Learn About Cypress Vines

How to Sow

Sowing Directly in the Garden:

  • Cypress Vine seed has a hard seed coat. To aid germination, nick or cut the seed coat with a nail file and soak the seed overnight.
  • Direct sow seeds in average soil in full sun two weeks after danger of frost has passed.
  • Prepare the soil by removing weeds and working organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth. Cypress vine requires a support such as a trellis or pergola, be sure to have this in place before planting.
  • Most plants respond well to soils amended with organic matter. Compost is a wonderful form of organic matter with a good balance of nutrients and an ideal pH level, it can be added to your planting area at any time. If compost is not available, top dress the soil after planting with 1-2 inches of organic mulch, which will begin to breakdown into compost. After the growing season, a soil test will indicate what soil amendments are needed for the following season.
  • Sow seeds thinly and cover with 1/2 inch of soil.
  • Firm soil lightly and keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings will emerge in 7-21 days.

How to Grow

  • Thin plants to stand 10 inches apart when plants are 1 to inches high.
  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For annuals an organic mulch of shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
  • Keep soil evenly moist but not wet.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
  • Plants can self-sow so allow some to set seeds.
  • Remove plants after they are killed by heavy frost in fall to avoid disease issues the following year.

Growing tips

  • Cypress wines needs little care and is easy to grow.
  • Consider intertwining cypress vine with other annual vines such as thunbergia.

Common Pests and Problems

Black Rot: This bacterial disease thrives in warm and humid conditions and attacks the leaves. Yellow-orange V shaped lesions occur on the edges of the leaves and eventually dry out and the leaves fall off. Burpee Recommends: Rotate crops. Avoid overhead watering. Provide adequate air circulation, do not overcrowd plants. Do not work around plants when they are wet. Control weeds where the disease can overwinter.

Damping Off: This is one of the most common problems when starting plants from seed. The seedling emerges and appears healthy; then it suddenly wilts and dies for no obvious reason. Damping off is caused by a fungus that is active when there is abundant moisture and soils and air temperatures are above 68 degrees F. Typically, this indicates that the soil is too wet or contains high amounts of nitrogen fertilizer. Burpee Recommends: Keep seedlings moist but do not overwater; avoid over-fertilizing your seedlings; thin out seedlings to avoid overcrowding; make sure the plants are getting good air circulation.

Rust: A number of fungus diseases rust colored spots on foliage and stalks. Burpee Recommends: Practice crop rotation. Remove infected plants. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for recommendations.

Stem Canker: Part of the stem looks sunken and turns brown. The stem will wilt. The canker can open and ooze sap. This fungus can spread to all parts of the plant causing it to die.  Burpee Recommends: Remove any infected stem as soon as you see it. Rotate crops. Try not to get the stems and leaves wet when watering the plant.

Common Pest and Cultural Problems

Aphids: Greenish, red, black or peach colored sucking insects can spread disease as they feed on the undersides of leaves. They leave a sticky residue on foliage that attracts ants. Burpee Recommends: Introduce or attract natural predators into your garden such as lady beetles and wasps which feed on aphids. You can also wash them off with a strong spray, or use an insecticidal soap.

Leafminers: These insects bore just under the leaf surface causing irregular serpentine lines. The larvae are yellow cylindrical maggots and the adults are small black and yellow flies. They do not usually kill plants, but disfigure the foliage. Burpee Recommends: Remove affected foliage. Sanitation is important so be sure to remove all debris at the end of the season.

Spider Mites: These tiny spider-like pests are about the size of a grain of pepper. They may be red, black, brown or yellow. They suck on the plant juices removing chlorophyll and injecting toxins which cause white dots on the foliage. There is often webbing visible on the plant. They cause the foliage to turn yellow and become dry and stippled. They multiply quickly and thrive in dry conditions. Burpee Recommends: Spider mites may be controlled with a forceful spray every other day. Try hot pepper wax or insecticidal soap. Check with your Cooperative Extension Service for miticide recommendations.

Sunscald: Leaves are bleached in between veins and faded, often turn white with brown crispy edges. There are no signs of pests and diseases. Plants were usually recently moved. The bright light and heat from the sun break down the chlorophyll which leads to death of the leaf. Burpee Recommends: Some afternoon shade would be helpful, but keep the plants as healthy as possible.

FAQ

Can I start seeds inside? Cypress vine is very easy to start outside and does not need to be started inside, however you can start them inside 2-5  weeks before the last  frost. Be very careful when handling the seedlings so as not to damage the roots.

Does cypress vine attract any beneficial insects to my garden? Yes, cypress vines attract bees and butterflies to the garden. They particularly attract hummingbirds and are sometimes called Hummingbird Vines.

Should cypress vines be deadheaded?  Yes, spent flowers should be removed to keep the plants blooming all summer.

Why is my cypress vine not blooming?  Make sure your cypress vine is in full sun, they don’t bloom well in the shade. Also, do not over feed it with a high nitrogen fertilizer. Too much nitrogen will produce a beautiful plant with few or no flowers.

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