Firecracker Plant, Cigar Plant
Cuphea ignea

Family: Lythraceae (ly-THRAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cuphea (KYOO-fee-uh) (Info)
Species: ignea (IG-nee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Cuphea platycentra

Category:

Shrubs

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Height:

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

Spacing:

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Red

Orange

Red-Orange

Bloom Time:

Blooms all year

Foliage:

Herbaceous

Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

Boulder Creek, California

Carlsbad, California

Chico, California

Corona, California

Long Beach, California

Los Angeles, California (2 reports)

Manhattan Beach, California

Montara, California

Sacramento, California

San Carlos, California

San Diego, California

Santa Barbara, California

Bartow, Florida

Eustis, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Lake City, Florida

Neptune Beach, Florida

Palm Harbor, Florida

Pensacola, Florida (2 reports)

Riverview, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Rotonda West, Florida

Sanford, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Sebastian, Florida

Titusville, Florida

Trenton, Florida

Guyton, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Chicago, Illinois

Granite City, Illinois

Indianapolis, Indiana

Hebron, Kentucky

Mandeville, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Shreveport, Louisiana

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Newberry, Michigan

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Mathiston, Mississippi

Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Yonkers, New York

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Montgomery, Pennsylvania

Sumter, South Carolina

Alice, Texas

Austin, Texas

Beaumont, Texas

Broaddus, Texas

College Station, Texas

Copperas Cove, Texas

Desoto, Texas

Edinburg, Texas

Elgin, Texas

Fredericksburg, Texas

Galveston, Texas

Garland, Texas

Gladewater, Texas

Houston, Texas (2 reports)

Humble, Texas

La Porte, Texas

Longview, Texas

Rosenberg, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Spring, Texas

Tyler, Texas

Woodway, Texas

Edinburg, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Sammamish, Washington

Shoreline, Washington

Germantown, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

8
positives
3
neutrals
1
negative
RatingContent
Positive

On May 17, 2015, woodenspoon from Buffalo, MN wrote:

I have found this plant listed in a water garden website, stating that it can be grown as a marginal water plant. Has anybody found this to be true?

Positive

On Jul 28, 2014, grik from Saint Paul, MN wrote:

Cuphea X 'David Verity' This plant is a late season hummingbird magnet in my St. Paul, MN garden. It is easily rooted from cuttings - even just in water, and plants can be overwintered inside in areas with severe frost. I keep mine in a cool basement with low level fluorescent lighting during the winter. They do fine. Once they get outside they flower nonstop and have beautiful dark green foliage to set off the bright orange tubular flowers.
I grow them in pots. Deer don't prefer to eat them, although I had one take a taste. Also the older stems are on the brittle side so don't place them where you brush by the plant cause they snap off easily, and then you feel bad. New growth is more limber as you would expect and soon you don't even remember you did the damage.

Positive

On Apr 29, 2014, selvahombre from San Diego, CA wrote:

This plant is amazing. in San Diego it blooms year round and looks great. I have dozens of plants in the garden for hummingbirds, and this is definitely their favorite.

One word of caution: I planted this plant in the front row of my flower bed because it said it gets 2'x2'. No joke, it is 7ft tall and 8 feet wide.

I think I got a mutant plant that gets large, blooms constantly and always has hummers fighting.

Neutral

On Apr 21, 2014, manza from Long Beach, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

I just bought this plant today so have to give it a neutral rating. My Sunset garden book says that the reason it is called a Cigar Plant is that the tubular flowers are bright red with white tips and can have a dark ring at the end (like a cigar). It is native to Mexico and Guatemala.

Positive

On Dec 30, 2010, stephenp from Wirral, UK, Zone 9a
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is one seriously hardy plant, we had -10C here in what can only be described as our worst winter in a century so far, and surprisingly the Cuphea ignea looks like perfection, and still flowering, impressive!

Negative

On Sep 29, 2009, magpie38 from Houston, TX wrote:

Plant is food for some critter, and has never bloomed. Applied a systemic insecticide, and it's eaten up less; still no flowers. Hope it makes good compost.

Positive

On Aug 19, 2009, Birdmandan from Cincinnati, OH wrote:

Easy for a nongreen thumb to grow. New starts from cuttings are easy and will be ready to plant in just over a week, if kept in a south facing window with full sun. The hummers just love this plant, some hummingbirds dont even stop at feeders close to the plants. We start with three plants each year and end the year with twenty five or thirty, thats after giving away a few dozen.

Positive

On Aug 13, 2007, Katye from Kirkland, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Planted in containers spring 2006. Despite the very cold temperatures we had that winter, both plants came back & are larger than they were last year. I was surprised - nothing else that was left in planters over the winter survived.

Positive

On Mar 13, 2007, greenie67 from Longview, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This was by far one of our very favorite plants last summer. It was a hummer, butterfly and bee magnet and is very easy to propogate from cuttings. I'm hoping to have them across our entire back fence this summer. Very hardy and a fast grower!

Positive

On Jul 8, 2006, Joy from Kalama, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant has self sown for me.

Neutral

On Oct 20, 2004, trifunov from Brandon, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have just ordered seeds from this plant. It apparently can be grown as a container plant in a sunny window. More comments after I have tried this...

Neutral

On Jun 19, 2004, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is candy for japanese beetles. If you don't want to spray it because of hummingbirds, the beetles will shred it.

It's very pretty though and gets bushy in full sun. It takes a while to fill out if grown from seed.