Gardeners love firebush--great foliage, continuous summer flowers and no deadheading required.
Butterflies and hummingbirds love it too. In tropical climes the plants are evergreen and offer birds berries/seeds for winter fare.
This perennial is native to south and central Florida, but gardeners across the south and even southern Arizona and California know firebush grows more widely, zones 8a-11. Mine dies back at first frost and we dock it close to the ground. The well-mulched roots survive winter, even last winter's temperatures in the teens.
With an annual composting and mulching, firebush is modestly drought-tolerant, although a weekly summer watering will aid growth and flowering. And the plants are largely pest and disease-free; even deer (usually) leave them alone.
And as a mass call to migrating hummingbirds.
They'll remember your hospitality and visit again the next time they fly through.
For more great plants, check out the monthly blog carnival at Appalachian Feet.
Copyright 2009-2010 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.