Growing flowering vines takes time and some consideration as to their structural support and maintenance on into the future. Accordingly, selecting a vine that you like is important as you will be living with it for a number of years. One that I would like you to consider is the Rangoon creeper. This exotic flowering vine is in full bloom right now and could make a wonderful impact in your landscape.
The Rangoon creeper is a fast-growing, flowering vine originally from tropical Asia where it grows on trees and along riverbanks. Because of its ornamental nature, it is a favorite in parts of Florida, as well as the tropics and subtropics worldwide. Best grown on a well-built arbor, pergola, trellis or fence, this sturdy woody vine can grow anywhere from ten to forty feet long. The clusters of tubular flowers are exceptionally intriguing as they first open white, and then color-up to pink and finish up as red over about three days’ time. You can experience all three colors on a cluster at the same time which enhances the effect. Bring this magnificent flower cluster experience one step further – single-petalled or double-petalled flower cultivars are available on the market – maybe plant one of each! This outstanding floral display even comes with a pleasant fragrance to boot.
The more sun that you can provide your Rangoon creeper, the more flowers you will see spring through fall. This vine is listed Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ approved plant that is medium in drought tolerance once established but is not very salt-tolerant. Although best grown in Hardiness Zone 10a, some literature indicates that it will survive lower temperatures if we have a freeze or a frost and regrow from the roots in the spring. The Rangoon creeper can be grown from seed, cuttings, or suckers. I grew one from seed and it took about three-years to come into bloom. My plant started out as shrub-like and then developed into more of a vining nature. Cuttings will move full speed into vines without the shrubby adolescence.
Although the Rangoon creeper is a Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ approved, the UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas has classified this vine as a “Moderate Risk”. This means that it has been given a “yellow light” and may be recommended, but gardeners should prevent its escape just as a precaution. The Rangoon creeper is a stunning vine that does need some space dedicated to developing its greatest potential. With some planning on what it will grow on, perhaps a Rangoon creeper is in your future! For more information on flowering vines suitable for our area, or to ask a question, you can also call the Master Gardener Volunteer Helpdesk on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1 to 4 pm at 764-4340 for gardening help and insight into their role as an Extension volunteer. Ralph E. Mitchell is the Director/Horticulture Agent for UF/IFAS Extension – Charlotte County. He can be reached at 941-764-4344 or email@example.com, Connect with us on social media. Like us on Facebook @CharlotteCountyExtension and follow us on Instagram @ifascharco.
The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Guide to Plant Selection & Landscape Design (2022) The University of Florida Extension Services.
Landre, C. (2023) Rangoon Creeper – Quisqualis indica South-Florida-Plant-Guide.com.
The UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas. (2023) The University of Florida Extension Service, IFAS.
Klingaman, G. (2013) Plant of the Week: Rangoon Creeper. The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
The Florida Gardener (2020) QUISQUALIS INDICA. FLORIDAGARDENER.COM.
The Central Texas Gardener (2023) Rangoon Creeper. https://www.centraltexasgardener.org/resource/rangoon-creeper/.
Combretum indicum (2023). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combretum_indicum.
Dave’s Garden (2023) Double Rangoon Creeper, Drunken Sailor ‘Double’. https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/210111/ ,