I have 12 of these shrubs spread around my garden. They laugh at heat, tolerate shade, and do a fair job at handling drought, although the more water they get, the better they look.
|3 Cuphea are grouped together on each side of the front border, along with shrub roses, Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold,' and Agapanthus|
|The 3 Cuphea in the front of the dry garden are looking woe-begone after the heat of summer and restricted irrigation but they'll recover once the weather cools and I cut them back this fall|
Annie's Annuals & Perennials classifies this Cuphea as indestructible. It's suited to USDA zones 8-11 (Sunset zones 11-13, 16-24, H1 and H2). It grows about 3 feet (1 meter) tall and wide and it produces flowers, literally, all year. I cut mine back hard once a year but they recover relatively quickly.
|The pink and purple tubular flowers are about an inch long|
It's a bee and hummingbird magnet. I see hummingbirds feeding at these plants, even the drought-stricken ones in my dry garden, almost every morning. I took a video of the hundreds of bees surrounding the plants in the front beds but, as it appears that the only way to show you a non-blurry version of it is to load it into YouTube first, I'm making do here with still photos taken with my with my point and click camera, which can't begin to capture the buzz around the plants.
|This poor photo, taken in May, is the best one I've managed to take of the hummingbirds with the Cuphea|
|This was the best of my bee close-ups|
Cuphea ignea 'Starfire Pink' is my contribution to Loree's regular favorite plant feature at danger garden. You can find her favorite, as well as links to other gardeners' favorites, here.
All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party