Indian hawthorn (Rhaphiolepsis indica) is a tiny, slow-growing shrub that thrives in full sunlight. It’s simple to maintain because it naturally maintains a clean, rounded shape without the need for pruning. The shrub is attractive all year and becomes a focal point in the spring when huge, loose clusters of fragrant pink or white flowers emerge. Small blueberries that attract wildlife follow the blossoms.
Despite its common name, it is not only found in India. It originated in China and is also found in other countries in Asia and Australia. It’s an excellent landscaping alternative for warmer climates, where it may be used as hedges, foundation plants, and more. It’s even useful as a container plant.
This evergreen shrub has bronze-colored leaves that grow to a rich green tint. It has oblong leaves that are 2 to 4 inches long and have a leathery feel with serrated edges. The shrub has stunning, fragrant light pink or white blooms in bunches throughout the spring. The flowers are star-shaped and have five petals. Small, dark blue fruits appear after the shrub flowers and can stay on the plant throughout winter if not eaten by wildlife. Because of its modest growth rate, this shrub should be planted in the early spring.
Botanical Name Rhaphiolepis Indica
Common Name Indian hawthorn
Plant Type Shrub
Mature Size 4–6 ft. tall and wid
Sun Exposure Full
Soil Type Moist, well-drained
Soil pH Acidic, neutral, alkaline
Bloom Time Spring
Flower Color Pink, white
Hardiness Zones 8–10 (USDA)
Native Area Asia
Indian Hawthorn Varieties
There are several sorts of Indian hawthorn, including:
- Rhaphiolepis indica ‘Little Pinkie’: This type has pink flowers and can blossom twice a year in the spring and the fall. It only grows to about 2 feet tall and marks grayish-green foliage.
- Rhaphiolepis indica ‘Indian Princess’: This type develops to about 4 feet tall and vast, and it bears both white and pink flowers with luminous green foliage.
- Rhaphiolepis x ‘Montic’: This combination is bigger than the usual shrub, growing up to 24 feet tall and 10 feet wide. It carries pink flowers in the spring.
How to Grow Indian Hawthorn
Indian hawthorn is a plant that remains green and leathery throughout the year. The leaves become purple in the winter and appear to be made of leather. The shrub may grow in areas with moderate winters. It is hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 through 11. Indian hawthorn plants can be used for a variety of purposes. They make a dense hedge when grown close together. This is the most important word. Indian hawthorn can be used to divide areas of your landscape. Because the plants can withstand salt spray and saline soil, they are ideal for planting near the sea. Indian hawthorn plants are easy to cultivate in pots and can be used on your patio, deck, or porch. The first step in Indian hawthorn care is to plant the shrub in a suitable location. It grows best in direct sunlight, but it can even flourish in the afternoon. It can also grow early in the morning or late in the evening. If you plant Indian hawthorn in too much shade, it will grow out of shape and become unruly. Unless the soil is particularly heavy clay or sandy, you should amend it with compost before planting. They grow to be 3 to 6 feet (1-2 meters) broad and spread slightly wider than their height, so you should position them accordingly.
Indian Hawthorn Care
Indian hawthorn bushes are quite easy to care for if planted in the proper conditions. They prefer a sunny position with well-drained soil and good air circulation. If you’re going to place them in a container, you must use a pot with a lot of drainage holes and a loose potting mix. In wet conditions, shrubs can become diseased.
Water young plants on a frequent basis if you want to keep the soil evenly moist. Watering mature Indian hawthorn plants is uncommon; they only require it when the weather is dry. You’ll only need to fertilize and prune your garden once a year.
These shrubs don’t require much pruning because they naturally grow into an aesthetically pleasing mounded shape. If you want to alter the shape of your shrub, lightly prune it after it has done flowering. You can remove any dead, damaged, or diseased stems at any time of year.
Deer frequently consume Indian hawthorn plants, which are native to North America. If there are a lot of deer in your neighborhood, you should either protect your shrubs or come up with something else to put in their place to keep them out. In addition to aphids, nematodes, and scale, the Indian hawthorn tree is susceptible to rust. If you observe any leaf damage or discoloration, apply an organic neem oil spray to treat the infestation. In addition, the shrubs are prone to fungal infections, which can cause leaf damage and even death. By maintaining enough air circulation and drying the leaves, you can keep disease at bay.