For many of us, this is a plant that you have never heard of but once you have one you will wonder how you lived without it. But before we move one to how to care for this plant, you need to understand two things. First, as the name hints at, this plant is from the tropics. The second thing that you need to understand is that for most of us, this means this plant is a houseplant, at least for part of the year. Now that we understand this, let’s move on to how to care for this tropical plant.
When it comes to this plant, you will need to keep it in a warm room that is kept between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If this plant gets in a pickle though, such as if your power goes out, it can survive a brief period between 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you have the proper room selected, you will need to address the sunlight requirement. Pavonia Brazilian Candles can survive with any amount of sunlight except full shade but keep in mind, the more sunlight the better the plant will bloom. While this plant in the wild will bloom only in the spring and fall this tropical plant in the right indoor environment can be encouraged to bloom other times.
Beyond the room temperature and sunlight requirement, this plant also requires a good amount of humidity. During the warm months when this plant can be placed outside the humidity level is not a problem. On the other hand, during the winter keeping the proper amount of moisture in the air can be a challenge. To help with this place your houseplant on a humidity tray which consists of a saucer filled with stones and water. Once this is made, simply place your potted plant on top. Make sure there is always water in the saucer to keep the humidity level up.
At this point, you may be wondering in what form you can find this plant. This tropical beauty can be found at garden nurseries and florists as a potted plant. If you have a friend that has one of these plants, ask them if you can take softwood cutting in the spring and/or harvest seeds.
Prior to returning your plant to the indoor environment, make sure to transplant it into a larger pot that has been sterilized and filled with a soil that is loamy in nature. Keep the soil evenly moist year round. When it comes to feeding your tropical friend, make sure to use a fertilizer formulation that is higher in phosphorus than any of the other plant nutrients. Do not know which number indicates this, do not worry just make sure that the middle number is always the highest. While your plant should only be fed once a month, it should only be fed at half strength and you should follow it with an additional watering to prevent root burn. Yes, you will lose some of your fertilizer but it is better to follow this step verses killing your plant.