Herself's Houston Garden

Gardening for fun and wildlife at the edge of Houston's piney woods

Hummingbird Bush aka Texas Firecracker ( Hamelia patens )




Texas Flame Bush will top out at 10′ tall but I’ve heard tales of it reaching 16′ in height, if given some support. Once settled it grows rapidly.

The leaves have a hint of red, so even when it is not in bloom, this plant looks nice.

In colder areas the leaves turn red in the fall, drop off in cooler weather and it will freeze back almost to the ground in winter and reappear in spring. Hummingbirds love this plant as do butterflies. Fruits formed from flowers will be eaten by the birds.

This bush can do very well in partial shade. However, to be full rather than spindly it will want full sun. Hummingbird bush will flower throughout the warm months, the warmer it is the more the plant will flower.

Once established Hummingbird bush is drought tolerant, but prefers regular watering.

This plant is not cold tolerant, it must be protected from hard freezes.

Trim every year in Feb. to keep this plant looking its best. Flowers are on new growth so be brave with the pruning shears. You may choose to cut it back to the ground each year.

Once settled in you should see flowers almost year round in our area.

Extract from leaves is used to treat wounds in South and Central America.

Texas Firecracker is a native plant to here and Mexico.

Propagate from hardwood cuttings.

This was one of my favorite plants, it died back in the frosts of 2009-2010 and didn’t reappear until mid June 2010. One of the few survivors that bloomed during the summer 2011 drought and heat wave.

More information:
Plant Answers, Firebush

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