Entada rheedii is the scientific name of a species of woody, flowering vine commonly referred to as African dream herb. It grows to 40 feet in height if left unpruned, producing a twining mass of vines lined with glossy, bluish-green foliage and a summertime display of fuzzy, upright flower clusters. The flowers mature into 2-foot-long seed pods filled with exceptionally large seeds, which germinate readily to grow new vines. Growing Entada rheedii presents few challenges since the seeds grow easily once scarified, but the plants will only survive outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 10b to 11.
Gather seed from a healthy Entada rheedii vine in late summer once the pods have completely dried, or purchase seed from an exotic plant dealer.
Place the Entada rheedii seed in a mounted vice grip to hold it steady. Make sure the grip is tight but not so tight that it will crack the seed.
Drill a shallow hole in the side of the Entada rheedii seed using a handheld drill. Stop drilling when you pierce the hull and the pale inner layer of the seed is exposed.
Place the Entada rheedii in a vacuum flask full of hot water and soak them for 12 hours. Drain the Entada rheedii seeds on a dishrag or paper towel.
Fill a 1-gallon nursery container with horticultural grit. Pour water over the grit until it is completely saturated throughout its entire depth. Allow it to drain for at least five minutes.
Sow the Entada rheedii seeds 2 inches deep in the moistened horticultural grit. Make sure the drilled side of the seed faces horizontally.
Stretch cling film across the nursery container to hold heat and humidity close to the Entada rheedii seed. Place the planting container on a propagation heat mat set to 26.7 degrees Celsius near a source of very bright light. Watch for signs of germination after 20 days.
Keep the Entada rheedii seedlings in their pots in a warm indoor location in areas outside USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11, or plant them outdoors in a sandy, draining bed in warm subtropical areas. Water the Entada rheedii plants every five days to a depth of 1 inch.
Things you need
- Vice grip
- Handheld drill
- Vacuum flask
- 1-gallon nursery container
- Horticultural grit
- Cling film
- Propagation heat mat