Alphabetical Plant Listing

Hamelia patens (Firebush)

Scarletbush, Firebush, Coloradillo, Mexican Firecracker, Firecracker Shrub


A fast-growing sun lover, Hamelia patens (Firebush) is a large, soft-stemmed, evergreen shrub boasting a profusion of brilliant orange-red flowers throughout the year in warm winter areas, in summer and fall elsewhere. Blooming in forking clusters at the tips of the branches, the slender blossoms are tubular and reach a length of 1-1 ½ in. (2-4 cm). Attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators, the flowers give way to small, black, glossy berries. Birds are quite fond of them. Arranged in whorls of 3, the evergreen oval leaves, 6 in. long (15 cm), are gray-green with pinkish veins. They turn red in the fall. Easy to grow, low maintenance, pest and disease resistant, heat tolerant, Firebush is a terrific addition to sunny garden gardens or containers. It can be used as a foundation plant and is excellent in a mass plantings or as a screen or hedge. Firebush is quite tender and can be killed to the ground during a freeze. Root hardy through zone 9, it can be grown as an annual in cooler areas.

  • Grows up to 2-3 ft. tall (60-90 cm) and 2 ft. wide (60 cm) as an annual. Will grow up to 10-15 ft. tall (300-450 cm) and 5-8 ft. wide (150-240 cm) as a perennial shrub.
  • Thrives in full sun in fertile to sandy, moist, well-drained soils. Drought tolerant once established, but looks best with regular irrigation. Tolerates part shade, but best flower production occurs in full sun.
  • Great as a specimen plant, for hedges, borders, containers, butterfly gardens or bird gardens.
  • No serious pest or disease issues.
  • Propagate by seed (which must be fresh), cuttings, or air-layers.
  • Native to Southern Florida, Mexico, Central and South America.

Buy Hamelia patens (Firebush)

Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' – 15' (60cm – 4.5m)
Spread 2' – 8' (60cm – 240cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Southeast, Florida
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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123rf, Suresh Ekka, Vivek Paygude, Shutterstock, Dinesh Valke, Forest and Kim Starr, Flickr

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' – 15' (60cm – 4.5m)
Spread 2' – 8' (60cm – 240cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Southeast, Florida
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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