Bloodleaf Plant (Iresine herbstii) Care Indoors and Common Probems with Solutions


Bloodleaf Plant (Iresine herbstii) also called Beef Steak Plant or Red Iresine is a colorful and easy to grow houseplant which requires some sun exposure to bring out its bright colors.

Beef Steak Plant can grow to a height of 2 ft. The leaves are either rounded or lance-shaped.

Bloodleaf Plant, Iresine herbstii

Botanical name: Iresine herbstii
Family: Amaranthaceae
Common names: Bloodleaf Plant, Beef Steak Plant, Red Iresine

Origin

Iresines are native to the American tropics where the growing conditions are warm, moist and humid.

Flowers

Red Iresine bears small, greenish-white flowers which are not as conspicuous as the brightly colored leaves.

Pinch off the flowerbuds as soon as they begin to form so that the plant can direct its energy to growth other than developing the flowers.

Bloodleaf Plant Varieties

Iresine herbstii which bears wine red stems and leaves with prominent red veins is one of the common Iresine varieties.

The other common variety Iresine herbstii aureoreticulata commonly called Chicken Gizzard is more colorful with red stems, green leaves and yellow veins.

Toxicity

According to ASPCA, Bloodleaf Plant (Iresine herbstii) is non-toxic to humans and pets. The plant is safe to grow indoors.

However, Red Iresine sap may cause irritation on sensitive skin. It is advisable to always wear gloves when handling this plant.

Where to Buy

Are you looking to add these beauties to your collection? You may acquire Bloodleaf Plants online from Etsy.

Iresine herbstii Indoor Care

Bloodleaf Plant (Iresine herbstii) prefers very bright light with some sunlight, warm and humid conditions and consistently moist, rich, well-drained soils coupled with fortnightly feeding during the growing season.

Red Iresine requires regular pruning to keep it neat, to discourage pests and to control growth. Repotting is only necessary when it becomes pot-bound. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Bloodleaf Plant, Iresine herbstii

Watering

Water Bloodleaf Plant liberally during the growing period while allowing the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil consistently moist.

Decrease watering during the cold period to keep the soil slightly moist as growth is reduced at this time but do not let the soil dry out completely.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of the plant.

Light Requirements

Bloodleaf Plant grows best in very bright light with 4-6 hours of morning or late afternoon direct sunlight to enhance the leaf color. It is one of the sun loving indoor plants that thrive in direct sunlight.

Protect the Beef Steak Plant from hot direct sunlight as it can cause scorching resulting in ugly brown marks on the leaves.

Red Iresine can also grow under a grow light where the natural lighting is not sufficient. Check out these full spectrum grow lights on Amazon.

Temperature and Humidity

Red Iresine thrives in an average warmth of 18-260C. Keep it away from drafty windows and doors as the drafts can cause leaf drop and reduced growth.

Bloodleaf Plant requires high humidity of 55-65% for it to thrive. To increase humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.

Regularly clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and also discourage pest and disease infestations.

Fertilizer

Feed Beef Steak Plant fortnightly during the growing season with a balanced, liquid fertilizer to promote a lush growth.

Do not feed in the cold season as the growth is minimal at this time and feeding at this time may cause fertilizer burn and eventual death of the plant.

Potting Mix

The best potting mix for Bloodleaf Plant should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most multipurpose potting mixes are ideal for Red Iresine. Buy quality multipurpose potting mix from Amazon.

Repotting

Repot Bloodleaf Plant during the growing season only when the roots grow out of the drainage holes as it prefers to be root-bound. Use a pot 1-2 sizes larger and one that has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy to avoid root-rot. Take a look at these Self Watering Planters with Drainage Hole on Amazon.

Pruning

Pruning Bloodleaf Plant involves pinching of the growing tips to keep it neat, to reduce pests and to control growth. Cutback the tall stems during the growing season to prevent the plant from becoming leggy.

Propagation

Iresine herbstii (Bloodleaf Plant)is easily propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings which you can root either in water or in soil. Learn How to Propagate Iresine herbstii (Bloodleaf Plant) from Stem Cuttings.

Bloodleaf Plant, Iresine herbstii

Iresine herbstii Common Problems with Remedies

Bloodleaf Plant (Iresine herbstii) problems include wilting and drooping, pest infestations, loss of leaf color, leggy growth among others. We have outlined herebelow the remedies and solutions. Keep reading for more on these problems.

Wilting and drooping

Wilting and Drooping in Bloodleaf Plant may be caused by poor lighting, pests infestations, poor quality soil, poor feeding, improper watering, root-rot among others. Here are 13 Reasons Why Bloodleaf Plant is Wilting and Drooping (with Solutions)

Pests

Bloodleaf Plant is prone to aphids infestations. These sap-sucking insects are attracted to the new soft growth of the plant where they cause distorted growth. Read more on how to get rid of aphids in houseplants.

Loss of leaf color

Loss of leaf color in Bloodleaf Plant is due to too little light as it grows best in very bright light with some direct sunlight. Inadequate light will cause the plant to loss its bright leaf color.

Position the Yellow Iresine in a brighter spot where it will receive bright light with some direct sunlight or instal a grow light where natural light is not adequate.

Elongated stems (leggy growth)

Elongated stems (leggy growth) in Bloodleaf Plant are due to too little light. If it does not receive very bright light with 6-8 hours of direct sunshine, it will exhibit weak growth and elongated stems.

Place the Beef Steak Plant in a brighter spot where it will receive very bright light with 6-8 hours of direct sunshine or use a grow light if natural lighting is not sufficient.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Bloodleaf Plant indoor or outdoor?

Bloodleaf Plant also called Beef Steak Plant is a good plant for gardens and landscapes in the warm climates making it is ideal for USDA zones 10-12. In the colder climates it is grown as an indoor plant or as a container plant that can be brought inside during winter.

2. How do you take care of a Bloodleaf Plant?

Bloodleaf Plant flourishes in very bright light with 4-6 hours of direct sunlight, average warmth of 18-260C, moderate to high humidity between 55 and 65% and consistently moist, rich, well-drained soils coupled with fortnightly feeding during the growing season.

3. Bloodleaf Plant Propagation?

Bloodleaf Plant can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings which can be rooted either in water or in soil.

4. Do Bloodleaf Plants like sun or shade?

Bloodleaf Plants prefer a sunny location with very bright light and 4-6 hours of direct sunlight. They require some direct sunlight to enhance the leaf color. When grown in too much shade they loose leaf color and also become leggy.

5. How often should water Bloodleaf Plant?

Water your Bloodleaf Plant thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 1-2 inches of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil consistently moist.

Cut down on watering during the cold period to keep the soil slightly moist as growth is reduced at this time but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

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