Lime Sizzler Firebush (Hamelia patens ‘Grelmsiz’)
- Recommended Use: Root-hardy tropical shrub
- Exposure: Full sun to part sun
- Size: Height: 3-5 feet; width: 3-4 feet
- Habit: Mounding
- Bloom Time: Throughout the warm season, mid-summer through fall.
- Maintenance Category: Low maintenance
- Water Use: Average
- Highlights: Amazing color that pops in any landscape. Low maintenance shrub that regrows from the roots each year. Tolerates heat, humidity and drought well. Attracts hummingbirds and is a great host plant for butterflies.
Firebush (Hamelia patens) is a root-hardy tropical that is native to southern Florida, Central America and South America. As a result, we consider Lime Sizzler to be a nativar, or cultivar of a southeastern native plant. Its best attribute is the amazing variegated chartreuse and light green foliage with red veining. The blooms come in clusters of orange-red tubular flowers that are about 2 inches long and attract hummingbirds throughout the summer. Make sure to plant Lime Sizzler in full sun; if planted in the shade, the colors will be less vibrant. Firebush is a natural host plant for gulf fritillary butterflies and will help sustain your butterfly and pollinator gardens. Lime Sizzler has a pop of color that will draw your eye each and every time you step foot into the garden.
- Thrives in a wide variety of soils from pH of 5.5 to 7.0.
- Does best in full sun; however, will grow in partial shade. Best to get 8-plus hours of direct sun.
- Likes well-drained soils but can handle more moist areas.
- Grows back from the roots each spring and will grow
- 3 to 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide most years.
- Space 3 to 4 feet apart to allow for yearly regrowth.
- Recommended for hardiness zones 8B to 11, but Lime Sizzler can be used as a color-popping summer annual in colder regions. May be treated as an annual in zone 8A.
- Lime Sizzler grows slower than other species of firebush in the landscape and is less cold hardy.
Care and Maintenance
- Ensure proper moisture, especially during drought periods. If possible, drip irrigation is recommended.
- Apply 2 inches of mulch around the base to prevent soil from drying out and to ensure proper root health.
- A balanced controlled-release fertilizer in early to mid-spring is recommended.
- Lime Sizzler can be pruned to shape; however, this is not necessary as the plant holds very true to shape and trimming can reduce blooms.
- Cut dead foliage to the ground after freeze each year for regrowth the following spring.
- Some reversion has been seen in long term plantings. Simply remove any dark green growth early in the season.
- Lime Sizzler will continue to bloom throughout the warm season.
- No major pests have been identified for Lime Sizzler in Louisiana
For more information on Lime Sizzler firebush and other Louisiana Super Plants, contact your local LSU AgCenter extension office or visit LSUAgCenter.com/SuperPlants. The Louisiana Super Plant program is now sponsored by Certified Louisiana.