China doll

A tropical plant that will give your home a little jungle feel.
Common name : China doll
Scientific name : Radermachera sinica
Family : Bignoniaceae
Category : Indoor
Type of plant : Perennial
Pruning needed
Pruning needed
Frost resistant
Frost resistant
Radermachera sinica - the China doll - is an evergreen tree in the family Bignoniaceae native to the subtropical mountain regions of southern China and Taiwan, reaching heights of up to 30 m tall in its natural habitat - but only 2 m or 5-6 feet in our homes. The leaves are bipinnate, 20 to 70 cm long and 15 to 25 cm broad, divided into numerous small glossy green leaflets 2 to 4 cm long. The flowers are white, trumpet-like, about 7 cm long, and resembling a large Bignonia flower in shape. Dwarf hybrids are on the market, often referred to as the Asian Bell Tree, making popular indoor or patio plant. They like a spot that is bright all year round : an east or west facing window is ideal.

Sowing & planting



Water needs
Granulométrie plants.granulometry_2
Frost-resistance Medium
Zone USDA 9a
Height 60 - 100
pH 7

Plant my radermachera

A tropical plant that enjoys warm and humid environments, Radermachera sinica adapts rather well inside our homes. It will grow well with a temperature ideally between 21 and 24 ° C in summer and 15 to 18 ° C in winter, and it requires a lot of light. Be careful: avoid placing it right behind a window facing south, as direct exposure could scorch it.

Water my radermachera

Always keep the soil slightly moist -using soft, lime-free water if possible. During the growing season (spring, summer), watering must be fairly regular - about twice a week. In the autumn, gradually space the waterings, until the winter, when the plant is being at rest - depending on the humidity of your home, a simple intake of water once or twice a month should suffice. In case of prolonged drought, your plant will show strong reaction: all the foliage collapses due to lack of water. In this case, immerse the jar in a bowl of water for a few minutes. Let it drip and put back in place.

Spray my radermachera

In dry weather - and it is also valid in our winter because apartments sometimes are too heated! - do not hesitate to spray your plant with soft, lime-free water. Clean the dust on the leaves: this will show the bright green leaves, and you'll protect your China doll from spider attacks. On the other hand, avoid doing so in a wet atmosphere, leaving too much moisture on your China doll for too long - this could attract cochineal or other diseases.

Prune my radermachera

You can prune lightly in the fall, to give your plant a compact and bushy shape.

Fertilize my radermachera

Beginning in May, every two to three weeks, add liquid fertilizer for green plants. You can also include in the soil mix a slow-release fertilizer in the form of small balls during repotting. Forget any input in the fall.

Repot my radermachera

Every 3 or 4 years, at the end of winter, transplant your radermachera carefully to a slightly larger pot than it's current, adding a mixture of fibrous compost and garden soil, maybe with an extra of slow fertilizer.

Propagate my radermachera

The Radermachera is multiplied by cutting in September. Take a cutting with 2 or 3 leaves. Cut the leaves in half. Dip the base of the stalk in cutting hormone powder and plant in an 8 cm pot filled with a wet mixture of peat and sand. Cover with a perforated transparent plastic bag. Keep in heat and dim light for 3 weeks. Remove the plastic bag and water moderately, allowing the top of the mixture to dry between watering. 2 to 3 months after the start of the operation, replant the cuttings in an 8 cm pot filled with a mixture of potting soil, and grow normally.

Check on my radermachera

Keep an eye on the leaves: if they dry up abnormally, it's probably because the atmosphere is polluted. Always place this plant in a perfectly healthy and airy room - in any case, never in a kitchen or in a room where someone smokes! The China doll may also be the victim of mealybugs - especially in an atmosphere that is hot and moist - revealed by a mealy white substance on the leaves. As soon as the cochineal appears, remove their shells with a rag soaked in beer, 90 ° alcohol or soapy water. In case of large invasion, immediately wash the infected branches.

Put outside my radermachera

In summer, put your China doll outside, in a sheltered situation.

Shelter my radermachera

Get it inside before the first cold.

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