Cryptostegia madagascariensis, commonly known as the Madagascar rubbervine, is a vigorous vine or creeper native to Madagascar and tropical parts of Africa. Its glossy foliage adds a spectacular color to the garden. It produces masses of pink flowers during mid-summer, which are very attractive to bees and hummingbirds.
This plant prefers full sun to semi-shade, and requires regular watering and fertilizing in order to thrive. Rubbervines are highly tolerant of salty coastal winds and can tolerate periods of drought.
Be aware that C. madagascariensis has irritating sap and should be handled with gloves. It is an aggressive plant, so plant in an area with plenty of room for it to grow. It can also be grown in large containers.
Cryptostegia madagascariensis is cold hardy at least to the 30s F for a short period of time, so it can be grown in USDA Zone 10-11. In colder regions, it can be grown in a pot and brought indoors during the winter. When grown in a pot, the soil should be kept moist and fertilized regularly.
For best success, use a good-quality potting soil and make sure the container has plenty of drainage holes. Water thoroughly when the surface of the soil starts to feel dry, and avoid over-watering. Make sure the plant is in direct sunlight for at least 6 hours per day. Also, provide additional warmth with the help of a heat mat to maintain the plant's tropical temperature requirements.
Cryptostegia madagascariensis is a striking, evergreen perennial that can be easily grown in a tropical climate. With regular watering, fertilizing, and adequate sunlight, it can thrive and provide a vibrant color to your garden.