How to Grow Leycesteria - Plant Care & Tips

By NorwichGardener Team   /   2024

Leycesteria is a plant that is native to asia and is a member of the honeysuckle family. the plant is also known as the golden bead vine, or the chinese honeysuckle. the plant can grow to be up to 30 feet tall, and has clusters of small, yellow flowers.

How to Grow Leycesteria - Plant Care & Tips

Also called

  • Fleeceflower
  • Goatsbeard
  • Laceflower
  • Smokebush
  • Tree of Heaven

Basic info

  • Leycesteria is a genus of flowering plants in the family Caprifoliaceae.
  • The genus comprises two species, Leycesteria formosa and Leycesteria indica.
  • Leycesteria are native to Asia, specifically China and India.
  • The plants are known for their showy, pendant flowers which bloom in summer.
  • Leycesteria flowers are pollinated by bees, and the fruits are eaten by birds.
  • The plants are also used in traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Leycesteria formosa is the national flower of Nepal.
  • The genus was named after Sir Philip Sidney, Viscount L’isle (1554-1586).
  • Leycesteria formosa is commonly known as ‘Chinese honeysuckle’ or ‘firecracker bush’.
  • Leycesteria indica is commonly known as ‘Indian honeysuckle’.

How to Grow

  1. For leycesteria, first step is to grow from seed.
  2. To do this, mix the seeds with some sand and sow them in a seed tray filled with moist potting mix.
  3. Place the seed tray in a warm, well-lit spot and keep the potting mix moist.
  4. Once the seeds have germinated, thin out the seedlings so that only the strongest ones remain.
  5. Once the seedlings are big enough to handle, transplant them into individual pots filled with moist potting mix.
  6. Place the pots in a warm, well-lit spot and keep the potting mix moist.
  7. When the leycesteria plants are big enough, transplant them into your garden beds.
  8. Choose a spot in your garden that gets plenty of sun and has well-draining soil.
  9. Once the plants are in the ground, water them regularly.
  10. Once the leycesteria plants are established, they will flower from late summer to early autumn. Deadhead the flowers to encourage more blooms.

Related plant:
Leycesteria Formosa Purple Rain

The Soil

About soil condition, it is good to know that Leycesteria needs a moist but well-drained soil, and it will tolerate most soil types. It is not fussy about soil type, but it does prefer a slightly acidic to neutral soil pH. It is also important to make sure that the soil does not dry out too much, as this can lead to leaf drop.

Light requirement

Not too different with other plants, Leycesteria need sunlight to grow healthily. However, too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, so it's important to find a balance. They do best in bright, indirect light, such as near a north- or east-facing window. If you can't provide enough natural light, artificial grow lights are a good option.

Ideal Temperature

The temperature condition that is best for Leycesteria is a temperature between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is too cold, the plant will not produce flowers. If the temperature is too hot, the flowers will not be as vibrant.

Humidity Requirement

Ideal humidity condition for this plant is 60% to 80%. The leaves may start to droop if the air is too dry, but will quickly recover once humidity is increased. If the air is too wet, the leaves may start to yellow and fall off.

The Fertilizer

Mentioning fertilizer, this family of plant is not heavy feeders and actually prefer light to moderate feeding. A good way to supply nutrients to leycesteria is by working organic matter into the soil before planting. This could be in the form of finished compost, well-rotted manure, or other organic amendments.

Plant Pruning

Pruning Leycesteria is best done in late winter or early spring, before new growth appears. Cut back any damaged or weak stems, then thin out congested or overgrown areas. Cut back the main stems by one-third to one-half their length.

Plant Propagation

Propagation is typically done through stem cuttings taken from the current season's growth. Cuttings should be taken from healthy, non-flowering shoots that are about 8-10 inches long. The bottom leaves on the cutting should be removed and the cutting should be planted in a well-draining potting mix. Keep the cutting moist and in a protected location until new growth appears, which can take several weeks. Once new growth appears, the plant can be moved to a more sunny location.

Growth Speed

Usually, the plant growth rate is average; however, some species can grow quite rapidly. When choosing a species, it is best to consult with a nursery or expert to find out the specific growth rate. Once established, pruning can help control the size and shape of the plant.

Common Problems

Common problems for this kind of plant are fungal diseases and aphids. Fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and botrytis can affect the leaves and flowers, while aphids can infest the stems and leaves. To prevent these problems, it is important to keep the plant well-watered and to remove any affected leaves or stems as soon as possible.

Basics of Growing

  • If you are growing leycesteria for the first time, start with young plants or seedlings.
  • Leycesteria prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.
  • Space your plants about 2 to 3 feet apart.
  • Leycesteria is a fast-growing plant, so you will need to provide it with plenty of water.
  • Apply a balanced fertilizer every month during the growing season.
  • To keep the plant compact, prune it back after flowering.
  • Leycesteria is susceptible to powdery mildew, so choose a location that has good air circulation.
  • Keep an eye out for aphids, which can infest the plant.
  • Leycesteria can be propagated from seed or cuttings.
  • This plant is deer resistant.

Related Plants

  • Leycesteria pubescens
  • Leycesteria formosa
  • Leycesteria intermedia
  • Leycesteria yunnanensis
  • Leycesteria leuchostachys
  • Leycesteria villosa
  • Leycesteria wallichiana
  • Leycesteria crocata
  • Leycesteria pinnata
  • Leycesteria

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