Bouvardia is an incredible plant that goes by many names. You can find it under the appellative firecracker bush, hummingbird flower, or trumpetellia. Part of the Rubiaceae family, this genus is native to Mexico, and warmer zones, such as the southwestern area of the United States.
It is relatively easy to plant, cultivate and grow, so gardeners who are new to the gardening world will be happy to find out they can add Bouvardia to their plant and flower collection. However, there are some specifications and requirements that you need to consider, which might complicate the growing process.
For instance, it is quite important to add an all-purpose fertilizer that is water-soluble during the growing period of the Bouvardia plant. But don’t worry, even with these requirements, novice gardeners can have a good time caring for the hummingbird flower. Plus, it will all be worthwhile when you see the beauty of this plant growing and blooming in your garden.
Whether you plant trumpetellia indoors or outdoors, this fascinating plant will need access to direct sunlight to grow beautifully and healthily. As long as you follow all the steps, your Bouvardia will look breathtaking.
Keep reading to find out more about Bouvardia a.k.a the Firecracker Bush!
- The beautiful Bouvardia plant can be grown as a houseplant, in greenhouses, or as part of your outdoor plant collection in your backyard.
- Given that its origins are in Mexico and can be found in the southwestern area of the United States, there is no denying that Bouvardia does best in warm temperatures and requires full sun exposure. However, this plant can tolerate lower temperatures of 15 degrees Fahrenheit (approx. -10 degrees Celsius).
- Even though Bouvardia is a sun-loving plant that can tolerate low temperatures incredibly well, it is recommended to plant it in a place where temperatures during winter don’t get lower than 45 degrees Fahrenheit (approx. 7 degrees Celsius). If you plan to grow Bouvardia outside, keep this in mind as you might have to consider relocating the plant in winter.
- Bouvardia is related to Gardenia, a flowering plant belonging to the same family, Rubiaceae. Bouvardia would pair nicely with other plants such as white Heliotrope, Fragrant Olive, or Jasmine when grown indoors. Other choices could also be Mimosa Borealis or mimosa and Fairy Duster. These plants look amazing when planted outdoors alongside Bouvardia.
- The colourful and beautiful flowers of Bouvardia can attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds – given that Bouvardia is also called a hummingbird flower. So, the sight will definitely be mesmerizing if you decide to plant trumpetellia.
- The name “Bouvardia” comes from Charles Bouvard, the physician of King Louis the XIII of France in the 17th Apart from this role, Charles Bouvard was also the director of a tremendous botanical garden in France, the Jardin des Plantes.
- Bouvardia symbolizes enthusiasm, making it an excellent gift for individuals known to have a “zest for life”, as the Bouvardia perfectly embodies this concept.
- Interestingly, Bouvardia or Trumpetellia was a forgotten plant until quite recently. From the 1800s until approximately twenty years ago, this plant wasn’t popular. This changed in 1977 when a Dutch breeder developed a dwarfed version of Bouvardia to be grown as a houseplant.
- Nowadays, Bouvardia is a widely known plant cultivated in many countries, especially in Holland.
- Bouvardia is a plant that can live for as much as ten years, making it a long-lasting flowering plant. So, you will be able to witness its beauty for many years to come!
Bouvardia Features: An Overview
- One of the most specific characteristics of bouvardia when it comes to this plant’s appearance is its star-shaped or trumpet-like flowers, which clarifies why the plant is also known as trumpetellia. Such a unique shape is sure to catch anyone’s attention.
- Bouvardia’s flowers come in many colours, such as white, yellow, pink, orange, or red. But the most common ones are white and red and in a combination of them. So, depending on the variety you plant, you will have any of these colour variations, which will surely add a splash of colour to your garden, whether indoors or outdoors.
- With its dark green foliage and contrasting bright-coloured flowers, bouvardia ternifoila is an excellent plant to use in landscaping, more commonly in Mexico or the southwestern United States. No wonder it is called firecracker bush.
- When it comes to Bouvardia’s fragrance, the plant has a varying intensity, depending on the variety. Bouvardia longiflora is the genus member cultivated for its more pungent scent.
- Bouvardia is a toxic plant, so under no circumstances should it be consumed. The plant’s flowers are listed on the FDA poisonous plant database.
- Because it attracts bees and other flying insects, bouvardia is an excellent plant to attract pollinators and an excellent choice for flower beds. Your summer garden will be thriving!
- As mentioned earlier, bouvardia is part of the Rubiaceae family. But an interesting feature is that it is within the same family as the coffee plant.
- The bouvardia plant can symbolize many things. Besides generally representing enthusiasm, Bouvardia’s meaning varies with the flower’s colour. For instance, white bouvardia flowers signify elegance and truth.
The good news is that you can grow bouvardia indoors as well as outdoors. However, as the plant requires direct sunlight, if you grow it as a houseplant, it is of the utmost importance you place it by the brightest window to receive the right amount of sunlight for healthy growth. More specifically, you need to place the potted bouvardia by eastern, western, or southern windows.
This low-maintenance plant needs full sun, with partial shade allowed, in order to grow healthy outdoors. As for the soil, it requires a well-drained sandy or clay loam soil type with a slightly acidic to neutral soil pH (6.5 – 7 pH).
A noteworthy mention would be that, when growing bouvardia, you need to provide soil rich in nutrients and fertilize it once a month during the initial stages of active growth. The best type of fertilizer is an all-purpose and balanced one. For potted bouvardia plants, you should opt for a water-soluble fertilizer.
The most important aspect you need to take into consideration when planting bouvardia is the light and humidity available in your area, apart from providing well-drained soil. So, if you decide to plant the beautiful trumpetellia plant, you need to ensure a location where it can receive full direct sunlight.
Although this plant can do well in partial shade and lower temperatures, it will bloom continuously in bright and direct sunlight. Keep this in mind if you wish to plant it outdoors. What’s more, you should also be careful of how you plant it. Bouvardia can have trouble growing if planted too close to one another, as this doesn’t allow for proper air circulation. When there is too much humidity, the plant is more predisposed to diseases.
If you plant Bouvardia indoors, place the pot in a window where there is enough sunlight coming in, so on the southern or eastern side. During winter, consider the fact that you might need to ensure better lighting conditions when planting bouvardia and place it under fluorescent bulbs. Chilly conditions when the plant is indoors during winter can be harmful to Trumpetellia.
The soil in which you plant your Bouvardia must be kept well-drained. For this reason, it is essential you keep an eye on whether the soil shows signs of dryness. However, although bouvardia needs well-drained soil, a soggy one will damage the plant severely, causing the stems to rot.
Generally, you should water trumpetellia once or twice a week, maximum. This depends on the plant’s level of maturity and the amount of rainfall in your area. You should only water it every eight days during the plant’s rest period. As a rule of thumb, your bouvardia needs watering when the top 2 inches (5 cm) get dry.
The best way to propagate bouvardia is by stem or root cuttings. If you go for the stem cutting propagation technique, you should do this during late spring or summer and cut them about 2 inches long. The next step is to place the stem cuttings in soil mixed with peat moss and sand after you have dipped the cuttings’ tips in hormone powder. The soil with the same mixture is used for propagating bouvardia by root cuttings.
The step cuttings require warm conditions to grow. So, find a place where the temperatures are about 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius) by day and not less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit (about 21 degrees Celsius) by night. You should expect the stem cuttings to take root in six to eight weeks.
There is no denying that Bouvardia, also known as Trumpetellia, Firecracker Bush, or Hummingbird Flower is a beautiful plant with uniquely shaped flowers that will improve the aesthetic of any outdoor garden or indoor plant corner. With strong symbolism, Bouvardia makes it a fantastic plant to give as a gift or include in flower decorations for important celebrations in a person’s life, such as a wedding.
So, if you decide to plant and grow Bouvardia, you will not regret it! It is an excellent addition to any plant collection. No matter your level of experience as a gardener, given it is a low-maintenance perennial plant, you won’t have a challenging time planting and taking care of it.