By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
Sometimes you find an unusual plant that really shines.Creeping gloxinia (Lophospermumerubescens) is a rare jewel from Mexico. It is not terribly hardy but canbe grown in containers and moved to a sheltered location in winter. Continuereading for some interesting creeping gloxinia info, including tips on growingand 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 gloxiniaplants. 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 flowersthat coat the plant in deep color. Lophospermum plant care is fairlyspecialized, but the plant has no serious pest or disease issues.
Once established, creeping gloxinia is a startling spectacleof hot pink or white flowers and soft, velvety leaves. The vine can grow up to8 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 (7.6 cm.) flowers are funnel shaped andvery attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. In USDA zones 7 to 11, it isan evergreen plant but is grown as a summer annual in cooler climes, where itblooms 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 keepsblooming.
How to Grow Creeping Gloxinia
This Mexican native plant needs well-draining, slightly sandsoil in a full sun to partially sunny area. Any soil pH is fine with thisuncomplaining plant. Creeping gloxinia grows rapidly and needs plenty ofnutrients.
The plant often self-seeds and you can start new plantsreadily with seed sown in flats and kept at temperatures of 66 to 75 degreesFahrenheit (10 to 24 C.) The plant has a tuberous root system that can also bedivided to propagate more plants. Take root cuttings in summer. Once floweringstops, cut back the plant. Mulch around in-ground plants to help keep the rootswarm.
Lophospermum Plant Care
Gardeners in the north that are growing Lophospermum shouldgrow the plant in a container so it can be easily moved indoors when frostthreatens. Keep the soil moist but not soggy and use a time release, granularfertilizer in spring.
There are no listed pests or diseases of any concern butwater 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 willbe able to start another creeping gloxinia for the next season.
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Lophospermum, Creeping Gloxinia, Mexican Twist 'Great Cascade Wine Red'
|Genus:||Lophospermum (lo-fo-sper-mum) (Info)|
|Species:||erubescens (er-yoo-BESS-kens) (Info)|
|Cultivar:||Great Cascade Wine Red|
|Additional cultivar information:||(PP15532, Great Cascade™ group)|
|Registered or introduced:||2003|
Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Where to Grow:
Can be grown as an annual
Soil pH requirements:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:
On Jun 19, 2019, SubTropMigrant from Quechee, VT wrote:
I have a question for those with experience with Lophospermum. I bought a Lophospermum hanging pot, full of buds and blooms. Beautiful plant. It’s advertised as self cleaning and sure enough each bloom falls to the ground when spent. This leaves the calyx behind with the ovary inside, sort of like a Petunia does (hope I have my terms correct). Each calyx seems to have a firm ovary in it which on inspection looks similar to the seed pods that follow spent Petunia blooms. As long as the Petunia seed pods are in tact the plant devotes energy into seed production. My question is would removing the numerous calyx on each Lophospermum tendril help stimulate more flowering on that tendril or should you clip off that tendril to promote new tendrils with new buds and blooms? Also, despite numerous . read more reddish tubular blooms, my Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds appeared to ignore it. Thanks for any assistance and any comments.
On Sep 2, 2014, Pearl375 from Brooklyn, NY wrote:
I bought this plant last year at a plant sale in Brooklyn. It did wonderfully throughout the summer and fall in my skylighted hall area (southeast exposure) blooming profusely. I kept it there thru the winter when temps reached 55-65 degrees. I reduced watering and only watered from the saucer, afraid of stem rot. This year it did not fare as well. What I have now is smaller leaves mottled with white streaks and alot less flowers.
On Jan 25, 2013, saskboy from Regina, SK (Zone 3b) wrote:
I plant several of these vines in a long windowbox located over a high entrance archway. It hangs down in great swags, so that its like walking thru a curtain. fast growing and gets progressively more floriferous as the season wears on. The flowers are a rich vibrant burgundy and resemble gigantic snapdragons. It needs lots of sun, regular watering, and periodic fertilizing. I combined it with variegated vinca vine, and hot pink cascading petunias.
On Sep 9, 2011, dewy from Moose Creek, AK wrote:
I bought this plant at a local nursery here in North Pole Alaska for the first time this spring. It is now my new favorite. It bloomed from mid-late June through yesterday (Sept 8th) through several frosts, and had blooms still coming as of Sept 8th. I will have to check and see if it survived our coldest temperature to date 25 degree last night. I used bat guano, plant food, green sand, and bone meal, when I transplanted it from the small 6 inch pot. I first had it in full sun, after the first few blooms it seemed to stop doing anything, so I moved it to my deck which is part shade getting only direct sun in the evening, from the time I put it on the deck it was non stop beautiful cascading from a tall stand, all the way down, and spreading all over the place. I did have to keep an ey. read more e on the vines, and keep them from tangling, and choking it self out. Our summer was very rainy, but it did not seem to bother it as it did some of my other flowers. I had it planted in a 24 inch pot which was about 17 inches deep, along with a Fuchsia planted with it. Was hoping to hear I could keep it some way over winter but I guess I will try the cuttings, and see if I can find out where the seeds are. Thanks!
On Sep 2, 2011, flinx66 from Spokane, WA wrote:
I had absolutely no problem getting this plant to bloom. I had three foot long flowering vines within a month after transplanting. Out of all the annuals I planted this season, this gorgeous vine has received the most attention by visitors coming to my home.
On Aug 11, 2010, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:
In my area it hardly grew in a part sun container - seem to sulk and never did bloom or grow out much. Only lasted one year in sales at a local greenhouse then disappeared. - obvious due to disappointing sales.
On Feb 5, 2009, lusarytole from Fairmont, WV wrote:
I have had this plant for 3 years. I bring some cuttngs in each winter and just keep them in a jar of water all winter in a west window. Then plant them outside each summer. They do wondeful and bloom all summer.
Creeping gloxinia is botanically known as Lophospermum erubescen . The flowering plant is a herbaceous vine. In its native habitat in Mexico, it is a perrenial but in a colder climate like ours it is grown as an annual.
Different varieties display hues ranging in colors including red, scarlet, violet, dark purple, whitish or light violet. These bright and vibrant colors attract numerous birds and insects lured by the sweet fragrance and colors. The fresh green foliage gives it a rich green appearance.
Growth and Care
Surprisingly, these sophisticated vines do not demand complex care. Highly adaptable root systems allows these species to flourish in the diverse climatic conditions as well. However, survival is different than being attractive and to maintain the attractiveness of the beautiful vines its necessary to fulfill their needs. Growing requirements below:
Rich, well composted and fertile soil is the need of almost every plant. Creeping gloxinia is no exception and if provided a well drained soil base, the vine grows up taking not many days to climb up the fences and the walls.
Keep the soil moistened but not too soggy. Extra dry and water logged conditions are a complete no-no as they hamper the strong growth of the plant. Beware, overwatering can cause root rot and crown rot diseases.
Well guarded sunlight is all that this vine needs. Too much direct sunlight or too shady conditions are not right for the creeping gloxinia vine, but limited sunlight enhances the metabolism and nutrient uptake of the plant. Low light will lead to long spindled growth and lesser or no blooms at all.
Lofos® Wine Red Creeping Gloxinia
Lofos® Wine Red Creeping Gloxinia flowers
Lofos® Wine Red Creeping Gloxinia flowers
This lovely, fast growing variety can be trained up trellises, cascaded over garden walls, or spill over containers or baskets showy wine-red tubular flowers bloom steadily from spring to fall a tremendous garden or patio accent plant
Lofos® Wine Red Creeping Gloxinia features showy dark red tubular flowers along the stems from mid spring to mid fall. Its serrated pointy leaves remain green in colour throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Lofos® Wine Red Creeping Gloxinia is an herbaceous annual with a trailing habit of growth, eventually spilling over the edges of hanging baskets and containers. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Lofos® Wine Red Creeping Gloxinia is recommended for the following landscape applications
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
- Hanging Baskets
Lofos® Wine Red Creeping Gloxinia will grow to be about 10 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. This fast-growing annual will normally live for one full growing season, needing replacement the following year.
This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.
Lofos® Wine Red Creeping Gloxinia is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. Because of its trailing habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.