October 2010 Showcase Plant

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The temperature is dropping, even if it seems to be taking forever. The first cold front of the year is coming, and it’s a great time to get out in the yard and enjoy gardening once again! With autumn around the corner, everyone is getting antsy, wanting to add a little fall color to their yard. Our showcase plant for October is Hamelia ‘patens’, commonly known as Firebush.

See you at the Nursery!
Reese Bernier

Firebush - Hamelia 'patens'

Firebush is a fast-growing native shrub, growing as large as 15 feet in ideal conditions, but is often maintained between 5 and 8 feet tall.  Its rich reddish-orange flowers grow in tubular clusters, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds from June until November, while also intermittently producing berries that attract birds. The Firebush produces terminal buds, meaning their buds are located at the very tips of the new growth. Therefore, frequent trimming will result in fewer flowers; we recommend the Firebush is planted in an area when it can grow to a considerable size so it will have the opportunity to grow and bloom to its fullest potential.
The Firebush is extremely heat tolerant, and does well in the blazing sun, but will also adapt to partial shade. Planted in too much shade, the Firebush will become leggy and produce significantly less flowers. Firebush are often seen planted with other non-formal plants such as the Beautyberry, Wild Coffee, Lantana, Copper Plant, and a variety of other shrubs and perennials that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Firebush is tropical, making it somewhat cold sensitive, and will be damaged by cold temperatures. Covering this shrub during a frost is recommended. After the danger of the frost has passed in the springtime, prune away the dead branches, and your Firebush should flush out quickly!  Firebush require well-drained soil, and become drought tolerant once established. Sandy soil is ideal for these shrubs, keeping in mind that they do need some nutrients in the soil in order to thrive. The Firebush has no serious insect or disease problems when grown outdoors in full sun locations, although garden pests are always a threat in this area. If you suspect your Firebush is under attack by bugs of fungus, visit us at the nursery with a sample of the shrub and we will be happy to diagnose the problem and suggest a solution.  Fertilizing your Firebush may not be necessary, as it thrives in the Florida landscape, but if your Firebush needs a little kick, we recommend Sunniland All-Purpose Fertilizer (6-6-6), or a gentler fertilizer by Espoma which is frequently used in organic gardening, applied monthly, due to its lower elemental contents.   Overall, the Firebush is a fairly low-maintenance plant and a great choice for those new to Florida gardening as well as those of you who have been gardening here for several years. The Firebush adds dazzling color and character to your landscape, and will be a great addition to your latest fall garden design. 



Height - maintained 5-8' tall, can get as large as 15'.

Light Requirements:
Full Sun

Bloom: Reddish-Orange

Attracts: Birds, Butterflies and Hummingbirds

Hardiness: Protect from Freeze.


Showcase Plant Archives:

Allamanda | Almond Bush | Azalea | Camellia | Chaste Tree | Christmas Cactus | Citrus | Crape Myrtle | Croton | Dragon Wing Begonia | Firebush | Gardenia | Ground Orchid | Hibiscus | Hydrangea | Knock Out Rose | Loropetalum | Louis Phillipe Rose | Muhly Grass | New Zealand Tea Rose | Osteospermum | Oleander | Pineapple Guava | Strawberries | Sylvester Palm | Thryallis | Tibouchina | Winter Annuals

March-April 2010 | May-June 2010 | July 2010 | August 2010 | September 2010 | October 2010 | November 2010 | December 2010

January 2011 | February 2011 | March 2011 | April 2011 | May 2011 | June 2011 | July 2011 | August 2011 | September 2011 | October 2011 | November 2011 | December 2011

January 2012 | February 2012 | March 2012 | April 2012 | May 2012 | June 2012 | July 2012 | August 2012 | September 2012 | October 2012 | November 2012 |

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Duncheon's Nursery & Landscaping, LLC provides retail landscape design and installation services,
as well as quality plant material to the towns of Land O' Lakes, Lutz, New Tampa, and Wesley Chapel, FL.

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