Swallow Tail, Butterfly Plant (Christia obcordata)
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Rarely found for sale as a plant in the UK, the Swallow Tail, Butterfly Plant, or Christia obcordata is a real gem of the plant kingdom. The native range of the Swallow Tail or the Butterfly Plant is Tropical, and Subtropical Asia, so happy indoors in the UK and makes a superb, unusual houseplant.
If you have kept Oxalis Triangularisis or purple shamrock before, the care of the butterfly plant is very similar with some additional simple rules. Christia obcordata has very shallow roots; it must not be removed from the growing soil and repotted for several months after arrival as it will kill the plant; the roots are delicate in young plants, and repotting will destroy the root structure before it has had time to develop. The plant should not be allowed to dry out; it likes to be kept damp and in indirect light. Otherwise, care is the same as Oxalis.
The plant stems are thin, topped with beautiful variegated leaves that flutter gently in the breeze, looking very similar to butterflies hence the common name. It grows relatively quickly, regarded as a pretty weed found along the side of country paths in its native range. It has also been used for centuries for medicinal purposes, although it's sold as just an ornamental plant in the UK.
How do you take care of Swallow Tail, Butterfly Plant (Christia obcordata)?
Keep your plant in a filtered bright to medium light but away from direct sunlight. It is pretty hard to burn since the butterfly plant grows outdoors; the glass in your windows will filter out a lot of the intensity of the light. However, it will grow best when it’s away from direct sunlight.
Where should I put Butterfly Plant?
This wonderful houseplant loves lots of indirect light, morning sun is ideal.
How much should I water it?
As usual with tropical plants, water only when the top couple of inches of the soil is dry, don’t let it sit in water. Use a pot with a drainage hole.
Should I feed the butterfly plant?
You can feed once a month during spring and summer - we do vegan, organic plant food!
Is it suitable if I have pets?
No, unfortunately, it can be toxic to pets.
What size is it?
W12cm x H30cm
For some great advice on general houseplant care, why not look at the video we’ve made for you? Click Here
Our plants are supplied in a plastic nursery pot