Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Red Powder Puff
Calliandra haematocephala

Family: Mimosaceae
Genus: Calliandra (kal-ee-AN-druh) (Info)
Species: haematocephala (hee-mat-oh-SEF-uh-luh) (Info)

Synonym:Calliandra inaequilatera

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

36 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

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:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

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

Soil pH requirements:
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From woody stem cuttings
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 44 photos.
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23 positives
5 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive santamiller On Jul 22, 2014, santamiller from San Antonio, TX wrote:

In my 8b zone it does best in a pot and protected from very cold weather but I have one in the ground. It gets a few hours of afternoon sun. It is one of the last plants to make an appearance in the late spring, is a slow starter and doesn't begin to get buds and bloom until mid summer, but once it does it's always spectacular. Highly recommend, especially potted for much larger plant.

Positive chrisdiamond On May 2, 2014, chrisdiamond from Jupiter, FL wrote:

Great plant here in S. Florida. Mainly seen as a large shrub. I bought 3 5x5 box trellised espaliers for a client for a small courtyard area I re-did. Gets about 2-3 hours of direct sun in winter andd about 4-5 in summer. The wiring was done to about 10-12 ft on this wall and in 4 months the 3 Calliandras are 90% filled in. It is such a great plant. We usually never have to worry about too cold of temps in S. Florida so these are fine in the landscape year round.

Neutral sc_ss On Mar 15, 2014, sc_ss from Hong Kong
Hong Kong wrote:

The Family Name of the species should be: Fabaceae
Please check

Thank you

Positive AussieClem On Dec 16, 2012, AussieClem from Sydney
Australia wrote:

Positive gardenpackrat On Aug 20, 2012, gardenpackrat from Tampa, FL wrote:

I am in zone 9 near Tampa, Fl. and have this plant, dwarf variety, in the ground in partial sun (am). It blooms almost nonstop and sets seed pods. The butterflies and hummingbirds love it too. It is near a window where I can enjoy the show! Some damage from cold but comes back fine. I love this plant! I have not tried propagating it from seed but am going to try.

Positive LeslieT On Aug 20, 2012, LeslieT from Bellaire, TX wrote:

I LOVE this plant. I grow it in a large container which I bring into a glass-roofed porch for winter in my Zone 9b area. If I water it with oxygenated-water (left-over from using our Lotus Sanitizing System in which we wash all our produce which is consumed raw), it blooms all winter inside! I move it outside at Easter where it gets morning sun, but afternoon shade. After a brief readjustment period, it's back in bloom. It comes in at Thanksgiving. I, therefore, get almost 12 months of bloom.

Positive sunkissed On May 20, 2012, sunkissed from Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I'm updating my review for this plant. This is the larger of the Powder puff's which I have both the Dwarf, and this plant. They are different and this larger doesn't start blooms until the winter, usually around December. This plant grows very tall and spreads wide, but will not tolerate below freezing temps, which will burn and ruin the flowers. It does come back after a hard freeze. I do have the smaller "Dwarf" powder puff and it blooms pretty much all year around. So if you want blooms all year, you need to look for the dwarf (Nana). Although the flowers on the large are so much more beautiful and if we have a mild winter it is spectacular in the garden. I wouldn't grow it any more north than zone 9b, or you'll be disappointed to lose the flowers when we get a cold snap.

Positive silverlaker On Apr 29, 2012, silverlaker from Palm Springs, CA wrote:

I had never had one of these plants - and at the house I bought in Palm Springs (abandoned, scorched earth thanks to a year long foreclosure) there were two scraggly bushes.

In one year they have shot up to over ten feet in height and they are absolutely stunning.

The one thing I'd love to do is grow more of them as a hedge.
Does anyone know how to propagate this plant?

Thank you.

Positive HappyGardenerWI On Apr 22, 2012, HappyGardenerWI from Eau Claire WI & The Villages FL, WI (Zone 9a) wrote:

In zone 9a, the shrub grows to about 6' and flowers profusely from mid-summer through the first freeze. It freezes to the ground but begins growing from the roots in March and reaches blooming size quickly. The flowers are a glorious red and attract butterflies.

Positive theplayfulkitty On Apr 19, 2012, theplayfulkitty from Winter Park, FL wrote:

A great buy of 3 bedraggled reduced specimens from a Home Depot. They have survived several hard frosts, and when they start blooming, it's nonstop. I keep them pruned to about 3' and they look great in a grouping of mixed height and colored perennials.

Positive margiew On Feb 6, 2012, margiew from Mataranka
Australia wrote:

I have a large old red powder puff. I have cut it back hard and it grew profusely and flowered all year. This year however there are no seeds forming after the flower is spent. I have grown some from seeds previously, no luck from cuttings. Can anybody tell me why. I live in a hot subtropical climate.

Neutral jjb2408 On Jan 3, 2012, jjb2408 from Marinette, WI wrote:

i bought this plant as a house plant noticed it losing it leaves since i have brought it in for the winter but then after looking at it closer it looks as though it has some type of bug there are little white web looking areas not sure how to treat it hoping not to lose the plant i just love it....wondering if anyone would have a suggestion

Positive pniksch On Aug 14, 2011, pniksch from Frisco, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Great plant for a trellis.

Positive moydokes On Sep 10, 2010, moydokes from Waveland, MS wrote:

I purchased this plant about 4 months ago at a garden center in Houston and planted it in my yard (Waveland, MS). It was blooming when I bought it, and hasn't stopped since. I'm truly amazed! I have never owned a plant before that bloomed so profusely and continuously.

Positive HolyChickin On Jul 22, 2010, HolyChickin from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

When I was a child, our next door neighbor had one of these trees. It was in the corner of their yard and some of the tree hung over into our yard. I remember playing under it and marveling at it's pretty red puffs.

It's such a beautiful tree... it also attracts lots of butterflies. Can't wrong with this one!

Neutral digforrestdig On Jun 13, 2010, digforrestdig from West Palm Beach, FL wrote:

When the government took 4 feet of our yard for the new sidewalk they planted these between the walk and fence. They have yet to really take off, but are looking healthy. The govt. tried growing a smaller less mature batch of Puffs before, but they all died because they planted them in Winter and there was no rain. I was hoping they were going to at least plant natives, but every1 so loves this tree maybe it will be ok....

Positive movewithmel On Jun 16, 2009, movewithmel from Houston, TX wrote:

I live in Houston, TX, Zone 9, and bought this almost a year ago, maybe in the fall. It reminded me of a mimosa, and our neighbor had just cut his down. To him, it was invasive. To us, it was the great view out our dining window. The powder puff bush has grown at a rapid pace, and looks super healthy, but I have never, ever had a bloom. The tag on it when I bought it showed a pink flower, so I'm hoping it is pink, and said it was tropical. With our humidity, I thought it would thrive. Plus, I water regularly. Anyone have ideas as to why it hasn't bloomed yet, when the rest of my garden has been bursting with color since spring? It's in a sunny spot in front, so our dogs aren't eating the blooms.

Positive gopita On May 23, 2009, gopita from Jupiter, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Love it! Nearly every morning bees and wasps cover the playful-looking Powderpuffs bordering my front walkway, and they are covered with so many bees that the buzzing sound is distinctly audible.

There are several large shrubs/small trees about 12' and they bloom year round much to my delight. According to the notes of the previous owner of my property, the Powderpuffs are about 15-years-old.

Connie (Zone 10a)

Positive GAF9801 On Jan 31, 2009, GAF9801 from Saint Cloud, FL wrote:

Zone 9 - I LOVE my powder puff bushes. Mine grow happily receiving partial afternoon sun close to my house. They get rain runoff from the roof but other than natural rainwater, they are very drought tolerant. They bloom pretty much year round and bloom more heartily when they get rain. They require little or no care and have had no noticable pest issues in 4 years of growth.

Neutral Lily_love On Jul 11, 2008, Lily_love from Central, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

I've this lovely tree as a container specimen. It needs winter protection here. Pot culture keep the tree relatively small for the past 2 years.

Positive Cambium On Mar 7, 2007, Cambium from Lamar, AR (Zone 7b) wrote:

Hubby & I went to Butterfly World this last weekend & it was consistently frequented by colorful finches & butterflies.

Positive pickandplant On Jul 26, 2005, pickandplant from Deltona, FL wrote:

This is a great plant, it is tough and bug resistant and very attractive.
It is so attractive that the butterflys and hummingbirds are flitting about its puff. Some seeds have sprouted that fell and germinated under the plant, I transplanted them into potting soil and they are doing great. I am planning to try different methods of propagation to see which will be the best.

Positive JaxFlaGardener On Jun 11, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

In my borderline Zone 8b/9a climate in NE Fla, this Calliandra dies back in winter with freezing temperatures, but rebounds in the Spring and begins to bloom around May.

If you have this plant and live in a climate where it freezes, don't be too quick to prune back what looks like brown, dead, leafless stems. Leaves and flowers will emerge most of the way up the stems in the Springtime. I think it is best to wait until the flowers appear to determine what part of the plant is truly lifeless.

Positive sdlady On Jun 10, 2005, sdlady from San Diego, CA (Zone 11) wrote:

My row of shrubs, in the ground many years, has been sheared annually into a 6' hedge after the winter bloom period is over. Planted in a dry area on the side of my house, they are truly drought tolerant, subsisting on rain water only, which in coastal San Diego averages 11 inches per year between November and April. The plentiful watermelon red blooms are charming; the new growth a lovely bronze with a graceful arching form.

Positive bjhach On Jul 26, 2004, bjhach from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

Plant responds with lots of blooms following a good watering. However, my dogs love to eat the powder puffs and my plants don't have flowers on them for long! (FYI...They've been eating them for a year and have never had a bad reaction.)

Positive martina On May 1, 2004, martina from El Cajon, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Our Calliandra in So Cal (dry climate of E of San Diego) blooms best in winter (November till April) and at that time is really covered both with blooms and their less pretty spent brown dry remnants. Hummingbirds love it and it is fun to watch them feed (I am posting a photo of one). If Calliandra does best in humidity, it has clearly shifted its blooming time here to the wettest period since during the dry hot summer and fall it does not bloom at all (I see the difference from Florida humid tropical climate). Calliandra is rapidly growing and needs pruning to keep in check.

Positive Monocromatico On Jul 23, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

Theres a Red Power Puff near here that blooms constantly during the year. However, it never gets covered with flowers like other species. The folliage gives it a more smooth look than other Calliandras.

Neutral Floridian On Nov 9, 2001, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Calliandra haematocephala is a sub-tropical plant the family of which is native to the India, Mexico, Madagascar, South America and the United States. It is adaptable, but prefers moist, well-drained, fertile soil. Does best with moderate humidity. This species is grown as a hedge or shrub in the landscape for its powder-puff-type flowers. Very attractive to bees and butterflies.


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

Vincent, Alabama
Tucson, Arizona
Arcadia, California
El Cajon, California
North Hollywood, California
Palm Springs, California (2 reports)
Rancho Mirage, California
Rancho Santa Margarita, California
San Diego, California (2 reports)
Spring Valley, California
Archer, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Bonita Springs, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Clearwater, Florida
Deland, Florida
Delray Beach, Florida
Deltona, Florida (2 reports)
Eustis, Florida
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Georgetown, Florida
Grant, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Jupiter, Florida
Lady Lake, Florida
Lake Wales, Florida
Land O Lakes, Florida
Lecanto, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Miami, Florida
North Fort Myers, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Orange Park, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Palm Coast, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida (2 reports)
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Saint Cloud, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida (2 reports)
Sebastian, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Seffner, Florida
Tampa, Florida (2 reports)
Vero Beach, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Winter Park, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Pepeekeo, Hawaii
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Waveland, Mississippi
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Baytown, Texas
Fulton, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Houston, Texas (4 reports)
Humble, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring, Texas

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