Hamelia patens compacta / Dwarf Firebush'

Use: Used en masse this flowering shrub makes a graceful, loose hedge or second or third-row bedding plant. Dwarf Firebush works well in informal landscapes and natural settings.

Characteristics: Firebush is a medium to large growing, flowering shrub that can easily reach 8'-10' tall. The orangey, tubular-shaped flowers are a favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies. Dwarf Firebush can be used as a privacy buffer in an informal landscape or, if sheared regularly, a loose hedge in a more formal design.

Trimming: For mature plants, shear Dwarf Firebush in March, June, and October to get maximum color while keeping the plant under control and full to the base. With each trimming, take off approximately one-third of the height and 6-8" from the sides. Round the top and front slightly. Do not square off. By shearing heavily only three times per year, plants have time to re-grow and flower before the next trimming. This keeps plants thick and full to the base. Follow trimming with the application of granular, time-released fertilizer. Do not trim after October as new growth will be slower to come back and plants will look unsightly for a longer period of time. Monthly shearing will cause the plant to thin out significantly and flower production to decline.

Fertilization: Fertilize in March, June, and October with a well balanced, time-released, granular fertilizer. Time the fertilizer applications to immediately follow the trimming schedule. This will encourage new growth quickly and throughout the whole plant.