St. John's Creeper

Podranea ricasoliana is a lovely, fast growing woody vine that will grace any arbor or trellis with ease. Easy to grow, podranea ricasoliana does not have tendrils to grab onto a trellis with, so will have to be trained at first. It can bloom in it's first season, with dozens of 2 to 3 inch trumpet shaped, pale to dark pink flowers bugling all over the deep green foliage.

Commonly called Port Saint John's Creeper, Port Saint John's Klimop, and Pink Trumpet Vine, Podranea ricasoliana is native to parts of South Africa. I protect mine from frost, but it may be able to bear a touch of light frost. Mulch well if in zone 9 (if leaving in the ground) for best results.

The lovely foliage is just as desirable as the flowers, so it is an attractive plant even when not blooming. Flowers are about 3 to 4 inches in length, with a mouth of bloom about 2 to 2 and a half inches across.
It prefers a loamy, rich soil, that is well aerated. Mine does fine in a mixture of sharp sand and compost mixed. Place in full sun for the most flowers. Fertilize the plant every 3 months with granulated time release Palm and Citrus fertilizer. If in a climate that receives frost, stop fertilizing in late summer and allow to rest. Resume fertilizer in early spring after chance of last frost has passed.

Port St. John's Creeper is easy to propagate. Semi-woody stem cuttings will readily root in a perlite mix with water and peroxide. Keep in shade for 6 to 8 weeks while the cutting roots. When tiny hair roots begin to creep out of the bottom of the pots, pot it up in a loamy soil mix and allow to establish a nice root base and length of vine before placing out on an open trellis or arbor.

Pink Trumpet flower blooms fall through winter down here in South Florida. In more northern climates, I'd expect it to bloom late summer to fall. The blooms last several days before succumbing to the rains or wind. But as the plant ages, they will put out more and more blooms, and those will begin to open even as others are fading, creating a show that can last several months.

The Pink Trumpet Vine can become aggressive if allowed to it's own display. To avoid escape, it can be grown out in large window boxes or in buried pots (with lip of pot above ground) to keep the plant from escape. Trim it regularly, as it blooms best on new wood.

Podranea does like to be watered on a regular basis. Only allow the first inch or so of soil to dry out before drenching fully to keep deeper roots moist. This will insure the best overall growth and flower production.

If growing in Zone 8 and lower, bring the plant inside to protect from frost. You can pack the root ball in damp sawdust over the winter, checking on it once or twice a month to make sure it does not completely dry out. Cut the top back at this time. A few weeks before you will be setting it back outside, repot it into soil, and begin to reintrocuce to a light source. Weakly fertilize with a water soluble fertilizer to intensify new growth.

You can purchase Pink Trumpet Vines Here.

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