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)




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


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


Ceres, California

Orange Springs, Florida

Gardeners' Notes:


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... read more


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.


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.


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.