Hummingbirds Can’t Resist Firecracker Plant

Transform your backyard into a hummingbird paradise with this bold, bright colored firecracker plant, Vermillionaire cuphea.

Light Up the Garden With Firecracker Plant

Vermillionaire CupheaCourtesy of Proven Winners -
Hummingbirds love the red tube shaped blooms on vermillionaire cuphea

Kick off summer (and hummingbird season!) with a bang. Grow Vermillionaire cuphea in a container or as part of a border garden. For continuous blooms, allow the heat-loving firecracker plant to soak up the sun. Cuphea is drought tolerant and will feel right at home in warm climates.

Learn how to grow a pollinator garden.

How to Grow Vermillionaire Cuphea

  • Cuphea hybrid
  • Common name: Firecracker plant
  • Zones 8 to 11 
  • Light needs: Full sun.
  • Size: 18 to 28 inches tall and 12 to 24 inches wide.

This cuphea, sometimes referred to as a firecracker plant, is a hybrid that prefers the heat of Zones 8 to 11 in the southern United States. (Find out how plant zones work and how to find yours). But the good news is it can be grown as an annual in northern states. Check out the top 10 annuals that attract hummingbirds.

Enjoy the continuous red-orange flowers that last from spring until the first frost. The dark green lance-shaped leaves help the blooms to really pop in a landscape.

When it comes to maintenance, there’s no deadheading needed—the flowers drop off once spent. You will want to fertilize vermillionaire cuphea regularly.

Psst—we found the best hummingbird plants to grow in shade.

Attract Hummingbirds With Firecracker Plant

Black-chinned hummingbird at vermillionaire cupheaCourtesy Joanne Crawford
Black-chinned hummingbird at vermillionaire cuphea

If you want to attract hummingbirds, this firecracker plant is a garden must-have. 

“Vermillionaire attracts more hummingbirds to my yard than any other flowers I’ve ever grown,” says Birds & Blooms reader Joanne Crawford of Longmont, Colorado.

Hummingbirds will frequent this cuphea’s long tubular blooms for a quick hit of nectar. Don’t miss the top 10 salvias to grow for hummingbirds.

“Every year I place a big pot of large firecracker plants (Cuphea ‘Vermillionaire’) on my deck,” says reader Janet Doherty of Scarborough, Maine. “Hummingbirds are zipping about just inches from me all summer!”

Next, learn how to grow a hummingbird mint plant.

Kaitlin Stainbrook
Kaitlin Stainbrook has been writing about birding and gardening for nearly a decade. As the former associate editor of Birds & Blooms magazine, she wrote and edited articles across a wide range of topics from houseplants to hummingbirds. She's worked closely with top birding and gardening experts and continues to learn everything she can about the natural world around us.