How to Grow Calliandra - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Trees Category   /   2023

Calliandra, also known as Powderpuff or Fairy Duster, is a genus of about 60 species of flowering plants in the family Fabaceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of South America, Central America, Mexico and the West Indies. They are shrubs or small trees growing to 5–12 m tall, with bipinnate leaves. The flowers are produced in dense spherical inflorescences, each flower with five petals and numerous stamens.

How to Grow Calliandra - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Calliandra plant? The Calliandra plant is not too difficult to take care of, but it is also not the easiest plant to manage. It is a fairly hardy plant, however, and does not require a lot of attention. Calliandra plants are easy to find and reasonably priced, making them a good option for those who are looking for an easy-to-care-for plant.

Plant Size

How big can it be? known that this plant can grow in the wild to a height of 1.8 m. But if you grow it at home, it is better to limit its growth to 60-90 cm.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? If you want a plant that will grow quickly and be a showstopper in your garden, look no further than the Calliandra plant. This fast-growing shrub can reach up to 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide in just a few short years. The Calliandra plant is covered in beautiful, feathery pink blooms that attract bees and butterflies to your garden. This shrub is easy to care for and is drought tolerant, making it a great choice for low-maintenance gardens.

Calliandra Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Tree
Family Fabaceae
Origin Brazil, Bolivia

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? The reason they are considered annuals is that they are short-lived. The lifespan of a Calliandra plant is around three to five years. In the wild, the plant may live for a decade or more, but in cultivation, it is short-lived.

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? Sometimes, the Calliandra plant is also called the powder-puff plant or the dwarf powder-puff. This is a heat-loving plant, so it should be protected from drafts. The temperature range that is best for this plant is 73.4 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and no lower than 60.8 in the winter.


What about the humidity? If the air is too dry, the tips of the leaves will begin to turn brown and the flowers will fall off. To avoid this, it is necessary to increase the humidity. At least 60% of the plant should be sprayed in the morning and in the evening. You can also increase the humidity by all known ways.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? Although the Calliandra plant prefers bright diffused light, it can grow in a small shading. The best place for this plant is a brightly lit south or west window.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Calliandra? If you are not using a Calliandra plant specific soil, you will need to add some sand to a rich loose soil to make it more suitable. A good ratio to use is 1 part of the greenhouse ground, 1 part peat, 1 part humus manure, and 1 part coarse sand or perlite. Be sure to use a pot with a hole in the bottom to allow for drainage.

Watering Time

How much I must water Calliandra? When and how much to water the plant? The Calliandra plant should be watered every 3 days with intense watering. The soil should always be moist, but not too humid. With a lack of moisture, the leaves quickly fall off. When watering, it is impossible to get water on the leaves.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. Since this plant is a heavy bloomer, it's important to fertilize it regularly. Begin fertilizing it about 2 months after it flowers, and do so every two to three weeks. You can use either liquid fertilizer or organic fertilizer.


How to reproduce Calliandra? The reason to use this method is because it is easy and effective. Cuttings should be taken from young, healthy plants in late spring or early summer. The cutting should be about 7.5 cm in length with 2-3 leaves. The bottom of the cutting should be dipped in rooting hormone and then placed in moist perlite. The cutting should be placed in a mini-greenhouse or propagator in order to maintain a humidity level of at least 80%. The cutting should be placed in an area with indirect light and the temperature should be kept at 77 degrees Fahrenheit. After 4-6 weeks, the cutting should have developed roots and can be transplanted into a pot with potting soil.


Why Calliandra won't bloom? known as the "Fairy dusters", are small shrubs with fine textured, fern-like leaves and profuse, fluffy, red flowers. They are native to tropical regions of Central and South America. The name Calliandra comes from the Greek words 'kallos' meaning beauty and 'ander' meaning male, referring to the showy stamens of the flowers. The plants are fast growing and make excellent specimens for pots or in the garden. They are relatively drought tolerant once established. Calliandra plants generally bloom from late winter through spring.

Transfer or Repotting

How much I must water Calliandra? Since it is a fast growing perennial, every year the young plants are transplanted to a larger pot as they outgrow their previous one. For the older plants, the upper layer of soil is changed, being careful not to damage the shallow roots in the process.

Caring The Calliandra

How to care the plant? Although this plant is suitable for bonsai, it is better to transplant it to the street in the summer. An interesting feature of Calliandra is that its leaves fold when touched, and at night. This plant also needs regular pruning for half. A more hardy species is Calliandra Tweed.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Calliandra plant? Although it is unpretentious, it is very susceptible to various diseases and pests. The most common pests that affect the plant are whiteflies, aphids, mealybugs, spider mites. Pests often attack Calliandra, when there is a lack of fresh air or light. If the plant is over-watered and the air is too damp, the plant may rot. The leaves turn yellow and fall off. With insufficient watering or in too dry air, the plant's growth slows down and it stops flowering. Lack of nutrients, light or cold can also cause these problems.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Calliandra poisonous? So, it is not toxic if not ingested, but if ingested, it can be toxic. The toxicity is caused by the presence of alkaloids in the plant. These alkaloids can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even death if ingested in large quantities. The plant is also known to cause skin irritation in some people.