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Firecracker Plant Care (Russelia Equisetiformis)

Updated: December 30, 2022

The Firecracker refers to an ornamental plant native to Mexico, North America, and Guatemala. It appears as raining coral tubular flowers hanging on pendulous, slim, and bare branches; such an amusement for any exhibition. The plant usually blooms year-round with a profusion of beautiful tubular red flowers. Salmon and yellow colors are also available. Here is an exclusive firecracker plant guide on everything you need to know about the plant.

Does the firecracker Plant Have Any Other Names?

The firecracker plant is also referred to as the Coral plant. Its scientific term is Russelia equisetiformis and belongs to the family of Plantaginaceae, Scrophulariaceae. Scrophulariaceae consists of more than fifty genera of sub shrubs and herbs. The family has been undergoing research, and some genera previously included in it have been transferred to the Plantaginaceae family, including the firecracker plant.

Different Types of firecracker Plants

The firecracker plant has several names that are used to describe it according to its characteristics. Some refer to it as a hummingbird plant, coral fountain, coral plant, fountain bush, coral blow, and others call it Madeira plant.

Main Uses of firecracker Plants

The plant is versatile and performs plenty well as the ground cover plant outdoors, in window display pots, as an unclipped hedge, and in hanging flower pots on a balcony, flowing down the wall or on a trellis. Its red tubular flowers are spectacular in mass plantings. Firecracker plants are also a great choice to plant along with the ponds and streams. It tolerates salty conditions plenty well hence a perfect addition to your seaside garden.

Outdoor Plants To Grow With Firecracker Plants

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How To prune firecracker Plants

You should prune the stems of firecracker plants after the flowering period to promote fresh new growth. Prune it in summer and spring to maintain the plant’s desired shape and eliminate drying and dead foliage. After the flowering period, prune it again to stimulate the growth of new flowers. The final pruning should be at the end of the winter period to keep it tidy, more compact, and short.

Best Soil For firecracker Plants

The Firecrackers well in various types of soil. It can thrive in sandy, loamy, chalky, and even clay soil. For a well-drained, fertile, and organic soil, go for a regular pot mix with the addition of perlite and sand. A blend of loamy and sandy soil is best for this plant and has ideal Ph. levels ranging from alkaline to slightly acidic. If planted outdoors, you should keep a layer of organic mulch in pots and beds about two inches deep.

How Much Light Do Firecracker Plants Need?

The firecracker requires total sunlight exposure for maximum growth and flowering. However, the plant can also put up with partial shade. Sunlight is particularly essential when growing the FiFirecrackers a ground cover as you won’t move it easily.

How Often to Water firecracker Plants

You should water the firecracker plant freely until it becomes well established. Water it frequently during the growing period but allow the soil to dry before you water again. Reduce the watering frequency during the winter. Once the plant matures, it needs less frequency watering and is relatively drought tolerant.

Ideal Temperature Conditions for firecracker Plants

The plant grows well in warm weather in all areas, and it’s easy to maintain over the winter season. The ideal temperature for optimal growth is 18 to 24 degrees. It can’t tolerate freezing winter temperatures; hence the potted plants should be moved indoors. The Firecrackers well in subtropics and becomes drought-tolerant after it’s well established.

Humidity Conditions for firecracker Plants

The coral fountain plant is relatively resistant to drought, as stated earlier. This means it can survive in low humidity levels, but this does not mean it won’t appreciate higher humidity. The perfect level of humidity is 40%. If you are in drier areas, you can increase the plant’s moisture level by misting its leaves frequently, placing a water-pebble tray below the pot, or using a humidifier.

Best Fertilizer for firecracker Plants

Adding some fertilizer to these plants will boost the production of lots of vibrant flowers. According to the manufacturer’s instructions, a half-strength balanced or diluted liquid fertilizer is the best fertilizer for firecracker plants. Fertilize the plant once during fall and once during spring and discontinue fertilizing it in winter until the summer comes.

How to propagate firecracker Plants

You can quickly propagate the Firecracker plant from tip cuttings anytime using a new growth. The propagation should be done in the spring.

  • Find a healthy stem about inches long with three leaves at the end.
  • Remove the lower leaves using a sharp blade.
  • Place the ends into the rooting hormone and shake off any excess.
  • Prepare a pot of well-drained soil and place the cutting into it.
  • Water it lightly
  • Enclose the cutting in a plastic bag to elevate the levels of humidity
  • Place it where it gets indirect sunlight and constant temperatures above 10 degrees Celsius.

Growth Rate of firecracker Plants

Firecracker plants have a moderate to fast growth rate when offered suitable growth conditions. The plant grows typically to 4feet to 6feett wide and 3ft to 6feet tall. With its habit of spreading, it is essential to provide sufficient space for efficient cultivation.

Ideal Pot Size for firecracker Plants

You should select a flowering pot with sufficient space for the plant to grow freely and allow the tubular red flowers to spread out nicely to pot the firecracker plants. To attract hummingbirds, you should plant them in taller pots or potted bowls placed high from the ground.

Repotting Tips for firecracker Plants

On the repotting tips, the firecracker plant is required to be repotted annually. It is recommendable to report it at the beginning of the year. First, prepare a new, well-drained potting mix, nutrient-rich and mixed with some of the former pot soil. Put the old plant into the new pot and place it in an area receiving full sun. Water it frequently for best results.


Is The Firecracker Plants Edible?

Absolutely no! The firecrackers are not edible for pets, kids, and everyone. However, their nectar-filled flowers offer delicious food to caterpillars, hummingbirds, and butterflies that are not harmful to them.

Are Firecracker Plants Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

Although there is no actual evidence, the firecracker plant is considered toxic. Therefore, it is best to keep it out of the pets ‘reach.

Are firecracker plants Poisonous?

Yes! Yes! Yes! The firecracker plants are poisonous so ensure to keep them out of reach to pets and children.

Do firecracker plants attract hummingbirds?

Yes! Firecracker plants have a powerful impact on your lawn. They attract hummingbirds and other pollinators. This is why the plant is also known as the Hummingbird plant.


The firecrackers are a perennial plant mainly used as an ornamental shrub for their powerful and exquisite red tubular flowers on both indoor and outdoor areas. It offers summer and lively colors to gloomy backgrounds. The plant has simple requirements, requires little care, yet gives out a lot.