A large genus of at least 250 species of annuals, perennials, and shrubs from Central and South America, as well as the southeastern United States. They are grown for their tubular, irregularly shaped flowers, which have a long blooming season. Cuphea can be grown as annuals where not hardy. Use as bedding or in a border.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsLong-blooming, tubular flowers. Sticky foliage. Plants often attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
CareIn the garden, plant in full sun or partial shade and moderately fertile, well-drained soil. Cuphea benefit from a protected site. They are fairly frost tender. Prune in spring. Indoors, grow in full light and moderate humidity. Protect from strong sun. Tip-prune for bushy growth.
PropagationStart from seed indoors at 55 to 61°F in early spring, or sow in the garden in late spring. Perennials may be propagated by division or cuttings in late spring using bottom heat.
ProblemsRoot rot, stem galls, dieback, powdery mildew, and leaf spots are fairly common. Whiteflies and aphids can also be problems.