Russelia Species, Coralblow, Coral Plant, Firecracker Plant, Fountainbush, Madeira Plant

Russelia equisetiformis

Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Russelia (russ-EL-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: equisetiformis (eck-kwiss-ee-tih-FOR-mis) (Info)
Synonym:Russelia juncea
View this plant in a garden



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Pale Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Orange Beach, Alabama

Maricopa, Arizona(2 reports)

Phoenix, Arizona(2 reports)

Scottsdale, Arizona(2 reports)

Carlsbad, California

Chula Vista, California

Clovis, California

Merced, California

Palm Springs, California

Sacramento, California

San Diego, California

Santa Barbara, California

Visalia, California

Altamonte Springs, Florida

Bartow, Florida

Belleview, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida(2 reports)

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

Lakeland, 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

Seffner, 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


Olathe, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Hebron, Kentucky

Chalmette, Louisiana

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

Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes

Beaufort, South Carolina

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

Dripping Springs, Texas

Elsa, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Groves, Texas

Houston, Texas(5 reports)

Humble, Texas(2 reports)

Katy, Texas

Mcallen, Texas

Missouri City, Texas

Quinlan, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Rockport, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

San Angelo, Texas

San Antonio, Texas(2 reports)

San Benito, Texas

Snook, Texas

Spring, Texas(2 reports)

Spring Branch, Texas

Temple, Texas

Victoria, Texas

Waco, Texas

Weslaco, Texas

St John, Virgin Islands

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 10, 2018, joancwal from Quinlan, TX wrote:

I absolutely love the looks of this plant, but like the one other negative comment, I have the same problem. I bought one and had it turn black and crispy. Evidently I didn't water enough. So, I bought another one. I left in the pot it came in and put in sun. Made sure I watered good, and guess what?, it started to turn black and now all I have that is green are the big green upright stems. All my waterfall is black and crispy! I definitely need help with this plant. I want one so!!! Can anyone help?


On Jul 3, 2017, lizzymahoney from Daytona Beach, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is a must-have plant for me. Atlantic coastal Florida, Zone 9b. It grows in damp soil, pure sand, hard pan marl, compost. And in full shade to full sun. The stems get ruddy with increased sun. Tolerates heat and humidity and drought well. Blooms year round for me. As a cut flower it drops a lot of litter. You can prune it if you are so inclined, but if you want a neat shape be prepared to prune it multiple times a year. I've seen it grown as a hedge. I may cut it back to four or five inches once every year or two. It doesn't reseed so much for me as root wherever the arching stems touch the soil, the palm trees, the rocks, etc. You can rip it out of the ground, and it will grow wherever it is dropped.


On Nov 27, 2016, Adrienneny from New Jersey 6b, NJ wrote:

This plant is a big hit with hummingbirds. It appreciates perhaps requires lots of water. I pruned it hard and now have it indoors by a window for the winter.


On Jun 8, 2016, marasri from Dripping Springs, TX wrote:

I have grown it but I did not bring it in during the winter and it died in a 3 day 16F cold snap and did not come back. I am tempted to try again and treat it like a tropical. I love its look. I grew it in the ground once but my land is too lean and alkaline for it.


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.


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?


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 hardl... read more


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.


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!


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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... read more


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.


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!


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.


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!


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.


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 m... read more


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.


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?


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 :)


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.


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.


On May 18, 2006, vossner from East Texas,
United States (Zone 8a) 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.


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!


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!!!


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.