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Tecomanthe dendrophila - New Guinea Trumpet Vine

Tecomanthe dendrophila - the New Guinea Trumpet Vine - is a spectacular vine that's rarely seen in cultivation.  Throughout much of the year, it's loaded with striking clusters of big, pink & white blossoms in a circular arrangement around the stems.  When grown over an arbor or trellis, it makes a truly amazing floral display.  If you can provide the right conditions for this tropical vine, it is easy to grow.

Tecomanthe dendrophila - New Guinea Trumpet Vine

It is a vigorous but well-behaved vine that loves to climb up trees (hence the name dendrophilla, meaning "tree loving").  It's attractive even without blooms, and it rarely smothers other plants.  Unlike most vines, the flowers emerge directly from the woody stems, not from the shoots.  The 4 inch blossoms are a delightful deep-pink with a creamy white throat, and each cluster has about 10 to 20 of them.  The vine can potentially grow over 40 feet long, but it is easily kept shorter on a trellis, wires, or arbor.

Tecomanthe dendrophila - New Guinea Trumpet Vine

It grows best with warm daytime temperatures, similar to warm-growing orchids.  It tolerates cooler conditions, and can even survive a light frost, but try to protect it from frost.  It can handle anything from full sun down to bright shade, but it seems happiest mid-way in part sun.  It grows well in a large pot in well-draining soil that's always kept evenly moist.  Over about 50% humidity is best for this rain forest vine.  It's safe to prune the new shoots any time during the year, since it flowers from the old growth.

Tecomanthe dendrophila - New Guinea Trumpet Vine

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Photos courtesy of John Jennings and Benoit Henry

 

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