quick find clear
Increasingly available in garden centers, exotic cuphea looks like the tropical native it is. It loves hot, humid weather and will bloom all summer, some types producing cool little tubular flowers in red-hot colors that give it one of its common names -- cigar flower.
It does well in containers, where you can baby it with rich, moist potting soil and keep it well-fertilized. Under these conditions, it will bloom nonstop all summer, as long as it gets water. Look for a variety of forms; some have curious bat-face-shape flowers; others are more tubular.
more varieties for Cuphea
Cuphea hyssopifolia bears lavender-pink flowers on 24-inch-tall plants.
'Minnie Mouse' flower
Cuphea 'Minnie Mouse' offers orange-and-purple flowers on a plant that grows 36 inches tall.
'David Verity' cigar flower
Cuphea ignea 'David Verity' offers tube-shape orange flowers all summer long on 36-inch-tall plants.
'Starfire Pink' cigar flower
Cuphea lanceolata 'Starfire Pink' offers lavender-pink flowers on 24-inch-tall plants.
'Tiny Mice' mouse flower
Cuphea llavea 'Tiny Mice' bears crimson-red flowers on 18-inch-tall plants.
'Totally Tempted' mouse flower
Cuphea llavea 'Totally Tempted' bears large crimson-pink flowers on 12-inch-tall plants.
plant Cuphea with
Grow this underused and underappreciated tropical plant and you're sure to get lots of questions -- and compliments! It's a great performer in hot, sunny spots. It produces clusters of frilly orange or yellow flowers all season and shiny, dark green leaves. When frost threatens, you can bring it indoors and grow it as a houseplant, too, where it will flower on and off all year if it gets enough light.
If you have a hot, baked spot, lantana is your answer. This hardworking plant not only thrives with little moisture and in full, unyielding sun, it does so with ease. In fact, lantana is a flower that seems to have it all: It produces an abundance of brightly colored flowers all summer and fall, and it's a magnet for butterflies (hummingbirds like it, too). It's easy to grow and a great choice for containers. Plus, if you have a sunny spot indoors, you can grow it as a charming indoor plant. In frost-free climates (Zones 9-11), it's a great perennial groundcover, as well.
Attract butterflies and have fun doing it with big, bold, beautiful Mexican sunflower. Plant it from seed directly in the ground and watch it soar. It can hit up to 5 feet in just weeks with big, lush foliage and smaller but still showy flowers in sunset colors that butterflies love.Put a cluster of these bodacious beauties in the back of the border to give it height and drama. Many of the taller types need staking to keep them upright. Plant them outdoors after all danger of frost has passed in a sunny spot with well-drained soil.