By Jennifer Poindexter
Do you enjoy growing vining plants with brightly colored flowers? If so, you should check into growing the cypress vine.
The cypress vine looks a lot like a cardinal climber with its wispy green foliage and bright red blooms. The reason being is the cardinal climber is a hybrid of the cypress vine.
You may also know this plant by the name hummingbird vine, cardinal plant, or star glory. All of these names are due to the vibrant blooms which are star-shaped, attract pollinators, and look like small cardinals hiding amongst the leaves.
If this sounds like the plant for you, don’t just jump into it. Take some of the information provided here to give your cypress vine every reason to thrive in your landscape.
Here’s what you should know about growing a cypress vine:
Growing Conditions for the Cypress Vine
As mentioned above, the cypress vine stands out for its fluffy green foliage and star-shaped, red, tubelike blooms.
This flower belongs to the morning glory family and is considered a tropical plant which is native to Mexico and Central America.
For this reason, the cypress vine is considered an annual in most locations. It’s only hardy in planting zones eleven and twelve.
However, when preparing a growing location for this plant be prepared to provide a trellis of some sort as the vine can become as long, or longer, than 20 feet.
This plant can easily take over an entire growing space, and other plants, if not controlled. You should also take into account where you plant the cypress vine as it’s considered toxic to cats, dogs, humans, and horses.
The final things you should take into consideration when growing the cypress vine are that it needs a growing location with full to partial sunlight and well-draining soil.
If you supply these few things, you should expect this plant to bloom from June to October and produce blooms in a range of colors from dark red to white.
These are the things worth taking into consideration when trying to decide where to grow the cypress vine around your home or garden.
How to Plant a Cypress Vine
There are multiple ways to go about growing the cypress vine. The first method is to directly sow the seeds into their growing area.
Cypress vines can handle warm temperatures but don’t tolerate cold at all. Therefore, when directly sowing the seeds, ensure it’s done after all threat of frost is over and the average temperature is around 70-degrees Fahrenheit.
Till up the dirt in a particular growing location and ensure it’s amended and drains adequately. Sow the seeds at approximately a ½ inch deep and 3 inches apart.
Keep the soil evenly damp until germination occurs. It should take approximately two weeks for this to happen.
The cypress vine is quick to bloom as it only takes around forty-five days to begin seeing flowers.
Our next method for growing the cypress vine is to start the seeds indoors. This is best used if you’re in an area with a shorter growing season.
Be sure to soak your seeds overnight prior to planting and then rub them with an abrasive material. When this is done, fill a growing tray with well-draining, nutritious soil.
Plant the seeds ¼ inch deep in the soil and lightly mist it with water. Cover the growing tray with plastic to create a greenhouse effect.
Place the seeds in a warm growing location and check the soil daily to ensure it remains evenly damp. In approximately ten days the seeds should germinate.
When sprouted, place the plants in an area with warm temperatures and bright, indirect light. Once all threat of frost is over, transplant the seedlings into their permanent growing location.
The last method for growing a cypress vine is to allow the flowers to hang on the plant in the fall. As they hang, the flowers will dry out and drop seeds.
This allows reseeding to occur. In the spring, you should see small seedlings appear. Dig them up and move them to the desired growing location.
These are the few ways you may go about growing cypress vines around your home. As you can see, planting cypress vine isn’t much of a challenge and could make this plant a great starting point for a beginner gardener.
Caring for the Cypress Vine
The cypress vine is a relatively low-maintenance plant. It does require some water, though it can handle short periods of drought.
When you water the plant it’s best to practice the deep watering method. By applying more water fewer days of the week, you’re encouraging the plant to develop a deeper (and ultimately) stronger root system.
This should equate to an overall healthier plant. You should also fertilize the cypress vine with an option that’s higher in phosphorus.
By applying fertilizer right before the plant begins to bloom, you’re encouraging more prolific blooming.
Perhaps the biggest challenge and area of care when it comes to the cypress vine is pruning and taming the plant.
Cypress vines easily reseed. Therefore, they can become invasive if not kept in check. This is why it’s important to prune the plant regularly.
Not only does it keep the vine from taking over, but it also encourages better airflow which can deter fungal issues.
When winter arrives, it’s wise to cut the plant all the way back. If it dropped seeds, the new plants should sprout the following spring.
This is all you must do to properly care for a cypress vine in your landscape. Provide what the plant needs, and it should be an attractive addition to your home.
Garden Pests and Diseases Which Could Impact the Cypress Vine
The cypress vine has a few things you should be aware of when growing this plant to encourage good health.
It commonly faces challenges with fungal diseases such as leaf spot, rust, and powdery mildew. They can all be treated with a fungicide, but it’s wise to deter these issues when possible.
You can deter fungal disease by planting in areas with ample sunlight and well-draining soil. Fungal disease thrives in cold, wet areas. By providing warmth and proper drainage you should reduce the risk of fungal issues forming.
It’s also wise to prune the cypress vine to encourage better airflow which allows the foliage to dry thoroughly. You can also water the plants earlier in the day to give them plenty of time to dry before nightfall.
The most common pest to attack the cypress vine is the aphid. These are common pests in the garden and can be treated with an insecticide.
You may also try spraying the plant with soapy water. This should dislodge the pest and rinse away the sticky residue it tends to leave on the foliage.
A few other things you should remain aware of when growing a cypress vine includes yellowing foliage and damping off.
When growing cypress vines from seeds (especially when grown indoors) the seedlings may be impacted by damping off.
There’s no cure for this fungal disease. This is why deterring it is so important. You can avoid this disease by planting your seeds in well-draining soil and keeping the soil heated by placing the growing tray near artificial lighting or in a bright location around your home.
You should also water the seedlings gently. It’s a good idea to mist the soil with a spray bottle or sit the growing tray within another tray that’s filled with a small amount of water.
This way the seedlings can retrieve necessary moisture from below. You may also consider sprinkling the soil with cinnamon as it has antifungal properties.
The next threat is yellowing foliage. After your cypress vine is planted and established, if you begin noticing yellow leaves be sure to pay close attention.
This typically occurs because the growing location doesn’t supply enough sunlight or the plant is being overwatered.
If you’re concerned you’re applying too much water use the soil test to know when the plant needs more.
You do this by inserting your finger into the soil next to the plant. When the soil is dry to your first knuckle have another deep watering session.
If it’s still damp, wait a day or two before testing the soil again to see if there’s a need for more moisture.
These are the potential issues you should be aware of when growing this plant. By staying alert to threats, you could be making the difference between your plant’s survival or demise.
You now know how to grow a cypress vine. This is a unique and colorful vine that certainly demands attention wherever it grows.
However, it doesn’t come without its challenges. Namely, its invasive tendencies. Take note of the tips provided here to make an informed decision on whether the cypress vine is the right plant for your landscape.