Russelia equisetiformis is a native of Tropical America and Mexico. They grow 3 feet or more with a spread of 2 feet. The tiny, dark green leaves are scale-like and grow on thin, rush-like stems.
Blooming Time: The bright green, arching branches of the Coral Plant, which bear 1 to 2 inch long tubular scarlet flowers, may cascade out 3 feet or more making it an excellent choice for hanging baskets. The plant blooms abundantly year around if given optimum conditions.
Culture: Russelia equisetiformis do best in at least 4 hours of direct sunlight a day. Night temperatures of 50 to 55° and day temperatures of 68 to 72° are optimum. Coral Plant needs a well-drained potting mix or humus rich soil, a soil mix consisting of equal parts of loam and peat moss with sand added for drainage. Let the soil become moderately dry between thorough waterings and fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every 2 weeks year around.
Propagation: Russelia equisetiformis is propagated by division or by stem cuttings in spring. Side shoots at least 3 inches long are removed and are inserted in sand with bottom heat. Keep the sand moist.
Russelia equisetiformis was featured as Plant of the Week April 9-15, 1999.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.