Native to the warm climates of the West Indies, Central and South America and Florida, firebush is an attractive, fast-growing shrub, appreciated for its attractive foliage and abundant, bright orange-red blooms. If you live in USDA plant hardiness zone 9 through 11, firebush will be an attractive addition to your landscape, and rooting cuttings from a firebush isn’t difficult. If you live in a cooler climate, you can grow firebush as an annual. Let’s learn how to propagate firebush from cuttings.
Firebush Cutting Propagation
Learning how to root firebush cuttings is an easy process. Growing firebush from cuttings works well, as long as you can accommodate the plant’s growing conditions.
Cut stem-tips from a healthy firebush plant. The length of each stem should be about 6 inches (15 cm.). Remove lower leaves from the stem, leaving the top three or four leaves intact. Cut the leaves in half horizontally. Cutting the leaves in this manner reduces moisture loss and takes up less space in the container.
Fill a container with a mixture of potting mix and perlite or sand. Moisten the mixture until it is moist but not dripping. A good way to accomplish this is to water thoroughly, then set the container aside to drain.
Dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone, either gel, powder or liquid. Plant the cutting in the moist potting mix. Be sure the leaves aren’t touching the soil.
Place the container on a heat mat. Propagating firebush from cuttings is difficult in cool conditions and warmth greatly increases the chance of success. Ensure the cuttings are in bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid intense light, which may scorch the cuttings. Water lightly as needed to keep the potting mix slightly moist.
Plant the rooted firebush outdoors when it is large enough to survive on its own. Harden the plant first by placing it in a shady spot, moving it gradually to sunlight over the course of about a week.