Madhumalti, also known as the Indian bush-willow or the Chinese honeysuckle, is a species of flowering plant native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, Africa, and Australia.
It is a woody shrub or small tree that grows to a height of about 10-15 feet, with a spreading crown and a dense canopy of green leaves. The plant is known for its clusters of small, fragrant flowers, which bloom in shades of pink, red, or white.
The flowers change colors as they age to attract more pollinators. The flower starts off white and blooms at nightfall. Long-tongued hawkmoths are attracted to this for pollination. On the second day, it takes on a pink hue, while on the third, it changes to red, which attracts bees and birds.
Madhumalti flowering season
Star-shaped, fragrant blooms cluster in abundance during the spring and summer months. At night, the blossoms have a particularly sweet scent.
Madhumalti Plant care
Plant the Madhumalti in a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Make sure the soil is moist but not soggy. Dig a hole twice as wide and deep as the root ball of the plant, then place it in the hole and fill it in with soil. Water thoroughly after planting.
Prune your Madhumalti regularly to encourage new growth and more flowers. Cut back any dead or diseased branches, and remove any shoots growing too close or crossing over each other. Prune away any branches that are growing out of shape or too long, as well as any suckers coming up from the base of the plant. Make sure you use sharp pruning shears for a clean cut.
Fertilize your Madhumalti during its flowering season for the best results. Use a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or 8-8-8, applied at half strength every two weeks throughout the flowering season (spring and summer). Avoid fertilizing during fall and winter when plants are dormant, as this can cause damage
4. Water regularly
Water deeply and slowly to ensure that the roots are getting enough moisture. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.
5. Madhumalti plant propagation
Start with a cutting from an existing Madhumalti plant. Choose a healthy stem at least 6 inches long with several leaves on it. Dip the cut end of the stem into the rooting hormone to encourage root growth. Plant the cutting in a pot filled with well-draining soil, ensuring the leaves are above the soil line. Place the pot in a warm, sunny spot and water regularly to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Once roots have formed, transplant your Madhumalti into its permanent location outdoors or in a container indoors.
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Dr. Vandana K.