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Home > Types of Plants > Vines-- Climbers & Creepers > Flowering Vines
Flowering Vines
American Bittersweet American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) is valued for its heavy foliage as well as for the orange and crimson berries used so much for winter bouquets. It is comparatively easily cultivated and especially good in semishade. It is scarcely ever troubled by disease and sometimes reaches a height of thirty feet. If flowers are desired, prune it well in spring and give it, as near as possible, wood-soil conditions-moisture and fairly loose ground. Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus), while lacking the profuse berries of the above, has a better habit and foliage, and the growth is more vigorous.

Clematis Clematis has many diversified varieties, but their requirements are quite simple: rich, welldrained soil with plenty of lime. Bone meal in generous quantities is needed as is a thick layer of rotted manure or leaf compost. They thrive in peaty soil if it is thoroughly limed; peat alone is too acid. They need shaded roots and partial shade is also all right for the vine. Protect roots from winter winds and summer sun by a thick mulch. Cultivation, if at all, must be shallow.

Plant on trellises, fences, walls, etc., and support them early. When planting, cut the top of vine back to the lowest large eye and cover entire plant with four inches of soil. As the wood is brittle and easily cracked, this cutting back prevents the entrance of disease into any wood injured in moving or planting. In pruning or re- arranging the vine after growth, be careful to avoid splitting. Make clean pruning cuts near eye or leaf bud with sharp shears.

The foliage is thick and handsome but plants are grown mostly for their flowers which, on the larger plants, come in June and July and repeat to some extent during the summer, depending on water, food, and weather conditions. The smaller flowering plants bloom later but have a fragrance lacking in the larger types.

Virgin`s-BowerProbably the most popular small flowering type is known as Virgin`s-Bower. Clematis paniculata is the most used, although Clematis virginiana is similar. This plant with bright cheerful foliage and fine clusters of creamwhite, hawthorn-scented flowers grows rampantly and blooms from August to October. It forms a good foliage vine all summer and flowers are followed by attractive feathery seed pods.

Above ground it should be treated as a perennial and cut back to the ground each spring, unless great masses of foliage are desired, then prune to keep in shape and cut back every three years to strengthen. It requires practically no other care.

Clematis davidiana requires the same pruning while Texas Clematis (Clematis texensis) which has purple flowers in autumn, dies to the ground each year.

Anemone Clematis ("Clematis montana undulata) is a hardy, strong-growing, disease-proof plant. It has mauve-pink flowers like a Windflower, one to two inches in diameter.

Frequently opens about May first and continues well through May. It should be pruned lightly in February or March. Clematis montana perfecta is identical with the above except that it has almost white flowers.

The most popular large flowering types are: Henryi, white; Jackmani, blue or purple; Madame Edouard Andre, red; Ramona, lavender; Duchess of Edinburgh, double white; and Madame Baron Veillard, mauve. The purple Jackmani is perhaps the best known of these. When training it, remember that healthy shoots often grow ten feet a year, five before flowering and five later.

HenryiHenryi and Duchess of Edinburgh start flowering early in spring and have a fall display also, the spring bloom being on old wood and the fall flowers on wood of the current season. To preserve both blooming seasons, little pruning must be done. A part of the vines winter kill and early in spring we remove these together with any dead wood. Jackmani, Andre, and Veillard bloom first in July and continue to some degree until frost. We therefore cut them to within two feet of the ground in March to stimulate new growth.

Dutchman`s Pipe (Aristolochia durior) is an excellent quick-growing foliage plant with an odd pipe-shaped greenish brown flower.

The best of the old-fashioned honeysuckles is Hall`s Evergreen (Lonicera japonica halliana) with its exquisitely perfumed white flowers which turn yellow before they fade. It holds its foliage almost all winter and is good alike for banks, arbor or trellis. Another excellent type is Coral or Trumpet Honeysuckle, of heavier and more rampant growth. Also good for covering and climbing. It has no odor, but a great deal of bright red bloom. Both grow well in good loamy soil in either sun or partial shade and are easily propagated by layering and cuttings.

Goldflame Honeysuckle (Lonicera heckrotti) is a recent introduction combining flame and gold, heavily fragrant clusters of flowers with dark, glossy, semi-evergreen foliage. It is a continuous bloomer with a restrained habit of growth.

China Fleece Vine (Polygonum auberti) is a rapid grower, covered with a foam of white flowers in the fall. It is easily trained around downspouts which adds to its value. Perennial Sweet Pea (Lathyrus latifolius) grows six to eight feet tall with pink-white blossoms.

Trumpet Creeper The Trumpet Creeper (Bignonia radicans) is well known for covering stumps, fences, etc. It grows ten feet high with bright orange red flowers.

Bignonia grandiflora Madame Galen, with wide-open orange flowers, is a new introduction highly recommended.

Lack of bloom in Wisteria is always a problem. The solution is, correct pruning and planting. When it blooms well it is one of America`s best vines, having clusters of scented (white to purple) blossoms in May. It is unequaled for trellis or pergola.

It has exceptionally heavy growth and must have stout support. Its branches must not entwine as they will choke one another.

It requires little care if properly planted. Full sunlight, plenty of manure (rotted, of course), plenty of moisture and some bone meal.

Seedlings may not bloom at all, so buy grafted plants from reliable nurseries; they often bloom the second year.

Prune to two main stems or not over three or four and administer hard top pruning after the first year, monthly in June, July and August. On young plants remove one-third of the top to develop side growth. Cut back the side growth monthly on young plants to two or three buds. Prune older plants in August by cutting back all growth to within four feet of last year`s wood to encourage blooming and to make a dense plant. If after proper planting and pruning, it does not bloom or stops flowering, it is time to root prune to keep it from going to stem and leaves.
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