Petrea Species, Bluebird Vine, Queen's Wreath, Sandpaper Vine

Petrea volubilis

Family: Verbenaceae (ver-be-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Petrea (PEE-tree-uh) (Info)
Species: volubilis (vol-OO-BIL-iss) (Info)
Synonym:Petrea arborea
Synonym:Petrea aspera
Synonym:Petrea racemosa
Synonym:Petrea subserrata


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Light Green

Medium Green


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual



Bloom Color:

Dark Blue



White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona

Citrus Heights, California

La Mesa, California

Palm Springs, California

Redondo Beach, California

San Diego, California

Beverly Hills, Florida

Bradenton, Florida

Bradley, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida

Deerfield Beach, Florida

Englewood, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

Fort Pierce, Florida

Homestead, Florida

Istachatta, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Lake Worth, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Malabar, Florida

Melbourne Beach, Florida

Miami, Florida(6 reports)

Minneola, Florida

Mulberry, Florida

Naples, Florida

North Fort Myers, Florida

Orlando, Florida(2 reports)

Palm City, Florida

Palm Harbor, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida(2 reports)

Sarasota, Florida(2 reports)

Tampa, Florida(2 reports)

Trenton, Florida

Venice, Florida

Vero Beach, Florida

Wauchula, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Winter Haven, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaii


Keaau, Hawaii

Kihei, Hawaii

Kurtistown, Hawaii

Orchidlands Estates, Hawaii

Pukalani, Hawaii

Freedom, Maine

Poplarville, Mississippi

Vieques, Puerto Rico

Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Bristol, Tennessee

Alamo, Texas

Austin, Texas

Hempstead, Texas

Katy, Texas

Plano, Texas

Christiansted, Virgin Islands

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 25, 2017, Spiderplantwali from Katy, TX wrote:

Neutral so far because I have just purchased this vine. Will it flower if I plant it beneath a pine tree?


On Sep 17, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This species may be grown in a container, but where it isn't hardy it needs a greenhouse or conservatory to overwinter. Though it's fast growing and can reach 40', it is often maintained as a standard or espalier. Needs a strong support. Can be grown on a fence.

Once established in the landscape, this twining climber will tolerate drought. Usually evergreen, it may lose most of its leaves during the dry season (central Mexico) and re-grow them after the first flush of flowering.

The flowers sprays last several days as a (short) cut flower
if the base of the spray itself is cut. They wilt immediately if any woody stem is included.

There is a white-flowered cultivar, 'Alba'.

This species is not known to be invasive. In sout... read more


On Jun 14, 2014, jendive from Coral Terrace, FL wrote:

Mine grew very quickly and flowered profusely on a trellis while it was getting full sun. As soon as some nearby trees started blocking some light, I noticed it flowered a bit less. There can be a lot of leaves for a patio, but because they are sandpaper like, relatively easy to clean up (doesn't "stick"). My neighbors all enjoy the show of flowers. Can anyone advise how often I should cut it back hard in South Florida? Once a year in the winter?


On Apr 6, 2013, marshtackie from Orlando, FL wrote:

Didn't know this was supposed to be a Zone 10/11 plant. Admired a plant of it at Leu Gardens in Orlando, so I bought a plant at a garden center. Well, Leu Gardens is in Zone 9, as am I, so I might get lucky. It is just the right shade of lavender/purple to go with a Maréchal Niel rose or a Paul's Lemon Pillar.


On Jul 31, 2011, FlaFlower from Titusville, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I can't get this vine to bloom for love of the color green, have had it 2 years, taken over a good portion of the fence, had no problems down to 20 degrees, kept every leaf, never a single flower...very disappointed, the vine by itself is not worth keeping, not attractive, stiff and hard to handle when trying to train on a chain link.

Well I take that back from 2011, once it started blooming it hasn't stopped it always has blooms on it now, sometimes just a few and like this time of year at the end of winter it is covered in a huge display, glad I waited to hack and spray


On Apr 14, 2011, anhinga from North Fort Myers, FL wrote:

I saw this vine at the Edison/Ford Winter Estates in Ft Myers, FL and purchased a 6" pot there last fall. It's growing beautifully and has bloomed the first year. It's just gorgeous. The one growing at the Estates is on a stone chimney and is really stunning.


On Mar 23, 2011, nalin1 from New Delhi,
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

A great flowering vine for New Delhi (zone 10 a); flowers more as the plant grows older, and the intensity of the colors also deepen. Begins to flower in early to mid March, and in about 2 weeks flowers quite profusely. A worthwhile addition to the garden--needs a lot of sun to flower well.


On Mar 7, 2011, bioramani from Bangalore,
India wrote:

blooming madly in Bangalore, India. Tends to grow out of hand. Leaves are very scratchy. When dropped from a height or strewn in a light wind, individual flowers spin and dance wonderfully.

Great plant. Have to watch it though. Before you know what is happening it is all over the place.


On Feb 28, 2011, aldaflower from Freedom, ME wrote:

I have the alba form of Petrea volubilis for Wedding work. It was originally purchased from Logees and stays year round in the dome which does not go below 40 degrees F. It began minimally flowering after two years and is now, year 3, in a much larger container. All leaves drop in the Fall. At present it gives me hope for wonderful flowers this, 2011, year :)!


On Feb 19, 2011, victorengel from Austin, TX wrote:

I saw this plant quite a bit in Mexico and Guatemala. Feeling nostalgic, I ordered one, and it's been struggling with our high pH water and soil here. I knew it was an acid lover when I got it, so this is not a surprise. I'll try to give it better acidic conditions this year.

The good news is that it's blooming now, not long after it was outside in temperatures in the 20s -- in an unprotected pot. I did move it to the greenhouse before the two big cold spells we had this winter that went down to the mid-teens.


On Mar 13, 2010, xaia from Kitchener,
Canada wrote:

I just received the seeds of this plant from Seeds & More, based in Newfoundland, Canada. The shipping was fast and the seeds arrived safely and with detailed growing instructions provided. The seeds are larger than what I had anticipated so germination will be quite the experience to witness! I'm definitely gonna post again on the progress! Hopefully they come up hassle free!!


On Feb 7, 2010, Dedda from Petersburg, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Had mine for 3 years, now the trunk is over a 1/2 inch thick(a requirement for blooming) and this week she did!Yipee !
Grown on back porch/mudroom about 6 feet from an overhead 4 tube fixture , light runs 8 hours a day
Container grown (zone 7B) kept on the dry side.
Leaves will turn very brittle and fall off it kept TOO dry - leaves wont wilt as an early indicator, they are rather stiff to start with....but it recovers well from neglect!
'Well behaved' for a vine...only trimmed once in three years, stays within a 3-4 ft range- might be do to pot size( 10 inch).


On Jun 10, 2009, FLStu from Effingham, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Bought this at a local plant festival. Was told by the vendor that she had the plant in my zone 9a (her town just being east of me). However, this winter we had one of the coldest in a long time with record lows. THe Petrea did not survive :( I did not cover as I was told it would come back up if cold damaged.


On Jan 11, 2009, TrixieM from Mc Call Creek, MS wrote:

To find the seeds: Wait until the flowers begin turning green and then brown. There will be a little knot under the center of the flower. Remove the petals and crack the little knot out of its shell. There is your seed.

I've grown a number of these from seed. The seed needs to be notched to enable the little embryo to escape. I use (very carefully) the tiny pointed end of a fingernail file.

These dried flowers are so neat when they fly like little helicopter rotors whirling to sow their little seeds!

One of my very favorite plants!


On Nov 11, 2008, amygirl from Lafayette, IN (Zone 5a) wrote:

It is easily grown by taking semi-hardwood cuttings. The thicker diameter cuttings root faster.


On Mar 3, 2008, art4gardens from Zephyrhills, FL wrote:

This plant grows well and hardy! I have attempted to root cuttings, old wood and new wood, as well as airlayering. No luck. I was told to plant the seeds. Now if I knew how to find them on my plant, I would try. Any ideas what they look like or where they might be found on the plant? I have tried finding them within the flowers, no luck.


On Mar 27, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant was offered in the end of the season sale last Fall at a local nursery. The nursery staff referred to the plant as a "wisteria," which it obviously wasn't. I had no idea what it was until it bloomed this year. I used the Plant ID Forum on DG to find out its botanical name with the help of other DG members. The nursery was probably referring to the common name, "Tropical Wisteria," and I misunderstood.

The plant somehow managed to survive this winter with no special protection and tolerated temperatures as low as 28 F on a few nights with no apparent damage. I think, though, that I was just lucky in that I had planted it near the fence in a semi-shady location and my hedges probably offered some protection from winds which made the temperature lower than 28 F ... read more


On Apr 19, 2004, TheWildchild from Candler, NC (Zone 6b) wrote:

Easy to grow/maintain.Great for beginner gardeners.
Spectacular show when in bloom.
Bees and Butterflies are attracted to this vine.
Watering Needs: Keep moist until the plant is established, regular water thereafter.
Be sure to prune this vine after blooming to encourage another show!


On Apr 24, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This plant keeps its atractive violet calix even after the flowering season.


On Mar 9, 2003, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

wonderful, well-behaved vine. spectacular in bloom, although the season is short.