Russelia Equisetiformis, Firecracker Bush
Cascading Fiery Red Blooms Attract Butterflies and birds. The Firecracker Bush grows in a wild and wispy cascade of scarlet tubular flowers. Its slender rush-like stems start out erect, then fall over in a burst of color. Many gardeners choose it for training on a trellis, accenting a border or spilling from a container. These shrubs can soften and highlight an otherwise well-trimmed landscape; but plan well, as they do not like to stay small. They need space.
Firecrackers are moderate to fast growers, reaching 3 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide. They bloom year-round and prefer full to part sun. They are salt-tolerant, and should be brought inside during cold weather.
Russelia Equisetiformis is native to Mexico and Guatemala. This eye-catching plant is a species of flowering plant and belongs to the Plantaginaceae family. The name russelia honors Scottish naturalist Alexander Russell. These plants have been popular among people for several years.
If you are planning to keep them in your house, you need to give them good care.
The firecracker plant grows well under the temperate of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. You need to keep them in the partial shade instead of direct sun, which helps these plants thrive.
They can bloom in every type of soil. Once they mature, the root system and root ball don’t like to get disturbed. Russelia Equisetiformis is tolerant to clay, loamy, sandy, or chalks soils. They can survive in pH levels from alkaline to acidic.
You need to water them until they are fully mature. Once they are well established, they become drought tolerant. Water this plant regularly throughout the growing season. However, allow your plant to get dry between watering sessions.
You need to choose balanced liquid fertilizers and dilute them before using them. Also, make sure to add fertilizer twice a week.
Firecracker Bush is not as susceptible to pests and diseases as other plants. But you still need to keep an eye on your plant.
Russelia Equisetiformis is an ideal home for nematodes, chewing insects, and mites. If you notice damaged areas on its leaves, cut them.
Remove the insects by wiping them off with soapy water or a damp cloth. You can also use neem oil spray and apply it on the entire plant to ward off insects.
Watering your plant in extremely humid weather can cause your firecracker bush’s leaves to fall off or die. Therefore, always give them the right amount of water and good care to avoid diseases.
Prune your plant regularly from spring to summer to keep them healthy and get the desired shape. Also, if you notice any dead leaves, cut them off immediately.
If you want to create new plants, you can do stem tip cutting. Choose any healthy tip with at least two leaves. The best time for propagation is spring. So, if you want the best results, make sure to choose the right time.
Potting / Repotting
Do the repotting in February using the peat moss-based and fast-draining potting mix. You need to repot your plant when its roots have used all the space in the pot. Also, use the general method to repot your firecracker bush.