For most of the year, the cork-like strips that form the outer ridge of this plant's branches are its chief selling point. The fall-foliage color ranges from red to pinkish-red, and the shrub also bears reddish-orange berries in autumn. Learn how to grow this controversial bush in a controlled manner, plus what alternatives exist in case you decide against growing it. But it is at its most spectacular in mass plantings, forming a sea of red in fall.
Burning Bush Plant Profile
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If you want to attract hummers by the droves, this easy-growing plant will do the trick. W ant to make hummingbirds see red? Plant a firebush in your garden. Also called scarlet bush, it is not only among the easiest of plants to grow, but it also stays in bloom throughout the growing season with clusters of tubular red buds and flowers. Because the Southern growing season overlaps the spring and fall migration times of the ruby-throated hummingbird, and red is by far their favorite color, these blossoms will summon them to your garden. Firebush Hamelia patens can be found at most nurseries and garden centers across the South, partly because it's so well adapted to our growing conditions. It's drought tolerant but doesn't mind regular water or even occasional wet feet.
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This native plant blooms for months, attracting both birds and butterflies, and is practically bullet-proof once established. Firebush is a perennial or semi-woody shrub that is known scientifically as Hamelia patens. Gardeners love firebush because it produces flowers from late spring until the first frost, and the bright red flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies, including the zebra longwing and gulf fritillary butterflies.