Live to Plant

What’s Causing my Flaming Torch Plant to Die?

Updated: January 23, 2023

The Flaming Torch Plant (Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii), also known as Wright’s desert honeysuckle, is a beautiful plant native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It is a popular choice for gardeners due to its stunning orange-red flowers and its ability to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. However, despite its hardiness, the Flaming Torch Plant can still suffer from various issues that can cause it to wither and die. In this article, we will explore some of the common causes of Flaming Torch Plant death and how you can prevent them.

Root Rot

One of the most common reasons for Flaming Torch Plant death is root rot. This disease occurs when the roots of the plant are exposed to water for extended periods, causing them to become waterlogged and unable to absorb nutrients effectively. As a result, the plant will start to wither and die.

To prevent root rot, it is essential to ensure that your Flaming Torch Plant is planted in well-draining soil. If you live in an area with heavy rainfall or have a tendency to overwater your plants, consider planting your Flaming Torch in a raised bed or container with good drainage.


Pests such as spider mites, whiteflies, and aphids can also cause the death of your Flaming Torch Plant. These insects feed on the leaves and stems of the plant, causing damage and reducing its ability to photosynthesize effectively.

To prevent pest infestations, keep your plants healthy by providing them with proper care such as regular watering and fertilization. Additionally, consider using insecticidal soap or neem oil to deter pests from attacking your Flaming Torch Plant.

Environmental Stress

Environmental stress is another common cause of Flaming Torch Plant death. This can occur when the plant is exposed to extreme temperatures, drought, or excessive sunlight. These factors can cause the plant to lose its leaves, wither, and eventually die.

To prevent environmental stress, ensure that your Flaming Torch Plant is planted in an area with partial shade and receives adequate water during times of drought or high temperatures.

Fungal Diseases

Fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and rust can also cause the death of your Flaming Torch Plant. These diseases are often caused by high humidity levels and poor air circulation around the plant.

To prevent fungal diseases, ensure that your Flaming Torch Plant is planted in an area with good air circulation and receives adequate sunlight. Additionally, consider using a fungicide to treat any fungal infections that may occur.


Can I prune my Flaming Torch Plant?

Yes, pruning your Flaming Torch Plant can help promote healthy growth and prevent disease. Prune in the early spring before new growth appears.

How often should I water my Flaming Torch Plant?

Water your Flaming Torch Plant deeply once a week during the growing season (spring through fall). Reduce watering during the winter months.

Can I transplant my Flaming Torch Plant?

Yes, you can transplant your Flaming Torch Plant in the early spring or fall when the plant is dormant. Ensure that the new location has good drainage and ample sunlight.

In conclusion, the Flaming Torch Plant is a beautiful addition to any garden, but it requires proper care to thrive. By understanding and preventing common causes of death such as root rot, pests, environmental stress, and fungal diseases, you can keep your Flaming Torch Plant healthy and vibrant for years to come.