Who doesn’t like ‘natural beauty’?  I have a renewed appreciation for my ‘natural beauties’ out in the garden during the summer months.  Now, I realize that there are some who do enjoy the satisfaction of working hard with their plants and being rewarded with a beautiful display and I think that is great.  But for me, the last thing I want to do is have to fuss over a plant in the middle of the summer heat so that it will look beautiful for me.  I would much rather enjoy the ‘natural beauty’ of my summer plants looking through the windows from the comfort of my air-conditioned home.


Earlier this summer, I wrote about one of my favorite ‘natural beauties’ in the garden, Yellow Bells.  Today, I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite summer vines which is a wonderful example of ‘natural beauty.’

Queen’s Wreath vines grace the Arizona State University campus.
 
Queen Wreath Vine (Antigonon leptopus) is a colorful asset to my garden This ‘natural beauty’ is a vine that is native to Mexico and Central America.  Stunning pink sprays of flowers appear in spring and last until the first frost.  *In tropical areas, it can be considered invasive, but here in the desert, it is easily managed.
 
 
In our desert climate, they do require supplemental water, but no fertilizer is needed.  Bees are attracted to the beautiful flowers, and I love the pretty heart-shaped leaves. 
 
 A wall of Queen’s Wreath at ASU
 
Queen’s Wreath is a robust vine.  It can grow in full sun including areas of reflected heat.  It will also grow in light shade although flowering will be reduced.   
 
The only maintenance required in my garden is pruning it back in winter once it dies back after the first frost.  However the roots are hardy to 20 degrees F, and in the spring, it quickly grows back with a trellis, fence or an arbor for support.

**My first experience with queen’s wreath was in our first home in Phoenix, where there was a support made up of twine tied between two palm trees.  We had no idea why it was there, but it sure looked ugly.  Well, before we had time to remove the twine, beautiful, light green, heart-shaped leaves began climbing up the support and quickly covered it.  Gorgeous sprays of pink flowers rapidly followed, which was a pleasant surprise.  




What natural beauties are enjoying in your garden this month?  
I will be sharing another favorite ‘natural beauty’ from my garden soon.
Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

38 replies
  1. debsgarden
    debsgarden says:

    I'm afraid it wouldn't be hardy in my area, for most winters have a few days that plummet into the teens. Too sad! That is a beautiful vine. I think it might be worth growing as an annual.

    Reply
  2. Shady Gardener
    Shady Gardener says:

    This is so beautiful – and I can understand how you would appreciate it! (Your story of how you first discovered it was funny. It was certainly a wonderful surprise, wasn't it??) 🙂

    Reply
  3. jeansgarden
    jeansgarden says:

    What a beautiful plant, Noelle. When I created my blue and yellow border, I left the native goldenrod (Solidago) growing around the edges of that flower bed and also moved some of them into the flower bed. They are, indeed, trouble-free plants that don't need to be coddled or staked or watered on hot days. I think "natural beauties" is a great category for them. -Jean

    Reply
  4. Patchwork
    Patchwork says:

    I completely agree with you, about not working too hard in the summer heat.

    We have Queen's Wreath here. Only, I learned it's name as Coral Vine. I bought one last fall, but it didn't make it through the winter. I guess it wasn't in the ground long enough, before the cold set in. They do seem to 'take over', though.

    ~~Linda…

    Reply
  5. Teresa O
    Teresa O says:

    Queen's Wreath vine is a lovely plant. I've never heard of it, but then it probably can't grow in Zone 5b. I do my gardening in the early morning, when the air is fresh and cooler and well…I'm fresh, too!

    Have a wonderful evening.

    Reply
  6. Rosey
    Rosey says:

    I remember being pregnant in Texas with my first baby and just melting. We moved to the mountains to get away from that heat! Still I only garden in the early morning and night. The sun is still intense here in the afternoon. I like this wall of color you showed. And since it is low maint. it is even better feature!

    Reply
  7. Catherine@AGardenerinProgress
    Catherine@AGardenerinProgress says:

    That really is a beautiful vine! The color of the flowers is so pretty. The tough plants that were able to take the heat we had after such a cool wet start to summer are my natural beauties… Bee balm is one right now that doesn't seem to care what the weather is.

    Reply
  8. Trädgårdsmakare Hillevissan
    Trädgårdsmakare Hillevissan says:

    What a beautiful climber! Wish we had something like it with that (for me new favourite) colour all through summer:-)

    Like most Scandinavian people, I too enjoy a more "rustic" garden that sorts itself out on its own more or less… Summer is for leisure and play:-)
    Greetings from a Fairytale Summery Sweden! Hillevi

    Reply
  9. Kate
    Kate says:

    She's a beauty, Noelle. Once again, I'm green with envy at your growing zone and it's ability to showcase such stunning flowers. 🙂

    Reply
  10. Rose
    Rose says:

    What a beautiful vine, Noelle! Anything that blooms from spring to first frost is a winner in my book as well. I'm all for natural beauties, too. I know it's not as hot here in the Midwest as it is in AZ, but still I can't get motivated to care for fussy plants when the summer heat makes it feel like a sauna outside. I'd have to say my natural beauties are coneflowers and black-eyed Susans–they reseed themselves and generally don't need any help from me whatsoever:)

    Reply
  11. Floridagirl
    Floridagirl says:

    We call that "coral vine" here in Florida, where it does indeed grow at an alarming rate. It's considered invasive, though not banned (yet). Our "Queen's Wreath" is a beautiful purple-flowering vine. My favorite natural beauties right now are the Florida Cracker Roses and the crapes. No worries. Just beauty.

    Reply
  12. James Missier
    James Missier says:

    I love the colours and those little bell flowers. Sadly, its invasive in my region and often times they somehow spring out here & there in some pockets of garden areas.
    Have you manage to get the white variety of this type?

    Reply
  13. noel
    noel says:

    that is a beautiful vine and works so well in your environment, a little to invasive here in hawaii

    my tis are my work horses here, when they get to tall, i just snap them down and stick the tops into the ground to make a new plant, no fuss 🙂

    Reply
  14. Pam's English Garden
    Pam's English Garden says:

    Noelle, The Queen's Wreath vine is stunning! There are no natural beauties quite that dramatic here. I haven't visited lately and just took a little time "catching up" on your news. I hope Kai is soon out of the wheelchair. Take care of that back – mine is "out" right now so I know how it feels. Pam x

    Reply
  15. Meredith
    Meredith says:

    How beautiful it is, Noelle! Thank you for introducing me to this lovely vine. I'm afraid it wouldn't be at all "natural" here — but maybe that's one of the lessons of natural beauty, to find out where you fit and thrive without too much fuss. 🙂

    And a big thank you, Noelle, for your encouragement and for always being there with a kind word for me — and for so many others, too. Kindness and a joyful heart = my favorite kind of natural beauty. 🙂

    Reply
  16. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    yes Noelle, that really is invasive here so we dont plant it in gardens. There is even a white variety growing in the wild. Our former Metro Manila Commissioner in charge of order and beautification of highways planted it along main hiways, but they did not grow well in summer, maybe intolerant of car pollution. He thought that the invasiveness can be sustained in the Metropolis, now the trellises are being removed as eyesores. But yes, if properly controlled in gardens they are so beautiful. BTW, it is also found growing unabashedly n public cemeteries, which are not given proper attention, except during All Saints' Day!

    Reply
  17. Patricia
    Patricia says:

    I rip that vine out by the handful. It has a beautiful flower, but it grows over everything and is impossible to kill. Apparently, it was allowed to grow wild before I bought this house and with my cottage garden, I did not want the vine growing over all my flowers…It is horribly invasive. In a cooler climate, I can see how it would be very beautiful.

    Even my morning glory, which I love, is invasive here. I yank it out all over the place, but keep it on my fence as the flowers are such a beautifully radiant purple…almost translucent.

    Reply
  18. Amy
    Amy says:

    Wow, it looks gorgeous en masse along the fence! We call it Queen's Crown in South Texas, where I grew up, and it is on the invasive side there. Now I can still enjoy looking at it when I visit my parents, before they rip it down every spring.

    Reply
  19. Kiki
    Kiki says:

    Hi Noelle…woah..I loove this..i would love to have this in my garden..gorgeous and magical..and such lovely airy blooms of color! Wonderful post!
    Kiki~

    Reply
  20. Sophia Callmer
    Sophia Callmer says:

    So beautiful! But I don't think it's hardy over here. Although we have +25-+30° celsius right now and it's like living in another climate, we can eat all meals outdoor, lovely!
    Greetings from southern summer Sweden, Sophia

    Reply
  21. Glory Lennon
    Glory Lennon says:

    Thanks so much for this Queen's Wreath info. I've been looking for some for a while now for my own blog (Glory's Garden) and couldn't find anything usable. I just linked your article!

    Reply
  22. Maria Tseng
    Maria Tseng says:

    A Google search for "Queens' Wreath" returns lots of citations to a plant named Petrea Volubilis. However, you cite Antigonon leptopus. Which is the correct name? I want to be sure to get the right plant. Thanks.

    Reply
  23. arizonaplantlady@gmail.com
    arizonaplantlady@gmail.com says:

    Hello Maria,

    The danger of using only common names to identify a plant is that many different plants can share a common name. That is why it is important to use scientific names in order to make sure you select the right plant.

    In this case, Antigonon leptopus is the scientific name for the plant I wrote about. Petrea volubilis is a different plant.

    I hope you enjoy your new vine 🙂

    Noelle

    Reply
  24. Namagiri
    Namagiri says:

    I fell in love with Queen;s wreath the moment I saw it. Had to llok around to see which nursery carried it, i found it in Harper's. It is still in a pot but flowers have started to bloom.
    Very Happy!

    Reply
  25. Dave Henning
    Dave Henning says:

    Sorry, I was mid-comment and I ether sent it or lost it completely. Sorry if this is a duplicate.

    In this article you talking about cutting back the queens wreath every year. Does that mean all the way to the ground?

    I always have a bunch of dead leaves at the end of the winter. Eventually, they get covered up by new growth. I am always afraid to cut them because I am worried that their is good stuff on the other end. (My adjacent citrus trees have lovely pink flowers flowing up the sides, even the 25-foot orange tree. Those flowers last through the winter, probably due to the warmth of the tree).

    Reply
    • arizonaplantlady@gmail.com
      arizonaplantlady@gmail.com says:

      Hello Dave,

      Great question! In zone 9 gardens, freezing weather usually kills most, if not all, of the above ground portion of the vine. You don’t have to remove it, but many people do as it isn’t particularly attractive. Either way is fine. I hope this helps.

      Reply
  26. BJ Sagmoe
    BJ Sagmoe says:

    I, too live in Arizona and love every minute of it. Love making my backyard my haven and am continuously looking for p,ants to make it better. I have recently been able to put a name to this beautiful vine, I past daily. Have been in hopes of finding this vine, but no luck. Can I get seeds or propagate this vine?

    Reply
    • arizonaplantlady@gmail.com
      arizonaplantlady@gmail.com says:

      Hello BJ,

      It can be hard to find queen’s wreath vine in regular nurseries and garden centers. Botanical garden sales are a good source and some specialized local nurseries may also carry them. It is worth adding to your backyard haven!

      Reply

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