A Guide to Getting the Best from Your Lapagerias.

Lapagerias are not difficult to grow if suitable conditions are provided.

Lapagerias will grow in any shady, sheltered spot with acid soil and reasonable drainage. Results will probably be mediocre, with a few flowers in summer to autumn. Mature plants will handle some frost (to -5ÂșC). Many people simply grow them up through a tree or shrub.

Like most of us, Lapagerias simply need to be understood. A little understanding and a mind to create more suitable conditions can greatly increase vigour and achieve flowering for most of the year. It doesn’t need to be difficult. However, a little thought now will reward you for many years to come.

Enhancing your site.

Lapagerias need a suitable trellis on which to climb. Mature plants can reach several metres in height, but may also be trained along horizontal structures. Root areas must be shaded. However, flowers can be in full sun.

The details.

Choose a sheltered site to avoid strong winds & frosts.

Dig a hole 700mm deep & around 300mm diameter.

Place about 75mm of sharp grit or gravel in the bottom of the hole.

Mix together one bag (25lt.) of Medium Orchid Mix with one bag of Camellia, Azalea & Gardenia Potting Mix. Add 10% of coarse perlite, mix well and fill the hole to surface level.

Plant your Lapageria into this mix. Allow any loose old mix to fall away from the pot, but take care not to damage the roots, which will set your plant back significantly.

Add a good handful of Camellia, Azalea & Gardenia fertiliser (slow release) and water the plant in very well. Repeat every six months as the plant grows.

Provide a sturdy trellis to allow your Lapageria to grow around 2 metres in height, with opportunities for lateral growth. Make sure the trellis is firm, as allowing the vines to flap around in the wind will inevitably damage them.

Your Lapageria should be misted daily in warmer months. Think about installing a simple, automatic misting system.

My system uses a plastic pressure limiting valve, and misting jets were readily available micro-spray jets (Wingfield JFS12). A $30 misting controller was added & set to operate for 2 minutes, 3 times daily, even when I am away from home.

This has really supercharged my Lapagerias and, even better, the fine jets use very little water. Many of my other favourite plants enjoy being in this misty environment (Auriculas, Primulas, Hepaticas, etc.).

Young Lapagerias at 20 months
My young Lapagerias at 20 months

Permanently planted new Lapagerias are inter-planted between the seedlings and will grow up the chains before spreading laterally along the top of my trellis.