Mussaenda

Mussaenda is a beautiful ornamental garden shrub. The appeal of mussaenda lies in its extraordinary inflorescence, the flowering part of the plant. The flower itself is a tiny simple yellow star but parts surrounding the flower are stunning, extraordinary pendent bunches of soft beautiful colored sepals with each up to 10 cms long. The bloom colors can be pink, white, creamy white, red or yellow. The leaves are mid green with soft velvety feel.
Mussaenda bushes are ever green. Once established these shrubs look absolutely spectacular. They are certainly worthy including in the garden, as they are very hardy and will flower profusely for years. A good prune will help promote the plant growth and  result in a much better flowering.

How to grow Mussaendas:
These plants require very warm temperature for propagation. They survive in organically enriched fertile soil.
They are propagated by stem cuttings or you can purchase them in your local nursery.

By stem cuttings:
These plants can be propagated from cuttings about 4-6 inches long taken from the tip of strong healthy shoots. Early morning is the best time to take cuttings.
1) With sharp knife cut the terminal parts of stem and remove the flowers, flower buds and leaves  from the lower one third of the cuttings.
2) Fill pots with sterile, damp, well draining garden soil.
3) Make a holes in the soil with a stick and insert the cuttings into the holes. Tamp down the soil to hold the cuttings upright and water them.
4) Cuttings rapidly put forth roots. Transplant the rooted cuttings in a permanent location.

Select and purchase a small mussaenda bush that will fit completely into the landscape when mature.
1) Find a planting site for the mussaenda where it will get direct sunlight at least 6 hours each day.
2)Add organic matter such as compost or leaf mold to the soil.
3) Dig a planting hole twice the diameter of the mussaenda root ball and place the mussaenda roots in the hole and back fill with the soil that was removed from the hole.
4) Water it generously to settle the soil around the roots. Add more back fill soil on top.
5) Water the bush as often necessary to keep the soil moist.
6) Sprinkle slow release balanced fertilizer granules around the bush 6-8 weeks after planting, when it begins to grow new leaves.