Iresine Herbstii (Bloodleaf) is winter hardy in USDA Region 10-12. Iresine herbstii usually grows in moist, well-drained soil filled with sunlight. In St. Louis, Iresine Herbstii (Bloodleaf) is grown as an indoor plant or garden annual. As an indoor plant, Iresine Herbstii needs a soil-based potting mixture and bright indoor light and morning sun, but avoid direct summer afternoon sunlight.
How to Choose and Prepare a Planting Site
Iresine herbstii (Bloodleaf) is a tropical plant that doesn't tolerate chilly winter temperatures. However, Iresine herbstii is easily grown indoors planted in a container filled with a well-drained commercial potting soil. Iresine herbstii can add color to the outdoor environment during warm weather and then come indoors before the first frost in autumn. Alternatively, Iresine herbstii (Bloodleaf)can grow indoors all year round. Care is similar to outdoor care -bright indirect sunlight and regular applications of a liquid fertilizer specifically intended for indoor plants, applied during spring and summer. Let the top of the soil dry between waterings.
How to Grow Iresine herbstii (Bloodleaf)
Steps for Iresine herbstii (Bloodleaf) Propagation with Stem Cuttings
You can easily propagate Iresine herbstii (Bloodleaf) by using cuttings. For the best results, cut the fleshy tip of the stem early in the spring season. Be sure that the stem cutting measures at least 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 cm). Dip the end of the cutting into a rooting hormone and then root it in a container with moist perlite. Make sure to place this somewhere warm with a high humidity.
Cover the container with a plastic bag to keep the moisture in. You can remove it when the plant starts to form new growth. The cuttings will start to develop roots fairly easily. As mentioned earlier, it develops fast and responds well to pruning.
The Iresine herbstii (Bloodleaf) should be repotted once a year until it reaches its mature size. Afterward, it can be repotted every other year or propagated again to create new plants before being discarded. It is commonly used as a bedding plant in tropical landscapes. Growing them in a mixed container along with other tropical plants creates a colorful and lively arrangement.
How to Care for Iresine herbstii (Bloodleaf)
Smaller plants tend to thrive in partial shade, but as they grow they can tolerate more light. Iresine herbstii are margin plants by nature, meaning they grow on the edge of forests and can withstand varied light levels. Iresine herbstii can tolerate less light in the winter months, so don't place them too close to a window. If the Iresine herbstii plant is getting leggy, however, it's probably not getting enough light.
When growing outdoors, organically rich, well-draining soil is Iresine herbstii's favorite. For indoor growth, though, use a loamy, soil-based potting mixture.
The Iresine herbstii (Bloodleaf) needs to be watered thoroughly as it enjoys moist soil. In order to check if the Iresine herbstii plant needs to be watered, press your finger into the soil to a depth of about an inch (3 cm). If the soil feels dry, water deeply and drain out the excess fluid. Adding a 2 or 3-inch layer of organic mulch can help retain moisture in the soil. During the winter, you will need to water less but make sure that the soil does not completely dry out. Make sure to also drain the saucer under the pot around 20 minutes after watering because the roots of the plant could start rotting if left sitting in the fluid.
Temperature and Humidity Care
Iresine herbstii (Bloodleaf) cannot tolerate lower temperatures or cold, dry air,so they usually be called "warm house" plants. Iresine herbstii requires a temperature of at least 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Indoors, Iresine herbstii are best grown in places where often have warmth and humidity, for example, window boxes or bathrooms. If you put them in a glasshouse, Iresine herbstii will thrive there. Due to their low tolerance for cold, dry air, Iresine herbstii will need to be frequently misted and provided with adequate heat during the winter.
Feed Iresine herbstii with a high-nitrogen liquid fertilizer every two to three weeks throughout the growing season.
Pruning CareIresine herbstii
(Bloodleaf) will put out small, pale green-white flowers, but they're not showy. Therefore, most gardeners choose to pinch off the buds, so that the plant can divert its energy into growing its beautiful foliage.
Pests and Diseases
A Iresine herbstii
Bloodleaf) plant is susceptible to infestations of aphids and spider mites, although healthy, properly maintained plants are more resistant. Aphids are tiny insects that congregate on the undersides and joints of leaves, where they suck the sap from the plant. Spider mites, which also suck the juices from the plant, are so tiny they are difficult to see with the naked eye. However, Iresine herbstii
are evidenced by a stippled or pepper appearance they leave on the foliage. Both are removed by regular application of an insecticidal soap spray or with a spray containing pyrethrin, a natural, plant-based substance. Although chemical pesticides are effective, they also kill beneficial insects such as ladybugs that feast on aphids and spider mites.
Varieties of Iresine herbstii (Bloodleaf)
There are dozens of species of Iresine herbstii, but only a few are grown for ornamental purposes.
Iresine herbstii 'Brilliantissima': Bright red leaves with pink veins
Iresine herbstii 'Aueoreticulata': Green leaves with yellow veins
Iresine herbstii 'Blazin Rose': Deep red-purple leaves with pinkish-red veins
Iresine herbstii 'Acuminata': Dark maroon leaves with pinkish-red veins
Iresine herbstii (Bloodleaf) FAQ
Is Iresine herbstii (Bloodleaf) a perennial?Iresine herbstii
, commonly called bloodleaf or beefsteak plant. is native to Brazil. It is noted for its ornamental foliage. This is a short-lived perennial that is often grown as an annual.
Is Iresine herbstii (Bloodleaf) indoor or outdoor?
Although Iresine herbstii (Bloodleaf) can be planted both outside and indoors, it gets quite finicky outdoors. Iresine herbstii
is hardy to USDA Zones 10 to 12, and it needs a lot of heat and humidity.
Why is my iresine drooping?
If Iresine herbstii
needs water the leaves start to droop and if not watered within one day the whole plant begins to droop. The good news is that after watering a badly drooping plant it perks up in about two hours and is fine in about 6 hours. Beside the ease of care, the best thing is the color of the leaves.