Hummingbird Vines

A Quick Introduction to Hummingbird Vines

Hummingbird vines, which are also known as Trumpet Vine, Cypress Vine and Star Glory, are annuals and they belong to the category of climbers. The vine is supposed to be a plant that attracts hummingbirds with its distinctive trumpet like flowers, and hence the name. The pink, white and red colored flowers make them very attractive to the human eye also. They are fairly easy plants to grow and add a lot of character to any garden. The plant has smooth-textured, lacy-looking leaves and tends to bloom any time in the spring, summer or fall depending on the cultivar.

Hummingbird vines are said to grow to a height of 15 to 20 feet and need to be spaced about a foot apart from neighboring vines. The plant needs full sun to partial shade to flourish. The vine does well in soil with pH levels of 6.6 to 7.5 which makes the soil neutral.

The hummingbird vine has average water requirements and while it needs to be watered regularly you have to watch out against over watering. During the season when there is an average rain, you do not need to water your vine but during dry patches you will need to make sure that plant does not become parched.

Hummingbird vines are very easy to grow from seed or from a cutting. As mentioned above, the plant needs full sun and so make sure to place the cutting or sow the seeds where there is adequate sun exposure. It is best to plant either after there is no lingering danger of a late spring frost. Remember that the hummingbird vine is a climber and make arrangements for the plant to have something to lean on and climb. It is not a good idea to plant this vine close to the house and to make the siding its prop because the plant can grow quite large and its woody trunk is tree-like as it matures. This can make it structurally unsound to plant these vines close to the house and it can also cut off light.

In terms of maintenance, you will have to prune hummingbird vines in spring or fall during the non-blooming season. This is a good way to keep the plant contained and to prevent it from growing too big. It is also important to deadhead the hummingbird vines as and when the flowers die to prevent the formation of seed pods. These vines self-sow easily and spread invasively if not deadheaded. You will have to stay alert to small vines and weed them out. These are likely to appear in the spring if you have not been thorough or consistent about deadheading after the blooming period. If you do want to collect seeds from your existing plant, let the seed pods form in the fall and leave them on the vine to dry and then you can collect the seeds.

Since uncontrolled growth is a problem with the hummingbird vines, you should consider growing them as container plants if you live in a region with mild climatic conditions and fertile soil. Some landscapers put them in five gallon pots with the bottom removed and the top embedded in the soil to provide a sort of barrier to prevent excessive expansion.
All parts of the plant are supposed to be toxic if ingested and since some people have allergic reactions to any contact with this climber it is advisable to wear gloves when working with a hummingbird vine.

Hummingbird vines are a graceful addition to all kinds of landscapes but may not be the right choice for tiny spaces especially if the gardener is looking for a very clean look. It is best suited for a look of floral plenty and the fact that the vine attracts butterflies and bees, along with hummingbirds, makes the garden literally as pretty as a picture.




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