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EASY CARE FOR ZONE 9a – POWDER PUFF • Southern Rural Route

Calliandra haematocephala is commonly called Red Powder Puff. A member of the mimosa family, it has 140 different species with red, pink, white, and a pink/white bloom. From Borneo, it is considered an evergreen shrub that is winter hardy in USDA Zones 9-11.

It prefers moist, fertile soil but can tolerate poor soil. Plant it in full sun. In cold climates, it can be grown in containers and moved into a protected environment for the winter.

Flowers on left; raspberry-like flower buds on right New leaves look coppery pink

In Zone 9a, it is not evergreen because it freezes to the ground. I cut it back to 4-inch stubs after the winter. It loves humidity and quickly returns to being a 3 or 4-foot shrub. It blooms until the first hard freeze.

It is a critter magnet of epic proportions. In the summer, it is covered with bees, butterflies, dirt dobbers, grasshoppers, hummingbirds, all kinds of moths and skippers plus other flying critters I can’t identify.

One bee out of hundreds on the Powder Puff Black Swallowtail butterfly Polydamas Swallowtail butterfly (he was uncooperative) Long-tailed skipper (urbanus proteus) Eastern Lubber grasshopper