China Doll Plant Care & Growing Guide

The China Doll plant is incredibly popular for a number of good reasons. 

You’ll quickly find that this plant doesn’t take much effort to grow, but there are some complicated aspects to consider. Before you get started with growing your China Doll plant, you’ll want to read this article.

China Doll Plant Care & Growing Guide

1. Light Requirement

You’ll want to keep your China Doll plant in bright but indirect sunlight. If you are growing it outside, keep it in a decently shady area. Too much direct sun can scorch the leaves of this plant, damaging it badly in a very short amount of time.

If you are growing this plant inside, you can use a grow light to ensure that its needs are met. Just make sure that you choose a light that is very bright. This is a very important part of keeping this particular plant healthy, both initially and over time.

2. Water

It is crucial that you do not over water this plant, as it is prone to root rot. You should wait until the first inch of soil is dry before watering it. During the warmer and dryer months, you’ll want to water it more.

When the winter months come, you won’t have to water this plant quite as much. Do not allow the soil this plant is in to become too dry before watering it. Too much water is definitely bad, but so is not enough.

3. Climate

China Doll plants can be grown in USDA hardiness zones of 10 and 11. These plants prefer warm climates and regions that get lots of sunlight most of the year.

china doll plant big green leaves

4. Soil

It is imperative that you put this plant in a well-draining soil mix. If the soil you have put this plant in doesn’t drain very well, you can put some sand in. This should be fairly effective when it comes to achieving adequate drainage.

  Why Are My Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow? [Find Out Here]

Make sure that you also give your plant fertilizer during the periods of active growth. You’ll want to choose a fertilizer that is nice and balanced. When it is not a time of active growth, you can limit fertilizing to once every couple of months.

5. Temperature

These plants tend to do well within a temperature range of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are going to keep this plant indoors, you should avoid any drafty areas. A regular draft can make it difficult for your plant to stay healthy over the long term.

6. Repotting

It is not a good idea to repot these plants very often, as this can cause the leaves to droop quite a bit. You’ll only want to do this when you absolutely have to. You might want to simply prune to the roots instead of repotting. This can help with keeping the overall size of the plant under control.

7. Speed of Growth

China Doll plants grow fairly quickly, especially when they are grown in a climate that is warm and sunny year round.

8. Height and Spread

These plants can grow up to 8 feet tall with a spread of 3 feet. Make sure that you keep a distance of at least several feet between this plant and any others in your garden. This will help with reducing the chances of tangled roots.

9. Flowers

You can expect your China Doll plant to begin flowering in the early spring to summer months. The flowers this plant produces are typically white and yellow. Keep in mind that it is nearly impossible to get it to bloom when kept inside.

china doll plant white yellow flowers

10. Trimming

You’ll want to make a point of trimming any stems on this plant that do not have foliage. You should also focus on areas that have little foliage. You can trim back to the main branch when necessary.

Any dead stems on this plant should be removed altogether. This will help to keep the plant healthy and prevent disease from spreading. Cut the stems of the plant back to half an inch above the leaf to the height you want.

How to Get China Doll Plants to Flower

If you want these plants to flower, you absolutely need to keep them outside. These plants need to be outside in bright but partial sunlight to bloom. While grow lights can help stimulate this process, it is still very difficult to accomplish indoors.

  Yucca Cane Plant Care: [Complete Beginner's Guide]

Common China Doll Diseases

Fungal diseases are quite common with China Doll plants, so you will have to be on the lookout for them. These diseases usually present as brown spots on leaves, and they can spread very quickly. 

It is important that you quickly remove any browning leaves from your plant as soon as you notice them. This will help you save your plant and keep it in good overall condition.

Root rot is another common issue that is generally caused by over watering. You will need to make a point of feeling the soil before you water you plant. This way you won’t have to worry about giving it too much water, which can cause all sorts of very serious problems.


  • The China Doll plant needs plenty of bright but indirect sunlight. Too much direct light can burn and destroy its leaves.
  • Make sure the first inch of the plant’s soil is dry before watering it.
  • You can grow these plants in USDA hardiness zones of 10 and 11.
  • You’ll need to plant your China Doll in well-draining soil. If you don’t have soil that drains particularly well, you can always add some sand.
  • These plants tend to do best in mild climates that are warm for most or all of the year.
  • The ideal temperature range for this plant is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The white and yellow flowers of this plant are quite beautiful. This plant only produces flowers when grown outside.
  • You can encourage blooming in these plants by making sure they get lots of sunlight on a daily basis.
  • Watch out for Leaf Spot Disease, which causes the leaves on a plant to turn brown and die.
China Doll (2)