Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - August 29, 2006

From: Ida Grove, IA
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Wintering over a Cuphea ignea in Iowa Zones 4-5
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a Cigar Plant, or a cuphea. I live in Iowa and need to know how to take care of this plant. Does this plant die and that's it, or does this plant come back year after year?

ANSWER:

Cigar plant (Cuphea ignea) is a tropical plant, native to Mexico and the Caribbean. It can withstand light frosts (USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 8-9) and come back in the spring; but, for Iowa in Zones 4-5, I'm afraid it would be 'goner' left outdoors in the winter. It could, however, be grown in a pot as a houseplant and moved outside in its container during frost-free weather to become part of your landscaping.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Suckers on non-native Mayten tree
April 26, 2009 - We have a Meyten tree that has lots of suckers coming up from the roots. We would like to keep the tree, but if we can't find a way to control the suckers, we are considering taking it out. Any sugg...
view the full question and answer

Wrapping a newly planted non-native Japanese maple from Fraser MI
October 01, 2013 - Does a newly planted Japanese maple need to be wrapped in burlap for the cold and snowy winter of Macomb County, Michigan?
view the full question and answer

Non-native pomegranate failing to fruit from Highland Village TX
October 20, 2012 - Last spring I planted a pomegranate tree (type: Wonderful) which is supposed to produce edible fruit. It had 5 or 6 absolutely beautiful blooms, but each of them dropped off and no sign of fruit. Is...
view the full question and answer

Cold hardy non-native fig tree for Dallas
July 04, 2008 - Do you know the best cold hardy fig tree that will grow and fruit in Dallas, Texas?
view the full question and answer

Root growth on non-native Pittisporum Tobira from San Francisco
October 29, 2011 - How do the roots grow and spread for the Pittosporum Tobira shrub? I have one that is about 20 feet tall and wonder how to care for it? Do you have a picture of how the roots grow?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.