Dwarf Powderpuff

Calliandra emarginata

Dwarf powderpuff adds interesting foliage and bright red puffball blooms to the color and texture tapestry of any landscape.

dwarf powderpuff

One of the most picturesque red flowering plants, this shrub fits in nicely in any size South Florida yard.

The branches grow outward in layers with flowers and buds along each branch.

The blossoms appear on and off all year (more in warmer months), with buds resembling little red berry clusters that open into scarlet powderpuff flowers.

This charming shrub attracts hummingbirds and butterflies and works in almost any light - providing color even in partly shaded beds.

red flowers and buds

Plant specs

Evergreen and cold-tolerant, this shrub can be used anywhere in South Florida.

It grows at a moderate pace, less fast than the full-size powderpuff plant.

The dwarf variety can be kept 3 feet tall.

Though this plant can be grown in full sun, it actually seems to do best in a part sun to part shade location.

blooming in partial shade

Plant care

Add top soil or organic peat humus to the hole when you plant.

You may also want to add composted cow manure to the mix to enrich the soil around the root ball.

You'll only need to do minor trimming occasionally for size and shape.

The plant produces seed pods which you can cut off to pretty up its appearance or leave on to fall off on their own. Cutting off seed pods may promote more bloom.

Give dwarf powderpuff regular irrigation with time to dry out between waterings.

Fertilize in spring, summer and autumn with a quality granular fertilizer. Supplement feedings if you like with bone meal and/or liquid fertilizer to promote heavier bloom.

flowering in a shady spot

Plant spacing

Place these shrubs 2-1/2 to 3 feet apart. Come out from the house 2 feet or more.

This plant works fine in containers.

Landscape uses for dwarf powderpuff

  • accent by the entry
  • as a backdrop for smaller plants
  • low to mid-height hedge
  • surrounding palms or trees tall enough to let enough light
  • hrough
  • around a taller specimen plant
  • along a fence
  • lining a porch, deck or patio
  • in pairs flanking the entrance to a drive or walkway
  • around the poolcage or lanai
  • accent for a mixed bed

A.K.A. (also known as): Dwarf Powder Puff (an alternate spelling)


COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS: In a part sun or part shade location, pair with pinwheel jasmine, Xanadu philodendron, crape jasmine, dwarf tibouchina, croton, white crinum lily, alocasia odora and pentas.

Other shrubs you might like: Powderpuff (full-size), Red Maui Ixora

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