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Ipomoea quamoclit

 
Ipomoea quamoclit
cypress vine
Ipomoea quamoclit

Synonym(s) Quamoclit pennata
Common name cypress vine
Family convolvulaceae
Life cycle annual vine
Flowers red
Light sun
From seed germinate at room temperature or slightly warmer; scarification is helpful
detailed seed-starting info below

I've never had much luck with cypress vines started indoors from seed: they grow just fine indoors, and survive hardening off outdoors. But after I plant them out, they usually just kind of fade away. Out of sight, out of mind: I don't know what actually becomes of them, but they sure don't get to blooming stage. The first time I successfully grew these vines was when I planted some seeds directly into the soil in early June. Lo – lacy-frilly-foliaged plants emerged about a month later. It wasn't until late August that the first flowers showed up (scarlet, as I was led to expect), but it was worth it. After several more unsuccessful indoor seeding attempts, I received a few seedlings in late June from a fellow gardener, and planted them along a stretch of split rail fence. July turned out to be brutally dry and hot, while August and September brought record rainfall. As a result, I neglected my gardening duties for most of summer. Then suddenly, in late September, I noticed the vines, which had now climbed up to the top of the fence, and were blooming – white! That was a big surprise. Too bad it's so late in the season: I don't think they will set viable seed. But I think I've found the secret to growing these annuals successfully: wait until warm weather has firmly taken hold before setting them outside. So I'll try them again – and expect to be surprised by the flowers when they finally arrive.

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '02 trade. Baggy 75F (30%G, 2-3d)
  2. Same seed as above. Lightly sandpapered, baggy 75F (100%G, 2-3d)
    June 4: direct-sowed 6 seeds, after scarifying by rubbing on concrete paver; 2G in late June
  3. 6/25: direct-sowed 22 seeds (unscarified); about half germinated 2-3 weeks later
  4. Seed from '02 trade. Scarified with sandpaper, soak 1d. Baggy 75F (100%G, 1-3d)
  5. Seed from '07 trade. Scarified with sandpaper, baggy 75F (100%G, 1-7d)
  6. Same seed as above. Sandpapered, baggy 75F (84%G, 3d)
  7. Same seed as above. Sandpapered, baggy 75F (72%G, 2-5d)


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Last modified: September 30, 2011
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