Rampant, vigorous trumpet-like bright pink blooms and looping stems with bright green foliage…this describes Tecomanthe venusta, or pink petticoat vine. What is a Tecomanthe vine? The plant is considered half hardy and is almost aggressive in its growth. However, if you are willing to spend some time training it, the hot pink lipstick-shaped flowers will draw gasps of awe from all who see them. And best of all, once established, the plant needs little extra care. Tecomanthe petticoat vine is perfect for warm to temperate regions where a tough, tenacious vine is required to brighten up a wall or trellis.
What is a Tecomanthe Vine?
Tecomanthe petticoat (Tecomanthe venusta) vine is also called New Guinea creeper, forest bell creeper and New Guinea trumpet vine. The descriptive name of pink petticoat vine refers to the thickly decorated wiry stems that are coated with layers of the hot pink blooms. The plant is a fast growing evergreen vine with waxy leaves and thick flower clusters. It is a tropical plant that cannot withstand temperatures below freezing. Some tips on how to grow a pink petticoat vine should set you on the road to success, provided you don’t have any freezes in your region.
You won’t long forget your first encounter with pink petticoat vine in bloom. Even when not in bloom, the lush foliage makes this a lovely plant but when the flowers appear, watch out! Dense clusters of narrow, bright pink blooms resemble swaying skirts of yesteryear.
Vines can very quickly achieve lengths of 25 feet or more and will require pruning to prevent the complete takeover of an area. Growing petticoat vines requires a wall, trellis, fence or other structure for the stems to clamber upon. The plant will self-support to some extent with the thick, wiry stems that twine around each other, creating strong material to elevate the plant.
Growing Petticoat Vines
Tecomanthe is a group of tropical rainforest plants. As such, they prefer low to medium light, humus rich soil, high humidity and even moisture. Soil fertility should be quite high, and in low nutrient soils, fertilizing annually is recommended.
The plant thrives in United States Department of Agriculture zones 10 to 11 but in cooler regions it can survive in microclimates or in protected situations with some extra care in case of freezing temperatures.
Once the plant is mature, pink petticoat plant care is minimal with the exception of pruning to prevent overtaking of the garden space, occasional watering in summer and feeding in early spring.
In cold regions, grow the plant in a container and take it indoors for winter after pruning back the stems. Pink petticoat blooms from old wood, so you will not get as dramatic of a display the following year.
Pink Petticoat Plant Care
This is a remarkably self-sufficient vine. Few pests and disease issues occur. In fact, the biggest problem you may have are birds making their nests in the tangled stems. The best situation for this vine is in an area where it can be allowed to do its thing without much restraint.
The elegant tangle is vigorous and may be considered by some to be invasive. If the plant is becoming a nuisance, cut back the stems severely. The plant will rally quickly and you will be able to train and manage it more effectively.
Propagation is through cuttings in spring or by harvesting seed. Plants from seed can take up to 5 years or more before they bloom, while cuttings are much quicker.
This is truly an eye-stopping specimen that will adorn your garden space for years with very little extra care.
How to grow geums
Follow our expert advice on growing geums, including tips on position, planting and troubleshooting.
Published: Tuesday, 7 April, 2020 at 9:43 am
Plant does not flower in January
Plant does not flower in February
Plant does not flower in March
Plant does flower in April
Plant does flower in June
Plant does flower in July
Plant does flower in August
Plant does flower in September
Plant does flower in October
Plant does not flower in November
Plant does not flower in December
Do not Cut back in August
Do not Cut back in September
Geums are popular hardy perennials that can flower from late spring into summer and sometimes as late as autumn.
They have semi-evergreen foliage and offer flowers usually of yellow, orange and red. Most geums reach a height of 50cm so are perfect for the front or middle of a border.
How to grow geums:
Grow geums in moist but well-drained soil in sun to partial shade. Deadhead plants after flowering and divide clumps every three years.
Find out more about growing geums, in our detailed Grow Guide.
Where to grow geums
Grow geums in a moisture retentive soil. They thrive in acid or alkaline soils but won’t cope well in very dry soils or in a baking hot south-facing border.
Geum rivale types do best in a shady spot and are ideal partners for hellebores. Geum chiloense types can cope with more sunshine but their semi-evergreen foliage is easily scorched in hot weather.
Geums won’t cope well with a sodden wet soil in winter.
How to plant geums
Improve the water retentiveness of the soil by digging in plenty of organic matter before planting. Firm plants in well and water. Water regularly during dry summers.
Geums spread by rhizomes. Side shoots are easy to dig up and can be replanted in the garden. Plants can also be divided in spring and will set seed.
Growing geums: problem solving
Geums are trouble-free plants – even deer and slugs aren’t interested in them. But, if grown in containers, they can be susceptible to vine weevil. Vine weevil damage is simple to detect. Adult weevils eat notches out of the foliage from spring to late summer. Vine weevil grubs eat the roots, often causing the plant to die. Burn affected plants or treat with nematodes. You can buy chemical vine weevil killers, but bear in mind that these are systemic pesticides that harm bees – remove all flowers from the plant up to six months after applying.
Caring for geums
Deadhead plants after flowering. To encourage strong geums with plenty of flowers, divide plants every three years. If you fail to divide plants they’ll become woody and may die. To ensure the plants are long-lived, make a point of dividing them.
When to divide geums
If geums start to look bare in the centre, they’re in need of dividing. In some cases you’ll need to reject the heart of the plant.
Angel's Trumpet Care
Angel's trumpet can take the form of a shrub or small tree, depending on the area in which it's grown (and the desire of the gardener). Its leaves are 6 to 8 inches long, arranged alternately on the stems, and it's known for its spectacular drooping flowers, which can grow up to 20 inches long.
In cooler zones, angel's trumpet is often grown as a container plant that can be brought indoors when temperatures drop. The flowers produce a strong, fragrant scent, that is most noticeable at night—position the plant somewhere you can enjoy its smell, and keep an eye out for hummingbirds, who are especially drawn to the fragrance.
While angel's trumpet is fairly easy to care for, given the proper growing conditions, much of your time will likely be spent worrying about its toxic nature, which can be dangerous to both humans and animals.
Generally, angel's trumpet does well in a spot that boasts full sun. However, in environments that are especially hot or dry, it can stand to have a bit of shade, especially during the warmer afternoon hours. Regardless of the location though, you should aim to allow the plant between six and eight hours of sunlight daily in order for it to thrive.
Angel's trumpet is perhaps least picky about the soil it grows in. It can exist happily in almost any blend, from sand and clay to loam and richly-organic mixtures. The most important factor lies in the soil's drainage—angel's trumpet does not like to be waterlogged but prefers consistently moist soil, so there's definitely a balance to be achieved. If growing in pots, angel's trumpet will typically do well in a potting mix designed for azaleas and camellias.
This is a very thirsty plant that needs to be watered well—and often. If growing angel's trumpet in a pot, make sure there are ample drainage holes at the base so the plant doesn't get waterlogged, as root rot can occur if the soil becomes are boggy. The exact watering cadence for your plant will depend both on the weather and the method of planting (container vs. garden)—angel's trumpet will need more water when the weather is warm, and plants housed in a container may even need to be watered twice a day during the peak of summer. Ultimately, the soil should never be allowed to dry out and you should aim to grant your plant at least three inches of water a week.
Temperature and Humidity
Generally, angel's trumpet can withstand moderate to warm temperatures and should not be kept outdoors if the temperatures dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in an environment where fall or winter gets cold, plant your angel's trumpet in a container that can be moved to a dark, frost-free place prior to the first frost of the season and allowed to go dormant.
Like many other plants with large, spectacular blooms, angel's trumpet should be fertilized often—at least once a week (larger plants can even be fertilized two to three times a week). Use a water-soluble fertilizer, and avoid slow-release formulas, as these do not work fast enough for the plant. Bloom-boosting fertilizers, such as 15-30-15 or 10-50-10 mixture, are best.
Fertilize the plant with a water-soluble formula monthly. This will encourage thick foliage and bright flowers.
Columbine is not easy to lift and divide, as it has deep roots. If you must divide, dig down as deeply as possible in a circle around the roots, pull it up without breaking the soil ball, and divide it quickly with a sharp instrument. Retain as much of the soil around the roots as possible, and replant quickly.
Propagating from collected seeds is easier. After the flower petals have dried up, harvest the ripened seed pods left inside, and break them open to collect the shiny black seeds. Store them in the refrigerator over winter, then plant them in the garden the following spring.
Preparing beardtongue cuttings
Beardtongue cuttings are prepared in summer and usually lead to rather good results.
- Snip cuttings off from stems that aren’t bearing flowers.
- If available, dip the cuttings in powdered rooting agents.
- Plant the cutting in special cutting soil mix.
- Keep substrate a little moist, reduce watering in winter.
- Protect cuttings from freezing in winter but keep them in a well-lit place.
- Transplant in the ground in the following spring.
Cosmos make good cut flowers for bouquets, and they bloom all summer long. They're annuals but typically will self-seed. They'll even tolerate poor soil, so they're truly low-fuss flowers. Sow them after the final frost in the spring, or start them indoors six to eight weeks prior to your last frost. Aim to plant them in a location that's sheltered from strong, damaging winds, and remove the spent blooms for prolonged flowering. However, make sure you leave some of the flower heads if you want the plant to self-seed.
- USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11 (annual)
- Color Varieties: Red, pink, white
- Sun Exposure: Full sun
- Soil Needs: Average, medium moisture, well-draining
Starting Seeds Inside
Six to eight weeks before the last expected frost, you can start your seeds indoors, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac. Fill your seed starting tray or nursery pots with seed starting soil. Scatter the columbine seeds over the soil or place four to five seeds in the center of each nursery pot. The seeds can be started anytime from fall through late winter.
Cover the seeds lightly with seed starting soil and moisten the soil with water. Wrap the tray or the pots in plastic wrap. You can also use plastic bags instead of plastic wrap. Place the covered trays or pots in the refrigerator. Leave the seeds in the refrigerator for two to three weeks.
Dig a hole in a protected area of your garden. The hole should be deep enough to set the tray or pots inside of so their rims are level with or 1 inch about the soil line. If your soil cannot be worked due to wet weather, pile shredded leaves, potting soil or compost around the trays or pots. Cover the tray or pots with a sheet of glass or Plexiglas.
Wait for seedlings to appear. Growing columbine in containers may take one to three months. When the seedlings appear, carefully remove them with a spoon or your fingers. The seedlings can then be planted in a shady to partially shady area of your garden where the soil has been worked and amended to a depth of 6 inches. Space the seedlings 10 to 15 inches apart, and keep them moist but not wet.