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Scarlet Firebush Hamelia patens Orange Flowers Florida Native


12 reward points

Sometimes when you say native, many gardeners will turn up their nose and think weed even though utilizing native and indiginous species is very much the politically correct thing to plant through out the state of Florida, and others at present, and most Florida counties have adopted requirements that at least a portion of all new installations be native.

Firebush, however, is a grand exception to the weedy reputation that many natives have. It grows lush and full and is always nearly covered with bright scarlet orange/yellow tubular flowers that hummingbirds and butterflies cannot resist. Birds enjoy the berry that follows the flower. It is a great plant for any area where you like to draw in the wildlife, as many critters find the flowers and the berry irresistible.

In southern Florida, Firebush is an evergreen, and will reach heights of more than 15 ft. tall. Elsewhere in more temperate climates, it is grown as an annual and only gets about 2 ft. tall. The leaves will turn deep bronze red in the fall. In Zones 8 and 9 it dies back to ground in the winter and re-sprouts in the spring. North of Zone 8 it should be pot grown and wintered over indoors.

Firebush will grow in a wide range of soil conditions and does not require much care. It needs irrigation until it becomes established, but then is quite drought tolerant. It does best in full sun, but will tolerate the shade, just taking on a more leggy open habit and produces fewer blooms.

It makes a great border, background or screen plantings in mass, or is a great stand alone accent, or makes a knock out patio tree.

Indians in the tropics are said to have used the berry for various medicinal uses such as antibiotics and modern researchers are now investigating it for other treatments. A word of caution however, individual sensitivity and tolerance to plants can vary widely. We recommend you always treat all ornamental plants as toxic unless you have done your own research to determine they are safe and edible.


Common Name Firebush, Scarlet Bush, African Firebush, Mexican Firebush
Plant Family Matter
Mature Size 10 to 15 feet x same
Growth Habit Large Upright Shrub
Bloom Color Orange Red
Bloom Form Clusters, trumpet shaped tubules
Bloom Time Late spring to early winter
Water Needs Moderate until well established
Light Needs Full Sun to Light Shade
Zones 9, 10, 11
Key Features Very Showy Bloom, Easy to grow
Suggested Uses Boundary, Mixed Perinneals, Specimen












Direct planting of 4 inch starter size plants is not recommended, so for the best results with your new plant, we recommend it be repotted and allowed to grow larger before setting out in a tropical to subtropical landscape. 

When the new pot has filled with roots and the plant is larger, then here a few hints for successful growing in the landscape in Zones 9, 10, and 11.  can be grown as a potted plant indefinitely.

  • Plant in fertile well draining, slightly acidic soil soil in the full sun. Amend with high quality organic material as needed.
  • Locate in full sun to very lightly dappled shade.
  • Provide supplemental irrigation.
  • Feed a good quality, slow release, bloom boosting fertilize with the initial planting and twice yearly in the early Spring and early Fall thereafter. 
  • Supplement with a water soluble plant food in between feeding.
  • Prune lightly and often when young to encourage branching and after flowering to promote uniform shape and control size.
  • Protect from frost and freeze until very well established

  • Model: HAM-PAT-SB-04
  • Shipping Weight: 2lbs
  • 12 Units in Stock
  • Manufactured by: Emerald Goddess Gardens

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