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Pandorea - Growing Guide

Caring for Pandorea

Pandoreas are evergreen, twining, climbing plants which are native to the rainforests of Australia and SE Asia. As such, they are borderline plants for growing outdoors even in the mildest parts of the country and are more commonly grown in greenhouses or conservatories that are at least frost free. Here they make a dense mat of growth on a wall with some support and are perhaps most easily compared to jasmine. Cold aside, they are easy enough to grow and their flowers are impressive enough to encourage anyone who has not tried these plants to have a go.

P. jasminoides, the bower plant, is a beautiful eastern Australian plant with pinnate leaves composed of five to nine slender pointed leaflets. Its funnel shaped flowers are 2in across and are white flushed crimson pink in the throat. They are produced in small panicles from late spring and on into early autumn. This is another of those plants which often has the odd flower right through the year from its new growth as the plant will continue to grow and develop over winter in a frost free environment. Certainly this has been our experience in the conservatory at Burncoose where there is no winter heat but the plant has still grown to 6-8ft with no dieback.

Pandorea jasminoides ‘Rosea Superba’ seems to us to be a hardier and more vigorous form. It has large pink flowers with purple spotted throats. P. jasminoides ‘Charisma’ has cream and green variegated foliage and may not be to everyone’s taste. P. pandorama ‘Golden Showers’ has red buds and golden yellow flowers streaked reddish-purple. Any of these three evergreen forms would readily be grown on a pergola in full sun in the southwest of England. Propagation from greenwood cuttings in summer is straightforward with bottom heat if there are concerns about winter frost. Our plants have not yet set any seed.

Pandorea lindleyana (Clystoma claystegiodes) is from Brazil and has two lipped purple flowers with lilac veining and yellow centres. The leaf form is rather different to P. jasminoides but this too is a vigorous climber. Attractive though this climber is we have found it more tender than P. jasminoides and it is definitely a plant for the frost free greenhouse where it may need hard pruning if it gets out of control. 

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