Information About Mexican Flame Vine

Information About Mexican Flame Vine

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Mexican Flame Flower Info: Tips On Caring For Mexican Flame Vines

By Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Growing Mexican flame vines gives the gardener a burst of bright orange color in sunny areas of the garden. Easy to grow and propagate, caring for Mexican flame vines is simple. Find out more in this article.

Garden Guru: Mexican Flame vine offers fiery color


When you hear names like Mexican Flame or Orange Glow, their titles do a good job telling you this is a flower bold and riveting in color. Considering it is a vine that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies and packs a fiery orange then you have an award winning plant.

To be honest, I think everyone should grow it if for no other reason than its botanical name Pseudogynoxys chenopodioides. Can you imagine what your neighbors would think when they ask, "What's that gorgeous vine you are growing?" Then you tell them the botanical name.

The Mexican Flame vine is a woody tropical vine most references say is cold hardy in zones 9 and higher, but I have seen many doing just fine in zone 8. Like the name suggests, the Mexican Flame vine is native to Mexico and is not that picky on soil. I've grown it in acid soil conditions fit for azaleas and soils more reminiscent of the desert. It is in the aster or daisy family in which you will quickly notice the similarities.

I realize we are in the midst of another spell of frigid temperatures further signifying that spring is not here yet. While that may seem like bad news, the good news is that this gives your favorite garden center the chance to either get some in or for you to find your source. We will have a limited supply at our spring plant sale April 4, but I assure you we will not have near enough to meet the demand for a city the size of Savannah.

When you get yours, dig your hole about as twice as wide as the rootball. Plant at the same depth they are growing in the container. Plant the vine next to a structure of support for climbing like a trellis, arbor or pergola. It is a compact vine that will only reach about 10 feet tall, and is drought tolerant once established. You will need to do a little training to get it climbing. You'll also like that it is not a plant hammered by pests.

The vine is great about re-blooming, and if you need to do a little cutting back it will quickly send out more growth and another round of blooms. The blazing orange just screams to be planted in partnership with complementary blue flowers. My first choice would be to use blue salvias like Victoria Blue or Mystic Spires Blue. If you're bold and want a native then consider the late summer blooming hardy ageratum known botanically as Conoclinium coelstinum.

Once you start growing yours you will notice all sorts of butterflies seem to like to feast on the nectar rich blossoms. Red-admirals, fritillaries, monarchs, and cloudless sulphurs all will visit on a regular basis.

Vines play an important role in the landscape giving a vertical dimension. It is sort of like hanging a mirror or picture on the wall indoors. The Mexican Flame Vine will be one of the most dazzling additions to your garden.

Follow me on Twitter @CGBGgardenguru.

Norman Winter is the director of the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

Rooting Mexican Flame Vine cuttings

I have had luck rooting cuttings by using rooting powder and putting them in Pearlite. But when I transfer them from the PL to potting soil, they die. Why? I have some right now that are doing the same thing. I pulled them out last night and they have more roots, but the stems are dying. Can you use rooting powder and then put them right in the potting soil? Maybe they don't even need to be rooted, just stuck in dirt? I'm trying to preserve this beauty in case it dies to the ground, plus I want to share.

Mine gets killed back each year, and most years doesn't come back, unless a very mild winter.. I stick several cuttings into a good size pot of a good potting soil, keep moist,place in a bright window, and by spring I have several plants to put out along the fence.. They root super easy..

Do you use any rooting powder? (sometimes we make things too difficult)

I root things from A to Z..Have never found the need for rooting hormones and such. I heartily agree, we sometimes make things too difficult, lol.

If you like to root in perlite,try using a small pot as a container to hold the perlite, then and stick your cutting in it. Once well rooted, transplant the whole rootball with perlite attached into a larger container avoiding transplant shock. I root them in peat perlite mix 50/50 without any problems.
I hope this helps

Oh, great idea! I didn't really think of it as being any type of "shock" since other things have done well. I'll get some cuttings and try a few each way and see which one works best.

I rooting some right now in just a jar of water. They are growing like weeds right now in the jar of water. It took about a week or so before I saw any roots but none of the died.

Great to know, since I just stuck a bunch in water too. I'm just hoping that they transfer to the dirt this time. I'm trying to root them for friends tho, so I guess as long as I get roots on them, the rest is up to them! LOL They'll never suspect a thing.

Plants→Pseudogynoxys→Mexican Flame Vine (Pseudogynoxys chenopodioides 'Sao Paulo')

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height : 6 to 15 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Orange
Other: Deep reddish-orange to brick red
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Late summer or early fall
Other: Peak bloom time is spring and summer but blooms appear throughout the year
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Espalier
Uses: Groundcover
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Toxicity: Other: All parts of plant are mildly toxic if ingested and the sap may cause contact dermatitis to those with sensitive skin
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Suitable for hanging baskets
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

I bought this plant late in summer when Select Seeds was having their big close-out sale. I wanted it because I had seen a Mexican Flame Vine at USF Botanical Gardens and it was a real butterfly magnet. I am a butterfly gardener and thought this would be perfect on a fence. I planted it late in the year but I made sure it got lots of water in the Florida heat so it could get established. But then, in the fall, I noticed it had disappeared. I figured I had killed it and I forgot about it. But late this winter, a mysterious vine started growing in the same place. It didn't look like any weed I recognized, so I thought maybe the Mexican Flame Vine had come back. Sure enough, it bloomed today and it has come back and is spreading rapidly up and down my fence! So a friendly heads-up that apparently this vine can go dormant for a while, but don't give up on it until you're sure it's not coming back.

Update: This vine got really aggressive for me, so I pulled it out in April 2016. I have gone back twice now and dug up more pieces where it has come back from roots, and some that might have layered or self-seeded. If you plant this, make sure you have plenty of room for it to grow. Preferably not near anything else as it was smothering some of my other plants.

Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Mexican Love Vine by rpccompostyahoocom Jun 22, 2015 10:07 AM 4
Pseudogynoxys Brazil, orange flower for ID by bonitin Apr 9, 2015 1:27 AM 24

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Mexican Flame Vine

Pseudogynoxus chenopodioides: Pseudogynoxus confusus, Senecio confusus, Mexican flame vine, Orange glow vine

Plant Specs:

  • Perennial flower for USDA hardiness zones 9a-11b (lows to -6.7 °C or 20 °F)
  • Slightly colder zones can mulch and pray
  • Fast growing annual in colder regions
  • Full sun to part shade
  • Height: 10-12 feet
  • Spacing: 1-2 ft
  • Flowers prolifically with vibrant orange blooms
  • Blooms all season to first frost

Plant Propagation:

  • Start stem cuttings in water- roots even faster than tropical milkweed
  • Sow seeds directly after final frost? I’ve heard several reports this is difficult to start from seed. If you’ve tried seeds, please comment below.

Minnesota Flame Vine

  • Long bloom period
  • Dark green leaves make a striking contrast with bright flowers
  • Stunning centerpiece or accent in the garden
  • Best nectar vine for attracting monarchs
  • No serious pest issues
  • A favorite flower for migrating monarchs

  • Must be regularly deadheaded
  • Needs overwintering indoors for colder regions, but you can cut it back so it won’t take up much space. Our vine overwinters in a 12″ container.

Flame Vine Growing Tips:

  • In warm regions, this can be invasive but new plants are easy to pull
  • Pseudogynoxus chenopodioides grows well in pots. We grow ours in a 12″ pot and cut back the root system in fall, if necessary.
  • Deadhead every few days for a bounty of beautiful blooms
  • Try an all purpose fertilizer to boost initial plant growth
  • Use a bloom boosting fertilizer to promote flowering and root growth
  • Average water needs. I found that the vine growth habit seemed to shade the mulch/soil so the plant required less water.

Like Butterflies to a Flame

Pollinator Plus:

This nectar plant also attracts bumblebees, eastern tiger swallowtails, gulf fritillaries, hairstreaks, honeybees, hummingbirds, julia butterflies, painted lady butterflies, pipevine swallowtails, skippers, sulphurs, queens, zebra longwings and more… (If you know of others, please comment below.)

This is one butterfly vine where I recommend buying plants, because I’ve heard numerous reports about difficulty starting from seed. The good news is, once you have plants it’s easy to propagate from cuttings.

Find More Orange Monarch Magnets on our Butterfly Flowers Page

Please post below if you have any questions or comments about growing Mexican Flame Vine in your garden:

How to Grow Flame Vine

Flame vines are subtropical plants that can grow in U.S. Zones 9 to 11. They bloom bright orange flowers during the winter months, typically in January and February. They are hardy vines that can grow in most soils and resist an occasional frost. Flame vines reach heights of 30 feet or more.

Purchase a flame vine, take a cutting off an existing one or start a new plant by air layering.

A cutting refers to simply cutting off an existing piece of a vine, usually about eight inches. Plant it in a pot with all-purpose potting soil, cut side down and place the pot next to a sunny window. Keep it evenly moist and wait for it to take root, usually a couple of weeks, before transplanting it outside. If desired, dip the stem one inch deep in rooting hormone, available at most garden stores, prior to potting for faster growth.

  • Flame vines are subtropical plants that can grow in U.S.
  • Zones 9 to 11.
  • Keep it evenly moist and wait for it to take root, usually a couple of weeks, before transplanting it outside.

Air layering means that you girdle, or strip off, a couple inches of the outer layer (bark) of a branch near the ground while it is still part of a vine. Cover the girdled area with moist peat moss, continue to water and wait for it to grow roots. Then cut the entire branch off to plant the new roots in a new location.

Choose a location in full sun or partial shade. Flame vines cling well to fences, trellises, walls and arbors. They can tolerate most soils however, to encourage faster growth, if your soil is not rich or well draining, till in a couple inches of compost, peat moss or sand prior to planting.

Dig a hole that is several inches deep and wide. Place the flame vine in the hole and back fill it with soil. Plant multiple vines about three to five feet apart. Water well and keep the soil moist for the first few weeks. Thereafter, you should not need to water flame vines unless drought conditions exist.

  • Air layering means that you girdle, or strip off, a couple inches of the outer layer (bark) of a branch near the ground while it is still part of a vine.
  • They can tolerate most soils however, to encourage faster growth, if your soil is not rich or well draining, till in a couple inches of compost, peat moss or sand prior to planting.

Fertilize flame vines the first year starting in early spring. Use an all purpose low dose fertilizer. Repeat as directed on the packaging since each brand of fertilizer has different release rates. Once or twice more should be sufficient.

Prune flame vines each year after blooming. Cut back to shape and to remove dead and damaged branches. To encourage more growth and blooms, cut back to about three feet from the ground. In addition, it is important to keep the vines away from other flowers and shrubs. Flame vines will not only take over the area, creating a disorganized space, they can strangle the other plants.

Watch the video: Tithonia. Mexican Sunflower Plant care. Growing Tithonia Flower. Summer Flowers


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