What Is A Butterfly Pea Plant: Tips On Planting Butterfly Pea Flowers

What Is A Butterfly Pea Plant: Tips On Planting Butterfly Pea Flowers

By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

What is a butterfly pea? Also known as spurred butterfly pea vines, climbing butterfly pea, or wild blue vine, butterfly pea (Centrosema virginianum) is a trailing vine that produces pinkish-blue or violet blooms in spring and summer. As the name suggests, butterfly pea flowers are favored by butterflies, but birds and bees love them, too. Centrosema includes about 40 species around the world, but only three are native to the United States. Read on to learn more about spurred butterfly pea plants.

Growing Spurred Butterfly Pea Vines

Spurred butterfly pea vines are suitable for growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 and 11, but you can grow the vines as annuals if you live in a cooler climate.

Spurred butterfly pea plants are easy to grow from seed, either by planting directly in the garden in spring, or by starting them indoors about 12 weeks ahead of time. Lightly nick or scrape the seeds, and then let them soak overnight in room temperature water before planting. Seeds generally germinate in two to three weeks.

Butterfly pea flowers grow in nearly any type of soil, including nutrient-poor, but sandy, acidic soil is preferable. Good drainage is critical, as spurred butterfly pea plants won’t tolerate soggy growing conditions.

Plant butterfly pea flowers where the vines have plenty of room to sprawl, or let the delicate stems climb over a trellis or fence. This is an excellent plant for any lighting condition, including full sunlight, shade, or semi-shade.

Butterfly Pea Plant Care

Butterfly pea plant care is definitely uninvolved and the plants require very little attention. Here are a handful of tips to ensure your spurred butterfly pea vines grow and bloom like crazy.

Water the plant regularly during the first growing season, but beware of overwatering. Spurred butterfly pea vines are drought tolerant and, once established, require supplemental irrigation only during periods of hot, dry weather.

Pinch growing tips regularly to encourage bushy growth and prevent legginess. No fertilizer is required.

This article was last updated on


Aparajita Butterfly Pea Blue Clitoria ternatea seeds pack of 20 seeds

Aparajita seedsWhat is a butterfly pea? Also known as spurred butterfly pea vines, climbing butterfly pea, or wild blue vine, butterfly pea (Centrosema virginianum) is a trailing vine that produces pinkish-blue or violet blooms in spring and summer.

Aparajita seeds Growing Spurred Butterfly Pea Vines Spurred butterfly pea vines are suitable for growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 and 11, but you can grow the vines as annuals if you live in a cooler climate. Spurred butterfly pea plants are easy to grow from seed, either by planting directly in the garden in spring, or by starting them indoors about 12 weeks ahead of time. Lightly nick or scrape the seeds, and then let them soak overnight in room temperature water before planting. Seeds generally germinate in two to three weeks. Butterfly pea flowers grow in nearly any type of soil, including nutrient-poor, but sandy, acidic soil is preferable. Good drainage is critical, as spurred butterfly pea plants won’t tolerate soggy growing conditions. Plant butterfly pea flowers where the vines have plenty of room to sprawl, or let the delicate stems climb over a trellis or fence. This is an excellent plant for any lighting condition, including full sunlight, shade, or semi-shade.

Butterfly Pea Plant Care Butterfly pea plant care is definitely uninvolved and the plants require very little attention. Here are a handful of tips to ensure your spurred butterfly pea vines grow and bloom like crazy. Water the plant regularly during the first growing season, but beware of overwatering. Spurred butterfly pea vines are drought tolerant and, once established, require supplemental irrigation only during periods of hot, dry weather. Pinch growing tips regularly to encourage bushy growth and prevent legginess. No fertilizer is required.


White Clitoria Ternatea Aparajita Shankhpushpi Butterfly Pea White Flower Plant Seeds

White Clitoria Ternatea Aparajita Shankhpushpi Butterfly Pea White Flower Plant Seeds

  • White Butterfly-pea flower tea is said to be a mood enhancer.
  • It is revered as a holy flower, used in daily puja rituals.
  • In traditional it is an Ayurvedic medicine.
  • You will get good quality & healthy approximately 10 Seeds.


The plant improves nitrogen in the soil

WIN-Initiative/Neleman / Getty Images

Horticulturists and home gardeners learned to take advantage of the symbiotic relationship between this plant’s roots and rhizobia bacteria in the soil. It improves and balances nitrogen levels, creating healthier plant environments. In the warmest areas — hardiness zones 11 and 12 — the butterfly pea flower is a perennial. In most other growing regions, it is an annual. It can also be biennial, taking two years between flowering, seed formation, and demise.


Centrosema Species, Spurred Butterfly Pea

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Centrosema (sen-TROH-sem-uh) (Info)
Species: virginianum (vir-jin-ee-AN-um) (Info)
Synonym:Bradburya virginiana
Synonym:Centrosema biflorum
Synonym:Clitoria virginiana

Category:

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Foliage:

Foliage Color:

Height:

Spacing:

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

Where to Grow:

Danger:

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

From seed direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade allow to dry

Regional

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

Altamonte Springs, Florida

Green Cove Springs, Florida

Bessemer City, North Carolina

Gardeners' Notes:

On Sep 4, 2015, Grow1 from Tallahassee, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

It is common at the edges of wooded lots in Tallahassee. It climbs up and around other plants and it is sometimes difficult to see the foliage of Centrosema because the leaves tend to hide in the leaves of the plant it is climbing. Sometimes it is seen growing by itself and not climbing another plant, but that is much less common.

On Jan 23, 2015, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

What kind of Butterfly Pea do you have? Info from wildflowers.com
Clitoria Mariana is known by some as “Butterfly Pea”, and Centrosema virginianum as “Spurred Butterfly Pea.” The 2 Native American flowering vines are easily confused. A spur is found at the base of the petals of Centrosema. Another key characteristic that can help is the relative length of the corolla tube. Clitoria mariana has a long visible corolla tube – usually as long or longer than the keel and wing petals. Centrosema virginianum, on the other hand, has a short corolla tube that is generally invisible as you look at the frontside of the blossom.

On Aug 25, 2014, Laurenpearson17 from Birmingham, AL wrote:

I found this growing throughout our ivy in our front yard. It is really a beautiful vine. I am learning more about how to move it because I would like to see if it will climb. I have tons of it.

On Jun 4, 2013, Buttoneer from Carlisle, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I started my seeds, which were a gift from a DG-er, by gently nicking & soaking overnight in warm water, then wrapping in a moist napkin and putting in a ziploc bag until they sprouted, then planting in potting soil. They are up now & quite delicate & enchanting. I have read everybody's post & will keep them potted but I might repot them in 1/2 sand & 1/2 potting soil. The pictures remind me of Clitoriana mariana, but I remember I did collect seeds from that plant in Central Va so this might be Clitoria mariana. I'll take a pix of the seedlings for you for correct identification. Either way, either plant is enchanting and I hope I can grow them to blooming size.

On Aug 16, 2010, smith889169 from Claxton, GA wrote:

I live in SE Georgia. I found this vine growing in a partially shaded area in gravel. This area is very dry. The soil is several inches below the gravel so it must be a tough plant. The leaves on mine are more elongated and narrow than those pictured on this site.

On Jun 27, 2010, PammiePi from Green Cove Springs, FL wrote:

Pretty little wild flower found growing throughout NE Florida. I'll find these plants frequently along roadsides or in shaded areas of the woods, though sometimes growing up a fence in part-sun. Seems to like damp places. I love stumbling across these on my walks through the woods.

On Oct 11, 2009, podster from Deep East Texas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This pretty vine is native to my east TX woods. I found the seeds a bit difficult to start. After soaking in water for a period of time, I was able to start a few from seed. The Butterfly Pea vine is a perennial in this zone. It will do well in ground or in a container.

On Jun 8, 2006, JeanneTX from Willis, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I had never seen nor heard of this plant and found it growing wild in my shade garden..must love the filtered light and moisture there. Jeanne

On Dec 19, 2004, PudgyMudpies from Stockton, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I love this vine, the flowers are so pretty but the foliage does not make a statement. I agree it should be planted with other vines, letting the flowers make the impression.

Some additional Info that I found on this plant:
It is listed as a perennial although I have not had it return for me in zone 9. I always have to replant. It is SAID to be hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by bees. (my carpenter bees LOVE them) It can also fix Nitrogen.
It prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) well-drained soil and tolerates poor soil. It prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soil. It cannot handle shade. It requires dry or moi. read more st soil and can tolerate drought.
Can be grown without support for a sprawling groundcover.
Pre-soak seeds for 12 hours in warm water before planting.

On Oct 17, 2003, Maudie from Harvest, AL wrote:

I agree with bonjule about planting this with other vines.
The foliage is inconspicuous but the blooms will be outstanding against the foliage of another vine. Maudie

On Aug 24, 2003, bonjule from Destin, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

In Florida, I saw painted lady butterflies using this plant for nectar. Where it is allowed to climb on another plant, it excels.

On Sep 18, 2001, tiG from Newnan, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

A slender trailing or clasping vine with purple flattened pea flowers (3/4 - 1 1/2") with a small spur at the base, single or in small clusters. The flat part of the flower is pointing groundward unlike most of the pea-family. The leaves are alternate, divided into 3 leaflets ovate to lanceolate, each 1 - 2 1/2" long.
Flowers July-August. Likes open, usually dry, woodlands and fields, pine forest edges.


Watch the video: 2 days Fast Seed Germination Blue Ternate