Firecracker Plant (Cuphea ignea)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Firecracker Plant
Give a thumbs up Cigar Plant
Give a thumbs up Cigar Flower
Give a thumbs up Mexican Cigar

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 10a -1.1 °C (30 °F) to +1.7 °C (35 °F)
Plant Height: 18 - 24 inches
Plant Spread: 18 - 24 inches
Leaves: Evergreen
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Red
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Late summer or early fall
Other: Blooms freely year around in its preferred climate zones
Suitable Locations: Houseplant
Uses: Suitable as Annual
Wildlife Attractant: Butterflies
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Provide light
Needs specific temperature: about 70 degrees F
Days to germinate: 8 to 10 days
Depth to plant seed: shallow for light
Start indoors
Can handle transplanting
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Tip
Pollinators: Various insects
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Suitable for hanging baskets
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Monoecious
Awards and Recognitions: Other: 2006 Georgia Gold Medal Winner


Photo gallery:
Location: NJDate: 2010-08-16
By Onewish1
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Location: Thomasville, GA USADate: 2020-04-27
By Tom_F_GA
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-05-17close-up of flowers of annual in pot
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Location: Wallington Hall, Northumberland, UKDate: 2010-09-12
By kniphofia
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Location: Coastal San Diego County Date: 2017-08-07
By carlysuko
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Location: Illinois, USDate: 2004-07-10
By molanic
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Location: My garden in KentuckyDate: 2007-08-19
By Marilyn
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Location: In my garden in Kalama, Wa.Date: 2006-10-16
By Joy
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Date: 2011-08-05Courtesy Outsidepride
By vic
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2017-06-25two potted annual plants
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2017-09-22flowers and foliage of potted plants
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Location: In my garden in Kalama, Wa.
By Joy
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Courtesy Outsidepride
By vic
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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Aug 19, 2019 3:11 PM

I first bought this Cigar-Plant in the 1990's in the Chicago, Illinois suburbs as a potted annual from a large, diverse, conventional garden center. I've never seen it sold at big box stores or Home Depot-Lowes. I have also used it in big pots for several years on the back deck in southeast Pennsylvania also with easy success. This last May of 2019, the large, diverse, conventional garden center-nursery did not have any to my surprise, in May and most of June. So I bought a new annual called a Bat-Face Cuphea instead. I like the new species, but I like the Cigar-Plant better. I have kept Cigar-Plants over a few winters inside my sunny and cool backroom and then put it outside on the back deck the coming May. They did not bloom in winter, but would make a few flowers in spring inside the house. I did not keep any inside in the winter of 2018-2019 because I needed more room for some other stuff. This Cuphea species is native to Mexico and the West Indies where it is a broadleaf evergreen sub-shrub, and like other Cuphea, it is a member of the Loosestrife Family of Lythraceae.

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Plant Events from our members
lovesblooms On February 4, 2017 Seeds sown
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Discussion Threads about this plant
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