Ok, so the name of the Nong Nooch vine is a little bit of a tongue twister. This tropical vine is a rare one to find at your local nursery but if you are lucky enough to come across it please do me a favor and grab it quickly before its golden chain of flowers entice someone else to take it home. The Nong Nooch vine, or Petraeovitex bambusitrum, gets its name from the Nong Nooch Botanical Garden in Thailand where it can be readily admired, but is quite uncommon for most of us to see in cultivation.
Photo by Tara Heibel
The slightly glossy leaves along this vine are abundant, but they have a graceful presence. The Nong Nooch vine can bloom for several months at a time from spring to fall with soft dangling yellow bracts opening to cream flowers. It is as if the leaves magically make a transition in front of you. They enjoy moist well-drained soil and benefit from some direct sun. Don't let this rare find scare you, it is actually hardier than it looks and can be quite drought tolerant. In fact, you have to watch out to not over water it. Pinching the plant back from time to time can keep it bushy and in bounds.
They can be quite rigorous, making for a great houseplant or deck plant if given the space. For the very few of us who live in zone 10 or higher, you are lucky enough to be able to grow them outside on your fence if you prefer that jungle look. But, they do best when allowed to grow freely in a hanging container or climbing on a trellis where the flowers can hang down freely. When you are deciding how to display your Nong Nooch, make sure you do give the flowers ample freedom as they can hang a couple of feet long. Go ahead, take a chance on this rare beauty. I promise it will give back.