Valued for its fragrant, white flowers and leathery, dark green leaves, Stephanotis (Stephanotis floribunda) is a tender, perennial vine that thrives outdoors in mild climates. In less hospitable regions, gardeners grow Stephanotis indoors as a house plant. Other common names for this plant are Madagascar jasmine and Bridal Veil Vine. Stephanotis blossoms frequently appear in bridal bouquets.
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Gardeners prize Stephanotis for its white, bell-shaped, waxy flowers, which give off a powerful fragrance. The flowers contrast sharply with the deep green, oval-shaped leaves. Stephanotis blossoms are popular flowers for bridal bouquets because their white colour works well with other flowers, and their scent is pleasing.
Under the proper conditions, Stephanotis vines can grow to between 5 and 15 feet tall. Nurseries sometimes sell Stephanotis vines wrapped around a wire loop, which makes the plants easier to manage indoors. Still, many gardeners consider Stephanotis difficult to cultivate. In Gflora.com's "The Encyclopedia of House Plants," the vine is described as "a beautiful but difficult plant---it hates sudden changes in temperature, needs constant cool conditions in winter and is attractive to scale and mealy bug."
Optimum Growing Conditions
In temperate climates, you can grow Stephanotis outdoors as a trellis plant or in pots, provided the temperature doesn't drop below 12.8 degrees Celsius. If you raise it as a house plant, it needs to be in a room with moderately warm temperatures, in a draft-free spot. Stephanotis needs bright, but indirect, light to thrive. Even outdoors, if you live in an extremely hot climate, you should plant the vine where it will get some shelter from late afternoon sunshine. Keep the soil the vine grows in damp but not soggy. Indoors, spray the vine with a misting bottle every day.
A thriving Stephanotis vine tends to grow a little wildly, so prune it judiciously and keep wrapping it back around whatever support you're training it on as it grows. Left unattended, Stephanotis can grow into a sprawling, unattractive plant that will take up a lot of space.
Stephanotis vines occasionally produce seed pods. The pod can grow to be as large as a mango and will remain on the plant up to 6 months before it drops off. You can plant the seeds from the pod to grow more vines. Seed pod production can vary, however, and according to PlantCare.com, it is possible to see only three seed pods in 20 years.
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