Caring For Spigelia Marilandica


Spigelia marilandica (spu-GEEL-ee-ah, mar-i-LAND-ih-ka), also called Indian pink, belongs to the Loganiaceae family. 

It is an herbaceous perennial and is native to the Southeastern United States, widely found in Missouri along stream banks and moist woods.

Flowers of spigelia marilandicaFlowers of spigelia marilandica

Member of the logania family, spigelia marilandica, is a stunning upright plant. 

It is characterized by deep red erect flowers and emerald green, lance-shaped leaves. 

Spigelia marilandica has two common names, as follows:

  • Indian Pink
  • Woodland Pinkroot

Spigelia Marilandica Care

Size and Growth

When provided with optimal growth conditions, the native plant develops at a fast rate and enjoys a relatively long life, for up to 5 years. 

Under ideal conditions, spigelia marlandica reaches up to a height of 1’ to 2’ feet and a spread of 0.5’ to 1’ feet. 

When fully established, the plant is described to be one of the most attractive perennial wildflowers. 

The ovate-shaped leaves of the beautiful wildflower extend up to 3” – 6” inches. 

These bright leaves come directly from the stem without any distinct stalk.

Flowering and Fragrance

Indian pink features red tubular flowers, climbing up to 2” inches long. 

These vivid crimson flowers face upward with yellow insides. 

During the bloom time, the yellow interior of the scarcely fragrant flowers turns into a lovely star-like shape. 

The wildflowers have a prolonged bloom time (from late spring to early summer) and bright red bloom color.

Light and Temperature

The spring-blooming plant mostly enjoys part shade or light shade. 

It may tolerate full shade to some extent but turns out to be less healthy and less attractive as compared to the plant growing in partial shade. 

The full sun is also not great for the survival of spigelia marlandica.

The USDA hardiness zone of the plant is from 5a to 9b. 

The clump-forming perennial bears a minimum temperature of 5° degrees Fahrenheit (-15° C).

Watering and Feeding

The Indian pink plant prefers medium watering daily. 

However, the plant is drought-resistant to a considerable extent. 

The red plant in direct sunlight needs more watering than the one in the partial shade. 

The perennial woodland requires a regular fertilizer, made specifically for plants growing in acid soil.

Soil and Transplanting

Spigelia marilandica does well in rich, well-moist soil moisture with a high organic matter. 

Avoid transplanting a fully established native perennial. 

It is better to transplant it when young into a filler/spiller container with dry or rich soil. 

The ideal time to transplant a spigelia marlandica plant is in spring. 

In case, the plant is transferred into an outdoor container or basket, make sure to water the soil more than the usual.

Grooming and Maintenance

Avoid giving full, direct sunlight to the woodland perennial. 

Always plant the seed (or seed capsules) in rich or dry soil and use well-rotted manure to ensure the plant gets all the nutrients it needs. 

For a full, vigorous bloom, the low-maintenance plant needs to be lightly pruned after its initial blooming. 

Cut away damaged or frail leaves using a scissor to ensure new growths in no time.

How to Propagate Indian Pink

Spigelia marilandica is often propagated by seed or divisions. 

In the division method, cut a small-sized perennial, making sure it has a stem. 

The ideal time to make divisions is in early summer. 

This gives enough time for roots to develop before they go latent in the fall season.

In the propagation by seeds, cool the seeds at least three weeks prior to their cultivation. 

The germination usually begins in 1 to 3 months, at a temperature of 68° degrees Fahrenheit (20° C). 

Water the soil regularly and keep it in a greenhouse to offer partial shade. 

Once the root is established, place the plant outdoors in summer.

Indian Pink Pests and Diseases

This North America native is simple and easy to take care of. It doesn’t get affected by any life-threatening pests or diseases. 

However, if the plant is less acidic or dry, it may suffer from soil-borne diseases such as root rot and vascular wilts. 

To treat these diseases, get rid of infected parts of the plant, including leaves, stems, and flowers.

Spigelia Marlandica Uses

The herbaceous perennial has plenty of garden and medical uses. 

The handsome plant is a perfect addition to shaded border fronts/edges, woodland gardens, shade gardens, and wildflower gardens. 

The conspicuous red flowers are an excellent source of nectar and thus attract ruby-throated hummingbirds during their bloom period. 

Owing to the colorful foliage, the plant fills the space with inexpressible beauty.

The roots of the pink wildflower plant are narcotic and anthelmintic, which are best to eliminate worms and tapeworms. 

The plant also has the alkaloid spigiline, which is best for medicinal purposes, as long as it is used in a small dose. 

The overdosage of the alkaloid spigiline often results in vertigo, increased heart rate, and death.

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