Hardenbergia - Fabaceae - How to care for and grow Hardenbergia plants

Hardenbergia - Fabaceae - How to care for and grow Hardenbergia plants



There Hardenbergia with its climbing habit it is an excellent cover for fences, pergolas and walls.






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: see the paragraph on "Main species"


The genre Hardenbergia of the family of Fabaceae (former Leguminosae) includes several species native to Australia where it lives in very different habitats from the coast to the mountains, from the forest to the wood and sometimes even on moorland.

These are evergreen, climbing plants, which can exceed three meters in height, with a woody stem that tends to twist around the stem of other plants. The leaves are dark green, leathery, with evident veins, narrow and oval. The flowers, gathered in raceme or spike inflorescences, bloom at the beginning of spring and can be variously colored depending on the species and variety. The fruits are pods.


There are only three species in the genus Hardenbergia among which we remember:


There Hardenbergia violacea it has the typical characteristics of the genus with climbing behavior, woody stem that wraps around the stems of other plants even if it is not considered invasive. It has whole, lanceolate, dark green leaves, bright and with evident veins. They are 75-100 mm long.

The flowers of a beautiful purple color (but there are varieties that produce pink or white flowers) gathered in very long raceme inflorescences carry about thirty flowers per raceme. It blooms at the end of winter-early spring.


There Comptonian Hardenbergia is a climbing perennial that produces blue-purple flowers with a green center of the flower. It blooms in early spring.


There Hardenbergia it is a very simple plant to grow that does not require special care.

It is particularly robust, climber and for this reason ground cover, which can be raised both in pots and in the ground in the latter case, if the climatic conditions allow it, in fact, it fears the cold and loves sunny exposures, therefore, where the winter temperatures drop significantly. , it is necessary to raise the potted plant to be sheltered during the cold season.

To grow, the Hardenbergia needs support and are very suitable for adorning fences and pergolas.


There Hardenbergia it should be watered frequently during the spring-summer period but it is preferable to wait for the soil to dry on the surface before proceeding with the subsequent watering. In the other periods the irrigations must be significantly reduced.


There Hardenbergia it is repotted every 2 years using a vase slightly larger than the previous one. For repotting, use a mixture of garden soil, peat and sand (to favor the drainage of irrigation water as the Hardenbergia do not tolerate water stagnation), all in equal parts.

I always recommend using clay pots that favor the breathing of the earth.


From the beginning of spring and throughout the summer there Hardenbergia fertilize once every 2/3 weeks by diluting the fertilizer in the irrigation water and halving the doses compared to what is reported in the fertilizer package. In the other periods the fertilizations must be suspended.

It is advisable to use a fertilizer that in addition to having macroelements such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) also has microelements such as iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), all important for proper plant growth.


It is necessary to regularly prune the Hardenbergia after flowering as it tends to shrink at the base. With pruning, the plant is invigorated and emits new shoots.

Remember, when you are cutting a plant, to clean and disinfect (possibly with a flame) the tools you use to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.


The epoch of the flowering of Hardenbergia it is the beginning of spring. The flowers are grouped in raceme or spike inflorescences and the flowers are usually purple, lilac, white and pink depending on the species and variety.


The multiplication takes place by such stem or by seed.


In late summer, 10-15 cm long cuttings are taken, cut immediately under the node so that some leaves remain. It is recommended to cut obliquely as this allows for a greater surface for rooting and avoids the accumulation of water on the cutting surface.

Use a well sharpened blade to avoid fraying of the fabrics and make sure that the tool you use is clean and disinfected (preferably with a flame) to avoid infecting the fabrics.

After removing the lower leaves, arrange the cuttings in a compote formed by peat and sand in equal parts by making holes with a pencil, as many as there are cuttings to be placed, taking care subsequently to compact the soil around the cuttings.

The box or pot is then covered with a clear plastic sheet or a hooded bag after placing sticks in the ground to keep the plastic away from the cuttings and tightening the bag with an elastic to prevent moisture loss. The pot is placed in a slightly shaded area of ​​the house. Every day the plastic is removed to check the humidity of the soil and eliminate the condensation that has surely formed from the plastic.

Once the first shoots start to appear, it means that the cutting has taken root, at which point the plastic is finally removed and the pot is placed in a brighter area and expects the cuttings to become stronger. Once they are large enough, they are transplanted into the final pot and treated like adult plants.


If multiplication by seed is to be carried out, "scarification" must be carried out before sowing, ie to make the outer layer of the seed tegument permeable to water and gas. To do this, various techniques can be adopted: immerse the seeds in boiling water and leave them to soak until the water has cooled down; or you can "scratch" the surface of the semec with fine-grained sandpaper or engrave the outer layer with a knife (only for the most experienced) taking care not to damage the "eye" that is to say the small depression that can be seen in the seed.


They are not plants particularly prone to diseases, occasionally they can be subject to:

Presence of small whitish animals on the plant

If you notice small whitish mobile insects you are almost certainly in the presence of aphids or as they are commonly called lice "
Look at them with a magnifying glass and compare them with the photo on the side, they are unmistakable, you can't go wrong.

Remedies: treat the plant with specific pesticides readily available from a good nurseryman. These are generally systemic products, i.e. they enter the lymphatic circulation of the plant and are therefore absorbed during the nutrition of the insects.

Leaves that begin to turn yellow, appear mottled with yellow and brown

If the leaves begin to turn yellow and after these manifestations are crumpled, they take on an almost dusty appearance and fall. Observing carefully you also notice some thin cobwebs especially on the lower page of the leaves. With this symptomatology we are most likely in the presence of a red spider mite attack, a very annoying and harmful mite.

Remedies: use a specific acaricide available at specialized gardening centers.


In its country of origin, the plant is known by the common name of false sarsaparilla(because it resembles the plant commonly known as sarsaparilla which is none other than the Smilax aspera) or purple pea.

It is a plant used for street decoration especially in the United States where it is commonly called "lilac vine" or "Mexican lilac vine".

The name of the genus Hardenbergia it was dedicated to Countess Franziska von Hardenberg, sister of Baron Carl Hugel (1795-1870), Austrian army officer, diplomat, botanist and explorer.

Video: Hardenbergia violacea - Happy Wanderer