Firecracker plant

by Carol smith
(Des Moines iowa usa)

Firecracker Plant?

Firecracker Plant?

I live in Des Moines Iowa and I have a firecracker plant that I keep indoors.

All of a sudden after almost 4 years of having it the leaves are falling off.

I repotted it at least twice into bigger pots.

I also have a start of the same plant that was growing just fine and it's losing its leaves now as well and not just a few leaves it's a lot of leaves.

It seems to go in cycles - it'll go week without losing any leaves and then the next week it loses 50 leaves (approximate not exact).

I don't know what to do. Both plants used to be so full and robust I'm afraid of dying it seemed so spindly now.

Comments for Firecracker plant

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 26, 2021
Stop repotting it!
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

A plant that is struggling shouldn't be repotted.

They need to fill the current pot with roots before moving up.  This page is a pictorial guide on what the roots should look like before repotting.

By the way, your picture doesn't show what I know as a Firecracker Plant. It looks more like the plant that goes by the name of Money Plant, Pachira aquatica. Firecracker Plant is the common name of several plants, all outdoors plants. So if this is what it is, no wonder the leaves keep falling off. The plant is supposed to be grown outdoors where it gets enough light.

Can you verify which plant would be the one you're growing? Correct identification is crucial.

Mar 27, 2021
Response
by: Carol

I think I may have miscommunicated what I wanted to say...(forgive my spelling) Crossandra plant. Every time I look it up on line it says firecracker plant. I did NOT just re-pot it I was saying that I HAVE DONE SO BEFORE at least twice because it was outgrowing the pot it was in...i have kept it warm in the room its in and plenty of bright light and water. I also mist it maybe once or twice a week....nothing changed EXCEPT the leaves just started falling off. It is happening to the year old start I took off the plant as well
So NIW hopefully I have given the information more correctly....i hope

Mar 27, 2021
Ah Got It
by: Jacki

I did some research and found the plant you're referring to. They call it Firecracker Flower, not Firecracker Plant, so that would explain the confusion. This is why I always use the botanical name, because that is the same, no matter the geographical locale, which could have different common names.

This article has more information, and I think it's hit the nail on the head. The important thing to pay attention to is the light levels. I think it's a function of day length, not just brightness. What we perceive as bright may not be bright enough for a plant. Just something to think about.

If you come up with any other information that you think may be useful, let me know. Sometimes it's the simplest things, like the fact that this plant does not like temperatures under 55 degrees F. If it's in a draft, such that you might get near a window, that can affect it.

Also, keep in mind that the temperature of the water you use to water it can be too cold and shock the plant. It should be tempered (room temperature)or luke warm.

Mar 27, 2021
Response
by: Carol

Yes I read that as well so I make sure water is not cold. I do have a grow lamp hung from the ceiling just above the biggest of the two...if you could have seen it at full bloom last year...and now the whole bottom part of the plant is meatless...so is the smaller one...im at a loss. Thank you for your input jacki I will read it

Mar 28, 2021
Other than that
by: Jacki

Other than that, I'm at a loss. Possibly, it will perk up and stop shedding as the weather warms up and you can put it outside. Plants do shed their leaves, periodically, even those that are not known to be deciduous. The problem comes in when they forget to grow new ones!

Mar 29, 2021
Comment
by: Carol

There are lots of new sprouts so gonna keep my fingers crossed...thank you so much for ALL your help!

Mar 29, 2021
Good news!
by: Jacki

Glad to hear about the new sprouts! <3

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Horticulturist.