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Ochna integerrima

Posted by karyn1 ( on
Thu, May 10, 07 at 10:11

Does anyone grow Ochna integerrima (Mickey Mouse plant)? I started a few from seed last summer and they are sooooo slow growing. My biggest one is only about 6" tall with 8 leaves. I just got them outside and transplanted them into 6" pots. Do they like lots of growing room or should I allow them to become somewhat rootbound (if they ever grow!). Am I doing something wrong or is this a slow growing plant? How long will I be waiting for them to reach blooming size? I have to winter it over inside under lights so I'm sure that doesn't help. The person I got the seeds from speaks very little English and I don't speak Vietnamese so I can't ask him for growing instructions. I can usually find out care instructions online for most of the plants he gives me but I haven't found much on this shrub.

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RE: Ochna integerrima

  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Sun, May 13, 07 at 18:00

In habitat it will be accustomed to long hot steamy summers and drier briefly colder winters. I don't think this species does well even here in southern California, but is probably grown in south Florida. As quite large plants are often grown in large pots in Vietnam, I don't think this resents being pot bound at all. I would just give it your hottest spot and feed regularly, and it ought to like your summer weather back in Maryland?

The South African version, Ochna serrulata is the more commonly grown species here in northern California, where it is also somewhat fickly about growing conditions, and shy to bloom except when happy. I have gotten this one to bloom here, but it is not a fast grower.

RE: Ochna integerrima

Karyn, You are lucky to get the seed geminated.
What I remember back from Vietnam is that Ochna integerrima grows VERY, VERY slow, especially during those first 3 years. It is a tree not shrub, could reach more than 12 feet as I have seen. It may flower after about 5 years, about 3-4 feet at that time in its native land when the trunk is about 1/2-3/4" size. Sandy soil, filtered sun, warm and high air humid are required.
There are two major verieties in VN: Ochna integerrima- "mai van" (yellow "mai") or "mai Tet" which only flower around Vietnamese new year, and Ochna kirkii- "mai do" (red "mai") ,"Mai Tu-quy" or 4-season "mai" since they flower yearround.
Could you ask if the guy (or yourself) willing to share some of the seedlings, or future seeds (must be fresh - or they won't germinate). I am willing to do something to compensate for the kindness.

RE: Ochna integerrima

Growing this species from seed is all about timing as noted by the other post. The seeds must be planted within days after it ripens and readily falls of the flower. Beyond that time period, it is no longer viable. I have a tree here and saplings sprout up like crazy as the seeds drop from the flower. I've tried saving the seeds which never grow when brought out much later.

Yes, the plant does grow very slowly. Mine is flowering now but my first one also took 8 years due to lack of experience!! It will flower in about 3 years with care. The other trick is that it will bloom ONLY if you pluck off all the leaves. Don't worry new ones will come out immediately right after the bursts of flowers. If you take note, many of the flowering trees have very little leaves due to pruning to get it started. They do this during 'Tet' in Vietnam.

RE: Ochna integerrima

I just saw that this post was resurrected. My OI finally started blooming last year. It's still pretty small.

RE: Ochna integerrima

How do you start the seeds.

RE: Ochna integerrima

I just planted them about 1 inch deep in regular potting soil. I started them during the summer so the soil was warm.

RE: Ochna integerrima

I had raised hoa Mai(Mai vang of VietNam) in Cali for over 8 years now. With so many loss(plant die) due to the weather here in Cali.
I finally get success, the important thing is how to get it root from bare root when import to USA. Ochna integerrima tree do not like to be with out soil in short period of time. It will take some where 5 to 10 days for it to get here in US. (with out soil and water.)
It is verry dificult to plant by seeding, because you have to import seed from Vietnam,with many hassle paper work and permit.
I spend so much time and money comsumming to raise Ochna integerrima tree.
Thank God and with help from APHIS, I am now confident to raise them in California NOW.Ofcourse it is difficult but we can do it with many tricks (hard, costly learned lesson)
I have more than 40 of them Alive and heathy, last year I have little flower, but next year 2013 It will bloom like it is in Vietnam.
You can contact me at:
PH 5.7 to 6.3
Temp 68 to 85
In Cali you need to bring plant inside the house in the Winter time and stay away from heater fant and less water.

RE: Ochna integerrima

Hi chimoanh,

Congratulations for successfully raising Hoa Mai Vietnam in Cali! I would like to know how we can import the bare root Hoa Mai tree from Vietnam. Could you please give me some hints?
Also do you know if there is someone or nursery in Cali selling Hoa Mai trees from Vietnam?


RE: Ochna integerrima

  • Posted by newgen 9 Central California (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 5, 13 at 17:41


I saw this site from Florida, outrageous prices though.

RE: Ochna integerrima

I'm surprised that you are having difficulty finding the Ochna in your local nurseries. It's gotten fairly common in this area over the past couple years and is also easily found from several online vendors and Ebay. No need to import it from overseas.

RE: Ochna integerrima

I am very happy to report that my 3 years old Ochna Thomasiana (syn. O. Kirkii) is flowering this year. I was able to obtain seeds from Vietnam. From the seeds I planted, three germinated but only one survived. This plant has been kept in a greenhouse all its life. It will not survive the cold nights in Southern California. I will get seeds from this plant and will propagate more. I enjoy exchanging seeds/plants. Let me know.

This post was edited by tylorgv on Tue, Mar 12, 13 at 18:18

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