Antigonon leptopus: Coral vine

Family: Polygonaceae
Common name: Coral vine, Queen’s wreath, Mexican creeper, Bride’s tears, Chain of love, Hearts on a chain, Love vine, Honolulu creeper, Mountain rose coral vine, Queen’s jewels, Confederate vine, Sun miguelito, Venal poovalli, Then poovalli

Coral vine plants just like bleeding heart vines are excellent climbing plants that can make your garden look magical during the blooming season. In warm, tropical weather, Coral vines can bloom almost through the year, from spring to autumn.

They are fast-growers and prolific climbers, climbing on fences, walls, trellises, garden structures, and surrounding vegetation; sometimes smothering other plants with their broad, heart-shaped leaves. Long, green stems produce tendrils that twine around other plants or structures growing to a length of over 10 meters.

Leaves are smooth and green, about 5-7 cm long covering the plant making it bushy and thick. Even if the plant is not flowering, they look very beautiful because of the big, heart-shaped, or roughly triangular leaves. Coral vines produce large tubers that are used as food in some parts of the world.

These plants produce white or pink flowers in large clusters around a central stem. The bright, pink color and abundant flowers attract bees, insects, and small birds that help pollinate the flowers. Hence these plants are extensively used by beekeepers and near butterfly gardens. Coral vines produce abundant seeds that can float in the water. They are also spread by small animals that eat the seeds as food.

These fabulous garden plants grow very quickly, covering large areas, and are hence considered invasive. Even when they are pruned drastically, the tubers can produce new plants as soon as the growing conditions are right.

Coral vines are tolerant of drought and poor soil, but they do not do well in the shade since they need 5-6 hours of bright, direct sunlight to grow well and produce flowers. Regular fertilization will help the plants grow and bloom well.

Though they are native to Mexico, Coral vines are loved by gardeners world-over since they are very easy to propagate, grow, and maintain. Once the plant matures, it does not even need regular watering.

Propagation is through seeds, root tubers, and stem cuttings.