Fire Bush

melvalenaJune 26, 2011

Just picked one up this morning. Hardy to zone 8.

I'm a zone 7 unless its a mild winter.

Those of you up in Denton County, do you leave yours in the ground or pull it inside for the winter?

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lavernialadybug(8B)

My firebush freezes to the ground each year, and the following spring, it comes back. Just water it during the winter if there is no rain each week. I wait until I see new growth coming from the bottom then cut the dead branches to the ground. Be sure to mulch.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 10:42AM
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melvalena

Thanks, lavernialadybug!
I'm not sure if I'll take a chance in ground through the winter or not. I may lift it and pot it up for the winter.

If I ever get around to putting in the ground before than!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 2:56PM
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cynthianovak

I love these! I have 2 in pots and one in the ground. The in ground one is in a protected area. One in a big plastic pot froze to the soil in my greenhouse last summer, but bounced back this spring. It's been in that pot for 1 1/2 years. I plopped it in the pot before the big freeze in late 2009. It doesn't seem to notice. The one in ground has been there for about 3 years.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 12:46AM
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melvalena

Thanks Cynthia. I read on one site that a lady up in OK puts hers in ground then digs and pots it for the winter. I may end up doing that.

Have you tried propagating it? I read that its easy to do that too.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 8:10AM
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linda_tx8(8)

Mine didn't seem to be bothered by a 3 day spell where it never got out of the teens last February. It just came back from the roots slower. But then, again, my pair are well-established. Don't even remember exactly which year I put them in.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 4:08PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I'm down here in San Antonio, but like Linda my established fire bushes came back after a couple of very cold winters. They're right out in the open and were not even mulched nor watered in the winter. Blooming now with very little water.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 5:20PM
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melvalena

yes.. y'all are all zone 8 or higher though. I don't think I want to take a chance. I'll be bringing mine in for the winter.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 5:49PM
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wally_1936(8b)

They seem to send out more plants, I have given away one and now see another coming up. If you have a problem with it getting too cold you might want to try mulching during the cold winter days after cutting it back to the ground after the first killing frost. They come back well after the weather gets warm there in Houston so I don't think you would have to hurry to remove the mulch. If you have more than one plant you could try both to see which works the best for you as each area is different. Just enjoy your gardening a keep on trying everything that is the fun in gardening, learning.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 10:27AM
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cynthianovak

I got a 1 gallon at a discount plant sale. Plopped it in the ground. My in ground plant is almost as big as the in pot plants. The one in a big pot that froze tot he ground is as big as the one that didn't freeze.

They are one of my favorite plants. I really like the way the leaves turn burgundy in the fall...it's like a special prize.

c

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 7:49PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I noticed when I was at the S. A. Botanical Gardens that Fire Bushes come in different colors now. I saw some that were the more ordinary orange, some yellow, and some red.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 11:23PM
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wally_1936(8b)

my blooms are all three colors and quite beautiful when in bloom. They are just getting ready to bloom now. Died all the way back but are 5' tall now and as wide. Last year they did not bloom after being frozen to the ground. We have had 2 rains that even were worth mentioning since May and they are doing just fine without being watered.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 12:22AM
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cynthianovak

saw some covered in bude at Lowes today in 2-3 gallon containers...didn't really pay attention. They were down to $12. So few folks shopping for plants, they may make it to the pitiful plant pile in a week or two. For now, they were holding up outside on the pavement.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 9:13PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I would imagine if you mulch it heavily in the fall, it will do fine in the ground. Extra thick the first year it is in the ground.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 11:34PM
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bedford8a(8a)

I had mine in a pot outside all winter. In the DFW Mid-Cities we had temps in the 20s for four days last winter. I covered the pot with a blanket and the plant came back, albeit late - about mid-June. I was so impressed I bought more of them.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 10:02AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Has anyone propagated them?? I am thinking of taking cuttings just in case mine do not come back???

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 11:42AM
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melvalena

I don't know if this is going to work or not, but when I potted mine in a bigger pot I pruned the bottom roots off.
I re filled the original pot with potting soil, stuck them back in the pot close to the top and covered them with more soil, watered well and stuck the pot on the back porch in the shade. That was at least a week ago. Its till very damp.

This morning I thought, 'why am I even attempting this.. its stupid...' as I reached in to pull those roots out I noticed there's new rootlets growing!!! So I stuck them back in and packed the soil back over them.

We'll see what happens.

I did read in several places cuttings root very easily.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 1:20PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Thanks, I am going to try this fall.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 2:02PM
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four(9B (near 9a))

> Posted by melvalena North Texas 7/8 on Sat, Jul 23, 11
"I did read in several places cuttings root very easily."

Over time I have tried probably eighty (eight zero).
Six of them rooted;
of which five soon died, the most recent last week..

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 9:34PM
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beachplant(9b)

they root easily, they send out suckers everywhere, the seeds sprout, salt water doesn`t kill them...I hate this plant. I cut the one in the front back on a weekly basis, dig up suckers and do my best to kill the darn thing. UGH!
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 10:57AM
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four(9B (near 9a))

It is clear that either
we have different species /subspecies /cultivars,
or
I should saltwater mine. (No way.)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 7:43PM
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wally_1936(8b)

Right now I have 4 in a container of water and they have just started putting on those white nubs indicating the start of roots. My bush has died back to the ground twice but each year it gets over 6 feet tall by July.

This post was edited by wally-1936 on Tue, Nov 19, 13 at 21:35

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 9:29PM
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briaustex 8b

These like bottom heat if you are rooting cuttings. I read a study by Texas A&M where bottom heat greatly increased the rooting percentage. I can't find that original article, but you can read another summary in the link below. I've used a heating mat with a 50/50 mix of perlite/vermiculite and gotten 100% success with rooting.

Here is a link that might be useful: PROPAGATION OF FIREBUSH BY STEM CUTTINGS

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 9:37PM
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four(9B (near 9a))

> Posted by wally-1936
> in a container of water...start of roots

Thanks, I will try more in water.
I used that method in some of my attempts. I recall that one rooted
(do no recall whether it happened to be the one that became a plant).

> Posted by briaustex
> heating mat with a 50/50 mix of perlite/vermiculite and gotten 100% success

You, and linked abstract (very helpful on several points), persuaded me of two things:
- to get a mat
- to quit peat ("Rooting percentage... low in peat.")

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 12:31AM
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beachplant(9b)

Same plant, hamelia patens. I hate that plant.
It gets 10-12` here.

dig up the suckers, they don`t need much root to grow, keep them kind of moist until you see new growth.

Woody cuttings-scrape off some of the outside, dip in rooting hormone and stick in soil, keep damp, I put woody cuttings in a clear plastic box with a lid to keep the humidity up.

Root cuttings, cut the roots up, lay flat on soil, cover with soil, keep damp until they start to push up new growth.

Seeds, throw them where you want to , I think they have 150% germination rate.

I threw some roots as big as my wrist into the compost pile and the #%%"!"" things rooted and started growing!! Arrggghhh!

I use plain old miracle gro potting soil.

Tally HO!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 3:38PM
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four(9B (near 9a))

> Posted by beachplant
> Same plant, hamelia patens

I read that there is a dwarf variety.
Mine recently have neared the described max height. And slowly,
which I imagine might be characteristic of dwarf plants.

> I put woody cuttings....

Of this plant? (hated)
If so, then I will want to try it.

> cut the roots up

Definitely will do that. Although I "invented" doing it with passionvine,
I didn't know that it would work with bushes.
I will take some roots surgically

> lay flat

Good that you stated that, in case it matters, because I usually
root the passionvine cuttings verticaly (pot small),
even though they were horizontal roots.

> Seeds...150% germination

None ever here. Perhaps sterile.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 12:39PM
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beachplant(9b)

yeah, the "dwarf" is 8-10`.

I root everything.
Large, clear plastic storage container
Add potting soil, 4-5" deep
Moisten same.
Take a med. size clay pot, seal the drainage hole w/silicone.
Put that in the center of the container, snuggle it down in the potting soil.
Fill with water-that will keep the soil evenly moist.
Take your cuttings-hard wood cuttings do best in this container. Put them in the potting soil.
Keep the pot full of water.
Cover
Place in shady part of yard-the sun will cook the cuttings.
Presto! Rooted plants!
Tally Ho!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 5:11PM
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four(9B (near 9a))

> Posted by beachplant
> clay pot, seal the drainage hole w/silicone...
> in the potting soil. Fill with water- that will keep the soil evenly moist.

That's a great tip, thanks for it.

I did take a woody cutting, the top of a short slender sucker shoot.

And I did take a segment of roots, a short thin root that
continues in the form of many very long branching hair roots.
Plant probably has none more substantial, as indicated by slight raising /tipping
during digging.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 12:45AM
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four(9B (near 9a))

1) The root did nothing.

2) Today I planted two little plants that grew from cuttings;
soon a third will be ready to plant;
and the continued survival of leaves on more cuttings
holds promise of more rootings.
The increased success rate owes primarily to my recognition
of white spots that appear on cuttings in water
as pre-root spots.
I no longer start fresh cuttings in pots, instead always in water.
And I no longer wait for bona fide roots, instead I hormone treat
and pot cuttings at this fetal-root stage.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 10:16PM
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