These warm-weather bloomers will bring on the birds and the butterflies! Cultivar Cuphea ‘David Verity’ sports tubular orange flowers. Bat-faced or bat face cuphea (Cuphea llavea) has rounder flowers of red and purple that resemble little bat faces.
They thrive in full sun, but also do quite well in part-shade, requiring very little supplemental irrigation. They’ll bloom without missing a beat from late spring/early summer until the first frost.
Plant in very well-drained soil, since these Cupheas are sensitive to over watering. They dislike heavy clay soil, so build berms or raised beds for extra drainage, amending with decomposed granite.
‘David Verity’ grows to about 12-18″ tall and about 2′ wide, while bat face can get a little taller, up to 2′ feet or so.
In warmer winters, Cuphea will be evergreen, but may be deciduous in cooler years. Simply cut back dead growth to restore growth after the last frost date. Hardy to zone 8, you’ll definitely need to protect them if we get down below about 10 degrees.
Batface cuphea is a little more cold-tender, so it would be a good idea to protect this one if we’re down into the 20’s.
Depending on your microclimate, they may be simply annuals. Replace after the last frost. They grow quickly to fill the space again until fall.