Also known as the Uruguayan firecracker plant, or firecracker flower, Dicliptera hummingbird plant (Dicliptera suberecta) is a sturdy, ornamental plant that delights hummingbirds with its bright blooms from late spring until the first frost in autumn. Keep reading to learn more.
What Does a Hummingbird Plant Look Like?
Hummingbird plants are bushy plants that reach heights of 2 feet (61 cm.), with a spread of about 3 feet (1 m.). The velvety leaves and stems are an attractive shade of grayish green. Masses of bright, reddish range flowers at stem tips are upright and tube-shaped, making it easy for hummingbirds to reach the sweet nectar.
This adaptable perennial is suitable for growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 7 and above. In cooler climates, grow hummingbird plants as an annual. It is suitable for containers, hanging baskets, flower beds, or borders.
How to Grow Dicliptera
Growing hummingbird plants is about as easy as it gets. Plant this drought-tolerant, heat-loving plant in full sunlight and well-drained soil, then sit back and watch the show as hummingbirds flock from near and far. It isn’t unusual to see several hummers on a single plant.
The hummingbird plant is also attractive to other beneficial pollinators, including butterflies and honeybees.
Hummingbird Plant Care
The hummingbird plant is a hardy, indestructible plant that thrives on neglect. Although the plant likes dry soil, it benefits from occasional water during hot, dry weather. No fertilizer is required.
If you’re growing the hummingbird plant as a perennial, cut the plant nearly to the ground after blooming ends in autumn. The plant will lie dormant for the winter but will burst forth better than ever when temperatures rise in spring.
The hummingbird plant is resistant to most pests and diseases, although the plant may rot in soggy, poorly drained soil. Deer tend to leave this plant alone, probably because of the fuzzy foliage.