Moon Vine Question

newplanter211(8)April 19, 2010

I am new at gardening, and this is my first attempt with moon vine. I live in North Texas, so I have hot, dry summers. I have a wrought iron gate that I want to cover with moon vine. The trouble I ran into is that the gate is actually over a concrete driveway (so there is no soil beneath it to plant the seeds), and I'd like to keep the functionality and allow the gate to swing open when necessary to get into my backyard. So, what I've done is attach a 36" long by 8" wide by 8" deep plastic flower box to the bottom of the gate. I planted 8 moon vine seeds in good quality potting soil in this planter, and, so far, I have 7 seedlings (the gate gets full sun). My plan is to help the seedlings twine up the gate when they are about 3" tall, and just keep them watered. My question is, will this planter, which currently has about 4" of soil in it, support the plants and their root systems when they mature? Is there anything else I should do?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!

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Moonflower vines require a good deal of water in the heat of the summer. They have a relatively large leaf that will begin to wilt in mid-day sun/heat if they get dry. That on top of the wind can do some major damage to the leaf. If you can keep it watered (twice a day in the summer) the size of your container would work. BTW, you get an A+ for engineering.

You may want to consider a vive that has a lower water requirement. Take a look at Cypress Vine. However, this vine has a smaller red flower that blooms in the morning and may not be the look that you're going for.

Good luck, Pat

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 9:47AM
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Thanks for the response!

I will definitely keep it watered twice a day in the summer...I really want this vine to grow and bloom for me!

Are 7 plants in the planter too many? Should I remove a couple of the smaller ones? They are currently planted about 2-3 inches apart.

Thanks, again!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 6:45PM
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From my experience with growing vines in containers I think that four plants will do the trick (5 if you want to be safe). One thing to keep in mind is that the vines will naturally twine their way to the top of your gate structure. If you want the entire gate covered (wall of foliage) you will need to continually weave the vines back down to the lower area to keep it filled in...I hope that makes sense.

I just read your post again and you mentioned something about 4" of soil. Once you plant them be sure you use the full volume of the 36"x8"x8" containers. Fill them up to appox. 1" from the top of the container.

I'll be in Dallas all next week soaking up your good weather. Here in Chicago I still have about three weeks before I move my seedlings to the outside containers.

Take care, Pat

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 10:14AM
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Again, thanks for the great advice! That does make sense to weave them back down to fill in the lower areas.

The seedlings are already in the container with the 4" of soil, as I planted the seeds in the container and they sprouted from there. I guess I'll need to carefully pull them out, add soil, and then replant them in the container to add more soil, right? Sort of "transplant" them right back into the same container, unless you know of a better way that won't upset them too much...? I hope I can make this work...I really want them to do well!

I hope you enjoy Dallas...the weather really is wonderful right now. Enjoy it before it hits 110 degrees!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 2:54PM
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That would be my suggestion to make a clean cut and lift out the plants that you want to keep then add more potting soil mix and replant. I really think that with the heat you get in TX that 4" od soil just isn't enough. Be sure you're using a potting soil mix and not typical garden dirt. You also may want to put a thin layer (no more than 1") of mulch on the soil to cut down on moisture being lost through evaporation.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 6:58PM
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