Stephanotis by Patty Krogh

Stephanotis is known to most people as the "Wedding Plant", "Bridal Veil Vine", or "Madagascar Jasmine". It comes from the family Asclepiadeceae which makes it part of the Milkweed family. It originated in the tropics and is native to Madagascar. Stephanotis is a twining shrub that produces waxy white flowers that are extremely fragrant. The flower petals are generally one to two inches in length, while the leaves are elliptic in shape and are usually two to four inches in length. Stephanotis is usually grown as a potted trellised plant. These plants can grow fifteen feet or more, which requires them to have ample growing space. However, Stephanotis can be trained by pruning around the supporting trellis or basket. Stephanotis does not produce many seed pods, the most ever that has ever been seen on a plant was three. These seed pods reach the size of a medium to large pear and usually stay on the vine for over six months before they are ready to be harvested. The seeds that are harvested can be used to propagate Stephanotis. They may also be propagated by using four inch tip cuttings taken from the plant.

Growing Stephanotis requires certain growing conditions. These plants are tropical by nature and therefor like medium to high light exposure. They do best in warm temperatures with the averages being 70 degrees Farenheit during the day and 55 to 60 degrees Farenheit during the night. They also like the relative humidity to be around 40% to 80%. Stephanotis has only been marketed for a short period of time so determining the best way to winterize the plant is still undetermined.

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