Vines and Other Climbing Plants


Rhodochiton - Purple Bell Vine

Coming from Mexico this plant is best suited to a conservatory where it will grow as a perennial. Alternatively it can be grown outside as an annual in a warm, sheltered site, or grown in a large pot and brought into shelter for the Winter. Needing to be maintained several degrees above freezing over the depths of Winter this plant is not suitable for an unheated greenhouse. 

Rhodochiton is a climber, but not by any of the usual methods. This deciduous plant will happily climb to 10 feet by twining its flower stalks and leaf stalks around any support it can find. Ideal to give height at the back of a border this fairly quick growing plant will put on quite a display if grown up some trellising against a fence or wall. In early Summer, Rhodochiton produces long lasting, mauve, bell shaped flowers that have a papery calyx. The leaves of this vine are also quite decorative as new leaves are dark purple before turning to green. The “Purple Bell Vine,” to give it its common name, likes well drained, but moist soil and full sun. 

If Rhodochiton is grown under cover as a perennial it should be pruned in February to remove any dead growth after the Winter and to be shaped up for the new season. Propagation is by seed sown in the spring, or by cuttings taken in late summer.

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