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Growing Mexican Heather (Cuphea)


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
August 5, 2016

Mexican Heather (Cuphea) in nursery potI've always admired this little plant. The foliage is rather fine, and a dark, glossy green. The flowers are dainty and numerous.Mexican Heather (Cuphea) in nursery pot

 

I never bought the plant because it is rather small and low growing. I don't have a rock garden, and I couldn't think of anywhere else it might be suitable unless it was mass planted.

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Lowe's had little $3 pots marked down to a dollar. I couldn't resist. I bought one. I brought it home and googled some information about it's care.

I knew it originated in frost free climates, and with me being in zone 7b, I thought I would at least get to enjoy it til late September.

The rooting information was sparse, "Take stem tips and insert in rooting medium". As it turns out, that info sufficed. I took about eight 2-3 inch stem tips, removed the leaves from the bottom half and inserted them in a moist, rich medium. I did not use a rooting agent. I covered the cuttings with a dome made from a two liter drink bottle. I sat the pot in dappled sunlight.

Five days later, I expected nothing. Childish and impatient me, I lifted the cuttings. To my surprise, I found Cuphea rooted faster than any other plant I have ever propagated.Rooting Mexican Heather (Cuphea)

 
Rooting Mexican Heather (Cuphea)
 

So, I have about 6 weeks to see how many rootings I can get from this one little pot. They will be small enough I can overwinter them indoors. Wanna bet I'll get enough to do at least a small mass planting somewhere next spring?

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I marvel at the ability of most plants to generate a new, whole 'self' from just a tiny piece of it's former self.

For the most part, life is good.

A period of better sunlight came along. I took more pictures. They show more detail of how I prepared these cuttings.Rooting Mexican Heather (Cuphea)

 
Rooting Mexican Heather (Cuphea)
 
Rooting Mexican Heather (Cuphea)
 

Rooting Mexican Heather (Cuphea)

 
Rooting Mexican Heather (Cuphea)
 

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
July 24, 2017

My border bed is a lot less than I had hoped for. I blame that on poor planning and not thinking ahead. Hopefully, with proper planning and lots of referral notes, there will be a dramatic improvement next year.

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I hope to avoid all these problems next year by overwintering a tray of the Mexican heather cuttings.

Overwintering Mexican Heather (Cuphea)

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