How to Grow Barleria - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Shrubs Category   /   2023

Barleria, also known as Philippine Violet, is a genus of flowering plants in the acanthus family, Acanthaceae. The genus is native to tropical and subtropical Asia, Africa, and Oceania. Barleria comprises about 200 species, which are divided into two subgenera: Barleria and Stenocarpus.

How to Grow Barleria - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Barleria plant? Eventually, most plants will need some care and attention, but the Barleria is the exception to the rule. These plants are easy to care for and quite unpretentious, making them the perfect choice for beginner gardeners or for those who simply don't have the time to dedicate to more high-maintenance plants. Barlerias are also quite resistant to pests and disease, so you can rest assured that your plant will remain healthy and beautiful for years to come.

Plant Size

How big can it be? So, the height of the plant is mostly depended on the species. Barleria plant can grow up to 1.2 m in height.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? The reason why this plant is so easy to maintain is that it grows quite quickly. If you want to change the shape of the plant, you can simply cut the shoots.

Barleria Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Shrub
Family Acanthaceae
Origin Africa, India, Southeast Asia.   Named in honor of the French botanist of the 17th centurybarrels Jacques (Jacques Barrelier).   In the home and garden horticulture is usually cultivated following: barleria comb (Barleria cristata), b. creeping (B. repens), b. wolf (B.lupulina), b. gleaming (B. micans).   Occasionally b. dull (B. obtusa), and b. Barbed (B.prionitis).

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? The plant has a very long lifespan and can live for several decades if properly cared for. It is a very versatile plant and can be used in a variety of settings, both indoors and out.

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? known that the optimum temperature for this plant is 50-59 ° F. In the summer, the usual room temperature (about 69,8 ° F). To stimulate flowering, the differences in nighttime and daytime temperatures are useful. The plant can tolerate a short-term temperature drop of up to 50 ° F.


What about the humidity? Since the Barleria is a tropical plant, it requires high humidity to thrive. In its natural habitat, the air is moist and the air temperature is warm year-round. The Barleria does not do well in dry air. If the air is too dry, the leaves will turn brown and drop off. The Barleria does not require additional spraying, but it is important to keep the air around it moist.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? Common Barleria prefers bright but diffused light, so the southern window need to have some shade. The plant is placed away from the glass. It is also possible to place on the western and eastern window. With strong light, the leaves turn pale, with a lack of lighting, the plant weakly blooms, the shoots stretch, the leaves become shallow.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Barleria? Unless the soil is too alkaline, most types of soil will suit the Barleria plant. The soil should be friable with a nutritional acidity. The pH should be 5.6 to 7.5.

Watering Time

How much I must water Barleria? If you want your Barleria plant to thrive, you should water it moderately. You should allow the soil to dry out a bit between watering. In winter, you should water it less often because the substrate will dry out. If you water it with cold water, the leaves can turn brown.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. Eventually, every gardener comes to the point when it's necessary to think about fertilizer for Barleria. The plant is unpretentious, but in order for it to grow strong and healthy, it needs to be fed. It is best to do this in spring and summer. You can use both complex mineral fertilizer and organic matter. It is important to correctly calculate the feeding rate so that the plant does not get burned. It is better to under-fertilize Barleria than to overdo it with the amount of fertilizer.


How to reproduce Barleria? If you want your Barleria plant to bloom in the same year, it is best to propagate it via cuttings in spring or summer. The cuttings should be 8-10 cm long and planted in a loose substrate. Cover the cuttings with polyethylene and roots should appear within a week. If you propagate via seeds, the plant will most likely not bloom until the second or third year. You can obtain the seeds from pods (about 4 seeds per pod). It is best to collect the seeds before the pod ripens completely, otherwise the seeds will be in pots with neighboring plants. Sow the seeds in spring in a loose substrate and germinate under the film at a temperature of not less than 64,4-68 ° F. Germination usually lasts about 2 weeks. When the seedlings are strong, they are dived and transplanted into small pots with a diameter of about 6 cm, then plucked and transferred to larger pots.


Why Barleria won't bloom? Eventually, the flowers will give way to small, four-lobed fruits. The flowering period usually begins in the summer months. Depending on the type, flowers can be a variety of colors: red, pink, blue, white-lilac, yellow, or white. Flowers only last for 1-2 days, but the plant usually blooms abundantly and is covered with flowers for a long time. When the plant is moved to the penumbra, the flowering period is extended.

Transfer or Repotting

How much I must water Barleria? The reason for the transfer is to promote growth. The best time for transfer is springtime. When transplanting, do not take too large a pot. This plant prefers well-drained soil.

Caring The Barleria

How to care the plant? Unless you want your Barleria to grow into a large bush, it needs constant formation, meaning regular pruning. Immediately after flowering ends, or in early spring, cut the shoots back drastically, leaving only 10-15 cm (4-6 inches) of each one. However, don't prune in summer, as the buds that will open the following year mature only on shoots of the current year, and with constant pruning they won't have time to form.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Barleria plant? The most common pests that attack it are spider mites, scutellum and whiteflies. However, this plant is not often affected by pests, even when the plants surrounding it are. If the Barleria plant does not have enough light, it will stop flowering and produce small leaves and elongated internodes. When this plant is overwatered, root rot is possible.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Barleria poisonous? While this plant is used in folk medicine to treat snake bites, there is currently no information available on its poisonousness.