Mexican fire bush Hamelia patens Photo/Illustration: Jerry Pavia 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Mexican fire bush (Hamelia patens) ha-MEL-ee-ah PAT-enz Genus: Hamelia A tropical tree by design, the Mexican fire bush freezes to the ground in winter in Zones 8-11, but grows up to 5 feet tall by summer's end. The erect, branched, woody stems bear simple copper-toned leaves with small orange flowers bunched along the tips. It loves the heat, and the more you can give it, the more vigorous it will be. Noteworthy Characteristics: Coppery orange flowers from summer into fall. Good for hedges, borders, and accents where hardy. As an annual, it can be grown in borders and containers. Good plant for butterfly and bird habitat gardens. Care: Easily grown in average, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade (best flowering occurs in full sun). Needs good drainage and does best in high heat. If growing as an annual, plant in a container to winter indoors if desired. Although somewhat drought-tolerant once established as a perennial in southern areas, it prefers regular moisture when grown as an annual. Propagation: Propagate by softwood cuttings in spring or by seed. Problems: Nothing serious. Overview Height 3 ft. to 6 ft. Growth Pace Moderate Grower Light Full Sun Only Moisture Dry to Medium Maintenance Moderate Characteristics Attracts Song Birds, Attracts Butterflies, Attracts Hummingbirds, Showy Flowers, Showy Foliage Bloom Time Fall, Summer Flower Color Orange, Red, Salmon Uses Beds and Borders, Suitable as Annual Seasonal Interest Summer Interest Type Tropicals Hamelia patensView the discussion thread.