It's a flowering favorite that clings to the bricks and mortars of many fine homes in tropical locations around the world and in famed conservatories. A jade vine is a tropical, blooming plant that winds its way over rough surfaces to blossom with clusters of thick blooms in rich emerald colors.
The spectacular pendant blooms that a healthy jade creeping vine produces are enjoyable all year long. You can grow one of these rapid-growing vines from jade plant cuttings with the correct soil and lots of careful attention.
History of the Jade Plant
Jade vine, or Strongylodon macrobotrys, hails from the Philippines. This leguminous perennial liana has long, slender stems that can reach up to 60 feet if left unchecked in the wild. Its drooping, claw-like flower clusters can reach up to an impressive 3 feet long.
Scarlett jade vine, or Mucuna bennettii, is in the Fabaceae family of flowering plant that is native to Papua New Guinea.
The jade plant is also called:
- Jade climber
- Emerald creeper
- Blue jade vine
- Turquoise jade vine
- Jade vine
Jade Plant Cuttings
Jade plant cuttings will take off in good soil. The best soil for a jade vine cutting is rich with nutrients and peat based. The stem-tip cuttings should be taken during the summer months.
A rooting hormone can ensure the plant has a good start. A few weeks of rest in a warm location with plenty of moisture in and around the plant will coax new growth from the jade plant cuttings.
The jade plant has seedpods that can be harvested if you prefer to start from scratch.
Jade Plant Propagation
To successfully grow this tropical wonder, it takes a lot of love and care. While it is a rambunctious grower in its native Philippines, it only grows well in the ground in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11.
The ropy vines thrive under full-sun conditions. A greenhouse creates a perfect environment for a jade vine to thrive. The humid conditions and filtered light mock the canopy of the jade vine's home.
They soak up ample amounts of water. All that water also means that the jade vine needs excellent drainage. It prefers not to sit in water, which will rot its roots. If the leaves of your jade plant begin to turn brown along the edges, it is in need of more water.
Pruning Jade Plants
If left unattended in its natural environment, the jade vine will wind its way over tree trunks, through balcony railings and around any other supportive structure that it finds as it grows.
Prune the plant often to spur new growth. Cutting this fast-growing vine every few months will help it to deliver thick clusters of light green to dark blue hued blooms.
Repotting Jade Vine
Start a fairly young plant in a large pot. The jade plant does not enjoy being manhandled and reorganized into a new pot once it is truly established.
To feed the soil of an older plant rather than repot it, scrape off a good few inches of the top layer of soil. Replace it with soil that is rich in nutrients but not overly fertilized. Too much fertilizer can scorch the voracious flowering plant's delicate roots.
Jade Vine Blooms
The thick clusters of blooms on the jade vine come in vivid shades of turquoise. This is why the plant is often referred to as the emerald vine.
The blooms attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. They grow in claw-shaped clusters that hold dozens of sturdy chartreuse blooms that resemble butterflies perched on the stem with wings closed.
Its blooms can be viewed at famous conservatories around the world, including the Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Kew Gardens and the Naples Botanical Garden.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.