Stephanotis is a genus of flowering plants first described in 1806. Leaves are opposite, ovate to elliptic, and leathery.
Stephanotis is a beautiful but difficult plant – it hates sudden changes in temperature, needs constant cool conditions in winter and is attractive to scale and mealy bug.
The stems of Stephanotis can reach 10 ft. or more, but it is usually sold twined around a wire hoop. The heavily scented waxy flowers appear in summer.
The tropical twining vine, with its dark shiny foliage and snowy flowers, are a traditional element in wedding bouquets and many of us received our first info on the Stephanotis flower from our florist.
In order to provide the optimum environment for your Stephanotis, plant care should begin with the soil.
These plants require a rich loamy soil that retains constant moisture, yet you can never leave them with soggy roots, which will cause the leaves to curl and the plant to die.
A trellis should be provided, though when grown indoors, Stephanotis floribunda rarely grows to its maximum height.
They should be fertilized with a half strength solution twice a month during the growing season, and the plants should be misted regularly since they demand a relative humidity level of 40 to 80 percent.
Because of their need for warmth and constant moisture, Stephanotis plants are also susceptible to both mealy bugs and scale.
Stephanotis can be a bit tricky. In the winter our home tend to be kept dry and this plant likes humidity. Another glitch, it likes cool temps in the winter time. Fertilize it with fish emulsion, kelp or liquid seaweed at 1/2 strength during the growing season.
In Santa Barbara it flowers from the late spring through early winter. This year has been sunny and very mild so the Stephanotis is still blooming away in January.
In days past this was the quintessential bridal flower and was commonly seen in bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres and in bride’s hair.