China doll plant (Radermachera sinica) profile

Written by Maggie

Mar 18 2021

China doll plant (Radermachera sinica) profile

China doll plant (Radermachera sinica), also known as serpent tree or emerald tree, likes the environment of high temperature, wet and sunshine. China doll plant has high temperature resistance, fear of cold, suitable for wet, avoid dry. Loose, fertile, well drained and rich in organic matter loam and sandy loam should be used for cultivation. 

China doll plant picture

China doll plant

China doll plant info

Botanical Name Radermachera sinica
Common Names China doll plant, serpent tree, emerald tree
Plant Type Broadleaf evergreen
Sun Full sun, partial shade
Hardiness Zones 10–12 (USDA) when outdoors
Flower color White, yellow
Native Area Asia
Mature size 4–6 ft. tall (indoors), 1–3 ft. wide (indoors)

Morphological characteristics of China doll plant

China Doll Plant is a medium deciduous tree, up to 15 m high, with pale gray bark, deep longitudinal lobes and loose lumps.2 to 3 pinnate compound leaves, axis ca. 30 cm, glabrous. Leaves are alternate, middle leaves opposite, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, 4 cm to 7 cm long, apex caudate, entire, glabrous on both sides, petiole glabrous. Flowers bloom at night. Inflorescences are erect, terminal, 25-35 cm long, 30 cm in diameter, bracts linear-lanceolate, caducous. Calyx teeth of China Doll Plant is ovate-lanceolate, ca. 1.2 cm long. Corolla is campanula-funnel-shaped, white or pale yellow, 6 to 8 cm long, lobes rounded, wrinkled, ca. 2.5 cm. Capsule is leathery, columnar strip like kidney bean, slightly curved, more groove lines.

Ecological habits of China doll plant

China doll plant likes high temperature, wet and sunny environments. China doll plant has high temperature resistance, fear of cold, suitable for wet, avoid dryness.In valleys or open forests on flat ground. Loose, fertile, well drained and rich in organic matter loam and sandy loam should be used for cultivation. Most of them are distributed in valleys, flat areas and open forests at an altitude of 300 m to 850 m (Guangxi, Hainan) and 1100 m to 1700 m (south of central Yunnan).

Distribution area of China doll plant

China doll plant is native to Taiwan, Guangdong, Hainan, Guangxi, Guizhou, Yunnan and other places, India, the Philippines, Bhutan and other countries also have distribution.

China doll plant propagation

Sowing propagtion

In winter, when the capsule is close to dehiscing and the seed is fully mature, the long-strip capsule can be harvested, dried and the winged seed seed can emerge, rubbed and removed the membranous seed wing fragments, and the dry capsule can be stored until the next spring for sowing. China doll plant can also be soaked for 2 to 3 hours after mixing in the wet sand, thin spread in the large plastic basin in the shed, keep the seed and sand wet, often check to prevent mildew, to be the seed seed germination after sowing. Dry hidden seed, in spring, soak 3 to 4 hours first, after fishing out its slightly spread air, and then mixed with sand and soil after sowing at the good seedbed, light cover thin soil, cover with film to protect moisture, wait for its seed after the emergence of thin film, take shade shed shading.

Cutting propagation

In spring, when the ambient temperature reached about 15℃, the 1-2-year-old lignified branches of the China doll plant were cut, about 15 cm to 20 cm long, and all the leaves were deleted. The lower cut had better be located at 0.5 cm below the node, and the cuttings were cut on the sandy soil seedbed. The depth of the cuttings was about 1/3 to 1/2 of the spike length. Water should be sprayed to keep the seedbed moist while its undercut heals rooting. When it grows out of the root system, it can be transplanted with soil mass on the pot, the best 2 to 3 plants in combination, can be sold as early as possible.

How to grow and care for China doll plant


China doll plant likes warm and hot environments, the suitable temperature for growth is 20℃ to 30℃. During the summer heat, when the ambient temperature of 30 degrees above, to be appropriate to shade, increase the environment and foliar water, or move it to a thin shade ventilated cool place over the summer. At the end of autumn, when the ambient temperature drops to about 10℃, China doll plant should be moved to the shed in time. During the winter, it is best to maintain a cabin temperature of not less than 8℃, the lowest should not be less than 5℃, so as to avoid cold damage to leaves or fallen leaves. Home potted plants can be moved to the room with air conditioning or electric heater, to ensure that the room temperature is not lower than 8℃, so that China doll plant can be safely through the winter.


China doll plant is a light-loving plant, also a little shade tolerant, full sunshine, half shade environment. The seedlings are more tolerant to shade, and should be sheltered in summer. Potted plants should be placed in a well-lit window or room during indoor display. If it is placed for a long time in the dim indoor light, it is easy to cause fallen leaves. Domestic potted, during overwintering can put it at the window or the taller place before the balcony, letting its accept illumination more.


Cultivation of China Doll Plant requires a relatively wet soil and display environment. Seedling period, to keep the seedbed wet, after the summer of high temperature and drought season, should pay more attention to water supply. China doll plant, in order to make it does not grow too tall, in the spring when the new shoots are pumped, can be properly controlled watering, keep the pot soil moist. In addition to the requirement to keep the soil moist, China doll plant should be sprayed with water 2 to 3 times a day during the high temperature season. Summer, autumn put in the outdoor conservation of the plant, must strengthen the plant and the surrounding small environment of water, to create a cool and wet suitable environment. Winter put in the indoor plants, because the general indoor temperature is lower than 10℃, the plant into dormant state, not too much water, so as not to appear water rot root, but every 2 days to 3 days at noon in fine weather, with slightly warm water spraying plants once, in order to maintain its delicate appearance, can also increase the environmental humidity. In addition, China Doll Plant can be used for hydroponics.


China doll plant, should choose loose and fertile, good drainage ventilation, rich in organic matter culture soil. Usually 5 parts of Garden soil, 3 parts of leaf rot soil, 1 part of decomposed organic fertilizer, 1 part of river sand mixed preparation. Loosen the soil once a month during the growing season to ensure that the roots are always in a good state of permeability. In the plum rain season, the potted plants placed in the open air should be checked in time after each heavy rainfall, and the water in the pot should be removed as soon as possible, and the potted soil should be turned over and replaced after the potted soil is dried.Under normal circumstances, as a family pot plant, small plants can be turned once a year when out of the house in spring, in order to meet the requirements of the annual growth of soil fertility.


For potted China Doll Plant, in addition to adding the proper amount of decayed cake fertilizer and 3% of multi-compound fertilizer to the culture soil, top dressing fertilizer should be continuously given. Growth season can be poured every month with a quick - effect liquid fertilizer, usually available decayed cake fertilizer water. A small amount of potted China doll plant in the family, or for a long time for public display of large pot plants, can be regularly buried with a small amount of multivariate slow-release compound fertilizer particles, can also be used 0.2% urea and 0.1% potassium dihydrogen phosphate mixture pouring. Potted plants in northern areas can be continuously applied with 0.3% potassium dihydrogen phosphate solution for 2 to 3 times after Mid-Autumn to increase the cold resistance of plants, which is conducive to their safety through winter. Top dressing should be stopped when the temperature is higher than 32℃ in summer and lower than 12 ℃ in late autumn and early winter.

China Doll Plant

Disease and pest control of China doll plant

Leaf spot

In the environment of high temperature, high humidity and bad ventilation, its leaves are susceptible to leaf spot infection.

Prevention and control methods: whether indoors or outdoors, should strengthen ventilation and light, avoid long time water stagnation on the leaf surface, reduce the possibility of leaf spot disease. If a small amount of disinfected leaves are found, remove and burn them in time, and regularly spray 50% carbendazim WP 600 times liquid, once every half a month, 3 to 4 times consecutively. Home potted, a small number of individual plants appear on the leaf spots, daub daconil cream ointment.

Scale insects

Under the condition of high temperature, high humidity, poor ventilation and ventilation, especially during the long time in autumn and winter, the stem and leaf are prone to scale insect harm.

Prevention and control methods: strengthen ventilation and light, pay attention to control environmental humidity.Found a few live insect bodies, also can use transparent tape to stick it. Productive cultivation, the nymphs can be hatched in the peak period, with 25% of the dididil wettable powder 1500 times the solution spray.


The main harmful symptoms for the new leaf wrinkle, curly, uneven leaf surface.Generally, the time of occurrence is from summer to autumn. High temperature and dry conditions are conducive to the occurrence of a large number of this insect pest, and the occurrence of insect pests is less in humid conditions.

Prevention and control methods: mainly use daktarin, nisolon and other acaricide agents.


The most common type of aphids is the green Peach aphid. Symptoms include leaves that are wrinkled and deformed, often with crystal spots of honey dew. Aphids can be seen with the naked eye.

Prevention and control method: spray with zinc, sulfur, phosphorus, dimethyl oxide, enemy kill, etc.

Uses of China doll plant

Medical use

Roots, leaves and fruits of China doll plant can be used as medicine to cool blood and reduce swelling, treat high fever, bruises and snake bites. The timber is yellowish brown, qualitative slightly heavy, the growth ring is obvious, can be used for the construction material.Branches, leaves and roots are also used to treat bovine anthrax.

Ornamental value

China doll plant is a small and medium-sized potted plant, can be placed in the balcony, bedroom, hall and other places. China doll plant with lush green leaves, full of vigor and vitality, can be used as a thriving plant, bringing happiness to people.

China Doll Plant