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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


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

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


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:


Birmingham, Alabama

Ceres, California

Orange Springs, Florida

San Antonio, Texas

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 26, 2015, Ted_B from Birmingham, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

Seeds are easily damaged and must be handled with care. Germination can be slow and erratic. Seedlings appreciate morning sun (or grow lights) and ample moisture. Mature plants grow vigorously in moist area, in a warm, humid environment with dappled sun to full shade. Will happily grow upward, spread along the ground, or grow downward from an elevated position. Leaves have a slightly sweet flavor. This plant is dioecious. Plants are evidently surprisingly cold hardy, and simply go dormant overwinter in temperate climates, only to reawaken in the spring, seeking warmth, humidity, and water as they sprawl.


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.