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 Light Shade Partial to Full Shade
On Feb 11, 2013, RustyB from Mandeville, LA wrote:
Very stalky grower. Has exceeded 6 feet in my garden. I have two plants, one in deep shade, the other in filtered sun all day. The one in the shade has bloomed, though it waited until January to do so. Strange! The purple blooms are more attractive than the red species IMO.
I plan to trim them back this spring. Hope that's the right thing to do.
On Jul 17, 2007, hawkarica from Odessa, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
This is a very vigorous plant. I started from a cutting and in just two years, it is 8 feet across and 10 feet tall. It is almost always in bloom and the butterflies and hummers love it. I have had no pest or fungus problems.
On Jan 13, 2004, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
San Antonio, Tx.
This plant, native to Mexico and Central America, solves the problem of having a shady area where very few plants will grow, much less bloom. In San Antonio, firespike is grown for its beautiful deep green bushy tropical foliage in the spring, summer and late fall and its magnificent purple, lavendar-purple or fuscia-pink blooms (depending upon the cultivar) from early to middle August (Zones 8a, 8b) until the first freeze. The bloom time depends upon in what Zone they are grown. In frost free zones, they may bloom all year and become much larger in size. 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 the red blooming variety of 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.
They will die to the ground after the first hard sustained freeze, reemerge in spring and grow to more than 4 feet tall. 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. 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, but spreads from the base. It needs to be more widely used in south and central Texas. (Note: It is not deer resistant.)
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Sacramento, California Big Coppitt Key, Florida Biscayne Park, Florida Boyette, Florida Cheval, Florida Clermont, Florida De Land, Florida Delray Beach, Florida Fort Lauderdale, Florida Gainesville, Florida Groveland, Florida Gulf Gate Estates, Florida Heathrow, Florida Keystone, Florida Lakeland, Florida Lynn Haven, Florida Melbourne, Florida Melrose Park, Florida New Port Richey, Florida Ocala, Florida Pembroke Pines, Florida South Daytona, Florida Spring Hill, Florida St Petersburg, Florida Tampa, Florida Utopia, Florida West Palm Beach, Florida Baton Rouge, Louisiana Lafayette, Louisiana Mandeville, Louisiana Blythewood, South Carolina Saint Helena Island, South Carolina Austin, Texas Brenham, Texas Doyle, Texas Oakhurst, Texas San Antonio, Texas Scenic Oaks, Texas Shepherd, Texas Spring, Texas