Clerodendrum wallichii

How do I grow the bridal veil bush that flowers in the fall?

Bridal veil (Clerodendrum wallichii) is a show-stopper in our gardens during autumn and winter, usually beginning to flower around Halloween and continuing into early January. It is a shrub that can grow 7- to-8 feet high and 5-feet wide, with glossy evergreen foliage that serves as a backdrop for long hanging panicles of elegant white flowers which bounce and sway in the slightest breeze. Upon close examination, you can see a touch of soft coral pink coloration in the floral calyx. To some, they give the impression of strings of butterflies. Alas, no fragrance, but we can overlook that!

Although it is tropical in its origin, coming from India and Nepal, for us it is a half-hardy shrub that does not burn unless temperatures fall into the mid-twenties. Even then, it will reliably sprout back from the roots and achieve its full size within the next growing season.

This plant likes light shade, particularly in late afternoon. Keep it evenly moist without letting it completely dry out, and give it a nice, rich loamy soil.

ertilize in early spring. Unlike most of its cousins, this clerodendrum does not rampantly sucker, which is a big plus. This is a very easy to grow and extremely beautiful plant that never fails to enchant everyone who sees it.

Darrin Duling is the director of Mercer Botanic Gardens in Humble. Send your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Darrin Duling
Author: Darrin DulingEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am the director of Mercer Botanic Gardens located at 22306 Aldine Westfield Road in Humble. I hold The Royal Horticultural Society of England certificate of training, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, diploma of horticulture and a Master of Science degree in plant taxonomy from the University of Reading, England. I have worked in botanic gardens in England, Thailand, Florida and New York, and was sole proprietor of Duling Designs LLC, a landscape design/consultation business in Greenwich, Conn. My botanical explorations have taken me to Brazil, Brunei, Sabah, Singapore, Thailand, Peru and other exotic destinations.