Bauhinia kockiana with spectacular blooms all year round!

Bauhinia kockiana (Kock’s Bauhinia, Red Trailing Bauhinia) –

Spectacular blooms of Bauhinia kockianaWhen Bauhinia kockiana blooms, which it does year round in our tropical climate, it’s absolutely a sight to behold! Just look at these amazing flower clusters on lovely cascading branches – pure delight indeed!

These photos were captured in November 1, 2007 as I stood captivated outside the garden wall of a bungalow in a neighbouring residential area.

How wonderful if our Bauhinia kockiana can display such magnificence!

Macro shot of Bauhinia kockianaWe’re hopeful, yet doubtful as our plant is a potted one and it definitely faces limitations. Moreover, our 8-9ft. tall plant with its luxuriant foliage was again scorched by the strong sun recently, when deprived of water for just 3 days during our vacation. If planted on the ground, I’m sure it would not have suffered this water stress. I’ve pruned down heavily and am happy to note that it recovered and new leaves have sprouted. What a survivor! :)

Plant Profile, Culture and Propagation :

  • Botanical Name:Bauhinia kockiana (synonym: Bauhinia coccinea)
  • Common Name: Kock’s Bauhinia, Red Trailing Bauhinia, Climbing Bauhinia
  • Family name: Fabaceae / Leguminosae
  • Plant type: A flowering woody climber, native to Peninsula Malaysia.
  • Light: Full sun to semi-shade. Prefers morning sun and afternoon shade.
  • Moisture: Regular watering moderately.
  • Soil: Well-drained fertile soil.
  • Propagation: From germination of seeds, though Kock’s Bauhinia very rarely produce seed pods in cultivation. Usually, it is propagated by air layering or marcotting of its woody stems. Propagation by normal woody cuttings is not feasible as it is difficult to root.
    Bauhinia kockiana, propagated from stem cutting in our garden, September 2008Update: 20080910
    We were delightfully surprised that it is possible to propagate from stem cuttings. (Aargh, we were fooled by salespersons of our local garden centers that it was not!). Just take a 5-inch stem cutting, remove the lower leaves and push into moist soil, site it at a sunny spot and with regular watering, it should sprout new growth. How long will it take? Unfortunately, we really don’t know as we did not monitor the emergence of new growth. Needs patience though. We can only recall that 3 stem cuttings were taken early March this year when our B. kockiana had sun-stroke, yet only one successfully propagated as seen in this image. :D
  • Spectacular blooms of Bauhinia kockiana Features: Bauhinia kockiana, a tropical perennial semi-deciduous vine, is quite a vigorous climber that can reach a height of about 10-15 feet in gardens, but capable of scaling much higher to probably 40 feet or more in the wild jungle or forest as it reaches the crown of tall trees.
    Being vining, it requires support for its woody stems and sprawling branches. Its luxuriant foliage displays ovate to elliptical leaves that are medium green in color, glossy and deeply veined with three distinct nerves running from the base to the apex of the leaves.
    Cluster of flowering buds - Bauhinia kockianaIt bears spectacular clusters of stunning inflorescences, ranging in colors from bright red-orange to orange, and golden-yellow to pale yellow as they age and wither away.
    Not only are its blooms long lasting, but it flowers practically throughout the year.
  • Usage: Spectacular blooms of Bauhinia kockiana, cascading over a garden wallBauhinia kockiana is gaining popularity with home gardeners and landscape designers. It can be grown in containers or straight onto the ground.
    Excellent specimen for trellises, arbors and pergolas, even as a stand-alone at the entrance to a patio.
    Wonderful espalier for garden walls or chain-link fences. It is used to scale lamp post or trees in parks too for added beauty.
  • Care: Being a tropical vine, it needs lots of water, sunshine and humidity. Inflorescence of Bauhinia kockianaRemove burnt and dried leaves or flowers to keep it tidy. Prune after flowering to encourage more branching, hence more flowers. Reduce water gradually once the plant has achieved a luxuriant foliage and feed it with an appropriate fertilizer to induce flowering. If it is a potted plant and located where it receives the direct sun, be extremely careful that it is not water-stressed, otherwise it’ll be scorched. Insect pests and plant diseases are hardly a problem. All in all, Bauhinia kockiana is a relatively easy plant to care.

Nevertheless, be aware that a sapling needs some years (?) to establish before it can be a flowering tree. Haha…I really don’t know how long as we gave up hope on our first potted plant that grew luxuriantly to more than 5 feet in less than 3 years. But, in spite of all the prunning, fertilizing and relocating to give it the perfect garden spot, plus going along with all the advices received from the well-informed staff of garden nurseries, it still refused to flower! Probably, it was barren?

Bauhinia kockiana in our garden, shot September 2005So, what do you think we did? Of course we bought ourselves another potted plant that was already flowering (though quite expensive!) and told ourselves never to buy one without a show of flowers as it could end up being barren as our first plant.

Gosh, we do have short memories! Early November 2007, just a few days after being blown over by those gorgeous beauties as seen in the images posted above, we bought a very young Bauhinia kockiana plant (only a foot tall) again. Aaargh! Hope it won’t disappoint us and we’ll get to see it bloom eventually, but when is anyone’s guess! Anyway, its eventual spectacular blooms is well worth the waiting, I think! :D

Update: July 4, 2009
Bauhinia kockiana at our backyard, June 16 2009How delightful…our young plant has finally rewarded us for the first time. It produced a single cluster with just two vibrant orange flowers last month, a little odd though, as it was downright small in numbers.

Nonetheless, we are happy to know that it is not barren, and can hopefully look forward to better production in the near future. :)

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25 Responses to “Bauhinia kockiana with spectacular blooms all year round!”

  1. Susan Lansigan Says:

    where can I buy those kind of plants?

  2. Jacqueline Says:

    Try your local garden nurseries, Susan.

  3. Mr. Adisai Jeanloy Says:

    I would like Bauhinai Kockiana. Please advise me.

    Best regards
    Adisai Jeanloy

  4. Jacqueline Says:

    Try sourcing for this plant at your local nurseries, Mr. Adisai. I know that in nurseries around Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, B. kockiana is popularly sold.

  5. NickSugarland Says:

    Hi, I live in Sugar Land, Texas; a suburb of Houston. I just found your site and saw the bauhinia kockiana and fell in love with it! Wow, your entire site is like a “candy store” to me. I grow many tropicals, including several bauhinias (galpinii, tomentosa). How can I acquire the bauhinia kockiana; without making a trip to KL (I have been there twice to teach schools)? Do any of the nurseries you mention export to the USA? If all else fails, I’ll have to fly over and smuggle one! :) Thanks for sharing your garden! Nick

  6. Jacqueline Says:

    Hi Nick!
    LOL! I like your remark “like a candy store”…really made my day with your sweet perspective of this site. Thanks for your encouraging comment and taking the trouble to pen your thoughts which is much appreciated.
    Sorry though to disappoint you that these small nurseries that we normally patronize only cater to local demand, not for export.
    All the best in your search for this impressive vine, hope you get to grow it one day soon.

  7. Thamara Says:

    I have two plant of this and ihad nice bunch of flowers and I tried so much to plant it but couldnt so pl send me the methord. Thank yoou

  8. Jacqueline Says:

    Hi Thamara!
    What method do you mean…are you asking how to propagate the plant? If so, it’s already included in the article above. Nonetheless, I’ve never tried the air-layering or marcotting method myself, hence unable to advise you further.

  9. Koppiemama Says:


    I am trying to root a cutting of about 20-30 cm long. The person who gave it to me cut off the growing tip. He said to trim off the leaves as well to prevent water loss. Can you advise if this is correct? Should I remove all the mature leaves? Thanks

  10. Jacqueline Says:

    Hi Koppiemama! It’s okay without the growing tip. Divide your stem cutting into two (each about 12 cm long), at an angle with a sharp knife, making sure that the lower end is snipped about 1.2 cm below the leaf node. Remove the basal leaves, leaving only 2-3 leaves at the top end. If the top leaves are large, you can half their size. We’ve tried this way once with semi-hardwood cuttings and only one out of 3 cuttings rooted and survived. Hope yours will fare well. All the best to you!

  11. Koppiemama Says:

    Hi Jacqueline

    thanks for your advice. unfortunately, the cutting did not survive. Not sure what went wrong but i’ll try again should i beable to get my hands on another one soon.

  12. anna Says:

    Hi there!

    This plant is so beautiful! I’m thinking of getting one shipped to London, UK. However the weather here is not quite tropica lol! Do you think it can survive and bloom in our continental climate?

  13. Jacqueline Says:

    Indeed, It is so beautiful, Anna! I think it can survive but unsure about blooming though, as it needs lots of sunshine to flower. One thing I’ve noted too is Bauhinia kockiana loves to be planted in the ground…ours are potted and they can be such a disappointment too…hardly flowers in spite of getting much sunlight?

  14. Peter Salmon Says:

    Walking on the beach in Far North Queensland and found a vine on a beachside tree with a fragrant white flower, 4 petals with 4 prominent long stamens. Leaf large lanceolate. Locals call it October Bloom.
    Identity please?

  15. Jacqueline Says:

    Peter, I did a search at and narrowed down to this….could it be Faradaya spendida? Check this out at emblatame’s (Ron) photostream.

  16. Lucy Says:

    Your Bauhinia Kockiana story has given me hope! I’m a beginning balcony gardener in Singapore. I used to admire one of these plants when driving along a particular road. It was bent on taking over its neighbourhood by using the old telephone lines adjacent to the large property it was planted in. I’ve now bought my own (it came with one blossom) and have been looking for new growth. There are tiny signs in the form of little swellings at its tips. But I am worried about it because the leaves all seem to have a scorched tip. I wonder if I inadvertently overdosed with fertiliser. It’s definitely not getting too much sun and the soil is always moist though it is a very windy balcony. Should I worry about the scorched leaf tips? Am I right that it’s just a fairly slow growing plant? Thanks again for your beautiful blog.

  17. Jacqueline Says:

    Hi Lucy,
    Thanks for your sweet compliment.
    Excess feeding can result in burnt leaf tips. Best to follow the instructions as printed on the package and if you’re using granules, scatter them in a broad circle about 5-8″ away from the crown or trunk of the plant. Check too that your container has proper drainage holes for free draining.
    On the contrary, I remember our plant to be quite a fast grower.
    Wish you success with your plant… may it bloom abundantly to delight you!

  18. Lucy Says:

    Thank you for your advice! I was wondering if the soil might be a problem. Too much clay. I’ve repotted with a looser mix. I’ll let you know if it improves!

  19. Natalie Says:

    Hi Jacqueline, thanks for the beautiful site on Bauhinia kockiana, it has given me alot of knowledge and information. I love the plant alot cos it has beautiful flowers. I bought my B kockiana six months ago and had planted them on the planter outside of my house and only have afternoon sun. Desipte all the pruning, watering and fertilisering, they did not bear flowers at all. May i know what i did not do that they did not blooom? Appreciate your earlly reply.

  20. Jacqueline Says:

    Hi Natalie! Frankly, we’ve never been successful in getting our B. kockiana to bloom well in spite of all the pruning, watering and feeding. Hence, we’ve given up planting it altogether.
    Probably, feeding it with a flowering fertilizer with a higher content of potassium (K) will help.
    I noticed that feeding other flowering plants of ours occasionally with chopped banana skins (high in potassium) that have been soaked in water for a couple of hours seem to stimulate production of more flowers.
    Hope this helps.

  21. Jackson Says:

    Thanks for such info! I got mine yesterday – along the logging road, as it is now blooming. Managed to propagate stem cuttings with the aid of rooting hormone. Hopefully it will sprout and grows… (“,)

  22. Jacqueline Says:

    You’re most welcome, Jackson… we love sharing our knowledge! And, all the best to you… hope your propagation is a success.

  23. Mai Says:

    Hi Jacqueline , I’m Mai from Thailand, I’m landscape company in Thailand my customer need this kind of plant so I just would like buy this kind of plant, Can u please recommend me? or give me the phone number or the name of shop or location for find it, Please Please ,I need help

    Thank you very much

  24. Jacqueline Says:

    Hi Mai. You can try to contact Wellgrow Horti Trading @ …they may be able to source this plant for you. All the best.

  25. Mai Says:

    Hi Jacqueline , Thank you very much for your information

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