Radermachera sinica is an evergreen, flowering non-edible ornamental houseplant. It is a long-lived evergreen tree 10-30 m in height, dwarf varieties up to 3 m tall. The leaves are bright green, glossy, bipinnate or sometimes tripinnate, 20-70 cm long and 15-25 cm broad, the individual leaflets are 4-7 cm long. Its blooms are white with five rounded and crinkly petals, trumpet-shaped, fragrant, produced in clusters at the ends of the branches and individual blossoms are 6-8 cm long. The fruit resembles a long, snake-like, angular, slender bean (up to 85 cm long and 1 cm in diameter) which is produced in clusters at the ends of the branches. The fruits split to release the elliptical, winged seeds which are about 2 cm long by 5 mm wide. It is a very good non- poisonous houseplant.
Scientific Name: Radermachera sinica
Common Names: China doll, Serpent tree or Emerald tree.
How to grow and maintain Radermachera sinica:
It grows well in full sun/shade. In indoor, it needs about 5 hours of bright, indirect light.
It thrives best in a rich, well-drained soil in the pH range of 5.5 to 7.5.
It prefers normal room temperatures 65-75°F/18-24°C. It will tolerate a minimum of 50°F/10°C.
Water only when the top inch of the soil is dry to the touch. Be careful not to overwater the plant particularly in winter as it will develop fungal spots on the leaves. Yellow leaves are a symptom of overwatering.
Fertilize every 2 weeks during spring and late summer with a dilute solution of liquid fertilizer.
It can be propagated by stem cuttings. Take 10 cm stem tip cuttings in spring or summer. It can also propagate by seed.
Pruning china doll will keep the plant minimal and beautiful. Cut off as much as you need to in spring and summer. When pruning a china doll Plant, always enable a few leaves to remain on each stem to produce food for the roots.
Pests and Diseases:
No serious pest or disease problems. Look for aphids and spider mites, mealy bugs. china doll is prone to fungal infections that can cause the houseplant disease called Leaf Spot. Spray with white oil or pest oil, or push a confidor tablet into the soil and for spider mite, spray with natrasoap and increase humidity slightly.