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calliandra surinamensis

The Ultimate Guide to Growing and Caring for Calliandra surinamensis (Dixie Pink)

Calliandra surinamensis 'Dixie Pink' is a beautiful and versatile plant that belongs to the family Fabaceae. It is native to South America and is commonly known as Pink Powderpuff, Surinam Powderpuff, or Surinam Stickpea. This plant is prized for its stunning pink powder puff flowers that resemble cotton candy, and its ability to thrive in a wide range of growing conditions. In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know to successfully grow and care for Calliandra surinamensis 'Dixie Pink'.

Plant Description

Calliandra surinamensis 'Dixie Pink' is a small shrub that can grow up to 10 feet tall, but typically stays around 3-6 feet in height. It has a bushy, spreading growth habit and a dense canopy of small, fern-like leaves. The leaves are typically green, but they can sometimes have a slight bluish tint. The pink powder puff flowers are the star of the show, and they can bloom year-round in tropical climates. The flowers are about 2 inches in diameter and resemble small cotton candy puffs. They are made up of many tiny stamens that give them their fluffy appearance. The flowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Growing Conditions

Calliandra surinamensis 'Dixie Pink' is a very adaptable plant and can thrive in a variety of growing conditions. It prefers full sun but can also tolerate partial shade. It can grow in a wide range of soil types but prefers well-draining, slightly acidic soil. This plant can also tolerate salt spray, making it a good choice for coastal gardens.


Calliandra surinamensis 'Dixie Pink' can be propagated through seeds, cuttings, or air layering. Seeds can be planted in a well-draining soil mix and kept moist until they germinate. Cuttings should be taken in the spring or summer and should be about 4-6 inches in length. Remove the lower leaves and dip the cut end in rooting hormone before planting it in a well-draining soil mix. Air layering involves making a small cut in the stem and wrapping it with moist sphagnum moss. Roots will form at the cut and can be planted once they are established.


When planting Calliandra surinamensis 'Dixie Pink', choose a well-draining location that receives full sun or partial shade. Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball and mix in some compost or other organic matter. Gently remove the plant from its container and loosen any roots that are circling the pot. Place the plant in the hole and backfill with soil, making sure to tamp it down to remove any air pockets. Water the plant thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots.


Calliandra surinamensis 'Dixie Pink' requires regular watering to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. It is important to water deeply and infrequently rather than shallowly and frequently. This encourages the roots to grow deeper and become more drought-tolerant. The frequency of watering will depend on the climate and soil conditions, but a general guideline is to water once or twice a week. During periods of drought, it may be necessary to water more often.


Calliandra surinamensis 'Dixie Pink' benefits from regular fertilization to encourage healthy growth and blooming. Use a balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, such as a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer once a month during the growing season, which is typically from spring to fall.


Calliandra surinamensis 'Dixie Pink' requires minimal pruning, but it can benefit from some shaping to maintain its bushy, compact growth habit. Prune in the late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Remove any dead, diseased, or damaged branches, and trim back any overgrown branches to maintain the desired shape. You can also lightly prune after each flowering to encourage a more compact growth habit and to promote more blooming.

Pests and Diseases

Calliandra surinamensis 'Dixie Pink' is generally pest and disease resistant, but it can occasionally be affected by aphids, spider mites, or whiteflies. These pests can be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Powdery mildew and leaf spot can also occur in humid or wet conditions, but these can be prevented by providing good air circulation and avoiding overhead watering.


Calliandra surinamensis 'Dixie Pink' is a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of landscaping applications. It is a great choice for tropical or Mediterranean-themed gardens, and it can also be used as a hedge or screen plant. The pink powder puff flowers make a beautiful addition to cut flower arrangements, and they can also be used to attract pollinators to the garden.


Calliandra surinamensis 'Dixie Pink' is a beautiful and versatile plant that is easy to grow and care for. With its stunning pink powder puff flowers and adaptable growing conditions, it is a great choice for any garden. By providing it with the right growing conditions, regular watering and fertilizing, and occasional pruning, you can enjoy this plant's beauty for years to come.

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