The Brazilian plume Jacobinia is a member of the Acanthaceae family native to the Houston area gardens. They bear exotic flowers which brighten up your garden or porch. These brightly coloured flowers are a pleasure to look at and thus, this is a favoured choice if your garden has lots of shade. The plants are easy to grow but a treat to the eyes. Earlier they were known as Jacobinia magnifica. Although they have been renamed as Justicia carnea, this name does not do justice to the magnificent flowers. Colloquially, they are known as Brazilian plume, flamingo plant, paradise plant and King's crown.
The Brazilian plume is a tender plant. It grows well in mild temperatures and needs good irrigation and fertilizing. These plants must be protected from the frost.
They get along well with ferns. Therefore, they can be grown in a corner of the garden with ferns so as to protect the leaves from scorching.
These plants prefer shade rather than light. They can be grown in the corner of a garden or on the porch. The optimum temperature is 60-75 degrees Celsius.
The plants need medium amounts of water. They require very good drainage. The soil should not be kept soggy at all.
These plants need a soil with very good drainage properties. Loamy soil is good for the growth but it is advisable to buy a potting mix of good quality. A potting mix of good quality is suggested for this plant.
Any organic fertilizer can be added to the soil to facilitate growth. The organic mix must be dug to a depth of about 8 inches.
The Brazilian plume is a tender plant which has magnificent blooms. The flowers are generally white, pink or red in colour. They are brightly coloured and tubular in shape. The bloom time is July-September.
The flowers grow to a height of 1.50-2 feet.
These are tender plants. Therefore, they should be planted when the soil is warm and the temperature at night is above the freezing point.
The pruning should be done during the growing season. Pruning early in the spring does not reduce flowering. Pruning should only involve cutting off old flowers and occasional pinching to help in the growth of branches.
They are used for ornamental purposes due to the beautiful flowers.