Species: Ipomoea quamoclit
Common name: Cypress vine, red cypress vine, indian pink, star glory
Cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit) belongs to the bindweed family (Convolvulaceae). It is valued not only as a flowering vine with star-shaped blooms but also as a foliage plant with graceful, fern-like leaves. When it comes to gardening with wildlife in mind, it hits the trifecta: Deer tend not to eat it, yet hummingbirds love it and it draws butterflies.
|Plant type||Annual vine|
|Mature size||6 to 15 feet in length, with a spread of three to 6 feet|
|Sun exposure||Full sun|
|Soil type||Fertile, well-drained, and kept evenly moist|
|Soil pH||Neutral to slightly acidic or slightly alkaline|
|Bloom time||June to October|
|Color||Red; less commonly, pink or white|
|Hardiness zones||11 to 12|
|Native area||Tropical America|
|Water||Every 5-7 days|
For ideal growth, water so as to keep the soil evenly moist (but not soggy).
How to grow
Once you have decided on an outdoor location for them, your next step will generally be to provide a supporting structure for them to grow on. Cypress vine is a true climber that climbs by twining around objects. But be careful in handling the plant when you are moving it this way or that to encourage it to climb in a particular direction because this vine is delicate and easily damaged. Suitable supporting structures can include:
ArborsPergolasDeck posts exposed to the sunLatticeChain-link fencing
By growing cypress vines up a chain-link fence, you kill two birds with one stone, disguising the unsightly nature of the fence, while achieving privacy for part of the summer.
In the South, cypress vine may naturalize. If you wish to prevent this, deadhead the flowers so as to prevent seed production.
Cypress vine needs full sun. Giving it a proper support to climb on (so that it is not shaded by nearby plants) is often a necessary step in meeting this requirement.
Of the three recommendations for soil conditions (fertile, well-drained, and evenly moist), well-drained is the most critical. Cypress vine, once established, is reasonably tolerant of drought and can often get by without much fertilizing. But a soil that does not drain well will do it in every time.
Cypress vine will grow bigger and more reliably if it is fed with a balanced fertilizer.
Like its better-known relative, the common morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor), cypress vine is a poisonous plant. For this reason, as tempting as it may be to grow it in a pot and install it in your patio landscaping, it is not a good plant to grow where young children will be present. For the same reason, make sure your pets don’t eat it.
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