The Lime Sizzler Firebush (Hamelia patens Grelmsiz) is a mounding, semi-woody perennial that sports variegated chartreuse yellow and lime green foliage with red veins. With a long bloom season from the late spring through the fall, the whorled arrangement of four leaves gives rise to clusters of red-orange tubular blooms.
The Lime Sizzler Firebush does well in full-sun, where its colors are most brilliant. Partial-shade plantings will reveal a darker green coloring in the leaves. A compact plant, it does well in containers or as an accent piece, a border, a hedge planting or a mass planting focal point for larger areas. Try planting with Canna Lilies, Lantana or Plumbago.
The plants should be spaced four to five feet apart, unless planting as a hedge (space three to four feet apart). Mulch one to two inches deep around the plant, avoiding the area closest to the stem. The Lime Sizzler Firebush favors a neutral soil with a pH of 6.6 to 7.3, and it holds up well to the hot and humid summers of Louisiana. This tropical plant also has a good drought tolerance once it’s well established.
The LSU AgCenter runs an educational and marketing campaign dubbed the Louisiana Super Plant program that highlights tough and beautiful plants that perform well throughout Louisiana. The AgCenter named the Lime Sizzler Firebush as one of the 2019 Louisiana Super Plants and Louisiana-certified selections.
Pollinators such as hummingbirds and butterflies favor the blooms thanks to the sweet nectar they produce. Birds also like to eat the Lime Sizzler Firebush’s small, bluish-black fruit.