Rhodochiton atrosanguineum, Purple Bell Vine

Rhodochiton atrosanguineum

Purple Bell Vine
Family: Plantaginaceae
Origin: Southwest Mexico
Vine or creeper plantSemi-shadeFull sunModerate waterUnusual color

This vine is native to the mountain and coastal regions of Southwest Mexico and is also known as Purple Bell Vine. This, evergreen, low maintenance vine thrives in full sun to semi-shade and needs moderate amounts of water to thrive. This makes them a great choice for container gardening. They can be trained to climb up walls, trellises and other structures for a unique addition to any garden.

The Rhodochiton atrosanguineum has slow to medium growth, and its leaves and stems are covered in a velvety texture. Its leaves are often purple in color and its flowers are bell or funnel shaped and have an unusual black exterior with a bright purplish-pink interior, which gives it its common name "Purple Bell Vine". Other cultivars which are commonly grown, include the bright pink "Fuchsia" and the dark red "Maroon".

In warm climates, Rhodochiton atrosanguineum will bloom for most of the year but can be kept in bloom if kept in a cool, semi-shaded spot. In colder regions it can be grown as a perennial in a container and brought indoors during the coldest months. For best results, it should be grown in a light, well-draining potting mix and watered regularly but not left in soggy soil. Pruning should also be done to encourage growth and control size.

If grown in cooler areas, Rhodochiton atrosanguineum can survive the winter in pots or containers; although this should be done with care and caution. The pot should be moved out of freezing temperatures to prevent the roots from freezing and the foliage should be covered in a blanket to protect it from cold winds. The soil should not be allowed to completely dry out, but water should be reduced in winter. The Purple Bell Vine should be brought back inside when night temperatures drop below 35-40F. With appropriate care and conditions, it makes a dramatic and elegant addition to any home garden.

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