Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Justicia chrysostephana 'Orange Flame'

'Orange Flame' in bloom in my garden this week. You can certainly see how it got its name.

I usually steer clear of plants that are not known to be "tough," in the sense that they are able to survive and even thrive on some neglect and under less than ideal conditions. The reason for that is that I know my own habits. I am a lazy gardener and can tend to be neglectful at times, especially when the going gets hot in the summer. But when I was shopping for plants for the beds around the new patio earlier this spring, I happened to notice these healthy looking herbaceous specimens at Arbor Gate. I read their description and decided to give one a try.

Understand that I am pushing the envelope a bit with this plant. It is hardy in zones 10 and 11, but I am just on the cusp of 9a, so it will be tested here. Moreover, it probably would prefer a bit of shade or partial sun, but the area where I planted it gets full sun for most of the day. So, again, its conditions are not ideal, but we'll see how it performs. So far, so good.

'Orange Flame' is a tropical native of South America that should grow about two feet high and two feet wide. In zones 10 and 11, it blooms throughout the year. It is free flowering and its tubular blossoms are very attractive to hummingbirds - which was one of its attractions for me.

It seems to have adjusted well enough to its spot by my patio and it has just started to bloom this week. I look forward to a lot more of these bright orange "flames" throughout the summer.


  1. I like this plant! I wonder if it could be grown here as an annual.

    1. Probably. Or it might work in a pot in a sheltered area. I'm very interested to see if it will survive the (usually very mild) winters we have here.

  2. Justicia chrysostephana 'Orange Flame'

    is this this plant makes seeds ?
    searched the web and I have not found
    I would like to grow it here in Quebec

    1. Pierre, I'm sorry - I only noticed your question today, but, in fact, I can't answer it. I deadheaded my plant last year so it did not make seed. It died back to the roots during winter but now is coming back again; however, I expect its blooms - if they come - will be later this year. I purchased my plant from a local nursery.

  3. They are very easily cut at node. Put the cutting in rooting powder and wait then you will have more.

  4. Mine have a very black mess where the blooms die and mold like on the stems and leaves. Any help?