hardenbergia Anne of Green GardensWant to be the first front yard in your neighborhood with flowers every year? You can be if you plant a lilac vine (Hardenbergia species). The bright, cheery flowers of this climbing vine are a colorful reminder that spring is nearly here!

Description of Hardenbergia

Lilac vine (also called coral pea) is an evergreen vine with dark green leaves that can grow to 15 feet tall and as wide. It needs support and light pruning, but is not an aggressive climber like some vines. If you prefer, you can even grow it as a ground cover.

The flowers pictured in this post are of Hardenbergia violacea ‘Happy Wanderer’ which is the purple flowering form of the plant. You can also find other colors like H. ‘Rosea’ which has pale pink flowers, and H. ‘Alba’ which has white flowers. There are also dwarf varieties of the vine available.

Plant Care

Lilac vine needs regular water until established. Once established it still needs regular water during the growing season, but can be given less during winter. Lilac vine needs minimal pruning, but can be pruned to control size and desired shape  in late spring (after the plant has finished blooming).

Plant for Pollinators

Since lilac vine blooms early, they are one of the first plants available for pollinators such as native bees, bumble bees and honey bees. Flying insects need food in the form of pollen and nectar in late winter and lilac vine is the perfect first meal for them to enjoy.

USDA Zones:9-11
Height:10-15 feet
Width:10-15 feet
Sun/Shade:full sun, full sun on coast, partial shade inland.
Water Requirements: regular water, allow soil to dry out between waterings.
Pruning: prune to control size.
Other needs: prefers well-drained soil. Protect from frost if low temperatures are predicted.