Snail Vines

vsewardAugust 24, 2002

I planted a small snail vine in the spring. It was a little slow getting started but once established, it has taken off. The beautiful vine is growing up a lattice and I am training it to offer some much needed privacy. My question is DOES THIS PLANT BECOME DORMANT in winter. I keep seeing postings about overwintering. I am new to the vine gardens and would like to see this plant thrive. If you know the best way to take care of this plant or if there is anything special I should do\consider during the colder months. I live in central California so it really doesnt get THAT cold! Also, is this in the BEAN family?

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)


Check out this link for info on snail vine:

Fabaceae is the family that includes beans.

There are many genera in that family and for each genus there are usually many species.

Common beans are in the genus Phaseolus.

Vigna is also in that family and there are several species of Vigna. Here's a link that shows you what in the bean family. I don't see snail vine listed but other Vigna's are:

But different genera within the same family are not very closely related, oft times. For instance tomatoes, peppers, petunias, Chinese Lanterns, Datura's, tomatillos, ground cherries, nicotiana and potatoes are all in the Solanaceae family but each are in different genera.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2002 at 8:14PM
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I visited Monticello yesterday and saw this beautiful vine in bloom. Gorgeous does not describe it!! Monticello's plant shop had it on sale and I couldn't resist coming home with one. The woman in the plant shop shared that the plants that I saw growing in Jefferson's garden were actually potted and overwintered each year.
The information I have located so far indicates that this plant is hardy in your zone and won't become dormant.....

Here is a link that might be useful: The Grounds, Monticello

    Bookmark   September 1, 2002 at 12:22PM
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taylor_tx(zone 8 TX)

I've heard they come back from the ground, but haven't risked that, yet. I overwinter mine.
The woman that told me hers came back from the ground, was several zones north.
I am in Texas. You should have no worries with it coming back from the ground, based on what she said.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2003 at 1:41PM
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i would like any information there is about growing a snail vine. Should I start seeds now?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2003 at 3:29PM
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Michigan Bulb company has these for sale right now (02/2004). They look beautiful, and I love Purple flowers. I'm going to get two, and train them up my wrought iron fence in the back yard, but keep them in Pots... they won't live outside through an Idaho winter. I'm guessing I can hack them down like a Clematis...

Here is a link that might be useful: Michigan Bulb Company

    Bookmark   February 1, 2004 at 11:52AM
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palyne(Zone 6a NE OK)

I wonder about these. They are just lovely--I see them in Park's catalog, Gurney's catalog. I'm thinking of getting a couple for an arched trellis.

But it says that in warm regions they are perennial, they grow super fast, they grow to about 20 feet, and they have no pests or disease which are known to harm them. Seems to me that's usually the start of every plant threat/noxious weed we get in this country--something that is pretty, grows super fast, and has no natural curbs/deterrents in our region. I'm starting to get wary of the too good to be true imported plants (Kudzu was really cool too :-)).

In my region no worries--it'll die in winter. But in the warm regions, I just wonder....!


    Bookmark   February 3, 2004 at 11:41AM
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artdream126(z7a MD)

I had one from Monticello that was in a pot in my yard and it climbed a trellis beautifully. Unfortunately, it put a root down through the drainage hole and when I brought it in in the winter it died. I would love to get another if anyone has seeds or cuttings?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2004 at 9:44AM
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taylor_tx(zone 8 TX)

Just an update...
My snail vines all came back but one(I had eight planted). They not only came back, but "with a vengence!"
My corkscrew vines, however, did not fair so well. They died in January, which is when, we (here in Texas) really get our freezes. We had an exceptionally mild winter, but they still ALL died.
My conclusion: snail is root hardy, corkscrew is way more sensitive to cold(not to mention too much water) and must be over wintered or resown from seed.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 11:55AM
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Does anyone know if a snail vine can be planted to climb on the same 7 foot high by maybe 4 to 5 feet wide trellis as a Moon Flower Vine. The Trellis is 3 sided with a space between the 3 ladders.

Would the two vines compete with eachother?


    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 2:53PM
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All i can say about the sail vine is don't let the name fool you. I bought 6 plants in April, received the last week of April, got them in the ground a week later and they are out of control. I planted them around our iron gates for privacy and they have covered the vine and produced very beautiful flowers. They seem to attract a very strange looking orange bodied ant with long black legs. Anyone know what these are? They don't seem to be eating anything and are happy just to crawl around. Also, anyone know how to SLOW the growth? I'm afraid they'll end up halfway down the block if i'm not careful! Hoping they stick around this winter, I am enjoying them. . .

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 2:10PM
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