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Description for Odonotonema strictum
Firespike is one of the few red tubular flowers to bloom in autumn and is very popular with hummingbirds and all kinds of butterflies. Unfortunately, white-tailed deer love firespike too, and will eat the leaves. Defoliated plants will grow new leaves, but if the deer persist, the plant eventually will be killed.
Odontonema strictum is a species of plant in the family Acanthaceae which is endemic to South America. The plant grows to a height of two metres or half that if it grown in a container. The waxy flowers grow in twelve inch spikes and in their native country they attract hummingbirds and butterflies when they bloom in the autumn
Planting and care
Give firespikes plenty of room to grow when you plant them. Space the small bushes 24 to 36 inches apart. They will fill in this space in a few years, creating a single wall of glossy green leaves and spikes of flaming blooms.
Caring for Odonotonema strictum
- If frost or freezing temperatures threaten, cover the firespike bushes to protect them. If they do get frozen, it will kill off the growth above ground, but it will usually grow back in the spring as soon as the soil warms.
Firespike plant care also includes keeping them from taking over your flower beds. When the branches get too long or unruly, prune them back. Do this two or three times a year for the best looking plants.
Typical uses of Odonotonema strictum
Ornamental use: Used in landscapes and mixed shrub borders.
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