Just when you think it can’t possibly put out anymore blooms, Crossandra comes through with another round sure to dazzle. Also known as the firecracker plant, Crossandra adds pop to Southwest Florida landscapes with neon-bright orange flowers that contrast beautifully with its bronze-green foliage.
You would think this breathtaking perennial would require lots of care, but on the contrary, all it asks for is sun/bright shade and moist, well-drained soil amended with peat or other organic matter. Its high heat-tolerance makes it a great choice for beds and borders, or you grow it in pots for patio accents (remember to water when the soil is just starting to dry out but not the point of soggydom.).
Bees, butterflies and dragonflies find the coquettish Crossandra most attractive — bunnies and deer, not so much. If you really want to attract attention, pair your Crossandra with whites and purples such as angelonia or lantana.
Related to the Mexican petunia and yellow shrimp plant, Crossandra will grow up to three feet tall while still keeping its compact color display. And it’s not hard to find, either. You can purchase it at most garden centers, or, better yet, contact a landscape designer who can present you with a whole new design plan incorporating this heat-loving tropical. One name that comes to mind is ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design serving Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties. Call 941.488.8897 to get your dream garden started, or visit artistree.com.