Cuphea llavea – Cigar plant

Cupheas are one of my favorite annuals, as they provide color from planting to frost without fading. They usually more than double in size by fall.

Up close, the small individual flowers look like a burning cigar. The plant adds a great burst of color with a unique shape in a sunny spot.

They’re more expensive than most annuals, costing $3 to $4 each, so I only buy two or three. If Cupheas came in a value pack like Impatiens, they would dot my sun beds.

When young, the stems remind me of strands of rope. To maximize color, deadhead frequently.

In warmer climates, Cuphea can be perennial or evergreen. I live too far north, as I’ve tried to get them to grow a second year.

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