With the help of one of Tower Hill’s dedicated conservatory volunteers, horticulturist Matt Tetreault and gardener Kahli Connolly removed one of the tiles from the Orangerie and planted the Strongylodon macrobotrys (Jade Vine) directly into the ground.
This Philippine native of the pea family (Fabaceae) was able to climb about 15 feet this past autumn and winter while in a pot in the conservatory.
For many vines, including Jade Vine, it is highly beneficial to be planted directly in the ground rather than left in a pot, which limits root growth. In the ground, roots will have plenty of space to expand and the woody vine will thicken at a quicker rate. This is especially important because in order for the wine to flower, the woody trunk must reach a diameter of at least 3/4 of an inch.
This time next year we should see beautiful turquoise flowers dangling from long trusses from the canopy!
The Orangerie, one Tower Hill’s indoor greenhouse conservatories, is the winter home of many of the garden’s subtropical plants. In the warmer months, many of these plants are moved out into the gardens, making space for the hosting of private events, including weddings.
But this Jade Vine should thrive in its new permanent home and we look forward to it providing joy and educational opportunities to guests year-round.