How to Grow Hardenbergia – Lilac Vine

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Hardenbergia is a shrubby vine with climbing branches that bears showy clusters of usually purple to lilac colored, pea-shaped flowers in early spring.

Hardenbergia vines can grow 8 to 10 feet tall. They will easily cover a small trellis or fence. Where not supported, Hardenbergia can be grown as a groundcover and allowed to cascade o er banks and slopes.

Hardenbergia grows best in slightly acid, well-drained soil. Hardenbergia can be damaged by light to moderate frosts.

Hardenbergia is a genus of 3 species native to Australia.

Get to know Hardenbergia

  • Plant type: Evergreen vine
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 10-15
  • Hardiness: Deciduous in Zone 9
  • Height and width: 6 feet (2m) tall or more
  • Foliage: Alternate lance-shaped, deep-green, leathery leaves which can be palmate
  • Flowers: Small, pea-like flowers borne in racemes
  • Flower color: Pink to purple, sometimes wi=hite
  • Bloom time: Spring
  • Uses: Cover arbor, pergola, or wall
  • Common name: Coral pea
  • Botanical name: Hardenbergia
  • Family name: Fabaceae
  • Origin: Australia
Purple Coral Pea, Hardenbergia violacea, blooming in spring
Purple Coral Pea, Hardenbergia violacea, blooming in spring

Where to plant Hardenbergia

  • Grow Hardenbergia in full sun to partial shade
  • Grow Hardenbergia in moderately fertile, moist, but well-drained soil. Slightly acidic soil is best.
  • Where not hardy, Hardenbergia can be grown in a temperate greenhouse.

When to plant Hardenbergia

  • Plant container-grown Hardenbergia in the garden in spring.

Planting and spacing Hardenbergia

  • Space

How to water and feed Hardenbergia

  • Water Hardenbergia moderately during th growing season.
  • Fertilize Hardenbergia with a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly.

Hardenbergia care

  • Provide support for Hardenbergia to climb.
  • Without support Hardenbergia can be grown as a groundcover.

Hardenbergia pests and diseases

  • Hardenbergia is sometimes affected by bacterial an fungal leaf spots.
  • Hardenbergia can be attacked by spider mites and aphids.

Hardenbergia propagation

  • Sow Hardenbergia seeds at 68°F (20°C) in spring; presoak seeds for a day to aid germination.
  • Root softwood cuttings in sring.

Hardenbergia varieties to grow

  • Hardenbergia comptoniana. Vigorous climber; grows to 10 feet tall or more; bears penden, mauve to purple flowers; best in moist, slightly acid soil.
  • H. violacea, purple coral pea. Climber or sometimes trailing; purple to violet flowers borne on racemes; grows to 6 feet tall; well-adapted to dry climates; cultivars include ‘Alba’ with white flowers, ‘Happy Wanderer’ with purple-blue flowers.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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