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Hardiness: 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
Bloom Color: Red
Bloom Time: Late Winter/Early Spring Late Summer/Early Fall Mid Fall Late Fall/Early Winter Mid Winter
Foliage: Herbaceous Smooth-Textured
Other details: This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From softwood cuttings From seed; direct sow after last frost
On Oct 2, 2012, tlm1 from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:
Love this plant, as do the Hummingbirds. I question the size though that is listed in this file. Currently my bush is nearly 6' tall, and just as wide. Quite a bit larger than this file states. Give it plenty of room!
On Feb 12, 2012, morningloree from Heathrow, FL wrote:
Perfect for planting around the base of an oak tree, it gets some morning sun, but mostly shade. Thought we would be frost proof by now, but it got down to 33 degrees and no sign of damage. I had some soft wood cuttings that I had just put in a pot, again, no problem. This plant is truly semi-tropical. Great for partially shaded areas, still blooming in February, although is primarily supposed to bloom in Winter and Fall.
On Nov 19, 2009, singleshotcajun from Dickinson, TX wrote:
When I moved to Texas a Friend allowed me to dig plants in her overgrown rent house yard . This is one I dug up and transplanted to my yard.It is the most trouble free pant I have ever experienced. Propagates without care or much prep. In my yard which is mostly shade this is one of the precious few pants that make red my wife likes red and if not for Geraniums and Firespike She would have none so I am a hero thanks to this plant. No need for root stimulator just cut it and stick it in the dirt. Thanks to members on this forum for identifying it for me.
On Jul 25, 2009, fullsun007 from Gainesville, FL wrote:
This plant is a good choice for a shady as well as sunny locations although can wilt in the latter, during the hottest part of the day, but rebounds well. It produces several erect stalks with waxy green leaves and in the fall here in zone 8B sends 1-1.5 feet flower spikes which provide a welcome splash of color and food source for humming birds. This plant is very easy to root from softwood cuttings, it freezes to the ground and rebounds each spring.
On Jul 16, 2006, pdkrones from Monroe, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:
I love this plant. Three years ago, I got a start from a DG friend that I kept on the kitchen windowsill. I planted it in a shady place where the soil was not great, and it did not make it the next spring. However, the 3 cuttings I rooted did fine in a cool greenhouse, flouished and bloomed well last year, and came back again this year. Soil conditions were definitely better. However, they get wilty in the afternoon sun, even in their second year in the ground, so I have last year's cuttings in part to full shade, where they are growing well, but a little more upright. Last year's plants made it to perhaps 20' x 20". I suspect they will be bigger this year. The foliage is wonderful, pest free, glossy; and the fall flowers are unique for that time of year. Our last winter was a little mild, but still reached close to our typical lows, so I am hopeful that this plant will do well overwinter if well rooted and mulched.
On Jun 30, 2006, mamajack from Fate, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
i like the thick, waxy leaves. i have it in morning sun. freezes to the ground here but returns in the spring. easy to root. the only negative here is that it blooms so late in the season and is usually frozen to the ground just as it begins to bloom.
On Jul 28, 2005, soozer from Safety Harbor, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
Dug this up from a fellow Floridian's yard because they wanted it gone. Divided it in two and planted this Firespike in pretty much full sun areas. From the photo I posted, you can see the shiny leaves are smaller, about and inch long. The stems are shorter, about 3 feet tall, than others posted here as being planted in more shade. The red-orange flowers bloomed late winter and early this spring this year. It's the end of July and have seen no insect damage or trouble at all. Will take cuttings and try planting one in part shade. Really like this colorful trouble-free bush.
On Aug 15, 2004, Melba_Ga from Commerce, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:
I have Firespike in partial shade. This is a really pretty plant,blooms attract butterflies. Very easy to root cuttings. Mine has been cut-back several times, bounces back with very thick, green, foliage & pretty blooms.
On Aug 12, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
This plant, native to Mexico and Central America, solves the problem of having a shady area (mine are planted in dappled shade and full shade) where very few plants will grow, much less bloom. In San Antonio, it is grown for its beautiful deep green bushy tropical foliage in the spring, summer and late fall and its magnificent glow-in-the dark red blooms from early to middle August until the first freeze. Firespike (fire spike) can serve as a substitute for the hosta that tends to be devoured by snails and mealy bugs (pill bugs)in this area of Texas. However, I planted light green and white hosta in the foreround around these plants, have been vigilantly attacking the snails and mealy bugs and the hostas are doing fine. It can be grown as a tropical container plant. I would not recommend that it be planted in full sun in my area, although I have not tried them in full sun.
Mine die to the ground after the first freeze, reemerge in spring and grow to more than 4 feet tall. I fertilize them with an all purpose fertilizer if the color of the leaves start to pale in color which is usually only once in midsummer. This plant can be grown in heavy clay soils and wet conditions. In the 108 degree weather in August this year, they wilted somewhat, but sprang back to life as it cooled down in the evenings and/or I provided some water. The firespike (fire spike) is one of my favorite plants because it is relatively care free, appears to be insect resistant, provides outstanding color in the shade, blooms late when the garden needs some new attraction, is not invasive and requires less water once estalished than my other flowering shade plants. It needs to be more widely used in south and central Texas.
Note: There is a purple or fuscia-pink ... Odontonema callistachyum that I just found.
On Dec 3, 2001, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
Firespike is a showy evergreen shrub with sparse, stiff branches that grow mostly straight up to about 6' tall. It has shiny dark green leaves with wavy margins and long pointed tips. The leaves are oblong, arranged opposite each other on the stem, and 4-6" long. From late summer through winter firespike produces abundant upright panicles of brilliant red tubular flowers. Firespike does well in full sun and better in partial shade. Once established it can tolerate all but the longest droughts. In frost-free areas firespike grows as an evergreen semi-woody shrub. In zones 8 and 9 it usually dies back to the ground in winter and resprouts in spring. It spreads by underground sprouting, enlarging to form a thicket, but it is easy to control and keep contained. Firespike is one of the few red tubular flowers to bloom in autumn and is very popular with hummingbirds and all kinds of butterflies. Unfortunately, white-tailed deer love Firespike too, and will eat the leaves. Defoliated plants will grow new leaves, but if the deer persist, the plant eventually will be killed.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, Pirkkala, Waverly, Alabama Carlsbad, California Lakewood, California San Diego, California San Marino, California Bartow, Florida Belleair Bluffs, Florida Big Coppitt Key, Florida Big Pine Key, Florida Biscayne Park, Florida Boca Del Mar, Florida (2 reports) Boca Raton, Florida Bonita Springs, Florida Brent, Florida Chiefland, Florida Coral Springs, Florida Fernandina Beach, Florida Floral City, Florida Fort Lauderdale, Florida Fruitville, Florida Gainesville, Florida Haverhill, Florida Hobe Sound, Florida Hudson, Florida Indian River Shores, Florida Inverness, Florida Jacksonville, Florida (6 reports) June Park, Florida Keystone Heights, Florida Lakewood Park, Florida Longwood, Florida Lower Grand Lagoon, Florida Lynn Haven, Florida Macgregor, Florida Masaryktown, Florida Melrose Park, Florida Miami, Florida Mount Plymouth, Florida Naples, Florida Navarre, Florida Neptune Beach, Florida Niceville, Florida North De Land, Florida Orlando, Florida (2 reports) Palm Beach Gardens, Florida Palm Shores, Florida Pembroke Pines, Florida Ruskin, Florida Safety Harbor, Florida Saint Augustine Shores, Florida Sanford, Florida Sebastian, Florida Sebring, Florida South Daytona, Florida Spring Hill, Florida (2 reports) St Petersburg, Florida Tallahassee, Florida Trenton, Florida Union Park, Florida Utopia, Florida West Palm Beach, Florida Zephyrhills, Florida Ashburn, Georgia Baton Rouge, Louisiana Bossier City, Louisiana Franklinton, Louisiana Independence, Louisiana Lafayette, Louisiana Mandeville, Louisiana (2 reports) New Orleans, Louisiana Old Jefferson, Louisiana (2 reports) Prairieville, Louisiana Gautier, Mississippi Mathiston, Mississippi Saucier, Mississippi Elizabeth City, North Carolina Unionville, North Carolina Burton, South Carolina Conway, South Carolina East Sumter, South Carolina Kiawah Island, South Carolina Moncks Corner, South Carolina Red Hill, South Carolina Adkins, Texas Alice, Texas Anderson Mill, Texas Arlington, Texas Austin, Texas (4 reports) Belton, Texas Colmesneil, Texas Dallas, Texas Desoto, Texas Dickinson, Texas Eagle Mountain, Texas Falcon Lake Estates, Texas Fate, Texas Flatonia, Texas Garland, Texas Houston, Texas (4 reports) Huntsville, Texas Jacksonville, Texas La Vernia, Texas Lake Jackson, Texas Mckinney, Texas New Waverly, Texas Oakhurst, Texas Pflugerville, Texas San Antonio, Texas (2 reports) Santa Fe, Texas Shepherd, Texas Spring, Texas Sunset Valley, Texas