Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Firecracker Plant, Mexican Honeysuckle, Orange Plume Flower
Justicia spicigera

Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Justicia (jus-TEE-see-ah) (Info)
Species: spicigera (spik-EE-ger-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Jacobinia spicigera
Synonym:Justicia ghiesbreghtiana
Synonym:Justicia sidicaro

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

25 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
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:

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
By simple layering

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By htop
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By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #7 of Justicia spicigera by Xenomorf

There are a total of 23 photos.
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5 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive vossner On Mar 23, 2015, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Easy plant, showy. Mine is planted in amended clay soil, full sun. I watered regularly when newly planted but once established it seems to fend for itself.

Positive erinbee On Oct 17, 2011, erinbee from Las Vegas, NV wrote:

Justicia spicigera grows well in my garden in Las Vegas, NV, (eastern Mojave Desert). But for most of this blooming season, I have noticed that it won't flower if too much shade. It is planted in a couple of different areas under trees, however, the trees have increased foliage and canopy. I am hoping this is the problem with its lack of blooming. Yesterday (10/16/2011) I divided one of my clumps and replanted a large portion of this plant in a more sunny area, with late afternoon shade. Fingers crossed this gets it blooming again!

Positive Kylie2x On Dec 13, 2006, Kylie2x from Millsap, TX wrote:

I think this is a very under rated plant. I am a z7 and we grow this plant in areas that are designed for little watering but it also preforms beautifully in areas were trop's are grown with lots of water..This is the 3rd year to have them .I have taken cuttings that are in the house and are beginnging to bloom.

Positive txboy65 On May 18, 2005, txboy65 from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I received this plant from a friend in Houston several years ago. It is in a raised bed near the street and blooms all of the time. This Winter wasn't terribly cold, but there were several days where there was sleet and a bit of snow. It never died back. It even made it through a hail storm recently and just lost the flowers. I am looking forward to growing more of these and spreading them around the yard. The flowers are an amazing color of orange!

Positive htop On Aug 12, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, Texas
This plant is native to Mexico and naturalized in a few parts of south Texas. It is an excellent xeriscape plant and has grown in my mother's yard for 60 years with little care and water. I have grown this plant for 20 years in the hottest and driest part of my yard. It has been a "pass along" plant for generations and is now becoming available (although not readily) in garden centers. It has light to medium green, simple, velvety, ovate, slender, 3in long leaves, somewhat floppy branches and a mounding shape. The tubular flower clusters (to 1.5 inches) are a beautiful bright orange and appear on the terminal branches and bloom profusely from about June to the first freeze in my area. During mild winters, it will not be damaged and sometimes blooms off and on. A very hard freeze (below 22 degrees F or so can kill it to the ground in Zones 8a and 8b, but it will rebound quickly in the spring from the roots. It was still blooming beautifully one Febrauary after a sustained low of 26 and a week later, freezing mist and freezing drizzle that totally encased the plant in a thin layer of ice.

It is adaptable to various soils, requires little fertilzation, withstands extreme heat (108 degrees for several days in August this year), has few insect pests and is easily size controlled. Note: It performs best in prepared soils with moderate water - brighter green leaves, more flower production and less leggyness. It can be grown under tree canopies and/or containers. The rootball can be easily divided and transplanted; but, it requires more water than it usually does and takes some time to establish itself. After established, do not overwater or over fertilize. An extremely reliable and tough plant.


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

Chandler, Arizona
Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)
Tucson, Arizona (2 reports)
Eureka, California
Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Delray Beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Pierce, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Lake Worth, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Riverview, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Umatilla, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Douglas, Georgia
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Marrero, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Opelousas, Louisiana
Youngsville, Louisiana
Las Vegas, Nevada
Albuquerque, New Mexico
La Luz, New Mexico
Conway, South Carolina
Angleton, Texas
Aransas Pass, Texas
Austin, Texas (3 reports)
Brownsville, Texas
Burleson, Texas
Conroe, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Edinburg, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Hallettsville, Texas
Hargill, Texas
Harlingen, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Lake Jackson, Texas
League City, Texas
Liberty Hill, Texas (2 reports)
Los Fresnos, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
Richmond, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring, Texas
Valley Mills, Texas
Victoria, Texas
Weatherford, Texas
Willis, Texas

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