Sometimes you find an unusual plant that really shines. Creeping gloxinia (Lophospermum erubescens) is a rare jewel from Mexico. It is not terribly hardy but can be grown in containers and moved to a sheltered location in winter. Continue reading for some interesting creeping gloxinia info, including tips on growing and propagating this lovely vine.
Creeping Gloxinia Info
Creeping gloxinia is a relative of foxglove. Although it is commonly referred to as creeping gloxinia, it is not related to gloxinia plants. It has been placed in numerous genera and finally landed in Lophospermum. What is creeping gloxinia – a tender climbing plant with bright pink (or white), deeply throated flowers that coat the plant in deep color. Lophospermum plant care is fairly specialized, but the plant has no serious pest or disease issues.
Once established, creeping gloxinia is a startling spectacle of hot pink or white flowers and soft, velvety leaves. The vine can grow up to 8 feet (2 m.) in length and twines around itself and any object in its upward growth. The leaves are triangular and so soft you want to pet them.
The tubular, 3 inch (8 cm.) flowers are funnel shaped and very attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. In USDA zones 7 to 11, it is an evergreen plant but is grown as a summer annual in cooler climes, where it blooms all season long until the first frost.
Growing Lophospermum as a colorful cover for a fence, trellis, or in a hanging basket provides a flowered shield that just keeps blooming.
How to Grow Creeping Gloxinia
This Mexican native plant needs well-draining, slightly sand soil in a full sun to partially sunny area. Any soil pH is fine with this uncomplaining plant. Creeping gloxinia grows rapidly and needs plenty of nutrients.
The plant often self-seeds and you can start new plants readily with seed sown in flats and kept at temperatures of 66 to 75 degrees F. (10-24 C.) The plant has a tuberous root system that can also be divided to propagate more plants. Take root cuttings in summer. Once flowering stops, cut back the plant. Mulch around in-ground plants to help keep the roots warm.
Lophospermum Plant Care
Gardeners in the north that are growing Lophospermum should grow the plant in a container so it can be easily moved indoors when frost threatens. Keep the soil moist but not soggy and use a time release, granular fertilizer in spring.
There are no listed pests or diseases of any concern but water from the base of the plant to prevent fungal issues. In cooler regions, it should be brought indoors or treated as an annual. Save seeds and you will be able to start another creeping gloxinia for the next season.