Found: Firecracker Fern in DFW

jtyrie(Z7+ DFW)April 27, 2014

I've been looking for Firecracker Ferns (Russelia equisetiformis) for sale in North Texas for years, I have always had to order them from Almost Eden in Louisiana (By the way, they are great!)

I was in Home Depot in Southlake today and they have a huge supply of them in 3 gallons containers for 20 bucks!

They are labeled as shrubs but I always put out a giant hanging basket. Hummingbirds love the red flowers. I hope this isn't a one time thing because I've already ordered mine for this year.

I checked the HD in Keller and didn't see them there.

This has always been one of my favorite plants. If you want one, you'd better get over there!

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Thanks for posting about finding this plant!

I know where I'm going in the morning.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 8:03PM
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Argh, I was actually at the Lowes nearby on this last Saturday. I thought, I see Home Depot nearby but it so different from all the other HDs I normally frequent? Now I know, I should stop by every one I see :-)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 11:51AM
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A hanging basket! Why didn't I think of that? I've had one for years. Found some at Lowes last year about this time. I've kept it going through the winter.
How much Sun does you hanging basket get? c

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:27AM
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I went looking yesterday afternoon.. no where to be found! One guy g actually knew exactly what I was looking for and said they had a whole table full the night before. He couldn't find them either!
He asked someone else who didn't know what it was but she sent me out side towards the back where there were tons of racks of plants. I found some there.

I don't think this pot of mine will fit in any of my hanging baskets! Its heavy too.. it would pull a Shepard's hook over and I already know hubby wouldn't let me hang it from the house.

I think if you could get some branches to root and plant those in a hanging basket that would work!

I don't know if its possible to divide this one or not. I haven't looked too closely to see if there's a way to do that.

I checked the Home Depot in Lewisville but they didn't have them. I sure hope who ever is buying these knows to bring them in for the winter.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:41AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

I learned the hard way that rooting them is not the same as rooting most plants (this per Boss Jim).......they root upside down, so I just stick the end of a branch in he soil at the edge of the container until it roots, and I have a new one.
Jim gave me my start and it is now in a much larger container and is very beautiful. Yes, Gail, I so wish we could leave them inground here as they get so big and showy, but alas, they must be protected in containers from out winters here in North Texas.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:22AM
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HI carrie
What do you mean they root upside down?
I've had one....not the same a pot by my fountain for several years. Rolled it in and out last winter. It is quite full in its pot and would love to try to root some.

Do you use rooting hormone or just stick it in? Are you using the same container to make it fuller? I think I've missed something in my mind.

How is your lilac? Mine is all green leaves but no flowers.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 12:45AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

My lilac was in bloom when the last freeze hit, so it lost a lot of it's blooms to that, but will probably bloom again. I have given up on trying to determine it's time of blooming.......other than when ever it feels like it.

Yes, the firecracker fern roots from the tips, not the area that you cut. Mine is quite full in it's container so it is easy for me to just take a branch and put the end of in lightly in the soil and it roots that way. I wish Jim would weigh in on this as he was the one who gave me instructions and is certainly more knowledgeable than I. I just did what he told me and it worked.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 9:06AM
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Yes, I had one for a while, and had to remove it, because it was rooting and creating volunteers, where those long fronds arched and made contact with the ground. Spectacular plant, and can tolerate a fair amount of shade. Too bad it's rated for zone 9. I see it's coming back vigorously, though, for some of my 8b neighbors. Wish I had a place to put one. When put in the ground, they do need some elbow room.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 10:03AM
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Thank you Carrie and whitecap. I will try this. Mine is gorgeous right now and it will easily "sit" on another pot of soil. Is that really all it takes is to allow the blooming branch to just sit on moist potting soil of a nearby pot?

thank you

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 7:40PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Cynthia, I FINALLY got my plants out of my greenhouse and plant room today, and noticed a little FC fern had rooted in a nearby pot where the branch had fallen in it. That should do it for you.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 10:03PM
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YAY Thank you Carrie....Glad you got everybody out....and a way we go!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 8:41PM
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jtyrie !!! Thank you so much for the heads up on availability of this plant in our area!!!

I purchased 2, one for my front bed and one for the back patio area. I have certainly enjoyed having them. They are beautiful and glow in both bright sun and also on cloudy days.

My hummers haven't found them yet, that I have noticed, but I'm sure they will once our normal summer heat sets in.

Here is a link that might be useful: photo of mine on the back porch

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 10:01AM
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