How to Trim Fire Bushes

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The fire bush, sometimes called the firecracker bush, is a hardy evergreen native to Mexico and best suited to tropical and semi-tropical climates. It's distinctive for its abundant growth of bright red flowers, hence the name. The firebush is not a high-maintenance plant. It does well in different soil types, including salty soils, and requires little in the way of pruning. One exception to this is when a hard frost extensively burns the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Garden shears
  • Put on gloves before you begin. The fire bush is not irritating to the skin, but gloves will protect your hands from sharp branches.

  • Trim your fire bush in early spring, before the plant blooms, using garden shears. Cut around the plant to shape it to the size you want. Work symmetrically around the plant, stopping frequently to step back and check the progress of the trimming. In most cases, trim back only enough to maintain the shape of the bush or to keep it from encroaching on walkways or other planted areas.

  • Cut the bush more extensively if frost has damaged it, by removing as many of the damaged branches as possible. This allows new, healthy growth to occur.

  • Clean up the area and dispose of the cuttings and branches.

References

  • "Trees, Shrubs & Hedges for Your Home: Secrets for Selection and Care"; Jacqueline Hériteau; 2010
  • Winter Pruning: Fire Bush
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images
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