Vines provide a number of great landscaping functions. They are not only an excellent way to fill vertical spaces, but flowering vines can also provide exciting and exotic color to a lawn. There are a number of notable, hardy vines that can meet your needs even in colder and drier climates.
Morning Glory Vine - Ipomoea
The Morning Glory Vine is a fast-growing, flowering vine available in a variety of colors which grow well in agricultural plant hardiness zones 2 through 10. A very tolerant plant which prefers sunlight, it needs a well-drained yet moist soil and grows well in poor soil conditions. They need to be able to climb or to hang down. Blooming from May through September, each bloom lasts for one day or night dependent upon the variety. Various colors are available. The classic Morning Glory is the Heavenly Blue, which is a vibrant azure blue with a white throat bloom and can reach twelve feet in height. The red Scarlet O'Hara with a white throat can reach fifteen feet in height. Other colors available are pink, purple, yellow, and white. The blooms are large bell trumpet-shaped, and the foliage is a light green and heart-shaped. Morning Glories bloom in the morning and close up in the afternoon except for the Moon Flower (Ipomoea Alba). The Moon Flower variety has a very fragrant white bloom which blooms at night and sometimes on overcast days. Spent blooms need to be removed from the vine unless reseeding is desired which will occur if flowers are left to fall off on their own. The Morning Glory Vine is excellent for use on a trellis or a fence as well as in hanging containers on porches and patios. When planting, seeds need to be either nicked or soaked in room temperature water overnight. Seed germination takes about five to seven days at a maintained temperature of 68 to 86 degrees. Seeds should be started indoors in 3" peat pots which can then be dropped into the ground for planting as Morning Glories do not endure transplanting very well. The peat pots should be planted about eight inches apart. Water during dry spells one or two times a week.
Sweet William - Dianthus barbatus
Beautiful clusters of white, pink, scarlet, purple and crimson petals with serrated edges are characteristic of the Sweet William flowering plant. The flowers are small about four to eight inches in diameter with five leaves. The dense clusters of flowers create a beautiful bouquet that is perfect for small gardens, flowerbeds, and flower pots. Sweet William can grow to a height oftwenty-four inches.
There are two varieties of Sweet William. The Diathus barbatus var. barbutus that grows best in the soil of Southern Europe and has broad three-inch leaves and the dianthus barbatus var. asiaticus Nakai that has the characteristic of two-inch slender leaves. It is a short-lived plant with perennial properties that usually bloom quickly in warmer climates and slower in cooler climates. In the colder climates, Sweet William takes on the characteristics of an annual plant with biennial tendencies such as growing only leaves the first year.
Fertile soil full of nutrients is best for planting Sweet William. The plants thrive best under direct sun, and the soil should be loose and well-drained but not dry. Soil should be moist so will require frequent watering in dry climates.
The growing season for Sweet William plants is from early spring to late summer. The plants will not thrive in crowded conditions and should be planted six inches apart to take advantage of growth spurts. Because of its need for the moist soil Sweet William plants are vulnerable to root rot and rust. It is essential to check for these conditions regularly.
The Sweet William can be grown from seeds, cuttings and plant divisions. It is recommended that seeds be planted in the ground after the last frost. The plants germinate in ten to fifteen days. The compact size of these plants make them perfect for borders in a garden or window boxes. The spicy fragrance of the flowers makes them ideal for flower arrangements.
Geraniums Accent Any Flowerbed or Room
Geraniums provide a luxurious elegance to your home or garden. A flowering plant, they work well both indoors and outdoors. The plants are a popular choice to spruce up a patio, porch, living area, or business. With a variety of species and colors, you can find annual, biennial, and perennial ones, making it easy to create a display that will bloom throughout the year. Their colors are Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, and White.
Because of the variety of colors and types of geraniums, these plants are great for anyone with any gardening skill level. Casual to master gardeners love the plant’s versatility. Easy to care for, geraniums accent beautiful flower arrangements around a home. You commonly see them displayed in hanging baskets and window boxes, but the plants also thrive when planted in container gardens, alongside gazebos, around mailboxes, in flowerbeds, or beside arbors.
Not only do they look great, but they also benefit your garden by providing pest control. Many gardeners use them to ward off aphids, mites, earworms, and Japanese beetles. Since they have this benefit, planting them near roses or vegetable plants will help the companion plants flourish.
While you may think of geraniums as an outdoor plant, they grow well when placed inside. The plants accent any room. Often fragrant, they provide natural air fresheners around the home, and the colorful blooms will accent any room. Caring for them indoors is relaxed and worry-free too.
These plants also make great gifts since they have colorful and abundant blooms. No matter what time of the year, you can find one in season. Hanging baskets or small potted ones provide exceptional gifts for birthdays, Mother’s Day, or anniversaries.
Whether you are creating a flower bed or need a plant on the porch, geranium is an excellent choice for your home or business.