I know we have discussed this plant a lot here, but I want to sing its praises again.
About two weeks ago I cut a portion of one of these plants that was interfering with the light one of my roses was getting. On impulse I stuck it into the ground in a place nearby. I noticed a few days later that it wasn't dead, so I watered it and then did so a few other times. Now it is really starting to grow. I think it will grow rapidly and be flowering in three week or so.
This is one of the merits of this plant--it is so easy to root from cuttings.
I must have ten of these plants in different parts of my property. I have two or three hummers now that are frequent visitors and this is always one of their favorites. In crowed areas this plant is well over six feet tall. In areas with lots of room it will sprawl.
One possible negative is that the schumanniis don't seem to attract butterflies, although once and a while I will see a sulphur (yellow) visit them. The large violet-colored Stachytarpheta (porterweed), on the other hand, gets lots of visits from all kinds of butterflies, as well as the hummers.
The one year I had it in the ground it didn't attact much attention. It was used some but not that much. I have one started from a cutting this year that I put in the ground between two David Verity. The David Verity have doubled in size while schumannii is poking along at a much slower pace.
USDA hardiness zone 6a
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
I love this plant but lately seem to have trouble growing it well here. Thanks to Nancy Im attempting to bring some all the way from seed. Mine are healthy but not very big as yet 10" at best. We need some sustained heat I feel. This hot and cold spring we have been having cant be good for them. Another problem with this cuphea and david verity is japanese beetles seem to attack these above all else. Last year the beetle invasion wasnt as strong as it had been previous to that and Im hoping for the same this year.
How great that this plant is working out so well for you. We grew it for several seasons and then finally gave up. It kept breaking off and hummers were not really visiting it either (they preferred 'David Verity' I'm afraid.) It doesn't make sense that hummers wouldn't use it since it contains plenty of nectar, but I just got tired of having the plant self destruct every week. On to other plant adventures!
Kathi and Michael Rock
Mine were planted to grow up the bean trellis this year. A great plan except for one thing, the woodchucks didn't eat them but ran them down. The leftover one will go into a pot and mainly be grown for next year. Other years this plant has grown very lushly and bloomed from July on.
I am developing a new view about Cuphea schumannii. No question it is one of the very best nectar producers in my garden. One from last year is growing right next to a huge Cuphea 'David Verity'. It is about 5 1/2 feet tall, supported by an iron trellis. The Cuphea 'David Verity' had grown too large and needed to be trimmed severely, so this morning, I began hacking away at it.
Underneath the bramble of the Cuphea 'David Verity', I found several seedling Cuphea schumannii, the largest being about a foot tall. None were in flower nor even budded. However, given the Cuphea schumannii propensity for sprawling growth, I am going to try letting the several plants develop into a clump.
Additionally, reading how much trouble most northern gardeners have with this fine plant, I have to question its value to them. Yes, Tom, I do sing its praises, but I don't think it is a plant for everyone.
The one year it did really well for me was the year I planted it out in the front island bed in full hot sun with barely average water since that is actually where most of my agastaches and penstemonds and S. greggiis are planted. It did get quite large bloomed profusely but was seldom ever used. The one plant I have now was grown from one of the 6 seeds that I managed to collect that year.
USDA hardiness zone 6a
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
For me the key seems to be getting good sized plants (the larger the better) into the garden as early as possible. When I have done that the plants have grow 6 or 7 feet in a summer and bloomed really well.
I moved my potted schumannii to the ground this year because it got too big for patio container. It is located in the garden bed next to the back of my garage, which means a couple things... First, that spot gets reflected heat off the garage and probably gets 15 degrees hotter than the rest of the yard. As with the black & blue I had there last year, I am having to soak the schumannii every day or it wilts badly. Second, I won't be able to see if hummers are using it unless I walk back there. I am, however, looking forward to seeing how big and lush it gets. It is planted in some real nice, rich soil. After not doing much in May, it is now beginning to send fresh growth upward pretty quickly.
Have to agree with you, Nancy, it seems to do best in warm, humid conditions. Here in Central Florida it's a star. I was watching a female today use it for a long time. She also visited the porterweeds, but seemed to prefer the schumannii.
I also have the David Variety, and it is used, but not as much and it doesn't seem to thrive here. It grows slowly, but has lasted several years now.
I know that you have had success with Phillis Fancy and San Carlos Festival, Nancy. I bought these and they are growing well for me. I really like the color of the San Carlos Festival. The Phillis Fancy is getting ready to bloom. I have three cuttings of both.
Tonight we got a little light rain(first in 2 weeks) and that was all it took to break off one of my nice schumannii stems. I know this plant is fragile, but being no more than 18 inches tall I didn't think it needed to be supported yet. I guess I had better get out the support stakes before a downpour causes the rest of it to crumble.
My main Cuphea schumannii is about 6 feet tall, wired up to an iron trellis. Earlier this week, I noticed an errant stem twining through the Salvia 'Margie Griffith' that grows up behind it, holding the main plant in place. I tried to move the errant stem closer to the trellis so it could be wired into place, but the entire stem broke off.
There are several seedlings that have grown up around the main plant, tallest being nearly 2 feet tall. Those haven't flowered yet, but I can wait. Cuphea schumannii is certainly not the perfect plant. Hummingbirders farther north who have a short season will have to assess whether it is worth their effort to grow it.
Becky, I don't get Japanese beetles; do you? I get some beetles from time to time, mostly on roses, but they aren't the Japanese kind.
Nancy, my schumannii grow with other plants and seem to enjoy their support. I have place in the front of my yard where it grows with the Maggy Griffin that you sent me and two tall porterweeds. The schumannii seem to like to rest on the other plants. In the back they grow between and upon the hamelia patens.
The thing about them that I most enjoy is that they never stop blooming. They throw out blooms all year long here--every day. The only thing that stops them is a freeze.