Phyllanthus Mirabilis is one of the most common caudex available in the market. They are also called small deciduous trees, which shed their leaves during the dormancy period once throughout the year.
They are mostly loved because of the attractive unique combination of the foliage color. Mirabilis is the only Phyllanthus genus plant that is caudiciform.
Characteristics of Phyllanthus Mirabilis
These plants have either coppery red leaves or dark green velvety leaves, sometimes combining to become one of the most sensational plants you will ever see. The plant folds its leaves and reveals its true beauty with the rising sun at dawn.
They have caudex, a thick stem, which disappears if you plant them in soil. These plants grow in very dry conditions, so make sure that you meet all the requirements to allow the caudex to grow naturally.
They can also grow under normal soil, but the caudex will become thin, and the plant will turn into a tree.
Height and spread
The size of the caudex of this plant is about 24cm wide, whereas the branches are 50 cm in length and about 15cm wide. The plant’s leaves can grow up to 8 cm long and 4 cm wide.
In most cases, the plant’s mature size can take about twenty years, so make sure that you are patient enough to keep this plant growing slowly and steadily. Don’t worry, because you do not have to wait for twenty years to enjoy its beautiful foliage and attractive stem.
The species of this plant grows in Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. They were first discovered by Johannes Muller in the mid-19th century. Phyllanthus Mirabilis means remarkable leaf flowers, as they can fold their foliage at night and unveil the inside beauty in the morning.
Once the dormancy period starts, the plant loses its leaves until it is completely naked. The process is natural, as all the deciduous plants lose their leaves in the winter to regain their strength once the growing season starts.
Make sure that you follow the complete guide to take care of your Mirabilis during its dormancy period.
All the deciduous plants allow themselves to rest during the dormancy period and prepare for the next growing season in that time.
They make their leaves stronger and healthier by growing them every year from their base, which allows them to have a longer life than other plants.
Another characteristic of this plant that makes it one of the plant lovers’ favorite is its non-toxic nature. You can keep this plant anywhere inside your house without worrying about your pet or children getting infected by this beautiful and eye-catching plant.
Caring Tips for Phyllanthus Mirabilis
Mirabilis is not very difficult to care for; however, there are some tips that the caretaker must follow to make the plant grow without showing any unnatural leaf falls.
A cactus and succulent-based potting mix are ideal for this plant. Mirabilis, having a thick base, does not necessarily require high water retention, so make sure that you add an adequate amount of sand, perlite, and grit to the potting mixture to improve the drainage of the water from the soil.
We recommend watering these plants only if the top half of the soil is dry. To identify if the plant is overwatered or underwatered, always notice the color and behavior of the leaves.
If you observe the leaves becoming yellow with a stunned growth, then water the plant to rehydrate it; however, if the plant’s leaves become crispy and curled with changing color, please let the plant dry because it has been overwatered.
The light requirements of these plants are similar to those of any other Phyllanthus. They need an indirect bright light or diffused light.
They can tolerate full sunlight, but we advise you to keep the plant inside your house instead of placing it in the open sun, as direct sunlight can cause its leaves to get sunburnt.
They are not very good against cold weather conditions, so make sure that the temperature where you place your Mirabilis is above 15 degrees Celcius.
These plants grow on a mountain under high humid conditions, so keep the humidity level as high as possible to keep the plant thriving in the growth season. They do well under an average humidity level of 50 to 60 percent in normal home conditions.
A cactus or houseplant labeled fertilizer is the best for your plant; however, make sure that you do not over-feed your plant as it can cause chemical salts to build in the soil. We recommend you feed every four weeks in the autumn season and reduce it as soon as the winter season arrives.
Caring in Dormancy period
We highly recommend you to leave the plant as it is in the dormancy period, as these plants naturally lose their leaves which require no special care.
The dormancy period is mostly seen at the start of the winter season; if you notice the leaves not falling after a couple of weeks, reduce the watering without changing the plant’s location.
Propagating tips for Phyllanthus Mirabilis
The best way to propagate your plant is by planting seeds. We have provided you step by step guide to propagate your plant properly.
- Put the seed in water and keep them inside for a day.
- Prepare a pot and fill it with soil using cactus or succulent labeled potting mix with multipurpose compost and sand.
- Plant the seed inside the soil and place it in indirect bright sunlight.
- Make sure that the temperature is above 16 degrees Celcius for best results.
- Use vermiculite to improve the moisture in the soil.
- Water the seed and wait till the new plant grows from the seed.
Phyllanthus Mirabilis is an astonishing plant that captures the heart of all plant lovers with its dark green velvety leaves. Its care has a low to moderate level of difficulty, which can be easily dealt with if you follow the tips we have provided you in this guide.