Candy Corn Plant, a Tropical Vine

Botanical Name: Manettia inflata 

A vigorous climber, you can train Candy Corn Plant on a trellis. Its densely leaf-covered twining stems look even more lush when gathered around a support.

candy corn plant, candy corn vine, Manettia inflata

You could also plant this beautiful, tropical vine in a hanging basket -- if you like -- where it will trail as long as you allow them to. Of course, you can cut them back in spring to keep the plant bushy and full.

Pruning Tip: Cut the stems back by half in spring, when new growth begins. Be careful not to remove flower buds. Pruning will promote new growth and keep it in shape. Use sharp pruners to avoid tearing the stems.

The unusual, hairy, tubular flowers are reddish-orange with yellow tips. Give Candy Corn Plant the bright light it wants, and you'll enjoy a delightful show of blooms from summer through fall. The flowers are nearly an inch (2.5 cm) long and arise from the leaf axils on short stalks.

You can move it outdoors for the summer if you like, but be sure to bring it back indoors when the temperature drops in fall. This is a frost-tender plant. In fact, this tropical native doesn't like cold temperatures at all.

Did you know...

Candy Corn Plant is in the Rubiaceae family. Although there is no resemblance, it shares this family tree with coffee plants and gardenias.

Repot in spring when you see roots growing out of the drainage holes of the pot. Move up only 1 pot size because this flowering vine blooms best when slightly pot-bound.

Don't worry about pruning and repotting at the same time. This vigorous, vining plant can take it.

Manettia inflata is formerly known as Manettia luteorubra and is sometimes sold under that name. This unusual vine is also known by a few other common names: Firecracker Vine, Candy Corn Vine and Brazilian Firecracker. Some other plants share these names, look for the botanical name to be sure you're getting this plant.

Candy Corn Plant Care

candy corn plant, candy corn vine, firecracker vine, manettia inflataPhotos courtesy of Michael Wolf

Origin: South America

Height: 6 ft (1.8 m) or more, if not pruned back

Light: Bright light to full sun. Moving your plant outdoors for the spring and summer will give it the sunshine it needs to grow and bloom.

Water: Keep the soil evenly moist spring through fall. Water sparingly in winter.

Humidity: Use a room humidifier if necessary, to keep relative humidity above 40%. 

Temperature: Average room temperatures (65-75°F/18-24°C). If you move your plant outdoors for the summer, don't worry -- it can take the heat. It won't, however, tolerate cold temperatures (below 55°F/13°C). 

Soil: Any good potting mix

Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks spring through fall with a high-potassium fertilizer diluted by half.

Propagation: Take non-flowering stem tip cuttings in spring or early summer and root in moist soil.


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