Firecracker plant

The Firecracker Plant – Care and planting

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The Firecracker plant is a tender perennial around the southwest (Russelia equisetiformis).

This is a great looking Semi-evergreen plant that is easy to care for.  The Firecracker plant will bloom from mid-spring and into the late fall seasons.  Deadheading spent flowers will help with continuous blooms.   Attractive showy bright orange or white tubular type flowers that look spectacular in a large decorative container or in the ground.

They thrive in full sun but will do better in morning sun and afternoon shade during the Southwest hot summer months.

Firecracker Plant Russelia equisetiformis


Firecracker Plant Russelia equisetiformis
Closeup of Firecracker plant blooms Image by Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay

It is a fast-growing plant that will grow close to 5ft. tall and wide. You can also use them in hanging baskets and rock gardens.

Hummingbirds and butterflies love this plant.  Especially the adult buckeye butterfly, Junonia coenia.

Here is what Butterfly fun facts say about these Butterflies.

There are two similar species.  TheMangrove Buckeye Junonia genoveva  is found in the southwestern United States and in the southern tip of Florida.  Tropical Buckeye butterflies Junonia evarete  are found in the southern tip of Florida and the southern tip of Texas.

Read more here. 

Types of Plants that attract butterflies.

Butterfly on Red Lantana.
Image by Yuo Zhoumel from Pixabay

The white blooming Firecracker Plant

The Firecracker Plant
Image by Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay

The white flowering Firecracker plant is basically the same watering and care as the orange one.  However, the hardest part is locating a nursery that will carry it.

How to care for the Firecracker plant.

They need lots of water during the first 2-3 years after initial planting however, It’s really a good plant for the Southwest region as it only needs moderate watering after the 3rd year of growth.  You should fertilize with a good all-purpose fertilizer during the early spring seasons.  An analysis of 20-20-20 will suffice.



Use this plant in a container

The Firecracker plant will do great in a decorative container.  It will need more watering during the mid-summer seasons.  You will also have to trim it back as it will outgrow the container in no time at all.

The Firecracker Plant
The Firecracker plant in a pot

Problems with this plant

Mealybugs, thrips and spider mites will attack this plant.  Use a good systemic or spray insecticide to kill these pests.  Go organic and use insecticidal soaps.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9 – 11

Other Southwest plants that are good companion type plants.


Pomegranate Tree Southwest


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  1. Reply

    Thank you for sharing this highly useful garden know-how to help me with my new firecracker plant I had bought yesterday at Lowe’s. My yard looks very tropical, and this plant will fit in well due to its ease of care. I will put it where my oak and fig trees will give it some respite from the afternoon sun.

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