Plant Library

Ballistic Cuphea

Cuphea 'Ballistic'

Add To My Wish List

Ballistic Cuphea (Cuphea 'Ballistic') at Green Thumb Nursery

Ballistic Cuphea flowers

Ballistic Cuphea flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Ballistic Cuphea (Cuphea 'Ballistic') at Green Thumb Nursery

Ballistic Cuphea in bloom

Ballistic Cuphea in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  10 inches

Spread:  15 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  9a


Small, freely branching shrub or subshrub with unusual pinkish-red and purple tubular flowers; blooms continually in mild climates grown in full sun; grown as an annual in cooler climates

Ornamental Features

Ballistic Cuphea has pink tubular flowers with red overtones and violet bracts along the branches from late spring to mid fall, which are interesting on close inspection. It has green evergreen foliage. The small pointy leaves remain green throughout the winter.

Landscape Attributes

Ballistic Cuphea is an open multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a mounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Ballistic Cuphea is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Ballistic Cuphea will grow to be about 10 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 15 inches. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It may require supplemental watering during periods of drought or extended heat. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider covering it with a thick layer of mulch in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.

Ballistic Cuphea makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Garden  Container 
Flowers  Texture  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features