This plant is cuphea micropetala, aka big cigar plant, aka candy corn plant. I bought it in the spring, and it has been gracing my deck all summer. Not only does this plant, which is actually a shrub, produce quantities of hummingbird-friendly blooms non-stop, it has attractive dark green foliage.
I loved watching the hummingbirds browsing in it, probing every single bloom. The hummers have departed for warmer climes, but the cuphea soldiers on, and still looks awesome. No drama, no mess, just flowers.
Here are the flowers again, closer this time. Just lovely. I realize that I am gushing, but it is one of the great pleasures of gardening to discover a new cultivar that performs so well.
There it is, next to a chair so you can get an idea of its size. This plant is hardy only to about Zone 8. It is grown as a shrub in more southern states, and I envy those lucky gardeners who get to enjoy it all year long.
I am going to attempt to overwinter mine indoors. I have read about people doing this successfully, and it seems that as long as you have a very sunny window and your house is not too warm – yes, and yes – the plant has a good chance of making it. I am expecting leaf drop when it first comes inside, but most plants do that.
So wish me luck. I figure if the worst happens and the plant dies, I can always get another one next spring. I’ll let you know how it goes.