Coral fountain is another name that describes its very unique and graceful habit. Young plants are spindly like Sprenger asparagus house plants. Early on, thin dark stems rise from the center upward to arch only after enough foliage or a good crop of flowers weighs it down.
What we do know about the plant is it prefers more ordinary well-drained potting soil. It’s a very drought-resistant species that looks differently depending on where it is and how you care for it. A sparse wispy look is more transparent, which occurs with infrequent watering and minimal feeding. For really lush specimens, maintain moderate fertility with regular feedings to stimulate more stem growth that results in a larger plant.
Frost is the Achilles heel of where firecrackers grow over time. They are supposedly hardy to 24 degrees Fahrenheit, but that likely kills back much of the tender growth. Growing in pots allows you to move them to shelter or indoors for winter.
Firecrackers should be our plant of the year during ongoing drought. They are chameleons that raise succulent gardens to a whole new level. They are essentials of Spanish style architecture, modernists love their pop and textures, and they fit in with tropical landscaping suffering for moisture. Why not take a chance on some fireworks this summer to transform dry garden doldrums with red hot color, hummingbird parties and an entirely new fine-textured plant to play with?
Maureen Gilmer is an author, horticulturist and landscape designer. Learn more at www.MoPlants.com