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Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Sweet tea vine)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
8m
Max height
4m
Max spread
10-20 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Gynostemma pentaphyllum

Other names

Sweet tea vine, Jiaogulan, Jiao-gu-lan

Genus

Gynostemma Gynostemma

Species

G. pentaphyllum - G. pentaphyllum is a borderline hardy, twining, short-lived, deciduous climber with palmate leaves divided into five to seven, ovate, toothed, glossy, dark green leaflets and, in summer, loose panicles of star-shaped, pale yellow flowers followed by green, spherical fruit that ripens black.


Gynostemma pentaphyllum is: Deciduous

Habit

Climbing, Twining

Toxicity

Non-toxic. Traditionally used in Chinese herbal medicine.

Flower

Pale-yellow in Summer

Foliage

Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Dark-green in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Scale insects Scale insects

General care

Pruning

Provide support. In ideal growing condition outdoors, this plant will spread quickly and stems will root where they touch the ground. Cut to the base in early spring. Consider an invasive weed in many non-native areas.

Propagation

Self-sterile. Requires a male and female plant to produce viable seed. Soak seed for 24 hours in warm water before sowing under glass in spring. Plant out after danger of frost has passed. Or, sow in situ after danger of frost has passed.

Propagation methods

Stem tip cuttings, Seed


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Where to grow

Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Sweet tea vine) will reach a height of 8m and a spread of 4m after 10-20 years.

Suggested uses

Sub-Tropical, Indoor, Greenhouse, Flavouring food and drinks, Containers, Conservatory, City, Wallside and trellises

Cultivation

In colder climates, best grown in a container indoors or under glass. Grow in loam-based compost in filtered light. In growth, water freely & feed monthly. Outdoors, grow in a sheltered site in fertile, moist soil in partial shade. Tends to be short-lived

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade

Aspect

South

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Tender in frost (H3), Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Gynostemma pentaphyllum

Other names

Sweet tea vine, Jiaogulan, Jiao-gu-lan

Genus

Gynostemma Gynostemma

Species

G. pentaphyllum - G. pentaphyllum is a borderline hardy, twining, short-lived, deciduous climber with palmate leaves divided into five to seven, ovate, toothed, glossy, dark green leaflets and, in summer, loose panicles of star-shaped, pale yellow flowers followed by green, spherical fruit that ripens black.

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Climbing, Twining

Toxicity

Non-toxic. Traditionally used in Chinese herbal medicine.


Colour

Flower

Pale-yellow in Summer

Foliage

Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Dark-green in Autumn


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Scale insects

General care

Pruning

Provide support. In ideal growing condition outdoors, this plant will spread quickly and stems will root where they touch the ground. Cut to the base in early spring. Consider an invasive weed in many non-native areas.

Propagation

Self-sterile. Requires a male and female plant to produce viable seed. Soak seed for 24 hours in warm water before sowing under glass in spring. Plant out after danger of frost has passed. Or, sow in situ after danger of frost has passed.

Propagation methods

Stem tip cuttings, Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Sweet tea vine) will reach a height of 8m and a spread of 4m after 10-20 years.

Suggested uses

Sub-Tropical, Indoor, Greenhouse, Flavouring food and drinks, Containers, Conservatory, City, Wallside and trellises

Cultivation

In colder climates, best grown in a container indoors or under glass. Grow in loam-based compost in filtered light. In growth, water freely & feed monthly. Outdoors, grow in a sheltered site in fertile, moist soil in partial shade. Tends to be short-lived

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade

Aspect

South

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Tender in frost (H3), Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 11, Zone 10, Zone 9, Zone 8

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Sweet tea vine)

Common pest name

tomato thrips

Scientific pest name

Ceratothripoides brunneus

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Thrips present in Africa; the Caribbean and parts of Asia; frequently intercepted in the UK. Can cause significant damage to tomatoes and other crops in countries where it is present. Europe wide PRA will consider its potential to establish and cause damage.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Sweet tea vine)

Common pest name

Oriental tomato thrips

Scientific pest name

Ceratothripoides claratris

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Thrips present in parts of Asia and East Africa; where it can cause damage to solanaceous crops. Europe-wide PRA will consider its potential to establish and cause damage.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Sweet tea vine)

Common pest name

Soybean looper

Scientific pest name

Chrysodeixis includens

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Polyphagous insect pest; present in the Americas; with the potential to be damaging to UK glasshouse crops; particularly tomatoes

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade Tell us...
Aspect: South Tell us...
Exposure: Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Tender in frost (H3), Hardy (H4) Tell us...

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