Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: cold stratify for 30 days
Germination: sow 1-2" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed
Other: fall sowing in mulched beds is prefered to artificial stratification
The Aesculus pavia, or Red Buckeye/Firecracker Plant, is a deciduous shrub that grows up to 5 meters tall. The plant is native to the southern and eastern parts of the United States, found from Illinois to Virginia in the north and from Texas to Florida in the south. It is in flower during June, and the seeds ripen in September. The Red Buckeye is a great choice for naturalizing in moist soils and where there is some shade. When grouped or massed in light shade provided by pines, the effect can be spectacular. This tree or shrub is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy), and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral, and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in full shade (deep woodland), semi-shade (light woodland), or no shade. The Red Buckeye requires moist soil and is pollinated by bees. It produces red flowers that are hermaphroditic (have both male and female organs) and shiny dark green leaves. Its habit is rounded, but there can be significant variation, and at times the plant appears shrub-like. The Red Buckeye/Firecracker Plant is a fine addition to any garden, providing rich, bright colors and easy care.