Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Jiao-gu-lan, Sweet Tea Vine
Gynostemma pentaphyllum

Family: Cucurbitaceae (koo-ker-bih-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Gynostemma (gy-noh-STEM-uh) (Info)
Species: pentaphyllum (pen-tuh-FIL-um) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

16 members have or want this plant for trade.

Vines and Climbers

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By Michaelp
Thumbnail #1 of Gynostemma pentaphyllum by Michaelp

By Michaelp
Thumbnail #2 of Gynostemma pentaphyllum by Michaelp

By istcallst
Thumbnail #3 of Gynostemma pentaphyllum by istcallst


4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Lodewijkp On Jul 3, 2013, Lodewijkp from Zwolle
Netherlands (Zone 7a) wrote:

Great plant and great taste as well - A Liquorice like taste.

as a indoor plant it does great, it seems to do better indoors than outdoors and it doesn't mind dry air as long it's in shade or bright light without direct sunlight.

i never had any problem with pests but scales seem to only attack this plant when it's grown in direct sunlight ( weakens the plant ) . Thrips will only infect this plant if another plant is infected. this plant itself doesn't cause thrips infestations but once another nearby plant does have a infestation this vine will be a thrips magnet. maybe hanging baskets are a better option because this way most insects can't reach it.

you need support because it grows really fast especially when it's warm and it needs a large pot. i really recommend this one indoors because even tho it's hardy around -15 C or -20 C it recovers poorly from winter, even in summer my sweet tea vine had excruciating slow growth rates once i took it inside it woke up and started growing really fast.

it likes moist soil but it doesn't like wet soil - keep the soil moist at all times and give it high quality soil.

Actually when grown indoors it has a bitter taste in most seasons, in late summer and autumn the taste is at it's best.

i really don't know why this isn't a more popular indoor plant, it's really reliable as long you keep it out of direct sunlight. it can grow in shade or light shade and is more attractive than hedera species.

Positive geril On Dec 2, 2012, geril from Edmonton
Canada wrote:

Terrific success growing Gynostemma as a houseplant, indirect sun, around 70 degrees, moist & NO chemical fertilizers, really dislikes those! Extremely fast growers. Plants go somewhat dormant in the winter but still green and perky.
I pick 4 or 5 leaves daily & put it in my coffee. It has a lot of impressive credentials in the health dept., well documented, safe, so eat it, brew it, I shall.
I love plants, even better I love plants I can eat & enjoy inside my home when it's bitterly cold outside here in Canada.

Positive giftgas On May 6, 2009, giftgas from Everson, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I am going to grow this plant out, and when it's done, I am going to snack on it daily, along with japanese knotweed shoots, and try my best to live forever.

As a side note: It has interesting leaves that resemble a much more famous "immortality herb". Grow it up a pole and enjoy hearing the whispers from your neighbors every time they walk by it.

Positive Michaelp On Dec 28, 2008, Michaelp from Glendale, UT (Zone 5a) wrote:

Called immortality vine, or immortality Tea, the leaves are used fresh or dried to make a great tea. Containing about 4 x the amount of adaptogenic saponins than Ginseng, it is energizing. I also like to eat it fresh in salad, it has a very mild flavor, and is quite nice. There are many health claims related to this plant. It is a beautiful glossy leaved vine, and will grow up almost any crop suport, --it can be invasive in a greenhouse environment, as the vine will root easily on wet soil.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Ceres, California
Orange Springs, Florida

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