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Advice propagating Tropaeolum speciosum please?

Posted by spazplant 8 (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 15, 12 at 21:51

A remarkable vine growing in my neighbor's front yard got me to this website yesterday. Now that i've had help identifying it, i've gone to my neighbor, who permitted me to dig up a new shoot. but before i could return with my pot & spade, he'd dug it up with his hand, & torn it from its what looks to be runner? can i work with this or no?

I haven't found any info on propagating this, even at the rhs website & i would very much appreciate any advice or ideas. Below is a link to pic of the parent vine, & there are more at the original thread in 'name that plant' subforum, titled '6 leaflet red flowering vine...'.

Thank you very much for any help,

Here is a link that might be useful: parent vine

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Advice propagating Tropaeolum speciosum please?

p.s. i don't even know--do i plant these things upright or flat? (no, i'm not an idiot) :D

thanks again

RE: Advice propagating Tropaeolum speciosum please?

I have never done it myself but I understand they can be tricky from seed. I don't think it matters how you plant those roots from your neighbour but I would suggest horizontally. It might be best to start them in a pot so you can monitor them. According to the link it is the wrong time of year but you have nothing to lose. Maybe you could also ask for some seeds later on. Good luck

Here is a link that might be useful: T speciosum

RE: Advice propagating Tropaeolum speciosum please?

dear flora_uk,

thank you so much. that link and the other st. andrews link, were the two i also found most helpful, and yet i could find no info on orientation of the rhizome. i think it's assumed everyone knows, lol. but it seems to me flat is better, as you suggest, because it does grow flat along the ground.

the piece that has leaflets doesn't look happy dangling over the side of the pot i've put it in. i'm going to move it to the box planter with the others & lay it flat. that box has peaty soil and shade with minimal dappled sun. the other plants in it-geranium, fringed lavender & lily-of-the valley--, have done very well in it. now i just have to wait very patiently :D

Thank you so much & Best regards,

RE: Advice propagating Tropaeolum speciosum please?

Hi again - just a point about the plants in your box. Geranium (I assume these are Pelargoniums, not hardy geraniums) and lavender require conditions almost the exact opposite of T speciosum ie bright sun, fast draining, dryish and on the neutral to alkaline side. Either the T s or the geraniums and lavender will be miserable. I would give the T s a container to itself if I were you. Plus l of the v is a spreader which could take over the whole thing.

RE: Advice propagating Tropaeolum speciosum please?

Dear flora_uk,

Thank you so much for your input.

They've done fine for over a year where they are. I can't even count the number of times conventional gardening wisdom has proven completely wrong in my own gardening experience. Just one example: rosemary does very well in near complete shade on my porch, though folks say it must have full sun. It's confusing & frustrating, so i gave up conventional wisdom years ago in favor of an intuitive gardening approach.

The lady at my local nursery who ordered the fringe lavender orders varieties peculiar to this microclimate, maybe that's why it's done fine.

Unfortunately the tags for the geraniums were gone when i got them on clearance for $.75 at the drug store, so i don't know what variety they are, three in different spots on my shaded/covered porch have all done great. I've seen geraniums grow in all kinds of conditions & never had a problem propagating or maintaining any variety.

This new vine will be under my close supervision & if i have any luck with it, i'll move it when it begins to spread.

I also plan to get more of the rhizomes, & ask the neighbor if he'll allow me to dig them up myself. These i will put near the base of my own cypress on the north side of the house.

Thanks again for all your help. I hope my approach doesn't give you any anxiety about the future of this vine in my care :)

Best Regards,

RE: Advice propagating Tropaeolum speciosum please?

No anxiety at all! Just trying to suggest ways of optimising the chances for T s. When I say Geraniums or Pelargoniums I don't mean cultivars/varieties. I mean are these hardy Geraniums or tender Pelargoniums (which are commonly called Geraniums). ie which Genus. That should be easily determined as the two look totally different. The current inhabitants of the box may well be doing absolutely fine but that doesn't mean the conditions will suit T s. In fact, if Lavender and Geraniums are happy T s is almost certainly not going to be. I agree that 'conventional gardening wisdom' is often not the whole story but T s is a finicky grower which challenges even the most experienced gardeners, far pickier than the other plants in your container.

RE: Advice propagating Tropaeolum speciosum please?

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 18, 12 at 12:22

Spaz, its been many years ago but when I ordered and received my tropaeolum speciosum, it arrived as bare white roots much like in your photo - but in Spring, not August. The instructions were to prepare the soil, dig a trench, lay the roots horizontally in the trench and cover - I'm guessing a little here with the depth but it seems like covered by approx 4". The plant was only offered as 'spring dug root divisions', not actual plants either by mail or in the nursery itself.

I have it in more than one location now, both of its own choosing (shoots of this vine can appear several yards from its original siting) and from me digging roots and moving those. It's been persistently perennial, but I have never once found a self sown seedlings here in coastal washington.
And I've never tried potting it, always root divisions in the ground, and in Spring.

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