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Vibrant Ground Covers

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Hummingbirds are amazing creatures. They can hover, fly backward, and even upside down. They drink nectar from flowers for energy, but they also eat spiders and other small insects for protein. Feisty, bold, and aggressive, adult hummers weigh about the same as a nickel. They can fly 500 miles in a single day. 

 

Hummingbird Vines

 

 Whether you'd like to attract fascinating hummingbirds to your yard, or you'd just like a bright, festive, and colorful flowering vine to add to your garden, the lovely hummingbird vine is a perfect choice. 

 

 There are two main climbing vines, commonly called hummingbird vines. One is the cypress vine, Ipomoea, and the other is the trumpet vine, Campsis radicans, which is an annual in colder zones. It can survive temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit, but it's a self-seeding annual in warmer zones. In zones 4-10, it's a hardy perennial, bearing huge, showy, trumpet-shaped orange, red or yellow flowers from June to October, depending on the climate. The yellow flower variety is called Campsis radicans Flava. Hummingbirds have acute color vision, much better than humans have, and are attracted to both the flowers' vibrant reddish color and the ample nectar within them. Bees and butterflies are drawn to the plant, too. The plant is also known as trumpet creeper and is sometimes called Virginia jasmine. It can climb to heights exceeding 30 feet. 

 

Devil, Angel, or Trumpet Vine?

 

 The trumpet vine is not the same as the angel trumpet and devil trumpet. Angel trumpet has a variety of flower colors, including pink, yellow, white, and red, and hummingbirds are attracted especially to the red flower, but it's a different species not related to the hummingbird and trumpet vines. 

 

Facts About Hummingbird Vine

 

 It prefers well-drained soil, but it's an adaptable species that typically grows well with little care. The plant, while very hardy, is sensitive to cold winds, so choose a planting area protected from the wind. It's easily propagated from cuttings.

 

 Plant your hummingbird vine next to a fence or trellis. It will climb a large tree trunk, too, providing a nice color contrast to add beauty to your garden. It's an active, fast-growing climber, so it's important to clip off dead flowers and prune them in the fall or early spring. Consider the location. If you're planting the vine to attract hummingbirds, choose a place where you can easily observe the tiny birds when they arrive. The plant likes sun or partial shade. Don't overwater. In the summer, it needs about one inch of water per week. Don't fertilize hummingbird vine. 

 

Cypress Vine is a vibrant ground cover plant

 

 Cypress vine, Ipomoea quamoclit, is also commonly called the hummingbird vine. It has hundreds of tiny, star-shaped flowers ranging in color from white to pink to deep red. Also called the cardinal creeper and star glory, it's a member of the morning glory family. It grows to a height of 15 to 20 feet and likes sun to partial shade. It blooms from late spring to early fall. 

 

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