Monday, May 28, 2018
Gardening
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Firecracker flower

 Scientific Name : Crossandra infundibuliformis
 Family : Acanthaceae
 Colour : Coral/Apricot, Orange
 Common names : Throughout the year
 Flowering Period : August-September
 
Firecracker flower

Native to South India and Srilanka, firecracker is a small evergreen shrub commonly used as a flowering houseplant. This tropical perennial shrub with attractive dark green leaves and bright salmon-orange flower will grow up to 3 to 4 feet tall. The lustrous pointed leaves are 3 to 5 inches long and the flowers bear 4 to 6 inch long spikes, have slender corolla tubes about an inch long and a spreading three to five lobed lip. The flower shades range from the more common orange shade to red and yellow. It can be grown in pots or containers and as a hedge plant. It is cultivated in fields 

Propagation and Care

Firecracker flower prefers light, organically rich, medium wet, well-drained soils in part shade. It is a shade and water loving plant but can tolerate full sun. 

The propagation is through seed or stem cuttings in summer (March). The seeds will germinate after 3-4 weeks and over a period of a couple of months depending on the freshness of the seeds. The planting compost should consist of equal parts of loam and peat moss with sand added for drainage.

It is an insect and disease free plant and blooms throughout the year.  It should be kept moist but not overly wet. Fertilize twice a month with a balanced fertilizer diluted to half the strength recommended. Trim the plants regularly to keep a compact form. Plants are vulnerable to cold and frost, can be kept indoors during frost.