Surinamese Stickpea Plant Info

Surinamese stickpea is a tropical shrub that belongs to the legume family. It’s native to northern South America, especially Suriname, hence its name. Because of its showy flowers that resemble fluffy balls, it’s sometimes called pink powder puff. This evergreen plant can grow relatively tall, with complexly branched stems and bipinnate leaves that close and droop at night. The flowers contain numerous white-based stamens that are pink at the top. It’s believed to serve medicinal purposes because it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antimicrobial properties. 

Calliandra surinamensis
Pink powder puff
Pompon de marin
Surinam powderpuff
There are no known varieties or cultivars of Surinamese stickpea. But there are other species of Calliandra that have similar flowers, like:
Calliandra haematocephala (red powder puff)
Calliandra tweediei (flamingo feather)
Calliandra eriophylla (fairy duster)
Pink and white flowers, with brown and woody pods

Water

Surinamese stickpea needs regular watering during the growing season, especially in hot and dry weather. You should water it deeply and thoroughly, allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings. When growing indoors, water it less frequently, ideally when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch.

Sunlight

Pink powder puff likes full sun or partial shade, but it should receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. When growing indoors, place the plant near a bright window that receives morning or afternoon sun.

Soil

The plant prefers well-drained soils that are rich in organic matter and nutrients. It can grow in sandy, loamy, or clayey soils, given they are not too alkaline or saline. When grown indoors, Surinamese stickpea can be planted in a potting mix that contains peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and compost.

Fertilizer

Feed with a balanced liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks, or with a slow-release granular fertilizer every 2 months. The fertilizer should be diluted to half the recommended strength to avoid burning the roots or foliage.

Pruning

Prune occasionally to maintain its size and shape, and to encourage more branching and flowering. Also, prune to remove dead or diseased branches.

Propagation

Very easy to propagate. You can achieve this by seed, cutting, or layering.

Thrives in

Thrives in warm and humid conditions, with moderate to high rainfall. It likes slightly acidic, rich and fertile soils.

Toxicity

Not toxic to humans or pets

Pests & Diseases

Aphids
Mealybugs
Scale insects
Spider mites
Whiteflies
Caterpillars
Root rot
Powdery mildew
Leaf spot
Rust

Landscaping Ideas

Specimen plant
Hedge or screen
Backdrop or filler
Container plant
Bonsai or topiary in a pot

Last Updated: September 13, 2023

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Author

Nonkululeko
Nonkululeko
I'm an enthusiastic gardener. I learned the art of growing my own food using sustainable gardening techniques from my father, which I still find effective for healthy plant growth. Gardening has become one of my best hobbies ever since I realized its benefits beyond growing my own food. Through experimenting and connecting with nature, I've found gardening to be a therapeutic and relaxing practice.