A Quick Guide to the Cypress Vine
Brightening up an otherwise drab part of the landscape or concealing an unsightly building are both tasks that the cheerful cypress vine takes on admirably. Providing a dazzling array of beautiful bright flowers and airy foliage, this flowering climber will soon become a favorite for any gardener.
An unusual feature of this climbing vine is in its foliage. While many landscaping plants tend to blend into one another with similar medium green, heart shaped leaves, the cypress stands out from all others with its feathery and ethereal appearance. As the vine grows, it reaches out and attaches itself to any support it is able to find in its trek upward. Twining gracefully, the bright green fern-like leaves bring not only beauty and interest, but texture as well to the landscape. Lovely star shaped flowers begin to appear profusely over the vine in hues of brilliant white, delicate pink and bright red in early summer and continue to bring vivid appeal throughout the season into early fall. These beautiful five pointed blossoms offer all day color. Continuous blooming can be experienced with some deadheading help from the gardener.
How to grow
The cypress vine, an annual plant, is grown from seeds that are rather large in size. Unlike another climbing vine, the morning glory, the cypress seeds have no need to be soaked or nicked to encourage germination. Plant the seeds in the spring after the danger of frost has passed and the days have begun to warm. Growing the seeds indoors with the intent of transplanting them later outside is discouraged, as the plant balks at replanting. Instead, the seeds can be sown into pulp pots that can be placed directly into the ground where they will dissipate over time. A location that receives full sun with sandy, well drained soil that leans toward acidic is ideal for optimal blooming and color.
The seedlings will emerge within a week, and will exhibit backward swept leaves initially. Soon, the delicate fronds that distinguish the vine will appear and within a month’s time, the first blossoms develop. Deadheading the blossoms as they die off will encourage more profuse blooming. Over the course of the growing season, the climber can reach heights of 15 to 20 feet. A strong support will be required to withstand the weight of the towering vine.
With such a heavy blooming duration, monthly fertilization is a necessary task to provide the energy the vine requires. It is also important to provide adequate moisture to the plant; keeping the soil moist rather than wet.
Being colorful and distinctive are great attributes for a landscape plant, but not the only ones that are possessed by the cypress vine. Perhaps an even more important feature of this plant is that it also serves as a great source of nectar for hummingbirds, bees and butterflies; natural ways to beautify any landscape. The tubular shape of the blossoms as well as their bright coloration offers the perfect attraction for these creatures.
Another beneficial feature of this vine is that it is a self seeder. Seed pods develop and ripen on the vine; as they dry out in the late summer sun, the pods open to release the seeds into the breeze. The seeds lie dormant until spring when, as always, they quickly germinate to increase the vine’s population in the following year. To discourage this free propagation, simply capture the seeds before they are released. They are able to be dried and stored until springtime, when the gardener can then plant them where they wish.
The cypress vine can bring numerous attributes to the landscape. Great foliage interest, beautiful blooms, climbing tendencies that provide great floral screens and an attractive magnet for hummingbirds, butterflies and bees makes this climber a popular choice for any gardener.