Justicia spicigera (Mexican Honeysuckle) is an evergreen large shrub native to Mexico and Central America, usually growing to a height of 5 to 10 ft. It can also be grown as a small plant, reaching only 2 to 5 ft. Mexican Honeysuckle prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade and semi-shade. It requires moderate water, making it suitable for xeriscaping.
The foliage consists of soft, pale green leaves 2 inches long. It is attractive from spring to autumn with its vibrant, crimson to vinous flowers, often with yellow or orange centers. The flowering time of Mexican Honeysuckle can vary, but it usually blooms for most of the year.
The attractive flowers of Mexican Honeysuckle make it a popular choice as an ornamental. It attracts birds such as hummingbirds and butterflies, providing a great source of nectar. It is also easy to care for and requires little fertilizer.
When it comes to cold tolerance, Mexican Honeysuckle is mature plant cold hardy at least to mid-20s F for a short time. It can be grown in USDA Zone 8-11, so it can be grown outdoors in the winter in some areas. To grow Mexican Honeysuckle in colder regions, it is best to place it in a pot and bring it inside during winter.
Overall, Justicia spicigera (Mexican Honeysuckle) makes a great addition to any garden. It is easy to care for, drought tolerant, attracts birds and butterflies and provides long-lasting color.