How to Grow and Care for Cigar Plant (Cuphea ignea) Indoors


Cigar Plant (Cuphea ignea) also called Cigar Flower or Mexican Cigar Plant is a 1 ft high bush bearing a profusion of tubular, cigar-shaped flowers among the smooth narrow 2 in. long leaves.

Mexican 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

Botanical name: Cuphea ignea
Family: Lythraceae
Common Names: Cigar Plant, Cigar Flower, Mexican Cigar Plant

Origin

Cuphea ignea is a tropical densely branched evergreen shrub native to Mexico and West Indies.

Flower

Cigar Plant flowers come in a profusion, are tubular, cigar-shaped in orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White and Yellow.

Toxicity

According to Pond Informer Cigar Plant is not known to have any toxic effects on humans or animals.

Where to Buy

Cigar Plants are a valuable addition to your collection, they are available online on Etsy.

Cuphea ignea Care Indoors

Cigar Plant (Cuphea ignea) blossoms in bright light with some direct sunlight, average warmth and humidity and moderately moist, fertile, well-drained soil coupled with regular feeding during the growing season.

Cuphea ignea requires regular pruning to keep it neat and tidy as well as promote flowering. Repotting is necessary only when it becomes pot-bound as it blooms best when root-bound. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Cigar Plant, Cuphea ignea

Watering

Water Cigar Plant liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist.

Reduce watering during the cold period to keep the soil slightly moist but do not let the soil dry out completely.

Make sure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can result in root-rot disease.

Light Requirements

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.

Rotate the pot regularly to ensure the plant receives light on all sides for uniform growth.

Mexican Cigar Plant can also grow under a grow light where natural light is not sufficient. Check out these full spectrum grow lights on Amazon.

Temperature and Humidity

Cool to average warmth with a minimum of 100C is ideal for Cigar Plant. Keep it away from cold and hot draughts to prevent sudden changes in temperature.

Cigar Plant has no need for high humidity. However, if the air is too dry, set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Fertilizer

Feed Cigar Plant with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing season for lush growth.

Do not feed it during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time can cause fertilizer burn.

Regularly flush out excess fertilizers from the soil 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.

Potting Soil

The best soil for Cigar Plant should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for this plant. Buy quality Potting Mix online from Amazon.

Repotting

Repot Cigar Plant during the growing season only when the plant is pot-bound as it blooms best when slightly pot-bound. Do not repot a plant that is in flower as it can shorten the flowering period.

Use a pot that is only one size larger than the current one. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the plant. Check out these Pots with Multi Mesh Drainage Holes on Amazon.

Pruning

Pruning Cigar Plant is easy. Remove dead leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy. Remove spent flowers to encourage it to produce more blooms.

Cutback the straggly stems with a sharp, sterilized knife or pair of scossors at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth. Learn more on how to prune houseplants.

Propagation

Cigar Plant (Cuphea ignea) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem-tip cuttings or by seeds.

How to propagate Cigar Plant from stem-tip cuttings

Take 4-6 in. stem-tip cuttings from a healthy Cigar Plant and strip off the lower leaves.

Insert the cuttings in moist free-draining soil and place the set up in a warm, well-lit spot away from direct sunlight.

Maintain the soil moist through out until the new Cigar Flowers are well established after which you can begin routine care.

How to propagate Cigar Plant from seeds

Spread the Cigar Plant seeds evenly on moist free-draining soil and slightly cover with some soil.

Cover the set up with a clear plastic sheet to create a greenhouse effect and place the set up in a warm, brightly-lit place away from direct sunlight.

Maintain the soil moist through out by gently misting the soil surface.

Transplant the seedlings into individual pots when they are well established. For a fuller plant, transplant several seedlings into one pot.

Place the seedlings in a warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight.

Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges and the new Mexican Cigar Plants are well established after which you can begin routine care.

Cigar Plant, Cuphea ignea

Cuphea ignea Common Problems

Cigar Plant (Cuphea ignea) growing problems include leaf drop, brown leaves, lack of blooms, loss of leaf color pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

No blooms

Cigar Plant will not bloom if the light is too little as it requires bright light with some direct sunlight to bloom.

Posistion the plant in a brighter spot where it will receive bright light with some direct sunlight or instal a grow light if natural light is not sufficient.

The second reason why Cigar Plant is not blooming is feeding it with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer which promotes vegetative growth at the expense of flowers.

Feed the plant with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing season but do not feed it in the cold season.

Loss of leaf color

Cigar Plant is losing its leaf color due to inadequate light as it grows best in bright light with some direct sunlight.

Move the plant to a brighter spot where it will receive bright light with some direct sunlight to promote development of the bright leaf color with reddish-purple leaf tips.

Dropping leaves

There are two possible reasons for leaf drop in Cigar Plant. One possible reason is cold draughts which cause sudden drops in the temperature.

Keep the Cigar Flower away from cold draughts like drafy windows and doors to prevent sudden drops in temperature and maintain an average room temperature.

The second possible reason for leaf drop in Cigar Plant is dry air (low humidity) as it thrives in a humid enviroment.

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity.

Brown leaves

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.

Pests

Common pests in Cigar Plant are Thrips and Aphids. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it with a horticultural oil as per the manufacturer's recommendations.

Diseases

Cigar Plant is prone to root-rot which is brought about by soggy soil. Never allow the plant to sit in soggy soil; ensure that there is good drainage of both the pot and the soil. Read more on how to treat root-rot in houseplants.

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