Coral Vine

Can you tell the difference between the two pots of coral vine (Antigonon Leptopus)?
There is no difference.
Both pots were germinated from seed at the same time. Received the same treatment, fertiliser and all. Only difference was that the one on the right (tall one) went through a few rounds of repotting (and discomfort) and grew to its potential.   However, I didnt change the pot on the left.
It was an accidental experiment which came about from my sheer reluctance and inertia to change pots. (When pot is too big, the plant dies from water log/ retention).

Lesson learnt?  Sometimes, moving out of your comfort zone, into a bigger pot – or pond, can mean uncomfortable new learning experience, but more growth opportunities.

Food for thought for the new year.


Would you believe that this huge creeper – coral vine (also known as antigonon leptopus; there is also one with white flowers known as antigonon leptopus “album”) grew out of 5 seeds like this, after 5 mths? IMG_0391 When they’re sufficiently brown, harvest and soak in water for 48 hours.  (I’ve experimented with just putting the seeds into ground, or using cuttings of the stems, soaking stem cuttings in water and then planting, all of which didnt work.)  I’m happy to give you my seeds… Or you can buy a mid-sized plant from the nursery for $18.

The trick is of course, to always repot.  I wasted 3 mths of non growth because I refused to change pots. After a while, the pot became too small for the vines.  The roots take a few weeks to form but on the surface, nothing seems to be happening.  (Why did I refuse to repot? Too many of plants died of water-log because the over-sized pots retained too much water than what the roots can take.  On hindsight, coral vines love water, so water log wouldnt be an issue? )  With nth time nagging from L, we repotted it, and viola, rewarded with an explosion of brilliant shocking pink.  Coral vine needs daily watering and good sunshine.  Another good plant to have for sunny roof-top gardens.


My most favourite creeper and flavor of the month – the bleeding heart vine, clerodendrum thomsoniae in full fireworks display.   No fertiliser, just sun and burnt soil and occasional watering. 

I first saw this plant in Paris, walking from the Sacred Coeur through some neighbourhood streets with Claire.  Her version of the story was that, an innnocent priest was martyred and out of the droplets of blood sprang up this beautiful plant as a witness to his innocence.   Claire is one amazing lady who knows her plants. Her general knowledge is superb and I shall at some point post pictures of the lovely tropical botanical garden hidden near the Paris Open, where she brought L and I last year.

IMG_0243L was earlier under the impression that its a shade plant.  For the longest time, it refused to flower no matter how often we fertilised it.  Eventually the leaves grew gigantic from the fertiliser and sickly yellowish green from the lack of sunlight, pictured here with the regular leaf (after we moved pot to a brighter corner but still under trellis) of the clerodendrum.  We moved the pot to a different spot and changed the soil media to burnt soil and was rewarded with almost instant blooms (within 2 days).   It didnt seem to like full sun though and didnt do too well, so I moved it back under the trellis but in a sunny corner.   Plants are like humans. If at first it doesnt flower, try changing the environment.