An upright, small shrub with slightly arching stems bearing whorls of glossy dark green oval leaves; brilliant scarlet trumpet flowers appear in clusters from mid-spring until fall; deciduous in colder areas; stunning color for the garden or containers
Other Names: Scarlet Bouvardia, Trumpet Flower
What Makes it Special?
Firecracker Bush features showy clusters of scarlet trumpet-shaped flowers at the ends of the branches from mid spring to mid fall. Its small glossy oval leaves remain dark green in color throughout the year.
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Firecracker Bush is a multi-stemmed annual with a shapely form and gracefully arching foliage. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season’s flowers. It is a good choice for attracting bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Planting & Growing
Firecracker Bush will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. Although it’s not a true annual, this plant can be expected to behave as an annual in our climate if left outdoors over the winter, usually needing replacement the following year. As such, gardeners should take into consideration that it will perform differently than it would in its native habitat.
This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is native to parts of North America.
Firecracker Bush is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a ‘thriller’ in the ‘spiller-thriller-filler’ container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.