The Lotus vine scientific name is Lotus berthelotii and is also known as parrot’s beak. The plant is actually an excellent summer container filler and is also adaptive as a trailing or border plant. The Lotus vine plant can be used as a summer annual in the warmer regions of the United States. Summer containers are actually a wonderful way to capture the season and brighten patios, decks, and lanais. Some of the standby plants (like violas, petunias, zinnia, and snapdragons) have their own appeal and combine with foliage plants and trailing specimens for absolutely beautiful displays. Gardeners with moxie like to tuck in a unique and surprising plant for a stunning bombshell in the midst of more standard summertime beauty. This is what the lotus vine plant was actually created for– to shock and amaze and add that little something special to any container garden. Imagine shocking oranges and brilliant red hues, edged by golden and green accents. Picture 1 inch (2.5 cm.) long, tapered petals with a prominent beak, surrounded by grayish green, slightly fuzzy foliage. This is the lotus vine.

Furthermore, the Lotus vine plant is actually a tender tropical plant from the Canary and Cape Verde Islands and Tenerife. Lotus vine plant is only hardy in USDA zones ten to twelve but makes an excellent summer container annual. Lotus vine plant tends to trail, and individual tendrils may get up to a foot (31 cm.) or more long. The Lotus vine plant flowers arrive in the cooler seasons of spring and early summer and most of the plants go dormant when temperatures begin to soar. The Lotus vine plants grown outside in lower USDA zones will succumb when temperatures drop below forty-five degrees Fahrenheit.


Growing a Lotus Vine Plant

You can find Lotus vine plant in early summer in many garden centers or nurseries. If you actually have a friend with one, you can also try growing a lotus vine plant through stem cuttings. Lotus vine seeds are started indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the expected date of transplant but will need another year before they can start forming flowers. Save the Lotus vine plants in a greenhouse or move them indoors where temperatures do not get below forty-five degrees Fahrenheit.


Lotus Vine Plant Care

There are few pest or disease issues with the Lotus vine plants. Mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids are characteristic pests but can easily be handled with the application of horticultural oil. Actually the most important considerations are soil, moisture, and the site. One of the best soils for the plant is a well-draining garden or potting soil. You can add some sand to the potting soil to increase grittiness and drainage. The Lotus vine plants do not like to be completely dry, however care should also be taken not to water too much. Water the plant deeply and then allow the top surface of the soil to dry out to the touch before applying anew. Don’t let the Lotus vine plants roots stand in a saucer of water. 

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