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Firecracker Flower

Justicia rizzinii

A welcome pop of color in the winter, firecracker flowers lights up tropical and coastal gardens with its candy cornlike blossoms from fall until the heat of summer puts a halt to the show. The prolific flowers are calling cards for hummingbirds and bees, which visit the shrub frequently to gather nectar. Tolerant of sun or shade, firecracker flower is a great for planting near shaded patios, full-sun foundation garden beds, or in a perennial border.

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Light:

Part Sun, Sun

Type:

Height:

From 1 to 8 feet

Width:

2 to 4 feet

Flower Color:

Foliage Color:

Seasonal Features:

Zones:

9-10

Propagation

Using Firecracker Flower in the Garden

Pair firecracker flower with camellia to create a colorful shrub border in a shaded location.  Another brilliant winter-flowering shrub, camellia has roselike flowers that debut in fall, winter, or early spring depending on the cultivar. Both are evergreen, so together create an informal living screen or a colorful patio backdrop.

Growing Firecracker Flower

Firecracker flower grows well in full sun or shade and well-drained soil. Plant firecracker flower in fall or winter and water plants regularly to encourage a strong, deep root system. After established, firecracker flower has good drought tolerance. Few pests or diseases plague firecracker flower. Prune plants as needed to maintain shape in early summer after flowering tapers.

This colorful plant also grows well in large containers. Plant it in a pot that is at least 24 inches wide and enjoy it as a patio shrub year-round. Repot it every 3 years or so to refresh the soil, transitioning to a larger container if you desire a larger plant. Maintain the shape of a container-grown plant by pruning the branch tips back by a few inches after the plant finishes blooming in early summer.

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