Bower plants (Pandorea jasminoides) are twining vines, also known as bower vines. They’re not native plants of North America, but originated from Australia. Just as most vines, this plant is useful in covering arbors, fences and other structures. They also look stunning when grown on a tree with their flowers gracefully flowing down from the trunk. Although bowers are easy to grow, they still need the correct soil and sunlight to do well.
The bower vine is an evergreen plant with pinnate leaves. These woody-stemmed plants produce pink or red tubular-shaped, fragrant flowers in warm months. Bower vines have green, ovate-shaped foliage that grow in an opposite or sub-opposite leaf arrangement. Leaf blades are 2 to 4 inches long, according to the University of Florida Extension. Bowers produce elongated, brown, dry or hard fruit that isn’t showy or conspicuous, says the University of Florida.
Bowers have a rapid growth rate so they need to be pruned, just as all vines. According to the University of Florida Extension, the plant is able to cover an arbor that’s 15 feet tall in one or two growing seasons. Because bowers grow in warm areas, they can be planted at any time during the year. The plant’s flowers can appear throughout all seasons, with peak production occurring in midsummer.
Bowers do best in warmer regions or areas that are exceptionally protected. According to the University of Florida Extension, Bower plants grow in USDA Zones 9B through 11, which are extremely warm regions. These include areas such as Central and South Florida, the southern tip of Texas, coastal southern California and southwestern Arizona.
Grow this vine in full or filtered sun. Although they do best in full sun, they still thrive under light, shifting shade or growing under high pines. The bower vine prefers fertile soil, notes Floridata.com. They do best in moist, yet well-drained soil. Water bower vines sparingly in winter. To propagate the vine, use cuttings or layering. The plant roots on its own whenever the vine makes contact with the ground.
Young plants can be damaged from a light freeze, so they need covering and protection from cold temperatures and strong winds. Because bowers are sprawling vines, they should be tied to a support such as a fence so they can be properly trained, warns the Floridata website. Bowers are also prone to nematodes, particularly when grown in sandy, light soils.
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