The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Tropaeolum Speciosum - what next?


Hi again. I have posted a question about this lovely climber, which I have always wanted to grow since I first saw it many years ago at Sissinghurst Castle gardens. Last year, I ordered three plants from Wisley and in they went after a long, long wait for them to arrive! Well, they only grew up to about a foot – well two did, the other seemed to have been eaten! I asked for advice on the site about over-wintering them and waited (with not much hope, I admit). BUT

Here’s a shoot – definitely.

and another – also definitely – from another plant.

And this one too? BUT – here comes a problem.

This shoot (and another like it) is coming up about a foot away from where I planted it last year. It certainly appears to be a T.speciosum. Could it be? Does this plant do that?

and the one that got eaten – I need a magnifying glass to be sure, but there’s a tiny little shoot coming up which I THINK is one.

And now having bored you all, I’d love some advice please, about how to care for these shoots to get them to grow and flower!

Thanks for reading this far .I hope someone can help.

More blog posts by spritzhenry

Previous post: Little pretty flowers in shady places.

Next post: My Stream Bank Project - I DID IT!!!!



I haven't come across this plant before, Spritz, so I Googled it. It looks interesting, one for the Wish List. Anyway, I found it on a BBC gardening page which said:
'It is sometimes difficult to establish if plants have had a check in growth, perhaps being allowed to dry out slightly. Once established, however, plants spread by underground stems and form large deep rooting tubers.'
So looks like yours are happy. From my research i have found that they are inclined to take a while to get established , however it seems once established they tend to become thugs in the garden, spreading like wildfire below the soil and shading other plants into submission as they climb all over them. Sounds like they need little 'care'. Keep a keen eye on them, Spritz ;-)

29 Apr, 2008


Thank you Xela for that info. I shall not mind them spreading as long as they flower! At Sissinghurst, they grow through a set of evergreen trees and look stunning! Two of mine are next to evergreens and the other is by a fence with a C.cirrhosa on it. Fingers crossed now!

29 Apr, 2008


This is one of those plants that can be difficult to get going but once you've got it established, it may become rampant. Supposedly needing a cool moist spot, it does particularly well in Scotland. Having said that, I have seen it doing well in Surrey and in a garden near Stourhead in Wiltshire. Hope yours get going.

29 Apr, 2008


Andrew right seem to do well further north aka scottish flame flower .very common in scottish garden centres a bit of a specialist buy here.Think the best spot a damp north facing wall quite unlike its nasturtium relative.

29 Apr, 2008


yes, this climber is aka Scottish Flameflower. it does do very well here, a rampant climber used to brighten up those boring leylandii hedges et al. I do believe, however, only coz I was told (so may be wrong) that this plant actually originates in Chile or thereabouts. Anyhow, Spritz, don't give up, your latest pics look hopeful. I would NEVER buy this from a garden centre up here. People keep digging up roots and shoots for me but, to date, I've done something wrong. This year's look hopeful, though. I remember when this plant was so new that everyone searched high and low for it - it was a "conversation piece".

29 Apr, 2008


None of the local Garden Centres/Nurseries stock it - I had to order it from Wisley and collect when we visited our daughter!

30 Apr, 2008


If only I'd known that b4, Spritz.

1 May, 2008


Hello Spritzhenry,

I've tried with this plant a couple of times before now after seeing it growing up various conifers in the Highlands (as David so rightly says) but I've not had any success. After reading this, I might just have a go with it again.

30 Jul, 2009


I'm sorry to say that mine didn't get going, last year. I got one flower, but this year I have one tiny shoot, which is not doing anything! Good luck!

30 Jul, 2009


That's a pity because it's a glorious thing to see when it works. Maybe one day!

30 Jul, 2009


I believe it likes acid soil...I haven't got that!

31 Jul, 2009


I thought I had a chance with this - thrives in Scotland (well, it looked good where I saw it) so must be hardy, acid soil - got that. Flourishing plant? Not got that!

31 Jul, 2009


I wonder why? It is SOOO frustrating when there's a special plant you really want to grow, isn't it!

1 Aug, 2009


I grow this in my small back yard in crewe this year it's popped up in about 40 different places my yard faces north so is shady and quite cool all year round

28 Apr, 2015


You are so lucky, Rely - mine simply gave up. Welcome to GoY, by the way! :-)

29 Apr, 2015

Add a comment

Featured on

Recent posts by spritzhenry

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    24 Jun, 2007