How to grow and care for Cigar Plant Indoors

Some links in this post may be affiliate links

Houseplant, Cigar Plant

Botanical name: Cuphea ignea
Family: Lythraceae

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. It is fast growing reaching its full height in one year. The plant requires regular pruning to keep it compact and bushy. Cigar plant is a tropical densely branched evergreen shrub native to Mexico and West Indies.

How to Grow Cigar Plant


Cigar Plant prefers bright light with some direct sunlight. Bright light is necessary for development of bright leaf color with reddish-purple leaf tips. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in 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. Avoid waterlogging as it can lead to Root-rot Disease. Learn more on how to water houseplants.


Cool to average warmth with a minimum of 100C is ideal for Cigar Plant. Protect the plant from cold and hot draughts. Learn more on temperature for houseplants.


Cigar Plant has no need for high humidity. Mist the leaves occasionally or set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity if the air is too dry.


Feed Cigar Plant with a potassium-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 by running a stream of water through the soil until it comes out through the drainage holes, allow to run for at least 10 minutes. Find out more on how to feed houseplants.


Repot Cigar Plant during the growing season only when the plant is pot-bound. Use a pot that is 1 size larger. Cigar Plant blooms best when slightly pot-bound. Do not repot a plant that is in flower. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent waterlogging as it can lead to Root-rot Disease. The soil should be free-draining and rich in organic matter.


Pruning Cigar Plant is easy. Remove dead leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy. Remove spent flowers to encourage more blooms. Cut back the straggly stems at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth. Learn more on how to prune houseplants.

How to Propagate Cigar Plant

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

Propagating Cigar Plant from stem-tip cuttings
Take 4-6 in. stem-tip cuttings from a healthy Cigar Plant plant. Insert the cuttings in moist free-draining soil. Place the set up in a warm well-lit spot. Maintain the soil moist through out until the new plants are well established.

Propagating Cigar Plant from seeds
Spread 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. Place the set up in a warm brightly-lit place. Maintain the soil moist through out by gently misting the soil surface. Transplant the seedlings when they are well established into individual pot. Place the seedlings in a shaded well-lit place. Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges and the plants are well established.

Common Problems in Growing Cigar Plant

  • Brown leaf edges
  • Brown leaf edges in Cigar Plant are caused by low light. The plant require bright light with some direct sunlight.

  • No blooms
  • Cigar Plant will not bloom if the light is too little. It requires bright light but away from direct sunlight.

  • Leaf drop
  • One reason for leaf drop in Cigar Plant is cold draughts. Protect the plant from cold draughts to prevent sudden drop in temperature. The other reason is dry air. Mist the leaves more regularly or set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity.

  • Pests
  • The common pests in Cigar Plant are Thrips and Aphids.

  • Diseases
  • One common disease in Cigar Plant is Root-rot which is brought about by waterlogging. Never allow Cigar Plant to sit in soggy soil; ensure good drainage of both the pot and the soil.


Cigar Plant (Cuphea ignea) plants are non-toxic to humans and pets.

Was this insightful? Feel free to share on social media.

On the Blog

On the Blog

Houseplants, Indoor garden
Benefits of houseplants

Apart from adding beauty, live houseplants are beneficial to us in many ways. Some of these are quite interesting. Read more »

Houseplant, Peace Lily
10 Houseplants that clean the air

These ten beautiful houseplants have been found to be effective in removing indoor air pollutants. Select some to improve your indoor air quality. Read more »

Houseplants, Golden Pothos
10 easy houseplants

These houseplants are easy to care for which means they are suitable for you if you are just starting out with growing houseplants. Read more »

Houseplants, Snake Plant, Sanseveria
10 hard to kill houseplants

These houseplants are suitable for the forgetful, a beginner or one who has limited time to take care of their houseplants. Read more »

Houseplant, Nerve plant
16 Houseplants for small spaces

Let not space limit you in greening your living spaces. These small houseplants are perfect to additions for such spaces. Read more »

Houseplant, String of pearls plant
15 Houseplants for hanging baskets

Hanging baskets are one beautiful way of maximizing on the vertical space. These easy to grow houseplants are excellent for hanging. Read more »

Aglaonema modestum
15 Houseplants for low light spaces

Even for the poorly lit spaces, these houseplants will adapt very well to the low light conditions and continue to brighten up such spaces. Read more »

Houseplant, Monstera plant
20 Houseplants for the office

Do not let yourself be surrounded by dull plain walls while you are working. Bring some green in and break the monotony of pale boring walls. Read more »

10 Houseplants suitable for a Terrarium

One interesting way to display houseplants is the use of a terrarium. These houseplants are well suited for a terrarium. Read more »