Many tropical flowering vine plants coil around support structures, while others attach themselves to walls or trees with their aerial roots. Still others weave their branches into the branches of trees and shrubs. A majority of tropical vines prefer partially shady planting sites. Gardeners often use tropical flowering vine plants to add a touch of color to higher spaces in gardens and landscapes.
Bougainvillea, a shrubby vine in the Nyctaginaceae family, comes from South America and generally thrives in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. The foliage is deciduous or evergreen, depending on the climate and the bougainvillea species. White to light yellow flowers are overshadowed by the bright yellow, pink, purple or red flower bracts. Bougainvillea vines reach lengths between 15 and 40 feet with similar spreads. These tropical plants prefer acidic, well-drained soils in partly shady to fully sunny locations. Aphids sometimes affect outdoor plants, while scale and mealybugs often feed on indoor bougainvillea. Gardeners frequently plant bougainvillea in hanging baskets and containers.
The coral vine (Antigonon leptopus), also called the chain of love and the queen's wreath, is a Mexico native plant belonging to the Polygonaceae family. Winter hardy in USDA Zones 8 to 11, this plant needs fully sunny positions and well-drained soils. This drought-tolerant vine reaches up to 10 feet in length and 6 feet in width. White to pink flowers bloom from late summer until autumn. Caterpillars sometimes feed on the foliage. Gardeners often train the coral vine to climb arbors or trellises.
Madagascar jasmine (Stephanotis floribunda), a woody vine in the Asclepiadaceae family, produces fragrant blossoms often used in wedding flower arrangements. The tubular, white flowers bloom in the summer and the fall. Native to Madagascar, this vine typically does well in USDA Zone 12. These flowering vines mature up to 20 feet in length with spreads ranging from 3 to 6 feet. This plant needs humus-laden soils in fully sunny to partially shady locations. Mealy bugs sometimes feed on indoor plants. Many gardeners grow the Madagascar jasmine as a houseplant.
Blue Trumpet Vine
The blue trumpet vine (Thunbergia grandiflora), an evergreen plant in the Acanthaceae family, comes from the northern regions of India and thrives in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11. Flower clusters display lavender to blue flowers in August and September. This tropical vine grows between 15 and 30 feet in length and 3 to 6 feet in width. The blue trumpet vine needs moist, rich soils that receive partial to full sun. Spider mites and scale sometimes infest this plant. Gardeners often use the blue trumpet vine on fences and trellises.
The golden trumpet (Allamanda cathartica), a broadleaf plant in the milkweed family (Apocynaceae), is a tropical vine that can also be trained as a shrub. Native to South and Central America, this plant typically thrives in USDA Zones 10 and 11. The golden trumpet features yellow flower clusters from summer through the first frost. This vine quickly reaches up to 20 feet in length and 6 feet in width. The golden trumpet prefers fully sunny locations with well-drained, moist soils. Potential problems include leaf spot disease and mealybugs. Gardeners often train this vine to climb trellises and porches.