Past Articles Library | How to Grow and Care for Cypress Vine
If you are looking for a plant that will fill a vertical space with flowers but also allows you to have limited commitment to planting then the cypress vine is the answer. This plant can grow over 20 feet in height and spread 20 feet in diameter. The trumpet shaped blooms can come in white, pink or red colors. The foliage of this plant is just as wonderful but in another way. The dark green foliage is cut deep and looks feathery, which gives a punch of texture to any space it is grown in.
As far as the growing requirements go, cypress vine requires a location that receives full sun. The soil needs to be reasonably fertile and well draining.
Now that you know the basics about this plant, let’s move on to how to plant this colorful annual. To begin the process, you will first need to pull out the calendar and see when you local frost date occurs. Once you have this date, you have a game plan for when you need to plant. This annual likes the weather warm and in doing so you will need to plant the seeds after your local frost free date.
After you have a planting date, the next step is to prepare the seed. Since this seed has a hard seed coat, you will need to help out the future seedlings by soaking the seed for 24 hours. This soaking process softens up the seed coat so that it is easier for the germinating seed embryo to breakthrough.
Once the seed has soaked for 24 hours, it is time to plant the seed. Cypress vine seed needs to be directly seeded into a cleaned out garden space. Plant the seed so that it is ¼ deep into the soil. Cover with soil and water in after all the seeds have been planted.
In 5 to 10 days, you should begin to see little dots of green. This is an indication that your seeds have germinated. Continue to monitor the soil moisture and when the seedlings have their second set of leaves; it is time to thin them out. Cypress vine needs to be thinned so that each plant is 12 inches apart. Add your plant support at this time and mulch.
At this point, add a fertilizer that is high in phosphorous. How can you tell if your fertilizer formulation is high in phosphorous? Well, take a look at the bag. What you want is a fertilizer formulation that has the second number higher than the rest. As an example, a 10-15-10 would be perfect.
In about 50 days, your cypress vine will begin to bloom. To keep your cypress vine looking its best, deadhead the blooms often. This will encourage the plant to bloom more in the summer and fall.
As beautiful as this plant is, what do you do if you do not have the garden space for this plant? Well, the answer is easy and that is you create a container garden.
Prior to creating your container garden, you will first need to decide what role your cypress vine is going to serve. What I mean is this plant going to work solo or as part of a group planting. As a solo or single plant, the cypress vine can be trained to be topiary with support. If you want to use it as part of a group planting, you will need to use it as a spiller or plant that grows over the side of the container.
To plant your cypress vine in a container garden, starts off with preparing the container itself. This process starts off with cleaning and sterilizing the pot in a basin of water with a capful of bleach. Scrub the container to remove any soil and garden debris. Once the pot is clean, rinse it in clear water and allow to sit out to dry.
After the pot has dried, you will need to place drainage material in the bottom. This needs to be done regardless if you are going to use it as a specimen plant or part of a group planting. Next, fill with an all purpose potting soil mix. At this point, you will begin to plant your cypress vine seed.
If you are using your cypress vine as an annual topiary, you will first need to plant the presoaked seed in the middle of the pot. Since this plant’s diameter can be large, you can start off with three seeds and then thin it to the point that only one plant remains.
As soon as the thinning decision has been made, you will need to set up your support by which you are going to train your cypress vine topiary. Gradually prune your cypress vine into shape as it grows up your support.
On the other hand, if you are using your cypress vine as part of a container garden you will first need to plant your thriller or showiest plant in the center. If you are not sure which plant this is going to be, a golden rule is the thriller plant is the tallest in the container arrangement.
The next plant that will need to be added is the spiller, which in this case is the cypress vine. While you could plant seed, the problem with this is the fact that the remaining plantings will be plants. To make everything appear uniform, make sure to plant cypress vine plants. Yes, you can buy the plants but why would you when you can plant your own seeds inside 6 to 8 weeks prior to your local frost free date.
The last step in the container garden is adding the filler plants.
While disease problems normally do not occur, the cypress vine can suffer from a few plant diseases. This includes wilt, stem rot, thread blight, charcoal rot, white blister, rust, and fungal leaf spots. Since most of these plant diseases are caused by vegetation that does not have a chance to dry off, only water the soil. If you find that you have any problem, consider pulling up the plant material to keep it from spreading and do not compost the diseased plant material.
All in all, this plant is beautiful and very easy to grow but…..keep in mind that the seeds are poisonous even though the blooms attract humming birds and butterflies.