in ,

How to Grow Crossandram — Firecracker Plant

Crossandra infundibuliformis, firecracker flower

Crossandra is a shrubby plant with glossy, dark green leaves and tubular orange to salmon-pink flowers. Crossandra starts blooming when the plant is just 2 or 3 inches (5-8cm) tall.

Crossandra will grow 12 to 24 inches (30-61cm) tall. Flowers appear on spikes from spring through fall.

Crossandra is a rounded, shrubby plant that adapts well to indoor growing. It has oval or lance-shaped foliage; the tubular flowers open into five round lobes. Blooms appear in clusters at the ends of the branches.

Crossandra is a genus of 50 species of evergreen shrubs and subshrubs native to tropical Africa, Madagascar, India, and Sri Lanka.

Get to Know Crossandra

  • Plant type: Tropical perennial
  • Growing Zones and range: 10-11
  • Hardiness: Best temperature: 72° to 78°F (22°-26°C) daytime; 60° to 68°F (16°-20°C) nighttime.
  • Height and width: 12 to 24 inches (30-61cm) tall and wide
  • Foliage: Glossy, dark green, ovate leaves similar to gardenia
  • Flowers: Tubular orange, to salmon-pink flowers with a bright yellow eye; blossoms appear in clusters of two or three; each flower to 2 inches (5cm) across
  • Bloom time: Spring through fall; each flower spike last 1½ to 2 weeks
  • Uses: Houseplant
  • Common name: Crossandra, Firecracker flower
  • Botanical name: Crossandra infundibuliformis
  • Family: Acanthaceae
  • Origin: India

Where to Plant Crossandra

  • Light oudoors: Plant Crossandra in full sun.
  • Light indoors; Crossandra needs direct morning sun from an eastern exposure in summer; it needs direct sun from a southern exposure in winter.
  • Soil outdoors: Plant Crossandra in fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil.
  • Soil indoors: Plant Crossandra in an all-purpose potting mix with good drainage.

How to Water and Feed Crossandra

  • Keep the soil evenly moist for Crossandra. Mist daily to maintain humidity of 45 to 55 percent; use a humidity tray.
  • Fertilize with a complete fertilizer every two weeks.

Crossandra Care

  • Repot Crossandra in fresh soil every spring; pot up Crossandra only when roots completely crowd the pot.
  • Remove spent flowers immediately.
  • Prune Crossandra in spring to maintain shape.
  • Let the plant rest during winter; reduce water, giving just enough to prevent the soil from drying out; withhold fertilizer.

Growing Crossandra as a Houseplant

  • Crossandra needs bright light, a warm room, and high humidity; if humidity is too low, leaves will curl, and the plant will not flower.
  • The potting medium should be extra rich and kept evenly moist at all times during the growth and flowering periods.
  • Fertilize every two weeks when the plant is growing or flowering.
  • During fall and winter, allow the medium to dry out slightly between watering, and do not fertilize.
  • If plants become leggy, the growing tips can be pinched to encourage compactness.

Crossandra Pests and Diseases

  • Crossandra is susceptible to attack by mealybugs and spider mites.
  • Crossandra flowers are sometimes attacked by gray mold.
  • Crossandra is prone to stem and root rot.

Crossandra Propagation

  • Propagate Crossandra by cuttings or seed.
  • Root semi-ripe cutting with bottom heat in early spring.

Crossandra Varieties to Grow

  • There are 50 species of Crossandra.
  • Crossandra infundibuliformis is grown as a houseplant; it reaches 12 to 24 inches (30-61cm) tall; shiny, wavy-edge 2 to 5 inche leaves; bright orange or salmon flowers, 1-inch flowers; clusters measure to 6 inches wide.

Cordyline 'Pink Champion'

How to Grow Cordyline


How to Grow Ctenanthe