The red tubular flowers of the cigarette plant (Cuphea signia) resemble a lit cigar when in full bloom. These bushy perennials can grow up to 2 feet tall, providing a boldly blooming accent piece in a large pot or garden bed.

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Cigarette Plant

Description for Cigarette

Plant height: 9 - 15 inches (22 - 39 cm)
Plant spread:

Cigarette plant features tubular, orange-red flowers rimmed with white and purple, giving the flowers the look of a burning cigar with ashes at the tip. The flowers appear in abundance from early summer to late fall. They re about 1 in (2.5 cm) long, growing singly from the axils of the leaves.

This evergreen sub-shrub is fast-growing, reaching its mature height in a year. Narrow leaves are 2 in (5 cm) long and densely cover the woody stems. Prune it quite a bit to keep it small and bushy.

Common name(s): cigar plant, cigarette plant, firecracker plant, cigar flower
Flower colours: Orange-red tubular flowers rimmed with white and purple rings
Bloom time: Early summer to late fall.
Max reachable height: 2 ft (60 cm)
Difficulty to grow: Easy

Planting and care

This evergreen sub-shrub is fast-growing, reaching its mature height in a year. Narrow leaves are 2 in (5 cm) long and densely cover the woody stems. Prune it quite a bit to keep it small and bushy.

This flowering shrub is easy to grow. Just give it lots of sunlight and you ll enjoy plenty of flowers. Unfortunately, this vigorous grower will become straggly over time. Plan on replacing Cuphea ignea after a couple years or so.

Sunlight: Bright light to full sun
Soil: Any good potting mix.
Water: Spring through fall, water thoroughly. Allow the soil to dry slightly between watering, but don t allow it to dry out completely. Keep the soil slightly drier in winter.
Temperature: Average room temperatures 60-75/16-24C. If you move your plant outdoors for the summer, don t worry; it can take the heat. It won t, however, tolerate temperatures below 50F/10C.
Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks spring through fall with a high-potassium liquid fertilizer diluted by half.

Caring for Cigarette

  • Pinch back the stem tips occasionally to maintain a dense compact shape.
  • Repot in spring when this shrubby plant gets crowded.
  • Use a pot with drainage holes to prevent over watering as it will rot at the base if the soil gets too soggy.
  • Inspect the foliage weekly for aphid damage, which shows as discolored spots on the foliage or a sticky residue on leaves.

Typical uses of Cigarette

Special features: Plant a mass of cigar plants near a window or the patio where you can enjoy watching hordes of happy hummingbirds come to feast on the beautiful banquet that you have left for them.

References

  • http://homeguides.sfgate.com/care-cigar-plant-69404.html
  • http://www.guide-to-houseplants.com/cigar-plant.html