Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)

Add to My Plants (0)

No account yet? Register

Plant Details

Category: Nursery
Light: Full Sun
Bloom Season: Summer
Height: 10-20' / 
Space: 6-12' / 
Zones: 9, 10, 11, 12
Lowest Temp: 20° to 30°F / 
-7° to -1°C
Colors: Red, Orange

Basic Care

Prune back early each spring to remove dead or damaged branches. Water regularly after first planted. Very drought tolerant once established.


Water 2 – 3 times per week until established.


Light, well-drained soil.


Not necessary.

Fast Growth


Ornamental Flower

Ornamental Foliage

Sun Loving




Pride of Barbados is a fast growing shrub with light green fern-like leaves topped with clusters of fragrant orange-yellow flowers. Blooms almost all year. The flowers are attractive to hummingbirds. This shrub is toxic if eaten so take care to prevent children and pets from ingesting it.


Ideal for planting in mixed borders or as a specimen plant. Perfect for challenging hot locations near pavement or between building foundations and walks. A sturdy plant for slopes.

Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) Care Guide

Plant in spring or early fall to give plants the best start.

Choose a location that will allow roots to spread and branches to grow freely. Space plants far enough from building foundations, walls, and decks so that the growing foliage won’t crowd the structure. Consider whether tall trees or shrubs will block windows or interfere with the roof or power lines.

To prepare the planting area dig a hole as deep as the root ball and three times as wide. After removing the soil, mix it with some compost or peat moss. This enriches the soil and loosens the existing dirt so that new roots can spread easily.

To remove the plant from the container, gently brace the base of the plant, tip it sideways and tap the outside of the pot to loosen. Rotate the container and continue to tap, loosening the soil until the plant pulls smoothly from the pot. The container can also be removed by carefully cutting it down the side.

Set the plant in the hole. If the root ball is wrapped in burlap fabric this must now be removed along with any string or wire securing the burlap. If roots are tightly packed gently rake them apart with your fingers.

Return the soil to the planting area packing it firmly around the root ball. Fill the hole until the soil line is just at the base of the plant, where the roots begin to flare out from the main stem.

Water the plant well then add a 2” (5cm) layer of mulch, such as shredded bark, around the planting area. Keep the mulch at least 4” (10cm) away from the trunk of the plant as this can keep the bark too moist and cause it to decay.

Depending on rainfall, new plants need to be watered weekly through the first growing season. A slow, one-hour trickle of water should do the job. During hot spells thoroughly soaking the ground up to 8” (20 cm) every few days is better than watering a little bit daily. Deep watering encourages roots to grow further into the ground resulting in a sturdier plant with more drought tolerance.

To check for soil moisture use your finger or a hand trowel to dig a small hole and examine the soil. If the first 2-4” (5-10cm) of soil is dry, it is time to water.

Monitor new plants through the first two years to make sure they are getting the moisture they need. After that they should be sturdy enough to survive on their own.

Pruning may be needed to remove dead branches, encourage bushier growth, promote more flowers, or maintain a specific size or shape.

Established trees should be fertilized every 2-3 years. Feed in early spring when plants start growing.

Fertilizers are available in many forms: granulated, slow-release, liquid feeds, organic or synthetic. Determine which application method is best for the situation and select a product designed for trees and shrubs, or go with a nutritionally balanced, general-purpose formula such as 10-10-10.

Always follow the fertilizer package directions for application rates and scheduling. Over-fertilizing plants or applying at the wrong time during the growing season can result in plant injury.

Companion/Combination Plants


  1. Darlene B Kelly

    What if my plant has lost all its leaves during the winter and hasn’t come back yet? Do I prune it back hoping that it lives?

    • My Garden Life

      Hi Darlene,
      Pride of Barbados is deciduous (drops it’s leaves in the winter) in USDA hardiness zone 9 and may be considered a perennial in zone 8. That means if winter temperatures got as low as 20° to 30°F (-7° to -1°C) in your area the plant could have died to the ground. Other than the obvious signs that the plant is dead such as no growth emerging and dry, brittle stems, you can lightly scratch the surface of one of the larger stems. See if there is any green showing beneath the surface that would indicate it’s still alive. You should also watch for new growth emerging at the base of the plant. Worst case, you could lift the plant from the ground to inspect the roots to see if they are healthy or dead. If the roots look healthy, just plant it back in the ground and water thoroughly.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find more plants for your garden or home!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!