Firebush, Scarlet Bush

This evergreen shrub works well in a perennial border or in a butterfly garden.
trop_firebush_sh

trop_firebush_sh

Plant type: Evergreen shrub or small tree
Botanical name: Hamelia patens
Hardiness: USDA Zones 9 to 10, herbaceous perennial to Zone 8

Also called Texas firecracker bush. Aptly named for its clusters of orange- to scarlet-red, tubular blooms that resemble little displays of fireworks. Has red stems and gray-green leaves. Where grown as a perennial, it will be evergreen. May be deciduous in marginally hardy climates. Used as an annual in colder climates where it won't overwinter. Blooms all summer long. Produces black fruits that birds enjoy. Plant size ranges from six to 10 feet tall and five to six feet wide. As an annual, plant size ranges from one to three feet tall and as wide.

How to use it: In masses, along a border or in containers. Use in a sunny, mixed perennial border. Good for a bird or butterfly garden.

Culture: Performs best in a moist, well-drained site; requires good drainage. Plant in full sun. Tolerates heat and salt spray. Where it is marginally hardy, provide winter protection to help it overwinter. Propagated through cuttings or seed. No serious problems with pests or diseases.

Special notes: Attracts wildlife, including birds (especially hummingbirds), bees and butterflies. Native to southern Florida as well as Central and South America.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Prune Shrubs

When you prune a shrub depends mostly on when it blooms. Here are the basics of pruning woody plants.

How and When to Prune Blueberry Bushes

To keep them producing well, blueberry bushes need to be pruned every year.

How to Prune Late-Flowering Shrubs

Shrubs that arrive a bit late to the blooming game should be trimmed in early spring. Follow these simple steps to inspire new blossoms.

Planting a Shrub

Use these step-by-step instructions to easily plant an evergreen shrub.

Planting Shrubs from Containers

If you have just bought a container-grown shrub, first water it well by plunging it in water for about an hour, then allow it to drain. 

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Rehab Addict

6:30am | 5:30c

Rehab Addict

7:30am | 6:30c

House Hunters

1pm | 12c

House Hunters

1:30pm | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30pm | 1:30c

House Hunters

3:30pm | 2:30c

House Hunters

4:30pm | 3:30c

House Hunters

5:30pm | 4:30c

House Hunters

6:30pm | 5:30c

House Hunters

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Tiny House Hunters

8pm | 7c

Tiny House Hunters

8:30pm | 7:30c

House Hunters

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

12am | 11c

House Hunters

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Tiny House Hunters

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.