At a recent tour of my garden, the Coral Vine was in full bloom and it stole the show. This stunning late-summer bloomer stops people in mid-sentence to ask, “What is that?” and “Where can I get it?”  Learn how to grow Coral Vine, and decide if it’s right to add to your yard and garden.

The pink flower clusters with curling tendrils of Coral Vine are also impressive in floral arrangements. Coral Vine is a crowd and bee pleaser for sure. 

How to Grow Coral Vine: Growing Queen's Wreath and Mexican Creeper

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3 Tips For How To Grow Coral Vine

1. Before planting, learn if Coral Vine is considered an invasive species where you live.

How to Grow Coral Vine: Growing Queen's Wreath and Mexican Creeper

Coral Vine (Antigonon leptopus) is also aptly called Queen’s Wreath, Mexican Creeper, and Chain of Love. It is a fast-growing tropical vine with showy flowers ranging from pink to white that grows in USDA zones 9-11. 

This Mexican native plant is considered invasive in certain parts of the world, including some south-eastern areas of the United States such as Florida. However, in dry, desert regions of the U.S., like Arizona, it is a rapid grower but not considered invasive.  

This website has information to help you determine if Coral Vine is considered invasive in your area. If it is invasive where you live, do not plant it.  

What is an invasive species? 

An invasive species is “an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health” as per Executive Order 13112: Section1. Definitions.

2. Understand how Coral Vine grows.

How to Grow Coral Vine_ Growing Queen's Wreath and Mexican Creeper
Each blossom develops into a seed
How to Grow Coral Vine_ Growing Queen's Wreath and Mexican Creeper
Coral Vine seeds
  • Coral vine is grown from seed or transplant. This fast-growing vine can be propagated by seeds, dividing plants, and cuttings. 
  • Underground tubers develop as the plant grows and spreads the vine to other areas. Coral Vine also readily self-seeds as small seeds drop from within the dried flower petals. 
  • The thornless vines with deep green heart-shaped leaves and tendrils will readily climb a trellis or any available area. 
  • Coral Vine begins to bloom in August with peak blooms in October until frost. 
  • The showy pink flowers attract bees, and there are often 100’s of bees along the vine when it is in full bloom. 
  • Frost kills the vines, but underground tubers send out new shoots the following spring.
How to Grow Coral Vine_ Growing Queen's Wreath and Mexican Creeper

3. Care for Coral Vine correctly.

  • Plant Coral Vine seeds or transplants after the danger of frost has passed. 
  • Choose a location to plant Coral Vine that you want to shade in the summer but have sun in the winter, as the vine will die back and be dormant in the coldest months of the year. (see photos below)
  • Give Coral Vine plenty of room to spread; the vine is vigorous and does well on an arbor or large trellis.
  • Coral Vine tolerates most soils, and does not need fertilizer or overly-rich soil. 
  • Water Coral Vine frequently when first planted. Once established, Coral Vine is drought tolerant and only needs water weekly during summer or dry spells. 
  • Coral Vine thrives in full-sun (even Arizona full sun) and heat; it will tolerate partial shade. 
  • Trim vines back as needed throughout the growing season. 
  • Prune back and remove all browned vines after frost. Vines can also be left to overwinter and pruned back in the spring. Mulch to protect tubers from freezing temperatures. 
  • Vines will rapidly regrow in the spring. 
How to Grow Coral Vine_ Growing Queen's Wreath and Mexican Creeper
In early spring, Coral Vine's leaves and tendrils begin to grow

Coral Vine season by season

How to Grow Coral Vine: Growing Queen's Wreath and Mexican Creeper
Coral Vine in early spring
How to Grow Coral Vine: Growing Queen's Wreath and Mexican Creeper
Deep green leaves of Coral Vine in summer
How to Grow Coral Vine: Growing Queen's Wreath and Mexican Creeper
Coral Vine in late summer and fall
How to Grow Coral Vine: Growing Queen's Wreath and Mexican Creeper
Coral Vine in winter after frost

Pollinators love Coral Vine

Want to add more color to your garden with flowers?

Arizona annual flowers planting guide helps you learn when to plant flowers in Arizona, and whether to plant seeds or transplants.

Want more information about gardening in Arizona? This blog post shares 7 tips for  how to grow a vegetable garden in Arizona


24 Comments on How to Grow Coral Vine: Growing Queen’s Wreath

    • Sure. While the plant is actively growing, cut a 6-8 inch piece off and strip all but top leaves. Place in water until roots form and then plant. You can also use rooting hormone and place stripped cutting in vermiculite or other growing medium, and keep moist until roots form.

  1. My Queen’s wreath is going bonkers. If I trim it back I am cutting off all of the flowers. Is it still a good idea to trim it back. Phoenix,Az

    • You can keep it trimmed back. I would stop trimming it back in August or September so it can bloom. When you trim cut individual stems back rather than shearing it. Best of luck.

  2. I have germinated seeds on moist paper towels and transplanted seedlings to individual cups. They are growing true leaves. How do I harden off and when do I plant in the ground? Thanks for the info on this beautiful vine!

    • I would transplant to a larger pot and let them get a nice root system going. If you live here in the low desert I would wait to plant – the middle of the summer is a tough time to get a plant established. Once monsoon moisture comes and the plant is larger I would plant 1-2 out. If you can, save a couple of seedlings to plant in the fall as well, just in case it’s too hot. Best of luck. Keep me posted, I’d love to hear how it goes.

  3. Hello Angela,
    Thank you for wonderful blog for Az people. The heat kills almost everything in months of June-September.
    I have 3 queen’s wreath, 2 in tall planters for them to cover 25foot trellis. The sun hits directly. The wines are not growing and almost looks burnt out. – 5 months old.
    The one in ground, not in harsh sun has grown a lot in 2 years. Should I transplant this one in one of the pots? Do you think will eat survive the heat? Is transplanting tolerated by Queens wreaths.
    I am eager as I love this wine and we really need shade to cover the trellis.
    Thanks much.
    -Chandler, Az

    • Tall pots in full sun may not be a good choice for the coral vine. Containers heat up and dry out more quickly. I definitely wouldn’t transplant any of them right now (in the summer) if you want to transplant the one in ground, wait until it dies back and goes dormant and then transplant in early spring. Make sure the containers are wide as well as tall (the larger the better) and fill with good quality potting soil.

  4. Such a beautiful plant! Going to try my hand with this one. Would it be okay to grow over a wooden fence or would it be too heavy? I have trumpet vines and climbing ivy, but the way those climb is pretty damaging so this coral vine may be better and its so beautiful!

  5. Hey! Thanks for the detailed info. I bought a small plant from a local nursery and forgot to water it for 2 days and found all of its leaves dried up third day. Can I revive it now?

  6. My Coral Vines is huge but it has not bloomed in five years. I keep hoping but year after year there are no blooms. Any suggestions?

    • Does it get enough sun? Coral vine seems to do best with plenty of sun. I would make sure it isn’t over watered or fertilized too. Mine is grown in native soil with no fertilizer.

  7. I have a plant that is thriving and last year I cut it back in Feb to about 3 ft in height. It grew back just fine up and over the trellis. It is done flowering so is it ok to cut it back now?

    • It’s safest to wait until after danger of frost is past to cut it back, but I typically cut mine back once it’s done flowering too. It has still come back each year.

  8. I am in Phoenix and just found your YouTube videos – thanks so much for being THE resource for backyard gardeners in the valley. Just curious of your favorite valley nurseries – I am partial to Summer Winds, but curious if you have other suggestions.

    • I do love Summer Winds. I also like A&P nursery here in the East Valley. Arcadia Color Garden has been good, but I hear they have been purchased so we will see how that goes. Thanks so much for your support.

  9. Is it illegal to have this plant south east Florida? Because I was looking at the very interesting leaves and beautiful flowers are just gorgeous!! Also I curious how long from speeding to grown plant for it too trail up a trellis?

    • I’d check with the local county extension agency, they may know for sure. It grows quickly and covers a trellis in a few months.

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