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September 2010
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Powder puff plant- Calliandra haematocephala – a perennial plant




Powder puff is an herbaceous perennial shrub belonging to the family Fabaceae and species haematocephala. It is a genus of flowering plants. About 200 species are known and the species are perennial, shrubs and small trees. This plant is a native to tropical and subtropical regions of southern Asia, Africa, Australia and America that is they are found in Countries like India, Mexico, Madagascar, South America and the United States.
The plant can grow up to a height of 12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m) tall. The leaves are bipinnate which are around 2-3inches and in light green color. The flower exhibits globose inflorescences. The flowers have long slender stamens that are cylindrical. The stamens look like a powder puff and hence the names Powder-puff/ Powder puff Plant and Fairy Duster. The stamens are around 3-4 inches in diameter. Even White varieties are also available along with the red ones. The flowers of this plant bloom in spring and summer effectively, though it flowers all year round. The flowers can be easily pruned. This plant can be used for landscaping, border, Accent bush, and hedge and in rock gardens. It is an Evergreen shrub and very much attractive for bees and butterflies. Its fruits are Bean-like pods. It looks like a bush or Shrub can be used as a specimen, container or planter, can be trained as a standard or espalier. These shrubs can also be grown as bonsai plants. The zone in which this shrub grows is 9 – 11. It will be killed to the ground during cold spells of Zone 9 and further north. The rate of growth is fast and has poor tolerance of salt. It prefers moist, well –drained and fertile soil to grow. The plant grows best in temperatures of about 80 degree Fahrenheit.

Growing Conditions of Powder Puff

• Sow the seeds after soaking the seed overnight.
• Once the seedlings erupt, transplant them.
• Keep a spacing of 10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m).
• Large cuttings often root easily, grows very easily from seed (soak seeds first).
• Large cutting can also be planted as they root easily.
• The shrub can be propagated from herbaceous stem cuttings and from woody stem cuttings.
• The zone in which this shrub grows is 9 – 11.
• The Soil pH requirements are 7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline).
• This shrub need Sun to light shade.

Caring for Powder Puff plant

• The zone in which this shrub grows is 9 – 11.
• It will be killed to the ground during cold spells of Zone 9 and further north.
• The rate of growth is fast and has poor tolerance of salt.
• It prefers moist, well –drained and fertile soil to grow.
• The plant grows best in temperatures of about 80 degree Fahrenheit.
• Water freely when in full growth, barely moist in winter.
• Adapts to dry conditions.
• Does best with moderate humidity.
• Balanced liquid fertilizer if needed.
• This shrub need Sun to light shade.
• Blooms year round and best when temperatures around 80°F.
• The Soil pH requirements are 7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline).
• This shrub gets affected by Aphids, Mealy bugs, Spider Mites and Thorn Bugs.
• Ample sunlight and free-air movement help deter harmful insects.





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