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PlantFiles: 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

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

20 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

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

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year


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:

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

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By Joy
Thumbnail #1 of Cuphea ignea by Joy

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By CaptMicha
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There are a total of 22 photos.
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7 positives
3 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive grik 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 selvahombre 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 manza 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 stephenp 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 magpie38 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 Birdmandan 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 Katye On Aug 13, 2007, Katye from Sammamish, 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 greenie67 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 Joy On Jul 8, 2006, Joy from Kalama, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant has self sown for me.

Neutral trifunov 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 CaptMicha 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.


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
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
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

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