The Tabernaemontana divaricata is a genus of medium size evergreen shrub, native to tropical Asia; it has a roundish habit, and easily reaches the 2-3 metres of height; the foliage is dark green, oval or lanceolate, quite thick and rigid; during the spring and summer it produces small flowers with five petals, white in colour, slightly fleshy, which give off a pleasant perfume and bloom at the apex of the branches.
The shrub develops quite quickly, producing numerous disorderly ramifications, which produce a very dense and dense foliage. Plant suitable for pot cultivation, but also for creating shielding hedges. The variety ‘Flore Pleno’ has flowers with double corolla, very showy.
The Tabernaemontana divaricata plants are grown in a sunny or semi-shady place; these plants can bear short periods of not too intense frost, in regions with very harsh winters it is advisable to grow them in pots, so that they can be moved to shelter in cold green houses in winter. The plant needs a few hours of direct light to be able to grow better.
If it is grown in the ground and cold temperatures are expected, then it should be repaired with the appropriate cloths available on the market and placing at the base of the material mulch or dry leaves, which will protect the root system from the action of frost.
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The plants of Tabernaemontana divaricata are quite resistant and can bear, without any problems, even prolonged periods of drought, so much so that, usually, they are satisfied with the rains. If the period of drought lasts for a long time, it is advisable to intervene by providing water, with the care to wait for the soil to dry between one watering and the other, since the onset of waterlogging can cause suffering to the plant and can lead to root rot, which would compromise the health.
If the plant is grown in a pot, it is necessary to provide more water.
The Tabernaemontana divaricata are grown in a good soft and deep soil, rich in organic matter, very well drained.
These plants are rustic and resistant and adapt without any problem to any soil, even if compact and poor, provided that the drainage is good; in fact, a dangerous problem for the plant is represented by the formation of stagnations, which cause the yellowing of the leaves and, even, the plant could rot.
During flowering, it is a good idea to periodically provide slow release granular fertilizer for flowering plants in order to provide the right nourishment for this type of shrub.
The multiplication of the plants of Tabernaemontana divaricata takes place by seed, in spring, or by semi-woody cutting in late spring, placing the cuttings in a soft soil rich in organic matter, so as to allow the development of new shoots.
Tabernaemontana divaricata: Pests and diseases
The plants of this variety fear the attack of aphids and cochineal. For this reason it is advisable to intervene before flowering with broad spectrum products, which will effectively counteract the onset of problems. It is also good to control the formation of water stagnations that could lead to the development of fungal diseases dangerous to the health of the shrubs.