Botanical name: Cuphea ignea
Common Names: Cigar Plant,Cigar Flower, Mexican Cigar Plant
Cigar Plant also called Cigar Flower or Mexican Cigar Plant is a 1 ft high bush bearing a profusion of tubular, orange-red, cigar-shaped flowers among the smooth narrow 2 in. long leaves.
Cigar Plant is fast growing reaching its full height of 1 ft in one year and requires regular pruning to keep it compact and bushy.
Cigar plant (Cuphea ignea) is a tropical densely branched evergreen shrub native to Mexico and West Indies.
Cigar Plant grows best in bright light with some direct sunlight. Bright light is necessary for development of the bright leaf color with reddish-purple leaf tips. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
Keep the soil moist at all times for Cigar Plant and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce watering during the cold period.
Cool to average warmth with a minimum of 100C is ideal for Cigar Plant. Protect the plant from cold and hot draughts to prevent sudden changes in temperature. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.
Cigar Plant has no need for high humidity. If the air is too dry, set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Cigar Plant. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
Feed Cigar Plant with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing season. Withhold feeding in the cold season as growth is minimal and it can lead to fertilizer burn.
Regularly flush out excess fertilizers from the soil of your Cigar Plant by running a stream of water through the soil until it comes out through the drainage holes, allow it to run for at least 10 minutes. Read more on how to feed houseplants.
Repot Cigar Plant during the growing season only when the plant is pot-bound as Cigar Plant blooms best when slightly pot-bound. Do not repot a plant that is in flower.
To repot your Cigar Plant, use a pot that is only one size larger. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease.
The best soil for your Cigar Plant should be free-draining and rich in organic matter.
Pruning Cigar Plant is easy. Remove dead leaves to maintain your plant neat and tidy.
Remove spent flowers from your Cigar Plant to encourage it to produce more blooms.
Cut back the straggly stems from your Cigar Plant at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth. Read more on how to prune houseplants.
Cigar Plant can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem-tip cuttings or by seeds.
Take 4-6 in. stem-tip cuttings from a healthy Cigar Plant and strip off the lower leaves.
Insert the Cigar Plant cuttings in moist free-draining soil and place the set up in a warm well-lit spot.
Maintain the soil moist through out until the new Cigar Plants are well established.
Spread the Cigar Plant seeds evenly on moist free-draining soil and slightly cover with some soil.
Cover the set up with a plastic sheet to create a greenhouse effect and place the set up in a warm brightly-lit place.
Maintain the soil moist through out by gently misting the soil surface.
Transplant the Cigar Plant seedlings when they are well established into individual pot.
Place the Cigar Plant seedlings in a shaded well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges and the new Cigar Plants are well established.
Brown leaves in Cigar Plant are caused by too hot direct sunlight on the plant. The plant requires bright light with some direct sunlight but not the hot midday sun.
Cigar Plant will not bloom if the light is too little. Move your Cigar Plant to a brighter spot as it requires bright light with some direct sunlight.
Cigar Plant is losing its leaf color due to inadequate light. Move your Cigar Plant to a brighter spot where it will receive bright light with some direct sunlight.
Bright light is necessary for your Cigar Plant for the development of the bright leaf color with reddish-purple leaf tips.
There are two possible reasons for leaf drop in Cigar Plant.
One possible reason for leaf drop in your Cigar Plant is cold draughts.
Protect your Cigar plant from cold draughts to prevent sudden drop in temperature and maintain an average room temperature.
The second possible reason for leaf drop in your Cigar Plant is dry air.
Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Cigar Plant. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
Isolate the affected Cigar Plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.
One common disease in Cigar Plant is root-rot which is brought about by waterlogging.
Never allow your Cigar Plant to sit in soggy soil; ensure that there is good drainage of both the pot and the soil.
Cigar Plant (Cuphea ignea) is non-toxic to humans and pets. It is safe to grow indoors.