Cuphea

Varieties: C. platycentra; C. Llavea minitia; C. hyssopifolia; C. lanceolata.

Common name: Cigar plant, Cigar flower.

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Growth habit: upright, branched, bushy to rounded.

Foliage: opposite, ovate to lanceolate, entire or slightly toothed, mid too dark green, 2.5 to 7.5 centimetres.

Light: full sun, filtered sun to part shade.

Pests and problems: aphids and whiteflies, generally indoors; may become spindly in low light conditions resulting in a poor bloom.

Landscape habit, uses: containers, massed bedding, edging, indoors.

Cuphea originates from Guatemala, Mexico. This specific sample of Cuphea comes from a garden situated at 103 Ridge road, Pietermaritzburg and is defined as C. hyssopifolia.

Mature stems were cut from the original plants in the garden. Cuts were taken at a 45-degree angle. The cuttings were then placed in root hormone, Seradex No. 2. They were then placed into a potting mix of 65% pine bark and 35% polystyrene balls. The polystyrene helps in aerating the medium.
After being in the greenhouse for approximately 4 weeks they were then moved out the greenhouse and put under shade cloth. The two plants were replanted into bigger bags consisting of mainly pine bark. A slow release 3-1-5 fertilizer was applied to cater for the nutrient demands of the plant. Only one application was made 3 weeks after planting.

The pink Cuphea seemed to respond better to the propagation procedure than the white one during the initial cutting and planting phase. However the plant growth rates had evened out by the third week. Both plants attract a large number of bees on hot days. The plant responds better if it is cut back frequently which inspires vigorous, dense growth making the plant interesting and compact.


Bibliography:
Reference:
1.ANR-1147, New May 1999. J.R.Kessler, Jr., Extension Horticulturist, Assistant Professor, Horticulture, Auburn University
2.http://www.aces.edu/dept/extcomm/publications/anr/anr-1147/anr-1147.html