The Q&A Archives: Hummingbird Bush

Question: I planted a Hummingbird Bush 3 years ago on side of my church building. I grows beautifully and climbs to 5 feet tall, problem is it doesn't flower. What do I do. All other plants that grow in the flower bed do fine each year. It gets sun everyday and when there is no rain I water every 2 or 3 days when I water the other plants. Barbara Fontes

Answer: Hamelia patens, aka firebush and hummingbird bush, blooms best with a lot of sun. Generally, this shrubby perennial flowers June-fall, but in years when the top is frozen back or it's heavily pruned, blooms may be delayed.

If your plant is in full sun, you're not pruning away buds and you're not heavily watering, you might work a cup or so of Epsom salt into the soil over the root system. Water it in, and repeat in a month or so. This may gradually help unleash bloom-encouraging soil elements.

This superstar is an excellent, pest-resistant choice for hot, dry conditions and is drought-resistant once established.

The foliage usually turns bronzy red in fall. Root-hardy, hummingbird bush is not particular about soil, as long as it is well-draining. It can billow more than 8 feet when not frozen or cut back.

Hope this information is helpful!

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