Cuphea purpurea 'Firecracker'
Firecracker Cuphea flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 14 inches
Spread: 14 inches
Hardiness Zone: (annual)
A smaller, more compact variety with unusual tubular flowers lipped with outward facing scarlet petals and deep purple centers; great for bedding, shrub borders, and containers in warm climates
Firecracker Cuphea features showy scarlet tubular flowers with purple throats and curiously fluted burgundy tips along the branches from mid spring to mid fall. Its pointy leaves remain green in color throughout the year.
Firecracker Cuphea is a multi-stemmed annual with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Firecracker Cuphea is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Firecracker Cuphea will grow to be about 14 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 14 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. Although it's not a true annual, this plant can be expected to behave as an annual in our climate if left outdoors over the winter, usually needing replacement the following year. As such, gardeners should take into consideration that it will perform differently than it would in its native habitat.
This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.
Firecracker Cuphea is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers against which the larger thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.