How to Grow Indian Hawthorn Flowering Shrub (Rhaphiolepis indica)

Indian Hawthorn blooming

By Jennifer Poindexter

Indian hawthorn is a low-growing shrub that keeps its beautiful green foliage year-round. This plant also produces beautiful flowers which are hard to miss.

The blooms of this shrub are pink or white, produce a nice fragrance, and bloom between April and May.

After the blooms finish, the shrub produces dark berries in the summer months which last through winter.

If this sounds like a plant you’d be interested in growing, be sure to do your research first. You want to understand what Indian hawthorn needs from you prior to growing it.

Here’s what you need to know about how to grow Indian hawthorn:

Growing Conditions for Indian Hawthorn

Indian hawthorn is a great option for a smaller growing space as this shrub reaches heights between three and six feet.  It also becomes equally as wide.

This shrub produces rounded, tough green foliage which makes this a sturdier plant as well. 

Indian hawthorn is great if you live near the beach as this plant is known for being able to withstand salt spray and sand.

Expect Indian hawthorn to remain hardy in planting zones eight through eleven. The shrubs can handle temperatures down to 5-degrees Fahrenheit.

However, if they’re left in these conditions for a prolonged period it will cause damage to the plant. Therefore, this plant prefers warmer climates.

Indian hawthorn is known for being able to withstand temperatures at or above 90-degrees Fahrenheit. Take this into consideration when deciding if this is the plant for you.

Even if you live in a cooler climate, you may still be able to grow Indian hawthorn as the shrub can be grown in containers. You’ll need to ensure you move the plant indoors when cold weather arrives.

Finally, when growing Indian hawthorn ensure you supply full to partial sunlight. They should also be planted in an area with well-draining soil that’s kept evenly damp.

If you can supply these needs, you should be able to enjoy the many benefits of the Indian hawthorn plant in your growing location.

indian hawthorn plant

How to Plant Indian Hawthorn

Now that you know what Indian hawthorn needs in a growing area, let’s discuss how you can plant this shrub in the right location.

There are two methods to planting Indian hawthorn. One option is to purchase an established plant. If you’re a beginner gardener, this might be the best option.

Purchase a plant, dig a hole large enough to support the root system of the plant, and place it within the hole.

Backfill the hole halfway with soil and add a couple of gallons of water to the growing space. Finish filling the hole and add another gallon or two of water to the soil around the plant.

Press the soil firmly around the base of the plant as this will help provide support to keep the plant erect in its growing location.

The other planting option is to propagate the shrub from a cutting. If you choose this option, take your cutting from the shrub in the middle of summer.

The cutting should be approximately six inches in length. You want around two or three nodes on the cutting as well.

Remove any leaves from the base of the cutting and dip it into rooting hormone. Plant the cutting in a container filled with well-draining soil. The planter should drain adequately as well.

From there, place the container in bright, indirect light. Gently mist the soil with water and wrap the container in a plastic bag.

Check the soil daily to ensure it never dries out completely and water as needed. In two to three months the plant should form roots.

Continue to provide care to the plant until it’s strong enough to be transplanted in its permanent outdoor growing location.

You may notice there’s no mention of growing this plant from seed. It’s not recommended to propagate using this method as it’s unlikely the seed would produce a plant which resembles the parent plant.

Now that you know your options for planting Indian hawthorn, pick the method you’re most comfortable with and add this plant to your landscape or garden area.

Caring for Indian Hawthorn

Indian hawthorn needs very little from you throughout its growing process. If you can water, fertilize, and understand how to care for a potted Indian hawthorn plant, you’re good to go.

To begin, ensure you water the plant deeply. This will encourage deeper roots and an overall healthier root system.

When the plant seems to need more water, test the soil first. Insert your finger into the dirt next to the plant.

If it’s dry to your first knuckle, it’s time to water the plant deeply again. The next thing you must do is fertilize the plant.

Don’t apply fertilizer until the first spring one year after planting. After this, apply fertilizer to the plant each spring.

The last thing you should know is how to care for a potted Indian hawthorn plant. Over the winter, bring the plant indoors.

Place it in a location with full sunlight and reduce the amount of water supplied to the plant. You should only provide water when the soil is dry to your second knuckle.

When warmer temperatures arrive again, move the plant back outdoors and water the plant per the normal.

You’ll also need to freshen the soil of the container each year. Every two to three years, Indian hawthorn may become root bound. If so, move the plant to a larger pot.

This is the care that an Indian hawthorn may require of you. Ensure you take care of your plant to keep it healthy and beautiful throughout its life.

Garden Pests and Diseases Which Impact Indian Hawthorn

The last thing to discuss is how to protect your Indian hawthorn plant. This plant has a few predators you must be aware of in the garden.

Most plants are preyed upon by diseases and pests at some time or another. The best way to ensure your plants live through the attacks is pay attention and catch problems early.

The most common pests to impact Indian hawthorn are nematodes, scales, and aphids. You may treat all of these issues with an insecticide.

Alternative methods vary by insect. For instance, you may kill nematodes by heating the soil where they exist.

This can be done by placing smaller quantities of soil in the oven. For larger garden plots, you could cover the growing area in black plastic and allow it to cook in the sun during hot portions of the year.

Scales are frequently treated by rubbing the plant with rubbing alcohol. Lastly, aphids can be treated by spraying the plant forcefully with soapy water.

The only disease that impacts Indian hawthorn is leaf spot. This is a fungal based disease that arises when the plant is grown in inadequate growing conditions or doesn’t have enough airflow.

For this reason, it’s wise to plant Indian hawthorn in areas with well-draining soil and sunlight. If you plant in areas with cold, wet soil, fungal disease could become a problem as they thrive in these conditions.

You should also prune your Indian hawthorn if airflow becomes a problem. Though this plant doesn’t need regular pruning, if you see diseased or dead areas of the plant, remove them by pruning.

If areas of the plant are too dense, thin them with pruning shears to stop fungal diseases from developing.

These are the items which may threaten your Indian hawthorn plant. Stay alert to the first signs of trouble to ensure no severe damage comes to your shrub.

You now know how to grow, care for, and protect your Indian hawthorn plant. These are beautiful shrubs that make a great addition to a container garden, small garden plot, or for landscaping purposes.

They’re also low-maintenance which makes them a great fit for beginner gardeners or landscapers. Use these tips to guide you through the growing process of your Indian hawthorn shrubs.

More About Indian Hawthorn

The post How to Grow Indian Hawthorn Flowering Shrub (Rhaphiolepis indica) appeared first on Gardening Channel.



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