Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Cigar Plant
Cuphea melvillea

Family: Lythraceae (ly-THRAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cuphea (KYOO-fee-uh) (Info)
Species: melvillea (mel-VIL-ee-uh) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

16 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
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


Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Mid Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

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 woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Floridian
Thumbnail #1 of Cuphea melvillea by Floridian

By vroomp
Thumbnail #2 of Cuphea melvillea by vroomp

By xyris
Thumbnail #3 of Cuphea melvillea by xyris

By rylaff
Thumbnail #4 of Cuphea melvillea by rylaff

By turektaylor
Thumbnail #5 of Cuphea melvillea by turektaylor

By turektaylor
Thumbnail #6 of Cuphea melvillea by turektaylor

By turektaylor
Thumbnail #7 of Cuphea melvillea by turektaylor

There are a total of 15 photos.
Click here to view them all!


6 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive erikagreenthumb On Jun 11, 2006, erikagreenthumb from Arroyo Grande, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I live next door to my mom, near the coast of Central California, and have had great luck with Cigar Plants, once we found the best locations for them. We did have to do some moving around, but found they like the east side of our property, as well as, our southern exposure middle garden. We bought 3 or 4 from a local nursery, but now have around 8, thanks to my mom's penchant for sticking any broken branches into a nearby pot to reroot. We never did anything special, just watered them until they got about 18" tall, and planted them. They do grow quickly and have to be pruned, but we go for a more "naturalized" look in our garden, so it's not a big deal. The hummingbirds love them and my cats enjoy chirping at them when they're feeding near the windows! We don't get any butterflies on them, mainly because of our daily winds, but we like hummers better anyways!

Positive ElysianFields On May 10, 2006, ElysianFields from Arcadia, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I have had this plant in a bed in front of the house for several years. It seems fairly indestructible and although I love it, I had no idea that it would grow as tall as it does and I am constantly pruning it back to keep it below the hibiscus behind it. I originally got this at a nursery that went out of business after Hurricane Charley and would love to be able to find more of it so I could plant it in different locations.

Neutral kingc On Apr 18, 2006, kingc from New Port Richey, FL wrote:

I had this plant at previous house It was wonderful. It was always in bloom, loads of buterflies, skippers and best of all hummers throughout the day. It was in dappled sun at best under oak trees, and watered once a week. Once a year needed spraying because of the tiny blue-green beetles. Now at the new house I hoped for the same beauty. They now share a bed with a Chaste plant and get sun all day, The tips are burning, same beetles but more often, leaves curled, old wood looks caloused with knots all over splitting open. They do not look healthy at all. No books I have found or garden centers can explain it.

Positive bugraooo On Mar 19, 2005, bugraooo from Port Saint Lucie, FL wrote:

My cuphea is growing in a pot. It can dry out very quickly. After missing a couple of days or water, it was almost dead. I pruned it severly and now make sure the pot is always in a saucer of water. Apparently, root rot is not a problem for this plant. It has come back beautifully.

Positive forsythe On Sep 15, 2003, forsythe wrote:

This plant grows here in Hong Kong very well; its local name "Cigar Flower" is "Xue Jia Hua" in Mandarin

We've just planted a whole lot in our garden and it's doing fine.
Peter Forsythe
Hong Kong

Positive htop On Aug 23, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, TX

I have a 'David Verity' (I think - some sources state that it is an ignea, can not find the species name)cigar plant growing in a xeriscaped section of my yard. It requires more water than the Esperanza, Oleander, Lantana, Salvia, Betony and other plants. It blooms continually from late spring/early summer until the first frost. The foliage is a deep green which sets off the vibrant orange flowers that are off white colored at the ends and purple at the very tip.

Although the flowers are small and delicate looking, there are so many of them that they make a nice showing. They freeze to the ground, but resprout faithfully in the spring and grow quickly. I never have to prune it to keep it blooming. It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Positive hummer_nut On Sep 23, 2002, hummer_nut from Montgomery, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have this plant and it has survived with temps in the low teens, zone 7. Only blooms in the fall for me. Great for late or wintering hummers.

Neutral Floridian On Jan 8, 2002, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Cuphea melvillea is one of the largest Cupheas in plant and flower size. It will grow to about 5 tall and wide in the first year. It needs full sun or partial shade. An attractive shrub, it is a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds. Prune plants to encourage a strong woody base that stands up to strong winds. Prune 2-4 times a year for sturdier, flowering plants. Considered a tropical, it can take temperatures as low as 20F with good mulch.


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

Arroyo Grande, California
Carlsbad, California
Sacramento, California
Bonita Springs, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Lake Mary, Florida
Lecanto, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
Palm Coast, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Titusville, Florida
Umatilla, Florida
Wellborn, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Yulee, Florida
Douglas, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Tuscola, Illinois
Slidell, Louisiana
Harrison Township, Michigan
Moss Point, Mississippi
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Camden, South Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
Alice, Texas
Austin, Texas
Copperas Cove, Texas
Elgin, Texas
Humble, Texas
La Porte, Texas
Port Lavaca, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America