India & Sri Lanka
Aboli or Crossandra is an erect, herbaceous perennial ever green semi shrub growing to a height of 4ft . Commonly called Fire Cracker because of its mature brackets cracking sound when put in water . Aboli has glossy, wavy-margined leaves and fan-shaped flowers, which may appear at any time throughout the year.The flowers are unusually shaped with 3 to 5 asymmetrical petals. They grow from four-sided stalked spikes, and have a tube-like inch stalk.
Crossandra flowers are produced on exotic four-sided inflorescences which grow from the upper portions of the new growth.Within these four-sided growths are numerous buds, each of which produce a flat coral-orange flower
Arka Ambara variety blooms with bright orange flowers
Crossandra enjoys the heat and high humidity. Crossandra could be cultivated in a wide range of soils. Fertile, red loamy soils with pH range of 6 to 7.5 are ideal for its cultivation
Keep the soil slightly moist with warm water in summer, reduce water during winter. Cold water triggers a state of shock causing the Crossandra plant to die.
Feed it using a liquid fertilizer for houseplants every two weeks from April to August and mist lightly when having challenges with humidity.
Specimen or grouping or mass for shrub borders or foundations. Also effective as an informal hedge or low screen.
Plants with thin leaves need daily watering and ones with thick leaves need watering 3-4 times a week. This will also depend on the season. Generally during the blooming period, plants love a lot of water. Try keeping the soil moist. During winters it is better to cut back on watering.
Keep the plants in a well drained soil with a drainage hole at the bottom. This will help to avoid over watering. Take care as to not leave stagnant water on top of the soil. Fertilise the plant once in 2-3 weeks during its blooming period. Do not fertilise it in winters.