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How To Develop Flame Acanthus

Hummingbird bush, Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii, is a local plant that’s shortly gaining recognition outdoors of its native habitat of the west central Texas Edwards Plateau, and for a great motive. Not solely do these bushy crops produce lovely blooms, however the tubular flowers are recognized to draw hummingbirds. 

They’re additionally the host plant of two butterfly species: the Crimson Patch and Texan Crescent butterflies. Including a butterfly or moth host plant to your backyard won’t solely find yourself feeding butterflies however profit the whole ecosystem. For that reason, they make a improbable addition to a pollinator-friendly butterfly and hummingbird backyard. 

Hummingbird bush begins new progress within the early spring and customarily blooms from mid-summer into the autumn. Their vibrant flowers are normally crimson or red-orange, which is the explanation it’s typically known as flame acanthus. Not solely can hummingbird bush present a pop of shade to your flower beds, but it surely will also be grown in giant pots and hanging baskets. 

Hummingbird bush is a low-maintenance plant that’s not in any respect choosy about soil varieties. Present it with sufficient solar, water, and well-draining soil, and also you’ll be including a phenomenal plant to your backyard that hummingbirds love, in addition to offering a habitat for useful bugs and pollinators. 

Fast Care Information

Widespread Title Hummingbird Bush, Flame Acanthus, Wright’s Desert Honeysuckle, Texas Firecracker, Mexican Flame, Wright’s Mexican Flame
Scientific Title Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii
Household Acanthaceae
Peak & Unfold 2 ft tall and three toes huge
Mild Full solar however will tolerate partial shade
Soil Impartial well-draining soil; can tolerate heavy clay soils with sufficient drainage
Water Low water wants, extremely drought tolerant
Pests & Illnesses No recognized pest or illness points

All About Hummingbird Bush

Close-up of a flowering Flame Acanthus bush in a sunny garden. The bush is large, lush, has erect stems covered with many dark green leaves of a lanceolate shape. Its flowers are tubular, bright red and grow in clusters.
Hummingbird bush is a drought-resistant plant that’s beloved by hummingbirds.

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. Wrightii, or hummingbird bush, is thought by many widespread names and is known as Flame Acanthus, Wright’s Desert Honeysuckle, Texas Firecracker, Mexican Flame, and Wright’s Mexican Flame. Hummingbirds love this plant, a member of the Acanthus household and native to South Central Texas.

“Wright” refers to American botanist Charles Wright who collected samples of the plant within the mid-Nineteenth century. It’s typically discovered on rocky slopes, scrubland, on the Edwards Plateau, and in Mexican pinyon forests. 

This native plant selection is from South Central Texas, West Central Texas, and elements of Mexico. It grows as a perennial in its native habitat and might be grown as such in USDA hardiness zones 7 and above. In colder climates, it may be grown as an annual. 

Hummingbird bush crops are extraordinarily drought resistant. This has helped them survive within the rising situations of southern Texas and Mexico. Nevertheless, it’s considerably frost-tender and dies again in areas that often obtain frosts. It thrives in full solar and shade, making a pretty shade plant.

Hummingbird bush is certainly one of many fashionable pollinator crops.

Hummingbird bush is a profuse bloomer with lengthy bloom intervals throughout which it produces candy nectar that draws hummingbirds to your backyard like a hummingbird magnet. The trumpet-shaped flowers bloom from mid-summer to fall and are surrounded by grayish-green or bright-green foliage. 

In late fall, the pollinated flowers produce capsules which have distinctive buildings hooked up to the seeds. These small hook-like outgrowths are known as retinaculums. When the capsule dries, it breaks open, and the retinaculums fling the seeds away, serving to the plant to unfold. The seeds are additionally the favourite snack of songbirds. 

Hummingbird Bush Care

This low-maintenance plant within the Acanthus household is simple to look after, particularly since it’s not choosy about soil varieties. Learn on to discover ways to present it with the appropriate quantities of solar, water, and pruning, and it’ll reward you with blooms that appear to be lengthy tongues all summer season lengthy! 

Solar and Temperature

Close-up of an Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. Wrightii in a sunny garden, against the backdrop of a gray house wall. The bush has beautiful tubular bright orange flowers and shiny, green, lanceolate leaves.
Hummingbird crops want not less than 6 to eight hours of daylight per day to thrive.

Hummingbird crops favor full solar, though they’ll tolerate partial shade. In partial shade situations, nonetheless, your crops might solely produce just a few flowers within the backyard. To fulfill the total solar necessities, you should definitely plant in a location that receives not less than 6 to eight hours of daylight per day. 

When rising this plant as a perennial, do not forget that you’ll need to measure the daylight hours throughout the winter since this will probably be when the world receives the least quantity of daylight. 

Sure buildings may additionally solely shade the world within the winter when the solar is lowest within the sky. That is necessary, particularly in areas the place you’ll be rising this shrub as a perennial. Make certain that your website for the hummingbird bush receives some winter daylight too!

Hummingbird bush might be grown as a perennial in USDA hardiness zones 7 and above. In colder climates, corresponding to zones 6 and beneath, you’ll probably be rising this plant as an annual. In these areas, there’s not a lot want to contemplate the winter daylight because the foliage of the crops dies on the first frost. 

This drought-tolerant native plant thrives in dry climates and hotter temperatures, even as much as 95 levels Fahrenheit (35 levels Celsius)! It will possibly survive the late summer season in full solar droughts of the southern US simply and attracts hummingbirds the whole time.

Water and Humidity

Close-up of an Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. Wrightii covered with raindrops, on a green background. The plant has beautiful elongated tubular flowers of bright orange-red color with protruding long stamens from the centers.
Hummingbird bush is drought tolerant as soon as established and barely wants water.

Hummingbird bush is extraordinarily drought tolerant as soon as established and barely wants water outdoors of the rainfall that it’s going to obtain naturally. It might, nonetheless, be essential to offer supplemental water during times of utmost drought when the temperatures rise within the top of late summer season. This may encourage flowering that hummingbirds love.

In any other case, it needs to be high quality with out supplemental water, although younger crops might have greater than mature ones. Its pure habitat consists of areas of Texas that may be humid, however general this host plant doesn’t want particular humidity ranges to outlive and can just do as nicely in dry climates.

When watering, it’s finest to water within the early morning earlier than the warmth of the day units in to restrict water loss because of evaporation.

Water on the base of the plant and keep away from wetting the foliage and flowers. It’s not essential to hold this plant on drip irrigation as it can want water sometimes. A soaker hose positioned on the base of the plant throughout prolonged intervals of drought will probably be adequate. 


Close-up of an Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. Wrightii in a large clay pot against a blurred background of pebbles in a garden. The bush is young, has strong stems covered with lanceolate dark green leaves and small clusters of tubular orange-red flowers.
Hummingbird crops can develop in numerous soil varieties, preferring impartial pH and well-draining soil.

Hummingbird crops have the power to outlive and thrive in numerous soil varieties. They don’t seem to be choosy about soil varieties. Nevertheless, they received’t tolerate poorly drained soil. They will even survive in heavy clay soils, supplied that the soil is well-draining. 

There is no such thing as a particular pH vary required for hummingbird bushes, however the shrub does favor impartial soil. In areas with poorly drained soil, you could need to amend the planting website with both perlite or sand to assist enhance drainage. 

These native crops are used to rising in dry, sandy, rocky soil. Keep away from planting a shrub in a low-lying space of your backyard or close to a downspout, as they don’t prefer to be left in standing water. 

For those who’re rising your hummingbird bush in a big pot, you should definitely present it with a well-draining potting combine. Most potting mixes are made to retain moisture, so you could need to amend with perlite or sand to extend the drainage. Place the pot outside and take away the drip tray to permit water to run off freely. 


Close-up of a Swallowtail butterfly sipping nectar from an Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. Wrightii in a sunny garden. The butterfly is large, has large black wings with yellow markings and long tails on the hind wings. The bush has beautiful small tubular red flowers and green lanceolate leaves.
Hummingbird crops don’t want further fertilizers, however you should use compost to spice up progress in early spring.

Apart from being a shrub that hummingbirds love, one other good thing about including this low-maintenance hummingbird plant to your panorama is that it doesn’t require any supplemental fertilizers. 

Chances are you’ll top-dress your shrub with compost in the beginning of the rising season in early spring should you’d like to present your plant a lift. Be certain to not overdo it, although. Natural matter can enhance moisture retention within the soil, which is the other of what this plant needs. 


Close-up of an Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. Wrightii in the garden, against a blurry brown background. The bush has tall, erect stems covered with small lanceolate leaves and clusters of elongated trifoliate flowers with protruding long stamens from the centers.
Prune flame acanthus in late fall to advertise new progress within the spring.

Flame acanthus will want pruning on occasion in an effort to produce wholesome progress. Nevertheless, there are some issues to find out about pruning this plant in an effort to make it profitable. Pruning on the improper time or over-pruning can result in injury that the plant might have a tough time recovering from, and it might cease producing flowers. 

To advertise new progress within the spring, it’s finest to prune again the stem suggestions after the late fall. This perennial doesn’t should be in the reduction of to the bottom.

The plant will lie dormant within the winter, which is the perfect time of yr to carry out this upkeep. Prune solely the guidelines because the tubular flowers of flame acanthus develop from final yr’s stems.  

This may even give you a chance to form the plant supplying you with a fuller shrub. For those who’re rising this plant as an annual, then the one pruning you’ll probably do will probably be to take away useless branches and take away just a few flowers which are spent to encourage flowering.


Close-up of an Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. Wrightii on a blurred green background. The flower is small, narrow, tubular, red-orange in color with elongated oval petals, slightly hairy on the outer side.
Flame acanthus shrubs might be propagated by means of softwood cuttings by putting stem suggestions into water or soil.

The flame acanthus shrub might be propagated by softwood cuttings. Take a 6-inch chopping just under a leaf node. Take away the decrease foliage and place the stem tip right into a glass of water or straight into the soil. Rooting hormone can be utilized however isn’t essential. 

Water often, and flame acanthus grows roots over the following few weeks. Then you have got younger crops. This plant will also be propagated by seed and spreads itself by seed very simply.

As talked about above, the pollinated flowers die again and switch into seed pods with distinctive buildings hooked up on the finish of each season. 

These pods dry up and burst, spreading the seed round with small hook-like outgrowths. To plant them extra deliberately, collect the seed pods after flowers fade they usually’ve dried, however earlier than they burst. Seeds might be sown indoors in early spring or straight outside as soon as all hazard of frost has handed


Close-up of an Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. Wrightii in a sunny garden against a blurred background. The shrub produces magnificent clusters of orange tubular flowers and green lanceolate leaves.
These crops might be grown in pots or hanging baskets however might should be repotted if the leaves flip yellow.

Hummingbird crops might be grown in giant pots or hanging baskets to draw hummingbirds. It’s a good suggestion to keep watch over their general well being and look to present clues as to if you would possibly must re-pot this plant.

For those who discover the leaves turning yellow or brown and the plant begins to wilt, this can be an indication that it has outgrown its container. 

Roots of Wright’s honeysuckle may additionally start to poke out of the drainage holes. Choose a bigger pot and replant it within the new container, being positive to take care of the identical soil degree on the base of the plant. This helps you appeal to much more hummingbirds to the backyard.

For those who’re rising this plant as an annual, then you’ll not must re-pot throughout such a brief rising interval.


One other profit to rising these native crops inside their native habitat is that they’re naturally immune to most pests and illnesses. Some rising issues can come up if you develop Wright’s honeysuckle, nonetheless, when care necessities aren’t met. 

Rising Issues

Close-up of a large bee collecting nectar from the flowers of Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. Wrightii in a sunny garden. The bee is large, with a fluffy yellow-black striped body. The bush is large, has small tubular red flowers, collected in clusters.
Overwatering is the commonest rising drawback with hummingbird bushes.

The commonest rising issues happen when your hummingbird bush is receiving an excessive amount of water. This may consequence from poorly drained soils or being planted in an space that receives giant quantities of constant moisture (close to a downspout or low-lying space of your backyard).

It will also be the results of, nicely, watering it an excessive amount of! You probably received’t must water this plant in any respect except for the rain that it receives.

An overwatered hummingbird bush may have leaves that flip yellow and drop off, and the plant general will wilt. The plant may even look boring and unhealthy. For those who discover these indicators and the bottom round your plant is persistently moist, you could be coping with an overwatering difficulty. 

The simplest method to keep away from this difficulty is to permit the soil to dry out between waterings. For those who occur to dwell in an space that receives common rainfall, then it’s much more necessary to offer it with well-drained soil because the quantity of water that it receives will probably be outdoors of your management.

You may amend the planting website with perlite, sand, and even small pebbles since this plant prefers rocky, dry soil. 


There aren’t any recognized pest points on Anisacanthus quadrifidus crops. Hummingbird bush can also be thought-about to be deer resistant. Its foliage makes it unappealing to deer. 


Wright’s anisacanthus has no recognized main illness points. 

Ceaselessly Requested Questions

Q: What’s a hummingbird’s favourite bush?

A: Brightly coloured tubular flowers have a tendency to supply essentially the most nectar and appeal to hummingbirds, making Wright’s anisacanthus certainly one of their favourite crops.  

Q: The place is the perfect place to plant a hummingbird bush?

A: In a full solar location with well-draining soil. Numerous soil varieties work. 

Q: How huge does a hummingbird bush get?

A: This bushy shrub grows about 2 toes tall and three toes huge. 

Q: Are hummingbird bushes perennials?

A: It’s a perennial in its native habitat. In colder climates, it may be grown as an annual. 

Q: Do you trim again hummingbird bush?

A: Sure, it may be thinned and formed each one to 2 years. Watch out to not prune greater than ⅓ of the plant directly as this may disrupt its capability to bloom. 

Q: Why is my hummingbird bush not blooming?

A: As talked about above, a heavy prune may stop Anisacanthus quadrifidus var wrightii from blooming in your backyard. A scarcity of tube-shaped blooms will also be brought on by a chilly snap or a freeze inflicting injury to the stem suggestions. 

Q: Is the hummingbird bush poisonous?

A: Different kinds of hummingbird bush could also be poisonous, so at all times you should definitely test the variability, however Annisacanthus quadrifidus var. Wrightii is just not thought-about to be poisonous. 

Q: Are hummingbird bushes deer resistant?

A: Sure. Not solely does this profuse bloomer appeal to hummingbirds and bees to the backyard, however additionally it is deer resistant and immune to most pests. 



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