Candlestick Bush, Cassia alata, is a tropical, flowering shrub that is either perennial or annual depending on the USDA Hardiness zone it is found in. In areas that are in zones 9 to 11 this is a perennial, meaning that it lives for many years. In areas in zones 7 to 9 it is an annual, meaning it only lives a year or so. These areas are also well suited for Candlestick Bushes because it will tolerate high heat and requires medium amounts of water. It also does well in full sun and well drained soil.
Yellow flowers will be found on the Candlestick Bush in spring and in the fall and will add beautiful color to the landscape they are bloom in.
Candlestick Bushes thrive best when they are placed in full sun in soil that drains well. Even though they do not require a lot of water, they do need to be watered weekly if it does not rain enough to give it half and inch of water or to keep the soil moist.
Feeding the Candlestick Bush monthly with a balanced fertilizer will keep it happy and help it to grow to its full height and to keep producing those beautiful yellow flowers. Pruning is acceptable and should be done after the plant has bloomed or after you have collected the seeds. When pruning, cut each branch back by half, making the cut after the branch or bud and cut on a forty degree angle. In the spring, it is a good idea to cut off any volunteer suckers and to remove any plants that are self-sown from the base of the plant so there will not be any overcrowding. Also, do not use any pesticide because Candlestick Bushes attract butterflies and bees.
Propagating the Candlestick Bush can be done two ways. They can be propagated by collecting seeds from the pods that occur after they have bloomed or they can be allowed to let seeds fall from plant and self-seed the area around the parent plant. If seeds are to be used, they can be started indoors and can be transplanted outdoors after the threat of frost has passed and the seedling has reached about a foot tall.
Candlestick Bushes can be used in a tropical display in the landscape along with hibiscus plants and banana trees. They can also be used in butterfly gardens or wildlife gardens because they do attract butterflies, bees and birds.