be grown as houseplants. Nurseries and garden supplies may carry young plants and they can also be ordered through catalogs. Members of this genus are rather delicate and can be frustrating for inexperienced gardeners to cultivate.

This genus is evergreen, with plants producing dark green glossy foliage and clusters of small white, purple, or pink flowers. Young plants tend to be compact and bushy, developing a more leggy growth habit over time unless they are carefully managed. Some Radermachera species can grow into trees and, if trained, can maintain a consistent and attractive growth habit as they develop.

People interested in cultivating these plants in the garden will need to live in tropical or subtropical regions, as they are quite frost tender. Radermachera needs well-drained soil with a high moisture content and it also requires lots of light. Periodic pruning of these members of the trumpet creeper family will keep the growth dense, bushy, and even. In areas where plants do not get even light, they may start to develop asymmetrically as the plant reaches for the areas with the most available light.

For indoor gardening as houseplants, many species make excellent container plants. Often sold under the name “china doll,” Radermachera species need to be grown in a warm, humid area of the home away from drafts. They should be situated in an area with lots of indirect light. Monitoring moisture levels is recommended as the plants can dry out quickly when they are grown in containers and they do not tolerate dry conditions. Pinching back the foliage will keep the plant compact and bushy.

If a nursery does not carry Radermachera, people may be able to obtain seeds or cuttings from other gardeners with mature plants. It is important to select cuttings with care, as they can be difficult to root, and a gardener with an existing plant may have tips on the best success. Generally, seeds and cuttings need warm, humid environments like those found in a greenhouse to grow. If a greenhouse is not available, pots can be bagged in plastic to simulate the necessary conditions. Adding preparations designed to promote rooting and budding can also help stimulate cuttings and seeds into taking off.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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