Thursday, June 28, 2007

To Vine Is Divine

This summer looks to be much the same as the last one, as far as annual vines are concerned. For the past two years, I've started morning glory seeds inside and plant them out as soon as they're safe from frost. I do this so I can get the most out of them since our growing season is relatively short and they are slow to start for me.

I was under the impression that morning glories could be invasive, in that they vine everywhere - quickly - and are a nuisance because they reseed freely.
I must be doing something wrong, because last year, it was well into August before I saw a single flower on any of them (and I grew several kinds) and some vines were into September before they bloomed! They sat in the ground and did pretty much nothing for the longest time; even the vines themselves stagnated.

They're doing it again.

I planted Japanese Morning Glory 'Picotee' (Ipomoea nil) from seed saved from last year and I've got the healthiest six leaves on each vine you've ever seen. I could show you a picture of them taken a month ago and it would look exactly the same as one I would take today. Argh!

The ones I planted out back are doing a little better now than they were last week and are starting to vine, so I imagine the ones I planted around the light pole in front of the house will take off soon. I'm just getting a little impatient. I thought they were supposed to do well even in adverse conditions and we've certainly had those this summer. Hot hot and dry dry. But I
have watered them every day.

We're growing Scarlet Runner Bean (Phaseolus coccineus) again. It did very well last year and it's giving a repeat performance this year. I have it at the very back of Max's Garden and just tonight, I strung fishing line between the top and bottom rails of the fencing so it would have something to vine up and around.

I had some old purple Hyacinth Bean Vine (Lablab purpureus) seeds that my mom had given me a couple of summers ago but never planted. I alternated those with some of the morning glory seedlings and they're growing pretty well, too.

Another vine that I planted this year is Cypress Vine (
Ipomoea quamoclit), using seeds I saved from my vines last year. Now THAT is a self-seeder for sure! I knew that before, so last year I tried to catch all the pods before they burst open and seeded themselves. I guess I missed a few, because some of them are coming up where they were growing last year. I've let them stay, even though I've got a different vine there this year. They'll look fine intertwined with my Five-Leaved Akebia Vine (Akebia quinata), which has a white bloom.

The contrasting textures of their foliage should be interesting, as well as the white and red blooms together. Last year, I grew Black-Eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia alata) in a salmon color with the Cypress Vine and while the textures were good together, I didn't care for the combined colors. Sometimes something works and sometimes it doesn't, sort of like my cooking...

This year, I've planted the Cypress
Vine around the directional, where the Scarlet Runner Bean was last year.

We're playing musical vines!


Alyssa said...

Kylee, I've never had good luck with morning glories either. They seem almost a Fall vine. Your cypress vines are so delicate and fern like. Good old scarlet runner bean can always be counted on to do well.

I really enjoyed your previous post walking through Goll Woods. It must have been relaxing and stimulating at the same time. I know there is nothing like it. I'm glad I'm not the only person who finds fungi fascinating. There seem to be endless varieties to find and photograph.

Unknown said...

What IS it with morning glories, Kylee? I have similar problems, and though I know they resent transplanting, two years ago I got around my morning glory frustrations by purchasing one in a gallon pot (actually i think it was several plants). I cut a hole in the bottom of the pot, sank it into the ground, and it did just fine. Last year I did the same thing and the plant just sat there and glared at me. This year I've got Scarlet OHara and Heavenly Blue transplanted into big planters and they SEEM to be starting to move.

Ever grow Purple Bell vine? (Rhodochiton). It's a much more accomodating vine and beautiful, plus you can bring it inside and overwinter it just fine. It and Thunbergia 'African Sunset' are my two favourite annual climbers.

Kylee Baumle said...

That's why I grew them in peat pots, so I could just sink them into the ground. Oh well!

And that's Scarlet O'Hara at the top of my post. :-) By September, I had oodles and oodles of foliage, when it finally started blooming. It wasn't true red, though; it had more of a pinkish cast to it, but at least it bloomed.

YES! At your urging, Jodi, I went back to the nursery and bought the Purple Bell Vine, and it's on my patio now, vining and blooming happily. I've not transplanted it into one of my own pots; it's just sitting in its original pot, with a small ironworks obelisk trellis sitting on the ground over it. I was going to e-mail you to see just what the best thing would be to do with it.

kate said...

If it is any consolation, the same thing is happening with my morning glory vines. The quamoclit is doing fine, but the other varieties just sit doing absolutely nothing. They did this last year as well - then suddenly in mid-July, they decided to flourish. By the time they flowered, I had about one week of blooms before they were hit by frost.

I am growing two Thunbergia alata ... which are supposed to be blue. They are not doing anything either. I wonder if it is the lack of hot weather here.

I love hyacinth bean vine. The bean pods are such a gorgeous colour.

Like Jodi, I have found the Rhodochiton to be a good vine ... my efforts to over-winter it have been a big bust.

Your directional is beautiful!

blogger templates | Make Money Online