Crossandra infundibuliformis (also called Firecracker flower) is an ornamental flowering houseplant. It is very easy to grow in both indoor and outdoor. This evergreen subshrub growing to 1 m with glossy, wavy-margined leaves and fan-shaped flowers with asymmetrical petals spreading to form a 3-5 lobed disk, arising from slender 0.75-1 inch long corolla tubes that sprout from 4-6 inch long four-sided spikes. The blossoms may appear at any time throughout the year. blossom colors range from the common orange to salmon-orange or apricot, coral to red, yellow and even turquoise.
Scientific Name: Crossandra infundibuliformis
Synonyms: Justicia infundibuliformis L., Crossandra undulifolia.
Common Name: Firecracker flower
How to grow and maintain Crossandra infundibuliformis:
Crossandra infundibuliformis plant grows well in bright, indirect sunlight. During summer, do not expose them to direct sunlight. Give this beautiful plant four hours of direct sun per day in the winter. Also, they grow extremely well under fluorescent grow lights.
Crossandra infundibuliformis plant prefers to grow in fertile, humus-rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil, and all-purpose potting mix. It prefers the soil pH range 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic), 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral).
Firecracker flower plant prefers to maintain minimum night temperatures of 65° to 75°F / 20° to 24°C and minimum day temperatures of 75° to 80°F / 24° to 26°C. If temperatures drop below 45°F (7°C), the foliage will turn black and fall off.
Water regularly, keep the soil moist during the growing season from March to October and never allow them to dry out between waterings. Try not to enable the soil to get soggy because it will quickly kill the plant. In the winter, they require less water but should still never be allowed to dry out altogether.
Fertilize every two weeks in spring and summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. In the winter, cut back to once every month or so. Use a balanced manure such as a 10-10-10.
It can be easily propagated by seed (sow seeds indoors before the last frost and maintain a temperature in the growing medium of 75°-80° until germination, which takes 25-30 days.) or by tip or stem cuttings. Take three inches stem tip cuttings in spring and pot them independently.
Pests and Diseases:
No serious pest and disease issues. Watch for whitefly, spider mites, mealybugs, stem and root rot, gray mold, aphids, thrips. Treat the plant using insecticidal soap.