A well-behaved vine that reaches a mature height of 8 to 10 feet, candy corn vine (Manettia luteorubra) produces masses of small, red and yellow, tube-shaped blooms from summer through autumn. Because of its interesting shape and intense color, candy corn vine is also known as firecracker vine. A warm weather vine native to Brazil, candy corn vine is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. Propagate candy corn vine by taking softwood cuttings in late spring or summer.
1 Cut at least three or four 1 1/2- to 2-inch cuttings from the tips of healthy, actively growing candy corn vines, using a sharp, clean knife or garden shears. Trim the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting, retaining two or three leaves at the top. Remove the leaves cleanly because rough edges or snags may allow bacteria to enter the cuttings.
2 Fill a 5-inch pot with one part peat moss and one part sand, perlite or vermiculite. Make three or four planting holes in the potting mix, using a pencil or stick. Space the holes evenly around the inside edge of the pot.
3 Roll the base of each cutting in rooting hormone, available in gel, liquid and powdered forms. Plant the cuttings in the holes just deep enough to stand upright. Firm the potting mix lightly around the stems, and then water to settle the potting mix.
4 Cover the pot with a plastic bag then seal the bag with a rubber band, and then place the pot in low light. The plastic will keep the potting mix moist until the candy cane cuttings root -- usually in about eight weeks. Open the plastic bag twice every week for five to 10 minutes to provide air circulation.
5 Remove the plastic and transplant each cutting into a 3-inch pot filled with commercial, general-purpose potting soil when the cuttings show new growth. Place the pots in indirect light and water lightly to keep the potting mix evenly moist.
6 Plant the young candy corn vines outdoors in spring.
Items you will need
- Knife or garden shears
- 5-inch pot
- Peat moss
- Sand, perlite or vermiculite
- Pencil or stick
- Rooting hormone
- Plastic bag
- Rubber band
- 3-inch pot
- Commercial, general-purpose potting soil
- Florida Museum of Natural History: Candy Corn Vine Manettia Luteorubra
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Flowering Vines for Florida
- The American Horticultural Society, Plant Propagation; Alan Toogood, Editor