Murraya paniculata or Murraya exotica, from the genus Muraya of the Rutaceae family, is found in its natural habitat in South and Southeast Asia, China and Australia.
This is an evergreen, fast-growing tree or shrubs up to 3 m in height with a flexible, thin trunk covered with light gray bark and short-peted green leaves. The leaf plate is oval, about 7 – 12 cm long, unpaired, with 5 – 11 oval leaves 1 – 9 cm long and 0.5 – 6 cm wide. The surface is leathery, glossy, the upper side is darker than the lower.
Blooms, as a rule, several times a year. White five-petal flowers, 1 – 1.5 cm in diameter, collected at the tops of the shoots in small corymbose inflorescences, exude a very strong aroma, similar to the smell of jasmine, due to which Murraya paniculata is also called “orange jasmine”.
After flowering, small oblong bright red fruits are tied, up to 2 cm long, bearing 1 – 2 large seeds. Their ripening lasts about 4 months, so on the tree you can often see both fruits and flowers at the same time.
Murraya paniculata varieties
Species muraya blooms at 5 – 8 years of age. But among flower growers, varietal forms of this plant are more common, which are much smaller in size and bloom much earlier:
Min-a-min – a small plant up to 1 m tall. Due to its rapid growth and abundant bushiness, it is used by gardeners in warm regions as a hedge.
Minima is a slow-growing miniature tree, reaching a height of 40 – 60 cm. It blooms already in the first year of life, with only 3 – 4 leaves. This variety is one of the most suitable for potting.
Dwarf Compact is a dwarf variety with a height of 10 – 15 cm. This tree has oval leaf lobes about 0.5 cm long. One of the most capricious varieties of muraya.
Growing murraya paniculata at home
In general, Muraya is a rather unpretentious plant and is cultivated by many flower growers. All she needs is the fulfillment of several conditions.
Murraya paniculata is very light-requiring. For normal development and flowering, it requires an illumination level of about 6000 – 7800 lux. She is quite supportive of direct sunlight and in the spring-summer period feels good on the balcony or in the garden. But after the dark winter time, it should be taught to the bright sun gradually, otherwise burns may appear on the leaves.
When placed in a room, it is necessary to take into account the need for light and, if there is a lack of it, to supplement the plant with phyto lamps, forming a 12-14 hour daylight hours. Otherwise, the muraya will not bloom in the autumn-winter period, and with strong darkening, it will shed its leaves.
The optimum summer temperature for Murraya paniculata is around 25 ° C, and the winter temperature is 17 ° C. The plant does not tolerate sudden changes in temperature, drafts, so in winter you need to be very careful when ventilating the room and protect it from cold air from the street.
During the period of active growth and flowering, watering should be abundant, the soil should not dry out, but stagnation of water in the pot should not be allowed. The need for watering can be judged by the state of the topsoil, and water as soon as it dries out a little.
For irrigation, use well-settled water at room temperature without chlorine impurities. To soften it, slightly acidify it with vinegar or citric acid.
Murraya paniculata calmly tolerates dry indoor air even in winter, when central heating batteries are operating. If the dryness of the air is excessive, the tree will signal the shedding of buds. To avoid such a nuisance, you can spray the crown with warm boiled water once a day. And it is advisable to periodically arrange a warm shower, not only to refresh the foliage but also to cleanse the dust.
Muraya prefers nutritious loose soils with an acidity of 6 – 7.5 pH. For its cultivation, ready-made soil for citrus fruits is suitable , to which a baking powder (perlite or vermiculite) should be added. The younger the plant, the more baking powder will be required.
Those who wish can prepare a soil mixture on their own, taking sod, leafy, humus soil and coarse river sand in a ratio of 2: 2: 2: 1.
A good drainage layer must be created at the bottom of the pot to protect the soil from stagnant water. When planting a plant, you need to make sure that the root collar is not buried.
Murraya paniculata is better to underfeed than overfeed. Fertilizers are applied once a month, alternating between full mineral and organic fertilizers. Bonsai fertilizer can be used as the first. If this is difficult to find, use a ready-made complex fertilizer for indoor plants. But in any case, you should choose a nutrient mixture that does not contain chlorine, as the plant is prone to chlorosis.
Murraya does not really like transplanting, so it should be done very carefully, trying not to damage the roots. It is best to use the transhipment method, especially for young specimens that need to change the pot to a larger diameter container every year. Adult plants have to be planted in the same pots, after shaking off the old soil from the roots and adding new soil. This procedure is done as needed, usually every 3-4 years.
To enhance branching and increase bushiness, it is recommended to cut the shoots a little before starting active growth, giving them the desired shape.
Miniature and dwarf Murraya is done not need pruning, since they themselves are lush branching plants. But they can also be formed in accordance with their own desires, growing in the form of a tree or shrub.
Flowering and fruiting
In Murray, the dormant period is not pronounced, and when creating comfortable conditions for her, it blooms and bears fruit all year round. Usually, no additional effort is required for pollination, but if there is no ovary, you can artificially pollinate the plant by transferring pollen from flower to flower with a brush. And it should be remembered that when the air is too dry and hot, the pollen becomes unviable.
The main way of reproduction of Murraya paniculata is a seed. Seeds should be planted immediately after they are cleared of pulp, as their germination capacity is quickly lost over time. For germination, the seeds need a little heating, up to 25 – 28 °C. When planting, they are dropped to a depth of about 0.5 cm and the container is covered with glass or film. Seedlings germinate in about 1 to 2 weeks.
Pests and diseases
Muraya is not very susceptible to the invasion of pests, but it can be attacked by whiteflies, spider mites, scale insects, mealybugs, aphids and nematodes. For prophylaxis purposes, the tree should be periodically rinsed under a warm (about 45 °C) shower, and at the first signs of injury, treated with chemicals of the appropriate action.
The most common non-infectious disease of Murraya paniculata is chlorosis. To prevent this disease and at the first signs of it, you can feed the plant with preparations containing the chelated form of iron.
“Dutch” muraya… On various sites, you can find a mention of the so-called “Dutch” muraya, which is issued by some growers either as a separate variety or as a separate species. But such a name – “Dutch” – only testifies to the fact that the plant was brought to the flower shop from Holland.
A characteristic external feature of the “Dutch” is the close proximity in one pot of a rather large number of small trees, differing in height and forming a dense “crown”. This planting option will only be suitable for creating a hedge, and flower growers will have to plant all the plants in separate pots. And the second, more significant drawback of the “Dutch” is its unknown varietal affiliation. But, according to gardeners reviews, this is most likely either a species plant, or a tall, fast-growing variety ‘Min-A-Min’,
Miniature and dwarf varieties can be purchased from us so far only “from hand” or ordered via the Internet in flower shops.