Schisandra, sometimes also called Schizandra and Magnolia Vine, is a hardy perennial that produces fragrant flowers and tasty, health-promoting berries. Native to Asia and North America, it will grow in most cool temperate climates. Keep reading to learn more about magnolia vine care and how to grow Schisandra.
Schisandra magnolia vines (Schisandra chinensis) are very cold-hardy, growing best in USDA zones 4 through 7. As long as they go dormant in the fall, they can tolerate very low temperatures and actually need the cold in order to set fruit.
The plants are vigorous climbers and can reach 30 feet (9 m.) in length. Their leaves are fragrant, and in the spring they produce even more fragrant flowers. The plants are dioecious, which means you’ll need to plant both a male and a female plant in order to get fruit.
In mid-summer, their berries ripen to deep red. The berries have a sweet and slightly acidic flavor and are excellent eaten raw or cooked. Schisandra is sometimes called the five flavor fruit because its berries’ shells are sweet, their meat sour, their seeds bitter and tart, and their extract salty.
Schisandra Magnolia Vine Care
Growing Schisandra plants is not hard. They need to be protected from the brightest sun, but they will thrive in everything from part sun to deep shade. They are not very drought-tolerant and need plenty of water in well-draining soil.
It’s a good idea to put down a layer of mulch to encourage water retention. Schisandra magnolia vines prefer acidic soil, so it’s a good idea to mulch with pine needles and oak leaves – these are very acidic and will lower the pH of the soil as they break down.