Stephanotis Floribunda Help

suegrewSeptember 12, 2007

I just recieved in today's mail my order from Aloha Tropicals in CA., a 10" healthy Stephanotis vine($14.95) and a 10" plumeria, a "Paul Weissich", a beautiful unusual variety that I saw on their web site with coral flowers that are supposed to smell like fresh peaches. (a whopping $37.95!) I've been very lucky with plumerias so there should be no problem there.

I'm looking for input as far as the care for the Stephanotis. Will direct sun fry it? I'm ready to put it into the ground as it looks quite healthy. Can I use just a simple "Miracle-gro" potting soil along with daily watering? Any truth that hummingbirds will be attracted? I have a vanilla orchid not far away in my greenhouse that would benefit if a hummingbird just happened to pass by at the right time. Thanks for any responses.

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Hi Suegrew,

I had a variegated one in a semi-shady spot on my screened patio and decided to put it in full sun (still under the screen) and it got fried. :( I'm babying it and hoping it will come back but it sure looks like a goner.

Otherwise (don't ask me why I moved it!!!) it was happy under the semi-shade of a large potted plummie with just rainwater and an occasional sprinkle with the hose if it ended up not raining for a week or more.

For full hot sun, my queen's wreath is much happier.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 4:44PM
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Thanks for the heads up. I'm going to baby it as well. I've lived in this area for 30 years and it amazes me that ANY plant can thrive in this summer heat.
Now you have me curious....never heard of a Queen's wreath.? I'm going to guess it's a member of the jasmine family?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 5:38PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

No, it is in the Verbeneacea family. Petrea volubilis.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 1:44AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Have had a steph for well over 20 years and have tried almost every conceivable method lol.. It grows and flowers just not very well. Still under 5 feet tall. grow it now in the shadehose with dappled sun.
Unless you have something better than the usual florida sand I'd keep it in a pot. At least afternoon shade. Hates drying out and requires a LOT of fertilizer. Very cold sensitive also though will survive even a frost it sets it WAY back. Has a lot of die back during the worst of summer.IME.
Queens wreath is one vine I'd highly recommmend. Flowers almost constantly with fantastic displays during late winter a nd fall. Never outgrows it's location ,no pests, never requires water . Only thing in my yard that survived all three hurricanes and didn't even break the trellis!!! slight pruning about every 3 years.
I'm not sure about cold but has survived frost several times. One small problem is the leaves are VERY rough much like sandpaper so don't plant it where you rub against it.
Good luck with the Steph maybe you can give me some pointers in a year or so??? gary

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 6:55AM
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Don't allow the stephanotis to be in full sun. It seems to do better as an understory vine. Mine didn't take well to being moved to and from the GH in the winter and didn't bloom well so I got rid of it. If you have a place where it will grow well the blooms smell wonderful. The Queen's Wreath is just beautiful. Even though I have to protect that one in the winter also it's a much hardier more substantial vine. Sue have your vanilla orchids bloomed? I have two varieties, both grow well but neither has bloomed. I don't have a problem with any of my other orchids.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 11:30AM
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WOW! Thanks guys for all your feedback. When I ordered the "Steph" and read up on the care of the plant-"Full Sun, Partial Sun"- I thought this was going to be a no-brainer. Thanks for alerting me that over-exposure of the sun down here could prove to be fatal. I'm going to leave it potted so I can monitor it's growth and move it around and see how it responds. Being what I naively thought was a native plant of Hawaii, I assumed it would love a hot and sunny location.
As far as the vanilla orchid, Karyn-it's happy and growing but as of yet, not flowering yet. I've only had the orchid for a couple of weeks but I check it each morning for blooms. If and when it does, I'll let you know.
Now, I'm interested in finding out more on the Queen's Wreath. What color are the blossoms? Sounds like a good climber for our privacy fence.
Thanks again everyone!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 6:43PM
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orchidguyftl(z11 FTL FL)

we grow ours out in full sun on the fence
make sure it gets a complete dry winter rest for the best flowering
too much water during the winter will keep it from flowering, or flowering well

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 12:36AM
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The Queen's Wreath (Petrea volubilis) has racemes of lavender blooms and dark leathery foliage. It's a beautiful, easy to care for vine that grows in full sun. Living in 7a I have to grow it in a container and protect it in the winter so it's size is limited. It would be great if I could have it outside year round. I've seen huge vines in warm zones that are just spectacular when they are in bloom.

Here is a link that might be useful: Queeen's Wreath

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 7:32AM
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wanda(Z9 CA)

From my experience, Stephanotis is a lot like Clematis. It likes it's roots cool and shady while it's top climbs up to the sun. I have (had) a beautiful one in a large pot (watered weekly), growing up a lattice on the shady side of my patio. It grew fine, but didn't flower much until it reached the sun at the top of the patio and then WOW!, it was always loaded with blooms....
Until this past winter when our temps dipped into the low 20's for a week. It fried to the ground. I thought it was a goner, but lo and behold, I saw growth around the end of July. Crossing my fingers that we don't get another cold snap this winter.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 12:04PM
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I think Wanda has it right.Unless grown in a pot-then,just morning sun.For California a raised bed would be best-they hate cold wet soil. In Florida,that might not be as important as your temps are hot-their metabolism is so high they use that water-as long as its not standing of course. Same story for many California vs Florida garden plants.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 12:38PM
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Thanks everyone for all your helpful information. I'm going to keep the Steph in my greenhouse and then gradually introduce it to the early morning sun. It appears to be a slow grower so I'll just keep my eye on it and see what happens. Is it true that it needs fetilizer applied on a regular basis? If so, which would you suggest? Also, can I root cuttings in water?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 10:03AM
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I have had a stephanotis for three years now - first two I kept it outdoors from April to Sept in a shady spot, and it grew but the blooms were few and far between. This year I put it out on the deck (it stays in the house all winter) which faces east and gets full sun from sunrise to about 2 PM all summer - it has tripled in size and has literally hundreds of blooms on it. I've seen them in Hawaii and they are grown right out in the full tropical sun, mine has large dark green leaves and as I said lots of blooms. Im convinced it likes full sun and even moisture at least here in the mid Atlantic

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 2:18PM
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I had a rather large garden in Puerto Rico. I grow all kinds of rare plants I could get my hands on. To me, getting a plant to flower was very important. One of my favorites was stephanottis floribunda, grown here in full sun. The only enemy it had were the wasps, they love to sock the juice out of the flower and damagin ti (lives a brown dot on the white flower) I also grew orchids (mostly botanical type, bromeliads, some very rare palms, and fangi pangi in a extense variety of colors. Heliconias were one of my favorits. Along the grasses and rush's tehere are quite a few colorfull one, such as the japanese blood grass (supposedly poisonous). I had more than 10 000 plants in different families and types, all tropicals, of ourse. I'm opento any questins someone may need...frank

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 11:42PM
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I've got two Stephanotis planted on the north side of my fence, under some trees. I planted three there ten years ago and two survived. Sometimes they grow up into the trees and I have to cut them out. They are not a dense vine but the the flowers bloom in clusters in late Spring and have a strong scent. Mine don't get watered until about mid-Spring thru October. Then I water about once a week. I do think they probably prefer their roots shaded but they like full sun otherwise here in San Diego.

They seem to have the same needs as Hoyas here. Pretty easy plant in my opinion and rather drought-tolerant once established.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 12:40PM
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