Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Firecracker Plant, Coral Plant, Coralblow, Fountain Plant
Russelia equisetiformis

Family: Scrophulariaceae (skrof-yoo-larr-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Russelia (russ-EL-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: equisetiformis (eck-kwiss-ee-tih-FOR-mis) (Info)

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

50 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

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There are a total of 51 photos.
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25 positives
8 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral NormaG1 On Mar 18, 2015, NormaG1 from Orlando, FL wrote:

Just purchased 11 small bushes for back fence. Some parts get full sun all day and some partial shade. I am in Orlando . Saw this at a nearby resort and it was stunning. I am hoping for success. I will update in a month or so.

Neutral holeth On Jun 23, 2014, holeth from Corpus Christi, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Seems beautiful & easy, but...

Has anyone else gotten a rash from contacting this plant?

I was watering several plants while volunteering, and I suspect this plant of giving me a poison ivy like rash.

I did not contact Brazilian Pepper Bush, which i know can have this affect in our region. Anyone else know a zone 9a plant that it could have been, if not Firecracker Plant?

Positive Rookerie On Apr 14, 2013, Rookerie from Denison, TX (Zone 7a) wrote:

I purchased this little beauty on a whim from a local nursery. I was looking for something with its qualities: bright blooms, new interest, and a draping/weeping habit.
I have not entirely been disappointed by this tough plant. It lives in a triple-stacked cedar planting box on my front porch. Even in far North Texas, the summers can be downright brutal and everything on the front porch MUST be hardy enough to survive in a pot!
Each fall (Nov/Dec) this triple box goes into the garden shed with other potted plants to hibernate through what we in Texas call "winter."
He receives heat, but little to no water (I'm a terrible, terrible plant mother in the winter. I go into hibernation myself and forget all about the poor babies sleeping in the shed!)
Even with hardly any moisture, and only warmth to keep him alive, this Firecracker comes out every year ready-to-go! Given a bit of a haircut and lots of water and compost, he will green up and bloom like mad!
I need to find more to keep him company!

Positive woofess On Jun 12, 2012, woofess from Upper Swan, FM (Zone 10a) wrote:

It thrives here, with no special attention except for keeping it watered. However, we rarely get frosts, as we live in a Mediterranean climate in Western Australia.

Positive texan_blooms On Jun 11, 2012, texan_blooms from Conroe, TX wrote:

Hi Group! I purchased two of these in March 2012/ I added a Super Bloom food to them in the original plastic pots and had wonderful blooms which attracted BUTTERFLIES & HUMMINGBIRDS. I am getting ready to transplant them into my Garden with some fairly rich additives to the soil and expect to enjoy them for years. We are in zone 8B so this winter am going to build Cold Frames (portable) using a HOUSE WRAP PLASTIC SHEETING & salvaged wood. Last year I built primitive green houses using this wrap. I purchased it at WALMART FOR A LITTLE OVER $7.00- the thickness is measured in milimeters. This was the cheapest way to ensure protection of outdoor plants from mild freezes.
love the SITE!

Positive spikemom On Jun 11, 2012, spikemom from Philadelphia, PA wrote:

This is a wonderful hummingbird plant. It is not winter-hardy in Zone 6B, so I buy 6 new ones each year from Almost Eden and plant them in long wooden boxes along the low stone wall that borders our driveway. I fill the remaining space in each box with culinary herbs. With good drainage and a full sun position, the Russelia blooms extravagantly from mid-summer till October. The arcing stems are lovely. I have never tried to bring them in for the winter.

Positive drdipankar123 On Jul 24, 2011, drdipankar123 from PURI
India wrote:

Once you enter my clinic it is there to welcome everybody with its never vanishing Red bloom--here in India it blooms through out the year. I dont remember ever seeing it without bloom--It grows to waist height and i have been using it as a live fence. I support the plants in a row with two stripes of bamboo on both sides. soon the bamboos are hidden by the growth. It overflows on the pathway giving a beautiful look

Negative publisherm On Apr 23, 2011, publisherm from Lutz, FL wrote:

I need help with this plant. It seems I am the only one who can't grow it with ease.
Within a week of purchasing in a gallon pot, the lush stems die and turn brown. Some of the stems are still there -- the thicker ones, and some of the thin ones. But I don't know why. I had it in mostly shade for a couple of days after purchase until I got it planted into a container. Watered well, but then it started dying before the second week when I was ready to water again.

Positive jtyrie On Feb 14, 2011, jtyrie from North Richland Hills, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is a beautiful plant. I noted that it is listed as growing in Fort Worth, TX. I live in the area and have tried to winter them several times and never had one live through. When planted after the danger of frost, they grow very rapidly and thrive in our summer climate.

Positive allfinance On Aug 17, 2010, allfinance from San Diego, CA wrote:

This plant was mislabled when I bought it so, I had no idea what to expect. I live in S.California and have it planted on the south east side of a hill right next to a retaining wall. The plant has grown over 6ft tall and maybe 2x's that wide. Ive only had it for a year and a half, hardly ever fertalizing. I think it likes the good drainage. I went to give it a good trimming but the local hummingbird that was not happy about me being there. He squaked at me upclose so I left and just let it do its thing. I have to say late autumn when nothing else is blomming, it is a nice surprize.

Positive patter527 On Jun 1, 2010, patter527 from Olathe, KS wrote:

This "firecracker" plant is dynamite! I live in zone 5, Kansas, so must overwinter it in my house. Outside in summer, in as much sun as I can give it, it thrives, blooms, and puts on quite a display!

I grow it in at least a gallon size pot for ease of taking into the house in fall. Very little if any fertilizer needed. The biggest drawback I have with it is never to let it dry out. I have lost russelia by letting it become too dry.

Inside, during the winter, it will flower sparingly if in a bright location. When taking it outside in spring, you don't need to be as careful of sun burn as you do with many other plants.

It has never self seeded--and never started from a stem cutting. I'm glad to have that information as now I'll start my own.

This plant is a real winner in my book!

Positive in_Tavira On Oct 10, 2009, in_Tavira from Tavira
Portugal wrote:

This plant also grows beautifully in the south of Portugal. Mine had a first year of looking rather weedy and stringy, a tough winter with much more than our usual share of freezing nights and then this year has taken off and been blooming abundantly since May. Can't wait to see how it carries through the winter.

Positive penpen On Sep 11, 2009, penpen from North Tonawanda, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

I ordered this plant in July of this year from Sweet Nectar Nursery. Since it was so late in the season, Susan didn't have much left and she apologized that the plant was small. That was ok as I was going to have to overwinter it inside anyway since I live in western NY. Well I potted it in a small hanging basket and left it to its own devices except for watering it as I didn't expect much growth this year. It has nearly filled the small hanging basket and as of Sept. 9th has its first bloom. This was a very pleasant surprise. I have been sitting on the fence about ordering this plant for 2 years until I actually saw them while on vacation in Florida this year and fell in love immediately. Now I want several more!

Positive ntrlvr81 On Aug 20, 2009, ntrlvr81 from Bell, CA wrote:

hello every body! I am a new member here at DG and so far I love it , anyway regarding this plant i can say that I just bought a pair of them in hanging baskets they look very nice and they attract humming birds which in the first place that is the reason a bought them for. I am in Los Angeles CA.

Positive SusanLouise On Aug 17, 2009, SusanLouise from Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is a wonderful plant for a hanging basket! Since we're in zone 5, and it's a tropical plant, I'm going to try and attempt to take cuttings and overwinter the original plant we have now. If I am unsucessful, I'll still get this plant again next Spring!

Positive hmingbrd On Jun 26, 2009, hmingbrd from Sebastian, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I've had this plant growing in the ground next to my fish pond for several years....the pond leaks a bit so the ground where it's at stays damp and the plant apparently loves it. It's in full, hot sun, the ones I've planted in shadier spots don't thrive well, if at all. The ones I've planted where it's drier haven't done well either. We had 2 freezes this past winter, I didn't cover the one big plant and it came through fine. Several of the smaller ones in a different area were covered until the wind blew the covers off during the night but they didn't seem damaged either. Once or twice a year when I get down and clean out the area around it I will pull up numerous runners.....I just stick them in some dirt and they grow.

Positive BlueDesert On Mar 16, 2009, BlueDesert from Palm Springs, CA wrote:

This is one of my favorite FAVORITE plants.
I grow this in tall pots here in Palm Springs,Ca. (zone 9b).
It never stops growing and never stops blooming. Info on it says it likes dry soil but mine respond best to regular watering. I find after a 'stem' blooms if I cut it back (to the base) I will get more. I like it planted high so the stems can hang over the edge of the pot amd my hummers can get to them. They are hard to find in nurseries (at least here) but ALMOST EDEN (a GREAT nursery) sells them mailorder. Hybridizers are starting to work with them. So far I have them in MANY,pale yellow,white,orange,pink,coral,salmon and deep yellow.
It is NATURAL for the stems to turn reddish in the hot sun.These plants are not fond of shade,and will not bloom as much (or at all) if not grown in hot sun. My summer temps are 112 (to 121) everyday from May thru Oct. The heat has no affect on them.
This are native to the humid interiors of central Mexico where it is COMMON to see bushes of russelia that are 8 feet tall and as wide. They drive my hummingbirds wild with delight.

Positive Chimene On May 28, 2008, Chimene from Scottsdale, AZ wrote:

I have this plant growing in a pot in Arizona. How do you prune the Coral Plant to get it more bushy? More compact.

Neutral avemaria1 On May 13, 2007, avemaria1 from Marco Island, FL wrote:

Plantings in the Marco Island (FL) area flower beautifully year-round. But gefore I plant, can anyone advise how to thin/prune this fast grower?

Positive ManicReality On Apr 28, 2007, ManicReality from Houston, TX (Zone 10a) wrote:

I saw some of these fellas looking like a giant green and red waterfall by an old nursery near my new house. I thought wow i'd love some of those, now its just a matter of finding the perfect spot in the yard for them :)

Positive wooconley On Jun 11, 2006, wooconley from Oak Hill, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Growing well here in central Louisiana - in shady area. Dies back some if cold snap (zone 8b) but has always come back.

Positive docturf On May 19, 2006, docturf from Conway, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

Although this species is said to grow in Zone 9 or higher, I have had two plants in the ground since 2003 here in Zone 8 (coastal South Carolina) without any special mulching or other winter protection. They tend to become dormant shortly after a first frost and do not start to re-grow until well into late April or early May. First blooms appear by late June - early July and last until late September or even until late October. Very attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. Docturf.

Positive vossner On May 18, 2006, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I love this plant. I grow it inground and in pots. Full sun. I remember when I was little seeing hummingbirds visit this plant, but as a grownup I have never seen any hummers visiting.

Positive dmj1218 On Apr 4, 2006, dmj1218 from west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is the most indestructable plant I have ever grown. The hummingbirds love it and it blooms almost 24/7/365 for me!

Positive alexandra166 On Dec 12, 2005, alexandra166 from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I grew it in the ground and then put it in a pot so that it would cascade over the sides of the pot. The hummingbirds love it. I brought it indoors when we had a cold snap(down to 25 F). In all, a great plant.

Positive LadibugZ9 On Nov 21, 2003, LadibugZ9 from Schriever, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have this plant growing in a container on my patio. It has an arching form and blooms continuously from spring until frost. My hummingbirds LOVE this plant!

Positive loohoo02 On Nov 1, 2003, loohoo02 from Daytona Beach, FL wrote:

I am on the East Coast of Central Florida - Daytona Beach. These plants do die back in the winter if we have a freeze here, but they come right back up when the weather warms up and just bloom all summer long. I have some in full shade and some in full sun and they don't seem to care! I just take a pup and replant it wherever I want them. So far I have reds and 1 white one that I just purchased last week.

Neutral sandbur On Jul 16, 2003, sandbur wrote:

I live in Zone 7, and I am using these for container plants on my full sun deck. They love it.

Neutral Vickiw On Jun 18, 2003, Vickiw from Plantersville, MS wrote:

I got this plant last year. It is a beautiful and unusual plant. My plant will grow-out and then die off. It has not bloomed since I bought it, but was blooming when I purchased it. I guess the best way to describe is it doesn't appear to be thriving. I have not repotted it. When I put it in full sun it turned a dark reddish-brown color so I put it back in partial shade and it is green again. I did winter it indoors last year, and I did think it was going to die then.

Neutral IslandJim On Jun 3, 2003, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

I like this plant, but it is somewhat invasive here in southwest Florida (U.S.)

It's often used as an understory plant for palms, and it look fabulous as such, owing to the contrast of textures, colors, and growing habit. But if you let it escape in your intended use, you may spend a couple of years getting rid of it.

Positive soilsandup On Jun 3, 2003, soilsandup from Sacramento, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have this plant growing outdoors in Sacramento, California (U.S.) for about three years now. It has not spread through seeds - just basically maintains itself with dieback and new growth. Makes a nice, maintenance-free plant that provides a few dramatic sprays in flower arrangements.

Neutral kountrykitten On May 26, 2003, kountrykitten from Leander, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love this plant and don't want it to die, although I live in zone 5a.

Neutral ranch45 On May 25, 2003, ranch45 from Interlachen, FL wrote:

I have never owned this plant; however, I have had neighbors who did. (I thought it was a weed!)

It can live in partial sun and will die back in the winter. It comes back with a vengeance the following year!!!

Positive dirtwom On Nov 20, 2002, dirtwom wrote:

I have propagated this plant with stem cuttings. The ones that did the best were the ones that actually fell over on their side and layered themselves. It took a long time, seems like around three months (during wintertime, though.)

I have had the mother plant for a year. It has bloomed on and off sporadically through the year. I'm in USDA Zone 7, so the plant was outside in the summer and is wintered over in a greenhouse.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (3 reports)
Orange Beach, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)
Scottsdale, Arizona (2 reports)
Carlsbad, California
Chula Vista, California
Merced, California
Palm Springs, California
Sacramento, California
San Diego, California
Visalia, California
Altamonte Springs, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Belleview, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Crestview, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida (3 reports)
Green Cove Springs, Florida
Hobe Sound, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Lady Lake, Florida
Lake Panasoffkee, Florida
Lecanto, Florida
Longwood, Florida
Middleburg, Florida
Naples, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Orange Park, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Palm Coast, Florida (2 reports)
Palm Harbor, Florida (2 reports)
Pensacola, Florida (3 reports)
Perry, Florida
Pomona Park, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Rotonda West, Florida
Safety Harbor, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Satellite Beach, Florida
Sebastian, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Seminole, Florida
Spring Hill, Florida
Stuart, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Tampa, Florida (2 reports)
Titusville, Florida
Trenton, Florida
Valrico, Florida
Wauchula, Florida
Wellborn, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Yulee, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Calhoun, Georgia
Columbus, Georgia
Folkston, Georgia
Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Olathe, Kansas
Barbourville, Kentucky
Hebron, Kentucky
Kenner, Louisiana
Pineville, Louisiana
Prairieville, Louisiana
Schriever, Louisiana
Thibodaux, Louisiana
Zachary, Louisiana
Glen Burnie, Maryland
Plantersville, Mississippi
Raymond, Mississippi
St John, Mississippi
Lincoln, Nebraska
Las Vegas, Nevada
North Tonawanda, New York
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Bluffton, South Carolina
Blythewood, South Carolina
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Alice, Texas
Austin, Texas (5 reports)
Baytown, Texas
Brazoria, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
Bulverde, Texas
Canyon Lake, Texas
College Station, Texas
Conroe, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas
Denison, Texas
Elsa, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Groves, Texas
Houston, Texas (5 reports)
Humble, Texas (2 reports)
Katy, Texas
Mcallen, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Rockport, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
San Angelo, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Snook, Texas
Spring, Texas (2 reports)
Spring Branch, Texas
Victoria, Texas
Waco, Texas
Weslaco, Texas

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