Lapageria Plant Care – How To Grow A Chilean Bellflower Vine

Lapageria Plant Care – How To Grow A Chilean Bellflower Vine

By: Liz Baessler

Lapageria rosea plants, also frequently called Chilean bellflowers, are native to the coastal regions of Chile. It is the national flower of Chile and named after Empress Josephine Lapagerie, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. It can’t be grown just anywhere, though, and takes some special care to flourish. Keep reading to learn more about Lapageria plant care and Chilean bellflower information.

Lapageria Plant Care

Lapageria rosea plants are long, spreading vines that can grow to 15 feet (4.6 m.) in length and spread just as wide. The leaves have a thick, leathery feeling that is shared by the flowers, which are 3-to 4-inch (7.6 -10 cm.) long pendulous bells that appear as red in nature but come in a range of colors in cultivation.

The Chilean bellflower vine is evergreen, but hardy only in USDA zones 9a through 11. It can handle some frost, but extended cold will kill it. If you live in a colder area, you can grow your Chilean bellflower vine in a container. The plants do very well in well-draining, well-watered pots.

How to Grow a Chilean Bellflower Vine

Lapageria rosea plants are native to the coastal regions of Chile and, as such, they grow best in similarly warm and humid climates. The closest approximation to this in the United States is the San Francisco Bay area of California, where growing Chilean bellflowers is common.

Wherever you grow it, Lapageria plant care takes a little bit of work. The plant prefers soil that is well draining but never dry, which means you may have to water it every day.

The plant grows best in full to partial shade, making a great addition to shade gardens.

The plant should blossom between July and December. The flowers may attract hummingbirds and, if pollinated, will produce a sweet, yellow fruit that is safe to eat though full of seeds.

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Lapageria, Chilean Bellflower, Copihue 'Myrtle Wolfs Pink'

Family: Philesiaceae
Genus: Lapageria (la-puh-JER-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: rosea (RO-zee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Myrtle Wolfs Pink
Additional cultivar information:(aka Myrtle Wolf’s Pink)
Hybridized by E. Carmen

Category:

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Foliage:

Foliage Color:

Height:

Spacing:

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Danger:

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

From seed stratify if sowing indoors

Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen clean and dry seeds

Seed does not store well sow as soon as possible

Regional

This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Gardeners' Notes:

On Nov 12, 2007, Kell from (Zone 9b) wrote:

Myrtle Wolf’s Pink was hybridized by a local Californian , Mr. Ed Carmen. It was later named by a worker at the UC Botanical Garden in Berkeley after a Myrtle Wolfe who was successfully growing this lapageria in Berkeley. This vine darkens in cool weather to a medium pink. It flowers freely and is easy to propagate from cuttings.

This woody climber originated in the rain forests of Chile (where it is their national flower) where it prefers its roots in shade and then it climbs up into the sunlight to flower in summer all the way thru to winter. It can grow up to 15 feet under cultivation and even higher in the wild. The flowers which are thick and waxy, hang down like 3 to 4 inch bells. They have 6 petals, 3 outer and 3 inner that form the bell shape. They prefer a sli. read more ghtly acid soil with regular watering. The temperate weather of the California coastal areas and Bay Area of California allow this subtropical vine to flourish.

I have had no problem growing several in the California Bay Area outside even when we have had uncharacteristically cold weather in the winter of 2006 which went down to 24 degrees periodically over a 2 week period.


Lapageria, Chilean Bellflower, Copihue 'Exquisita'

Category:

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Foliage:

Foliage Color:

Height:

Spacing:

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Danger:

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

From seed stratify if sowing indoors

From seed sow indoors before last frost

From seed germinate in a damp paper towel

From seed germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen clean and dry seeds

Seed does not store well sow as soon as possible

Regional

This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Gardeners' Notes:

On Aug 19, 2007, Kell from (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is one of the lapageria found at UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens from their Montenegro Collection. A blush color that will turn to white in warmer temperatures.

Likes slightly acid soil, plant where roots are in shade and the tops can grow up into the sunlight.

This woody climber originated in the rain forests of Chile (where it is their national flower) where it prefers its roots in shade and then it climbs up into the sunlight to flower in summer all the way thru to winter. It can grow up to 15 feet under cultivation and even higher in the wild. The flowers which are thick and waxy, hang down like 3 to 4 inch bells. They have 6 petals, 3 outer and 3 inner that form the bell shape. They prefer a slightly acid soil with regular watering. The temperate wea. read more ther of the California coastal areas and Bay Area of California allow this subtropical vine to flourish.

I have had no problem growing several in the California Bay Area outside even when we have had uncharacteristically cold weather in the winter of 2006 which went down to 24 degrees periodically over a 2 week period.


Lapageria Rosea Plants: Tips On Growing Chilean Bellflowers - garden

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Soil -- Use a loose, well-draining soil mix. A typical mix is 1 part peat moss or coir fiber, 1 part perlite or coarse horticultural sand, and 1 part small orchid bark. An alternate mix is 2 parts potting soil, 1 part perlite or coarse sand, and 1 part small bark pieces. Don't add lime to the mix, since Lapageria likes acidic soil.

Watering -- Keep the soil evenly moist. Don't allow it to dry out, but avoid keeping it constantly soggy too.

If your tap water is very high in minerals ("hard" water), you might need to use bottled water or rain water.

Lighting -- Lapageria likes a few hours of direct sun, but it should be shaded from strong, hot sun.

Climate -- It prefers mild daytime temperatures and cool nights. It's happiest between about 40 and 80 degrees (5-27°C), and above freezing. Adult plants are reported to tolerate down to the low 20s (-5°C) if given overhead protection. But protect your seedlings from frost the first 3-4 years.

In warmer climates, keep the pot shaded so the roots stay cool. An easy way to do this is to place the pot inside a second pot made of clay.

Over about 40-50% humidity is best. If it seems to suffer in low humidity indoors, consider using an ultrasonic room humidifier, sold at home improvement stores and some thrift shops.

Fertilizing -- Lapageria is slow-growing and doesn't need lots of fertilizer. Feed about every 3 months with an all-purpose fertilizer that contains micronutrients. For smaller plants, i prefer to give a small amount of liquid Hydroponic fertilizer every 4-6 weeks, at 1/4 strength.

Transplanting -- Repot carefully to avoid disturbing the root mass. If the plant doesn't slide out, you might need to carefully cut the pot away.

Support -- Adult plants prefer to twist around a trellis, fence, wires, etc. Small seedlings shouldn't need support.

Pests to watch for -- Protect from snails and slugs, which love the leaves. Watch for any pests that affect your other plants.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.


5 facts about the Lapageria Rosea

1. The Lapageria Rosea is an award-winner

As if the distinction of being Chile’s national flower was not enough, the Lapageria Rosea was honoured with the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society in London. The Royal Horticultural Society is perhaps the most important body in the world of gardening, and it runs numerous prestigious flower shows such as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The Award of Garden Merit is granted to plants that perform well under growing conditions in the UK, a resounding endorsement for the Lapageria Rosea outside of Chile. Speaking of which…

2. Lapageria Rosea was brought to the UK in the 1950s

A prominent British gardener named Rennie Moffat introduced Lapageria Rosea plants to the United Kingdom in the 1950s. Moffat was the head gardener at the Penheale Estate in Cornwall. He supplied his variants to, among others, the Royal Horticultural Society. Crucially, he introduced numerous cultivars of the Chilean Bellflower, including Beatrix Anderson, a deep red variant, and Flesh Pink, a fleshy pink coloured version.

3. Lapageria Rosea or Josephine’s Bellflower: What’s in a name?

The Lapageria Rosea has various synonyms, including the Chilean Bellflower and Copihue. You may even also references to Josephine’s Bellflower, and this may be the most important one of all. The Josephine in question here was Joséphine de Beauharnais, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. Her maiden name was Tascher de la Pagerie, and it’s from here that the plant’s official name comes. Empress Joséphine was passionate about botany. The great gardens at Château de Malmaison boasted many rare and wonderful species.

4. You can eat the Lapageria Rosea’s fruit

The plant produces a distinctive fruit in the form of a long berry with a tough outer skin and small seeds with an edible aril. When the Lapageria Rosea plant was more prosperous, traders would sell its fruit at food markets. The fruits are no longer market commodities, but they are certainly still edible. When not yet ripe, the fruit has a nice sweet taste and is easy to eat. The riper it gets, the harder its seeds become and thus the more difficult you’ll find it to eat.

5. Named cultivars of the plant are very popular among gardeners

Gardeners throughout the world love the Lapageria Rosea because of its beauty. Numerous named cultivars or variants are available for sale online or in expert garden centres. They are popular because they give rise to a raft of new and interesting colours. In addition to Flesh Pink and Beatrix Anderson, popular cultivars include:

  • Arco Iris, white flowers with pink and red tips.
  • Sangre de Toro, with intense red flowers.
  • Nube Blanca, with pure white flowers.


Lapageria Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Copihue, Chilean Bell Flower.
Height: up to 390 inches (1000 cm) Vine.
Life Cycle: Half hardy perennial.
Native: Southern America.
Growing Region: Zones 8 to 10.
Flowers: From the middle of summer through to autumn.
Flower Details: Red, Pink. Spotted with white. Trumpets about 3.5 inches (9 cm) in length.
Foliage: Evergreen. Leathery. Pointed. Ovate. Wiry stems. Shrubby vine.
Sow Outside: No.
Sow Inside: 1/8 inch (3 mm). Germination one to three months. Temperature: 65 to 75°F (18 to 24°C). Beginning of autumn using fresh seed. After two years of growth, transplant the seedlings to their final location following the last frost. Spacing: these vines should be planted by themselves.
Requirements and care: Full or afternoon shade. Good drainage. Humus rich soil. Acidic soil. Regular watering during dry periods. For container plants it is important not to let the soil dry out, through providing a little water every day — do not overwater, but do not let the soil that Copihue is growing in dry out either. Winter straw mulch. Spring feed with low nitrogen organic feed. Propagate: by taking cuttings in the spring or autumn.
Miscellaneous: Pollinated by hummingbirds. Lapageria rosea (Copihue), is the national flower, and a protected species in its native Chile. The plant is often mentioned in Mapuche stories.


Lapageria rosea, the Chilean Bellflower

Lapageria rosea is an evergreen perennial vine known for its beautiful and unusual flowers. Commonly known as Chilean bellflower, Lapageria rosea can be grown as a beautiful climber in shady and slightly humid parts of the garden. This lovely vine is characterized by dark-green waxy leaves that grow alternatively along wiry stem.

Lapageria rosea / Image by Eric Hunt

Lapageria rosea is a slow-growing plant. When grown from seed, the plant can take 2 to 3 years to establish itself. Mature plants can grow long twinning stems that grow up to 10 meters. Lapageria rosea belongs to mountain range of the southern Chile where it enjoys rich soil and moderate winters. In cultivation, Lapageria rosea should be provided with a rich soil in a shady and slightly humid spot where it is protected from strong winds, frost and long spells of cold. Water generously when soil is dry.

Summer is the best time for Lapageria rosea, this is the time when it starts producing beautiful pendular flowers that keep appearing on the plan till autumn. The colors of flowers can range from pink to red and orange. A number of new cultivars provide a wider range of colors. These include: Collinge (white flared with red), Nube Blanca (pure white) and Sangre de Toro (intense red).

Chilean bellflower can be propagated from cuttings, layering and fresh seeds.

About Wikilawn

Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!

About Wikilawn

Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!


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