Powder Puff is a sub-tropical plant native to India, Mexico, South Africa, Madagascar and the United States. Scientifically the plant is known as Callindra, the name comes from the Greek words Kalli- meaning beautiful and Andros- meaning male which refers to the many stamens in the flowers.
The plant is easy to care for and very rewarding with beautiful red blooms. You can easily grow them indoors too.
Powder puff plant gives the best results when grown in full sun but in hotter regions if should be grown in partial shade to protect the plant from scorch.
It has small light green to dark green leaves and attractive reddish crimson flowers with large stamens grouped together to give it the look of a powder-puff. Hence the name of the plant. The fruit looks like a bean pod. Flowers appear from November to April.
Water the plant regularly especially during the summer season. They prefer an evenly moist soil. Do not over water the plant. The plant requires frequent watering in winter too.
Use a rich, well-drained soil. Don't use very heavy or clayey soils. Add some organic content to make the soil rich. You can also put a layer of mulch over the soil to retain moisture content and maintain an even temperature.
The plant can grow up to 10 to 15ft in height. You can prune them to control the size and maintain the dense appearance.
Fertilize once in two weeks during the growing season. You can fertilize with a balanced organic fertilizer. Cut back the fertilizing to once a month during the winters.
The plant does not have any serious pest or disease problems. Occasionally the plant can get affected by spider mites and caterpillars. You can spray them off with water. Follow up with appropriate insecticides and repellents if the problem persists.
The plants are normally grown for their ornamental value. The plant can make for beautiful patio plants. You can also grow them in the garden. Another plus point is that the flowers are very attractive to butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and sunbirds.