How to Grow Hardenbergia Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Australian Sarsaparill, Vine Lilac, and Coral pea

Members of Hardenbergia are half hardy perennials that are native to Australia.

They can reach up to 3 metres (10 feet) in height.

They carry pea like flowers in racemes, usually in purple.

Some of the common names for members of this genus include Australian Sarsaparill and Coral pea. Commonly grown garden members include Hardenbergia violacea and Hardenbergia comptoniana.


Australian Sarsaparilla
Photographs: Australian Sarsaparilla by Tatters:) and Hardenbergia by Ratabago.

Hardenbergia Growing and Care Guide

    Common Names: Australian Sarsaparilla, Australian Lilac, Coral Pea, Happy Wanderer, Vine Lilac, Waraburra.
    Life Cycle: Half hardy perennial.
    Height: 120 inches (300 cm).
    Native: Australia.
    Growing Region: Zones 9 to 10.

Flowers: Winter and/or spring.
Flower Details: White, purple. Pea-like. Racemes.
Foliage: Leathery. Dark green. Veined.

Sow Outside: 1/8 inch (3 mm). Following the last frost. Spacing: Single plants.
Sow Inside: Germination time: one to three months. Temperature: 55 to 65°F (13 to 18°C). Hardenbergia seeds should be soaked for one day in water. Two months in advance. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.

Requirements and care: Full sunlight (for best results) or light shade. Good drainage. Moist soil, looses soil, peaty soil. Occasional deep watering during dry periods. Provide a monthly weak liquid feed. Propagate: from stem cuttings in the summer and autumn.

Information on Hardenbergia violacea

Hardenbergia violaceais a great plant to grow if you are looking to add some color to your Garden at the end of winter or start of spring.

It is an evergreen woody stemmed climber that carries attractive purple flowers reminiscent of peas.

The plant goes by the common names of False Sarsparilla and Purple coral Pea in its native Australia.

Although it can grow in both full sunlight and partially shaded areas, it is at heart a sun loving plant and will perform best in a sunny patch of the garden.

As a climber it is best grown on a trellis, but can be put to better use by covering unsightly fences.

There are numerous varieties, with perhaps one of the most loved and grown being the purple flowered Happy Wanderer (Purple Vine Lilac), which can reach 16 feet (4.8 m) in height.

Pink cultivars include Rosea, and the white flowered Hardenbergia Alba is also popular.

Common Questions

How many members does the Hardenbergia genus have?

The Hardenbergia genus comprises three known species.

Do members of Hardenbergia make for a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, plants in the Hardenbergia genus are popular for their robust nature and beautiful purple flowers, making them excellent for gardens and landscaping.

Which Hardenbergia species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The species most frequently grown by gardeners is Hardenbergia violacea, also commonly known as Purple Coral Pea.

Are members of the Hardenbergia plant genus fragrant?

No, plants in the Hardenbergia genus are not known to have a fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Hardenbergia?

Hardenbergia plants prefer full sun to light shade, and they do well in well-drained soil. They are fairly drought-tolerant once established.

Is Hardenbergia invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Hardenbergia is not listed as an invasive plant in the USA.

How do I remove Hardenbergia plants from my garden?

To remove Hardenbergia plants, carefully dig up the root system to ensure no parts are left behind, as this can lead to regrowth.


The Hardenbergia plant genus, commonly referred to as Australian sarsaparilla or false sarsaparilla, belongs to the Fabaceae family. Native to Australia, this genus is renowned for its attractive, vine-like growth and bright purple flowers. The most commonly grown species is Hardenbergia violacea.

Hardenbergia prefers to be planted in the cooler months of late autumn or early spring. It thrives in a sunny to partially shaded location with well-drained soil. It's drought-tolerant once established, but benefits from regular watering during prolonged dry periods. The plant can be propagated from seeds or cuttings.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Hardenbergia plants. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Cinnamon vine, Eranthis plant, and Paeonia officinalis.