Drought-Tolerant Butterfly Vine Loves the Heat
Need a drought-tolerant, heat-tolerant blooming vine for your flower garden? Butterfly vine might be the answer you're looking for.
With a name like butterfly vine, you’d assume this pretty climber would be covered in fluttering wings. And it is—but not the kind you would expect. Instead, butterfly vine (Mascagnia macroptera) is named for its seed pods, which resemble a small butterfly in flight.
Discover easy ways to use vining plants all around your garden.
How to Grow Butterfly Vine
Butterfly vine is native to Mexico and regions south. It grows well in warmer parts of the U.S., especially zones 9 and higher, where it will ramble up to 15 feet high and wide. The delicate yellow flowers, which resemble orchids, bloom starting in spring and continue on throughout the year until frost. The seed pods appear soon after the flowers. They are a light green color at first, darkening to brown as they mature.
- Common name: Butterfly vine
- Scientific name: Mascagnia macroptera
- Growing Zones: 8-10
- Light needs: Full sun or partial sun
Check out the top 10 vines for hummingbirds.
Those in zones 8 and even 7 can give this vine a try, especially if planted in a sheltered area that receives plenty of direct sun. Try it up against a west-facing wall, where the radiant heat will protect it. It will die back to the ground in winter, but should return in spring. If you live further north, you can even try growing this as an annual vine, since it grows extremely fast. You will still get plenty of blooms to admire before the cold weather arrives. Collect the seed pods in the fall and start it again each spring.
Discover drought resistant trees and plants to grow for birds.
Butterfly Vine Benefits
One of the great benefits of growing this vine in warmer regions is its drought-tolerant nature. This plant loves heat, and it can handle very dry conditions once established. Water weekly, or more often if the vine is growing in a container. Try it in areas that other plants can’t handle; it’s great for planting by a mailbox or another exposed area. Just remember to provide room for it to climb or ramble, or plan to prune it to keep it in check.
The dark green foliage is evergreen and the flowers attract bees.
Next, check out 5 flowering drought-tolerant ground cover plants.