Dolichandra unguis-cati (Cat's Claw), a tropical vine native to Central America, is a showstopper in outdoor gardens. Reaching up to 25 feet tall, this fast-growing evergreen is ideal for use as a climber on large trellises, or to trail gracefully over arbors or other structures. It is wonderfully fragrant, with small yellow and orange flowers emerging in the spring.
Cat's Claw likes full sun to partial shade and does well in most soil types. It's drought tolerant and doesn't require a lot of water, but does best with occasional watering in the summertime. In the colder regions, planting it in a pot and bringing it inside during the winter months is the best way to ensure it survives.
When grown outdoors, Cat's Claw is a USDA hardiness zone 9-11. When planted in a pot, it should not be placed in direct sun, and can be kept in full sun through the late fall. It prefers well-draining soil and should be watered regularly. It can go without water for a few days, but for best results, keep it damp, but avoid overwatering.
Propagation is easy and can be done through seeds, stem cuttings, and offsets. But be aware that handling Cat's Claw can cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction in some people, so be sure to wear gloves when planting or pruning it.
With its fast growing speed, fragrant flowers, and easy care, Cat's Claw is a popular plant for any outdoor space. The showy foliage grows quickly and provides a beautiful backdrop in the garden. Plus, it can add a tropical feel to even the coldest regions. With the right conditions, it can be a stunning addition to any garden.