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How to Maintain Hummingbird Vines

By Debra L Turner ; Updated September 21, 2017
Ipomoea vines attract hummingbirds.

The hummingbird vine, Ipomoea quamoclit, is often referred to as cypress vine. This fast-growing member of the morning glory family is typically grown as a flowering annual. It’s hardy and quite sturdy, though, and may very well return in the spring as far north as USDA Zone 6. Healthy Ipomoea vines typically begin producing flowers about two months following planting and require very little in the way of maintenance once they’re well established.

Provide all the direct sunlight possible for your hummingbird vine to keep it healthy and growing vigorously well into the fall. Prune shrubs and tree limbs that may be obstructing exposure of available light. Move large objects that might cast dense shadows on the vine during daylight hours.

Give your vine a trellis, fence or even a pole or lamppost to climb.

Amend the hummingbird vine’s planting area with compost. These plants love fertile soil.

Mulch the planting site generously with several inches of cedar shavings or compost. This will help retain moisture and reduce weed growth.

Water the hummingbird vine throughout the growing season. These plants need just enough water to keep the soil surface evenly moist, but not soggy or wet. Water again when the soil feels dry about 4 to 6 inches deep.

Feed your vine a high-phosphorus fertilizer as soon after planting as possible. Reapply once monthly during the growing season. Follow the packaging instructions carefully, and don’t over-fertilize. Excessive nutrients produce lush foliage but fewer blooms.

Keep the area as free of weeds as you possibly can during the entire season.

Prune the hummingbird vine as needed throughout the growing season, but keep in mind that they flower on new growth. Remove dead, damaged or diseased stems. Trim back any healthy stems that annoy you or those that may cause the plant to look unattractive.

Deadhead spent blooms as soon as they fade. This will encourage an extended blooming season.

Remove seed pods that follow blooms, unless you care to have numerous new hummingbird vines sprouting up next spring. Destroy the pods--don’t add them to your compost heap.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Compost
  • Cedar shavings (optional)
  • High-phosphorus fertilizer

Tip

  • Be nice to your neighbors and contain your hummingbird vines to prevent these potentially invasive specimens from encroaching upon the properties of others.

About the Author

 

A full-time writer since 2007, Axl J. Amistaadt is a DMS 2013 Outstanding Contributor Award recipient. He publishes online articles with major focus on pets, wildlife, gardening and fitness. He also covers parenting, juvenile science experiments, cooking and alternative/home remedies. Amistaadt has written book reviews for Work At Home Truth.