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What is a Coral Vine?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2016
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The coral vine, or Antigonon leptopus, is a climbing plant that is native to Mexico, which is why it is also often referred to as Mexican creeper. It makes a great privacy plant since it can grow about four stories tall, and it is known for attracting appealing garden guests, such as butterflies and birds. This evergreen vine also produces pink and white flowers that bloom during the summer and fall. Like many other vines that make good privacy plants, this vine tends to grow quickly, and may even be classified as invasive. Thus, the coral vine should have plenty of room to spread unless it will be pruned regularly, as it may quickly overtake the typical yard.

This vine can climb to heights of about 40 feet (12 m), and tends to spread outward rapidly. Therefore, there should be about 15 feet (4.6 m) of space between this vine and other plants, which means that it is best kept in a large yard that affords it room to grow. It should be shaped to fit the wall or trellis against which it grows, and broken vines should be removed often to keep it looking evergreen. The fact that the coral vine grows quickly is often considered a benefit to those looking for privacy shrubs, and it is frequently grown against fencing or a lattice in order to prevent neighbors from seeing into the yard.

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Leaves on this plant often appear heart-shaped, and are dark green year round. The coral vine flowers blossom repeatedly throughout the year, as pink and white blooms usually appear in late spring or early summer, midsummer, and then again in late summer or early fall. Thus, these garden plants tend to attract butterflies, bees, and birds during nearly every season.

Like some other types of vines, the coral vine is drought tolerant and can be allowed to dry between waterings. This is especially true during the winter, when the plant should be just barely watered so that the leaves do not wilt. The best environment for this plant is in direct sunlight, as the flowers bloom the most when it gets full sun, and it should be known that this plant tends to grow the best in areas that are warmer overall. The coral vine often prefers moist soil that is well drained, and adding in loam, peat moss, sand, and fertilizer all tend to help it reach its maximum height quickly.

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