• All
  • Articles
  • Videos
  • Plants
  • Recipes
  • Members

How to Care for a Mexican Cigar Plant

Comments ()  |   |  Text size: a A  |  Report Abuse  |  Print
close

Report This Article

How to Care for a Mexican Cigar Plant

Reason for flagging?

Comments

Submit

Share:    |  Email  |  Bookmark and Share

Overview

Mexican cigar plant, also known as Cuphea ignea, is a perennial shrub valued for its ornamental flowers and ease of care. The plant's flowers are long, brownish-red tubes with white ends, giving them the appearance of ash-tipped cigars, hence the name. Blooming occurs during spring, summer and early fall. Native to Central and South America, Mexican cigar plant thrives outdoors in zones 10 through 12, but is commonly grown as a house plant throughout most of the United States.

Step 1

Keep Mexican cigar plant in a location that receives full, direct sunlight throughout the day. Grow in a well-drained, moist, fertile potting mix for the best results. Maintain a temperature of 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

Step 2

Water about once every 10 days, allowing the soil to dry between applications. Apply water directly to the soil to avoid wetting the leaves, as moist foliage is more susceptible to fungal diseases and pests. Reduce watering frequency to once every two weeks during winter.

Step 3

Feed Mexican cigar plant once per year during early spring, just as new growth begins. Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to gradually add nutrients to the soil throughout the year. Apply at the rate recommended by the product's manufacturer for the best results.

Step 4

Re-pot the plant during early spring once every two to three years, or whenever the plant has outgrown its current container. Increase the diameter of the container by 3 to 4 inches each time and provide a fresh growing medium to maximize growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Slow-release fertilizer
  • Container
  • Potting soil

References

  • Iowa State University Extension: Cigar Plants Light Up Container Gardens
  • University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: Crazy Cupheas
  • "The House Plant Expert"; D. G. Hessayon; 1992

Who Can Help

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: Mexican cigar plant, Cuphea ignea, care for a Mexican cigar plant

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.