Vines add a regal touch to the garden. Their ornamental nature can create a hanging tapestry or macrame, the draping effect of blankets of flowers, a picture frame or an elegant entrance. Vines can be used to accent a building, soften hard edges, transform unsightly areas such as a fence or wall, create beautiful passageways, establish privacy areas or accentuate the garden.

Trees, trellises, arbors, poles, stone, walls, fences, building, wire overhead structures, or pergolas are all good structures for vines. Some of the varieties can be used as ground covers. The types of vines, include: woody, herbaceous, annual, flowering, perrennial & deciduous.

Vines can be classified into 4 categories:

Gingers - Attach directly to any surface, such as: Ficus Repens and English Ivy
Grabbers - Grab supports or use tendrils to wrap around anything available such as: Grapes
Twiners or Climbers - Twine their stems around their supports such as: Passion Vines
Sprawlers - Lie on top of their supports such as: Roses, Bougainvilleas and Allemandas

Plant vines in a well drained area. A support of some type needs to be provided such as a trellis, wall, arbor, etc. in order to create the desired effect. The plant should be planted in partial shade and allowed to grow into the full sun, particularly flowering vines. A good slow release fertilizer with micro nutrients is recommended as the food source. A six month formula twice a year is recommended.

Recently planted vines require water frequently. It takes several months for the vine to become established. Once the plant is established a thorough watering (water reached below the root system) several times a week should be sufficient.

Some vines should be pruned twice a year as some of them are quite curious and ten to travel about the garden. Spring and summer are the recommended times of year. Most vines are pliable and can be trained.

Vines are pretty tolerant of various temperatures. Freezing temperatures could cause some injury. If injury does occur, wait till the spring to prune back.

Recommended vines for South Florida:

Jade Vine - Stronglyodon Macrobotrys - Spectacular clusters of aqua colored flowers beginning in March.
Clerodendrums - Various colors of flowers.
Bougainvilleas - A rainbow of colored flowers.
Queen's Wreath - Petrea Voluilis - Purple & dark purple flower.
Sky Vines - Thunbergia Grandiflora - Blue and whyite flowers.
Passion Vines - Passiflora species - Numerous exotic colors of flowers.
Stephanotis Floribunda - Clustered fragrant white flowers.
Ipomea - Various shades of pink.
Hoyas - Many different leaf patterns as well as flower colors.
Garlic Vines - Lovely lavender flowers with the fragrance of garlic.
Coral Vines - Small colored flowers.
Philodendrons - Great for shady spots.

Courtesy of: Palm Hammock Orchid Estate - 9995 S.W. 66 St. - Miami, Fl 33173 (305) 274-9813

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