Plant of the Week
Need a plant that will blaze right through a Texas summer like a Fourth of July firecracker? Cuphea ignea goes by the common name Firecracker Plant or Cigar Flower. Its fiery bright reddish orange 1" tubular blooms are a magnet for hummingbirds and several types of butterflies. Give this Cuphea lots of sun and moderate soil moisture for best results. When the first freeze burns the foliage back, cut the plants down to a couple of inches high and mulch it well to protect the base and roots over the winter season. The cultivar 'David Verity' is preferred by many gardeners for its dense habit and prolific blooms on 2-3 foot plants. A close cousin, Tall Cigar Plant or Candy Corn Plant (Cuphea micropetala), sports larger 2 inch orange and yellow blooms on 3-4 foot plants in late summer to fall. It is equally attractive to hummingbirds.