Plant of the Month – December

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Firecracker Plant
Coral Fountain
Russelia equisetiformis

  • Plant Form:Perennial shrub
  • Water Use: Low, moderate
  • Mature Size: 3-4 ft. tall x 4-6 ft. wide
  • Exposure: Full sun, part sun, filtered sun
  • Bloom Time: Spring (Mar – May), Summer (June – Aug), Fall (Sept – Oct)
  • Native to: Mexico
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 25-30°F

The brilliant red flowers cascading along abundant arching stems of Firecracker Plant make this perennial shrub a true show stopper. It will impress you as it spills over containers, window boxes, raised beds, walls, a trellis, or across the ground as a ground cover.

Firecracker Plant turns heads with its showy, 1-inch-long red flowers on arching stems throughout all warmer months of the year.  Hummingbirds and butterflies can’t resist it. Also known as Coral Fountain, its fine-textured, nearly leafless stems appear to flow like a fountain carrying flowers from a central point to the tips of its weeping branches. This long-lived, dramatic plant has excellent heat and sun tolerance, as well as moderate drought-resistance once well-established. Dead-heading spent flower stems helps with continuous blooming. Although they thrive in full sun, they do best with morning sun and afternoon shade in our hottest months, and prefer protection from drying winds. A fast-growing, easy-care shrub, Firecracker Plant has only one drawback: it can freeze in our Zone 8b Cold Hardiness Zone if not protected during hard frosts. Place this frost-sensitive plant in warm, sheltered areas, or containers that can be moved. Looks great spilling from containers, window boxes, raised beds, over walls, on a trellis, or as an informal groundcover.

Check out our “Garden Tasks” for December