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Flowering vine for container in L.A.

Posted by pacnwjudy z8 OR (My Page) on
Tue, May 3, 11 at 0:07


I garden here in Oregon, but I'm posing this question to help out my daughter who is living in L.A. She just moved to an apartment where she finally has a little landing where she can put a garden pot. She has no gardening experience at all -- this pot will be her first endeavor!

Anyway, she's pretty excited about the pot, and she'll be able to see it from her kitchen window too. She wants to plant a flowering vine in it.

But what vine? She wanted bougainvillea, but we found that has thorns and is toxic. Mandevilla is toxic too. So what she needs is something that is (hopefully)...

able to be left in a container
summer blooming in L.A.
nontoxic to pets (she has dogs)
no thorns (the dogs again)

I've been searching the Internet for something, but there are just too many specific requirements for me to figure out what the plant would be.

Can anyone help?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Flowering vine for container in L.A.

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Tue, May 3, 11 at 16:55

Star Jasmine--Trachelospermum jasminoides It's fairly easy for a beginner and she will love the fragrance of the flowers. Partial shade is ideal.

Mandevilla can be tricky for a beginning gardener.

What about green beans for summer and sweet peas (for the flowers) for fall/winter? Both VERY easy from seed, and fun for beginners.

Dogs don't really bother plants except to pee on them. They'll eat grass for the sole purpose of barfing it up. It's a dog thing.

RE: Flowering vine for container in L.A.

Thanks for your great ideas! I've passed the ideas along to my daughter. I love the idea of everything you've mentioned!

RE: Flowering vine for container in L.A.

You might consider scarlet runner beans, which offer not just charming red hummer friendly) flower power, but edible beans and pods as well. It's an annual, but for instant foolproof gratification, it's right up there.

Here is a link that might be useful: photos of scarlet runner beans

RE: Flowering vine for container in L.A.

"Dogs don't really bother plants except to pee on them. They'll eat grass for the sole purpose of barfing it up. It's a dog thing." Heh heh.

Is it sunny or shady? The Star Jasmine is great for either. I like nasturtiums as an annual if there's enough sun. You plant them from seed in February and they have a nice long bloom period, then when they get ugly you rip them out and plant some cosmos or morning glories. But those all take sun.

RE: Flowering vine for container in L.A.

  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Wed, May 4, 11 at 11:23

First thing you need to know is what the exposure of this landing is; does it get hot sun, no sun, which direction it faces(north/south/etc). Most vines will appreciate a larger sized pot to bloom well without drying out too quickly, and regular fertilizer to keep them blooming well. A glazed ceramic pot will hold onto water better, and may be better suited to a first time gardener. Wood and terra cotta pots dry out very quickly, and may even need watering twice a day if in full sun. I'd suggest a pot at least the size of 30 inches tall by 25 inches wide if here porch can accomodate that size, and perhaps a Mandevilla 'Sun Parasol Giant Crimson' as a very long blooming choice that likes full sun and blooms well if you give it some time release fertilizer at initial planting, and follow up twice a month with a liquid feed. If the pot only gets morning sun or bright shade, then an Abutilon will probably be a better choice for a long blooming plant than a vine, but there are also several Asarina species of Rhodochiton atrosanguineum is really choice, and blooms over a very long time. These two shade vines won't hold up to aggressive dogs, as they are delicate, so might need a taller pot to be out of reach of wagging tails, and a small wire obelisk or tower to climb upon.

RE: Flowering vine for container in L.A.

Gosh, thanks to all of you for the wonderful suggestions. Along with your comments, I sent my daughter photos of the various plants.

How I envy all of you in Southern California for the fabulous plants you can grow! Most of these plants would be annuals for us Portlanders. Many gardeners here suffer from zonal denial (me too) and plant things that are borderline hardy here. Then there will eventually be an especially harsh winter that will spell their end. Still, we do it anyway.

I should mention that her dogs are really small (8 and 12 pounds), Japanese Chins, so they wouldn't be damaging the plants. The concern was more in terms of their ingesting anything they shouldn't -- and thorns. They have prominent eyeballs, of all things.

Here's a link to a photo of Japanese Chins:

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