Radermachera Sinica

If you are looking for a nice foliage plant for one of your rooms, a good choice would have to be a Rademachera sinica or “Emerald tree” as it is more commonly known.  The shiny emerald green foliage gives this plant its common name.  A native to subtropical southeast Asia, you may also find Radermachera listed under the common name of “China doll”.

     It is best to purchase one of these houseplants when it is still at the small stage as it responds very well to regular pruning whilst still quite young which will help to keep the plant bushy.  Older plants that have not been pruned tend to be very straggly and unattractive.  Pinching out the growing points regularly will also encourage branching and bushy new growth.  Prune back in spring when new growth will be developing.

     Place your Radermachera in a bright spot that does not receive too much strong direct summer sun. 

     Keep the compost moist, ensuring the pot can drain freely, and mist-spray regularly to ensure that the atmosphere around the plant is kept moist.  Standing the pot on a tray of damp pebbles or grouping together with other plants will also help to keep up the humidity.  Be careful not to saturate the compost as this will lead to yellowing leaves.

     In spring when you are pruning back the branches, take the plant out of its pot and check the roots.  If there are a lot of roots showing, or they are starting to come out of the bottom of the pot, move the plant into the next size using a peat-based compost.  If you want to increase your stock, use some the prunings as cuttings. Remove the lower leaves from a piece 2” or 3” long and insert into some gritty compost.