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The Cigar plant brings the hummingbirds into our gardens with their profuse springtime red tubular flowers. It is a modest foliage plant that can be clipped and sheared to control its shape and size, and a garden knock-out when in flower.

This flowering shrub is adaptable to many types of soil, and partial shade to full sun, although avoid planting it in areas with hot west-facing summer sun. It performs best with regular moisture and seasonal trimming to maintain its character. It is a good container plant, in raised planters and for fresh garden planting schemes. Several cultivars of Cigar plant are available, including: C. i. 'David Verity' is large and robust, growing 4-6 ft. tall and as wide, and produces deep orange flowers with flared pale yellow tips; C. i. 'Starfire Pink' has a dense habit to 3 ft. tall and wide with deep pink flowers with flared lavender tips.

Water Needs

The Cigar plant and its many cultivars grow well in partial shade to partially sunny locations in many types of soils and with regular summer water. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; summer water helps sustain its foliage character particularly when planted in sunny exposures.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Moderate Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 4

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 2x to 3x 2x to 3x 3x to 4x 3x to 4x 3x to 4x 2x to 3x 2x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 2" to 3" 2" to 3" 3" to 4" 3" to 4" 3" to 4" 2" to 3" 2" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3"

Range of supplemental summer water: 17"-24"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-15"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Perennial
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Mounding, Compact
Growth Rate: Short-lived, Fast
Height: 12 in. - 30 in.
Width: 12 in. - 24 in.
Water Needs: Moderate 4
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: Red
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Loam, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Morning sun, Filtered or indirect sunlight, All day sun
Function: Residential spaces, Raised planters, Near pools and water features, Hummingbird plant, Grouped, Flowering accent plant, Borders, Small spaces


Can be pruned or sheared to control size and to shape as needed. Pinching back long or leggy branches encourages a nicer compact and dense growth form. Major pruning is best in winter (4,D).



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