Growing Mussaenda Erthrophylla | Ashanti Blood

Growing Mussaenda Erthrophylla Ashanti Blood3 Mussaenda bushes, which belong to the Rubiaceae family, are an evergreen tropical and subtropical shrub that will brighten up your yard from spring through fall. It’s fairly popular, and it comes in a variety of hues, including yellow, red, and creamy white with red, white, or pink accents.

Common name

Mussaenda, Ashanti Blood, Red Flag Bush, Tropical Dogwood, Mussaenda Red Single

Regional name

Marathi – Mussaenda Single Lal, Hindi – Bedina, Manipuri – Hanu-rei, Tamil – Vellaiyilai, Konkani – Mithai Phool

Mussaendas, sometimes known as Bangkok Roses, are widely grown across the world’s tropics and subtropics. They thrive in the warmer, wetter months of the year and put on quite a display in gardens, especially in northern Australia.

The bushes are covered with brilliant white or pink blooms that sometimes conceal the leaves, making them easy to recognize from a distance. While many of the showy hybrid plants detest chilly, dry conditions, several Mussaenda species are far more hardy and may be found growing in protected areas in cooler subtropical districts (such as Sydney).

Growing Mussaenda Erthrophylla Ashanti Blood4

Flowers of the Mussaenda

Although these evergreen tropical shrubs may grow up to 10-15 feet tall in their native habitats, they are only 1-3 feet tall in pots in the St. Louis region. The season’s floral seals are increased by the large, leaf-like spectacular span 3 inches long clusters of miniature, tubular flowers. Some flowers in each cluster will grow a huge sepal, adding to the overall ornamental effect. It has round, brilliant green leaves that are about 6″ long.

Growing Mussaenda Erthrophylla Ashanti Blood2

Growing Mussaenda/Ashanti Bloodd

Although these bushes are simple to cultivate and care for, it is vital to understand their growing conditions before planting.

Soil and location

It’s cultivated on a medium-moisture soil that’s entirely fertile, dry, and organically rich. It grows well in USDA zones 9-11 and is winter hardy. They enjoy full sun, so put it somewhere where there will be fewer than 6 hours of sunshine. It gets its gleaming color from direct sunshine in the morning and evening, as well as shade during the warmest part of the day. These bushes will provide you joy during the warmer months of the year and for a long time to come.


Mussaenda may be propagated via soft or semi-hardwood cuttings. Another method of propagation is air layering, which is best done in the spring and wet seasons. Seeds aren’t utilized very often.


Plants require organic-rich, fertile soil that is heavily nourished, and these plants are fertilized on a regular basis. The plant may be harmed due to a lack of nutrients. In locations with a lot of rain, nutrients are easily removed from the soil. It is preferable to use organic fertilizers. Use an organic, leafy fertilizer on a regular basis to get the benefits. Liquid fertilizer should be applied early in the morning or late at night.

Growing Mussaenda Erthrophylla Ashanti Blood


Make sure to water the bush once or twice a week; it preserves moisture in the soil, which is essential for the plant, but it does not allow the muck to accumulate. Plants suffer from dryness and can be absorbed and die if they are not watered during dry periods.


The Mussaenda bush is a good stroller, and it benefits from yearly pruning. In general, no more than 1/3 of the development should be lost. If more renewal is necessary, long-term sorting is preferable, with the size gradually reduced as needed. Some species and types become climbers, and fences can be used to teach them. During the flowering season, it is also beneficial to remove dead flowers and bracts.

Mussaenda care

  • Mussaenda propagation need extremely high conditions, therefore it occurs from mid-January to late September.
  • Keeping your plant in the sun to partial shade, with a little more security in case of heavy gusts.
  • They grow quickly in hot months, but their branches stay slightly fragile, and there is a risk of loss in exposed areas.
  • Cover the bush with a 2-inch layer of bark mulch. Keep it at least 3 inches from the bush’s stem.
  • To keep the bush wet, water it once or twice a week.
  • These bushes aren’t finicky about soil or conditions, but they do need to eat properly in the spring when the leaves start to develop, and they also need adequate marching during this time.
  • It’s tough to cut them back late in the winter. Pruning encourages the growth of the plant, which aids Mussaenda flower output.

Mussaenda plant pest

There are no severe pest or disease problems with these plants. Especially if their dietary and environmental needs are addressed. These are frequently infested by mili bugs, which can result in the growth of sooty mold on the honey. These insects thrive in hot, dry circumstances. Indoor plants are also home to spider kites and whiteflies.

Mussaenda erythrophylla tree


Mussaenda is a genus of about 200 species with a wide range of distribution from West Africa through the Indian subcontinent, Asia, and New Guinea to the western Pacific. Far North Queensland and the Torres Islands are home to one species. In warmer Australian gardens, five species are often planted. One popular species is found in Pseudomussaenda, a similar genus that was originally included in Mussaenda.

Mussaenda erythrophylla
Mussaenda erythrophylla

Angola, Burundi, Cabinda, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanganyka, Togo, Uganda, and Zaire are all home to Mussaenda erythrophylla (Ashanti Blood, Red Flag). This shrub has bright red sepals and white flowers with red centers. It may often climb up nearby trees in the wild. It may be grown as a spreading shrub with a height of 1 to 1.5 meters (3 to 4.5 feet) and a width of 2 to 3 meters (6 to 9 feet) in the garden, or trained as a climber up a support or an open foliaged tree.

Mussaenda frondosa
Mussaenda frondosa

The Dhobi Tree (Mussaenda frondosa) is native to India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It bears reddish-orange flowers with white sepals. It’s a tiny shrub with a height of 1.5 to 2 meters (5 to 6 feet) and a width of 1.5 to 2 meters (5 to 6 feet). The leaves are a brighter shade of green than those of many other species.

Mussaenda incana (Dwarf Mussaenda)
Mussaenda incana (Dwarf Mussaenda)

Mussaenda incana (Dwarf Mussaenda) is a species of Mussaenda that is native to India and Malaysia. It features creamy yellow sepals and vivid yellow flowers. This is a low-growing shrub with a height of 300 to 750 mm (1 to 2.5 feet) and a width of 1 to 2 meters (3 to 6 feet wide). When mass-planted as a groundcover, it looks fantastic and ought to be cultivated more extensively.

Mussaenda philippica
Mussaenda philippica

The Tropical Dogwood, Mussaenda philippica, is native to the Philippines, Indonesia, and New Guinea. White sepals and orangy-yellow flowers characterize the flowers. In the wild, it may reach a height of 3 to 5 meters (9 to 15 feet), but in cultivation, it is most usually observed as a shrub with a height of 1.8 to 2.5 meters (6 to 7 feet) and a width of 1.2 to 1.8 meters (4 to 6 feet). Mussaenda philippica ‘Dona Aurora’ (Dona Aurora, Buddha’s Lamp) is a more well-known cultivar of this species. Calixto Mabesa gathered this accidental sport on Mt Makiling in 1915, and Hugh Curran and Mamerto Sulit recollected it in 1930 in the University of the Philippines Los Banos’ College of Forestry grounds. Instead of simply one floral sepal, this variety has many (sometimes five) per bloom. This was cultivated and dedicated to Mrs Aurora Quezon, the wife of the President of the Philippines, in 1930. Almost all hybrids are descended from this plant.

The Dwarf Yellow Mussaenda, Pseudomussaenda flava (prev. Mussaenda luteola, Mussaenda glabra)
The Dwarf Yellow Mussaenda

The Dwarf Yellow Mussaenda, Pseudomussaenda flava (prev. Mussaenda luteola, Mussaenda glabra), is native to Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria. White floral sepals and creamy yellow flowers characterize this shrub. While it is no longer a member of the Mussaenda genus, it has many of its characteristics and is the most hardy of the species, surviving more dryness and milder temperatures. It may be seen flourishing as far south as Sydney. In the tropics and subtropics, this plant blooms all year. The flowers also have a light scent.

Mussaenda 'Queen Sirikit'
Mussaenda ‘Queen Sirikit’

Mussaenda ‘Queen Sirikit’ (Mussaenda ‘Dona Hilaria x Dona Aurora’) is named after Thailand’s Queen Consort, who is the world’s longest-serving head of state. It is arguably the most frequently cultivated Mussaenda species in the planet. It features a number of pale pink sepals with a pronounced darker border. Flowers are a brilliant yellow color. The weight of the flower heads has been known to destroy limbs after heavy rain.

Mussaenda 'Dona Luz'
Mussaenda ‘Dona Luz’

Mussaenda ‘Dona Luz‘ (M. ‘Dona Hilaria x Dona Aurora’) is named after Luz Banzon-Magsaysay, the first lady of the Philippines. It features a number of shrimp pink sepals with a tendency to turn under at the tips.

In recent years, Mussaenda hybridization has also happened in India. This country’s hybrid is extensively grown in Australia and across the world.

Mussaenda 'Marmalade' Calcutta Sunset
Mussaenda ‘Marmalade’ Calcutta Sunset

Mussaenda ‘Marmalade’ (Mussaenda Dona Luz x P. flava) is a patented shrub that was grown from seed at an Alipore nursery in 1995. Because it was bred with P. flava, this shrub is extremely hardy and robust. It swiftly develops to a height of 2 to 3 metres (7 to 9 feet) and a width of 1.8 to 2 metres (6 to 7 feet). The shrub is covered with bright yellow and salmon sepals that intensify to yellow and orange. They’re not as big as some other hybrids, but they’re rather spectacular on the bush. This plant comes highly recommended from me. In my opinion, it is still growing. Local nurserymen in Australia have renamed this plant Mussaenda ‘Calcutta Gold,’ causing more confusion when the public searches the internet for further information.

Mussaenda ‘Capricorn Dream’ is a show-stopper in the garden, with numerous crimson red sepals.

‘Capricorn Ice’ Mussaenda has numerous white sepals and deep yellow flowers.

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