China Doll Plant: Indoor Care and Growing Guide

China Doll Plants

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    How to Grow China Doll Plants Indoors

    With their shiny emerald leaves and small shape, Chinese doll plants are an attractive addition to any indoor garden collection.

    Native to the subtropical mountainous regions of Asia, Chinese doll plants are evergreen trees that are part of the Bignoniaceae family. When cared for at home, they grow moderately fast and can reach heights of 4 to 6 feet when they are adults.

    When grown indoors, the Chinese doll plant can be started and grown throughout the year.

    They are a bit fussy about their growing conditions (especially when it comes to light and soil), but if you take good care of them, you will be rewarded with an attractive, feathery plant, perfect for adding a touch of greenery to any day corner of your house.

    Chinese Doll Plant Care

    Chinese doll plants require specific growing conditions to thrive indoors and can be difficult if those conditions are not met. The most important thing to remember when growing a Chinese doll plant is that it requires a lot of light and humidity and does not respond well to frequent changes in its growing conditions. Leaf drop usually occurs on Chinese doll plants if their growing conditions are bad or change very quickly.


    Chinese doll plants require a lot of medium to bright indirect light to thrive indoors. Choose a spot near a window, but be sure to protect your plant from strong direct rays, as they can burn the plant's delicate leaves and cause them to fall off. If you don't have enough natural light in your home to support a Chinese doll plant (it will need at least four to five hours a day, consistently), you can supplement it with artificial growth light to help it thrive.


    Plant your Chinese doll plant in moist, well-drained soil. Commercially available potting mixes are generally suitable - if you notice that the soil is not draining well, you can mix in perlite or sand to improve drainage.


    Regular watering is essential for a happy and healthy Chinese doll plant. They should be watered after the soil is dry, the frequency of which varies with the season and your home environment. At the same time, care must be taken not to overwater the soles of Chinese dolls as they cannot stand "wet feet" and can easily develop root rot if left in the water. To avoid this problem, choose a pot with large, draining holes in the bottom. If you notice that the leaves of the plant are turning yellow or crisp, it is a good indication that the plant is not getting enough water. Similarly, black spikes on the plant's leaves can indicate that it is overwatering.

    Temperature and humidity

    Due to their subtropical origins, Chinese doll plants appreciate the warm and humid conditions in your home. They should be stored at temperatures between 65 degrees Fahrenheit and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and while they can survive in typical dry house conditions, they will thrive with additional moisture. To increase the humidity around the Chinese doll plant, keep it in a room in the house that generally has more humidity, such as the kitchen or bathroom. You can also spray the plant daily or place it near a humidifier.


    During its growing season (spring and summer), your Chinese doll plant should be fed monthly with a balanced liquid fertilizer that has been diluted in half. Once the growth of the plant slows down throughout the year, you can reduce the feeding rate to once every two months.

    Pruning China Doll Plants

    Regular pruning is the primary form of Chinese doll plant maintenance and should be done regularly to maintain an attractive and thriving plant. Pruning is not difficult year-round, so you can do it whenever you notice that your Chinese doll plant is getting a bit unruly. Every few months, cut-off stems that have grown a bit, are bent, or appear to be dying.

    Propagate Chinese doll plants

    Chinese doll plants can be propagated by cuttings. Propagating Chinese doll plants is not impossible, but it requires more time and care than other varieties. When taking cuttings, make sure they are green and not in the woody part of the plant. The cuttings can then be placed directly in moist soil and covered with a sheet of cling film to retain moisture. The soil around the cuttings must be kept constantly moist. If propagation is successful, the roots should begin to grow within three to four weeks.

    Potting and Repotting China Doll Plants

    Less is more when it comes to transplanting Chinese doll plants. They like to be attached to the roots, so frequent transplanting or alteration can cause leaf drop and a general lack of growth. Transplant your Chinese doll plant only when absolutely necessary, and be sure to increase the pot size by just an inch or two when you do. As an alternative to transplanting, you may consider root pruning, which can also help control the size of your Chinese doll plant.

    Common Pests and Diseases

    Chinese doll plants are not known to be particularly susceptible to pest or disease problems, but there are a few afflictions to watch out for. Like most houseplants, your Chinese doll plant is at risk for scales, mealybugs, and spider mites, especially when kept near a variety of other plants. These common pests can be treated with a natural insecticide, such as neem oil. Any disease that can occur is usually fungal (such as leaf spot) and can be corrected by slightly reducing the humidity around the plant.

    Enjoy This Video Tutorial About China Doll Plant

    Source: Jenny David

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    China Doll Plants

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