Stephanotis Vine Care
Stephanotis floribunda, aka Madagascar Jasmine or Hawaiian Wedding Flower, is one beautiful vine. It has striking, dark glossy green foliage and heavenly scented, starry flowers grow in clusters which delight the olfactory senses. How you care for it (in the outdoor world) is not difficult, but like any plant, there are a few things it requires.
The attractive foliage is much like that of a Hoya – it looks tough but can burn in the sun.
This twining vine is evergreen and can grow to reach 30′. It’s not particularly fast growing (slow but vigorous!) which is good because that means you don’t need to have at it constantly with the pruners. It does need a means of support to grow on and training to get it to do what you want. The pictures below says it all.
This is my neighbor’s vine (planted about a year ago) which is now saying “bigger trellis please!” You’ll see this plant in the video below.
The new growth tendrils out wanting something to grab onto. It blooms on newer wood so prune lightly. Here, late winter or early spring is a good time to prune to keep it in check.
This one is being trained with wire & eye hooks. Some of the new growth strays out – no way around that. This pic was taken in mid-November & it’s still blooming away.
There are quite a few of these vines around Santa Barbara and I would hazard a bet that none get too much pampering if any at all. Here’s what I know:
* Stephanotis likes nice bright light but no direct hot sun.
* It’s hardy to around 39 degrees.
* It doesn’t like dry air. I live 7 blocks from the ocean so that’s why my neighbors’ vines do so well.
* This vine is not drought tolerant – keep it evenly moist.
* It likes nice rich soil & will benefit from an application or 2 of nice, rich compost every year.
* The roots need to be kept cool – the compost will help with that. This is another reason to keep it out of hot sun.
* As far as insects go, keep an eye out for mealy bug & scale.
As a houseplant (they are most often seen growing on a ring or small trellis), Stephanotis can be a bit tricky. In the winter our home tend to be kept dry and this plant likes humidity. Another glitch, it likes cool temps in the winter time. Fertilize it with fish emulsion, kelp or liquid seaweed at 1/2 strength during the growing season.
Here in Santa Barbara it flowers from the late Spring through early Winter. This year has been sunny and very mild so the Stephanotis is still blooming away in January. In days past this was the quintessential bridal flower and was commonly seen in bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres and in bride’s hair.
The individual flowers are put on Stephanotis Picks which are long pieces of covered wire with cotton at the end. This is so they can be put into a bouquet. Sweet little blooms!
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