Saturday, August 15, 2020

Another Flame Vine

We're in the dog days of summer now and it was 100° here in Burbank today. I hope you all are well. 

I was at a job in Temple City today and afterwards thought I'd visit San Gabriel Nursery(like I shouldnt!) since I was out there. I spotted a flower from a distance that I've been hunting for about 15 years! It's Combretum fruticosum or Orange Flame Vine. 

It has orange toothbrush like flowers and is native to South America. I love orange flowers and even already grow another "Flame Vine", Pyrostegia venusta. The nursery has probably had this plant for many years because it was super root bound. I just didn't notice it before because I was being good and not plant shopping in summer. And the leaves aren't very distinctive. I had tried to root this plant from cuttings from a friend unsuccessfully several times. And I even tried to get him to air layer it for me. None worked. 

And I have tried to find it to mail order without luck. So I am very HAPPY to finally have it. I was NOT so happy when I saw the price. $$ YIKES! There were none smaller. So I had to buy it. As I've said many times, you HAVE to buy the unusual when you see it because it might not be there next time.

I took it home and right away repotted it up into a 7 gal can to wait out the summer heat. Thank you San Marcos Growers for still growing it and SAN Gabriel Nursery for having it in stock. Now I have to figure out where to plant this vine.

Happy Gardening and stay well all!

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Cute Passion Vine

I hope you are all still well in this still crazy pandemic world. Besides working in clients gardens, I'm mostly staying close to my own garden. We have hot summers in LA and the fig beetles flying around bonking into everything are super annoying. 

I always say smart gardeners don't plant in the heat of the summer. It's harder for plants to establish new roots in hot weather. I try to not plant anything in the ground after the last day on June.

Tiny flowers of Passiflora sanguinolenta 

But I did kinda break my own rule last week and stopped at La Crescenta Nursery. I tried to resist a vine but could not. I thought long and hard about where I'd plant it before I bought it as a vine needs a different kind of commitment. It's Passiflora sanguinolenta. Sanguine means blood red. And even though this is pink, the name refers to some of this species that are blood red. The leaves are unusual and the flowers tiny for a Passion flower, about 1, 1/2" And if you've been following along you know I've said that you have to buy the unusual when you see it for it may not be there when you return. It is said to want part shade inland and originates from Ecuador.  Passifloras are usually monsters.  The fruiting variety P. edulis can swallow a tree.  Thats why I tried to resist.  But this variety is said to be good for small gardens. One site said it'll reach 9' instead of the 30' or so the other varieties will travel. 

Unusual winged leaves. 

So I potted it up from it's one gallon pot into a 2 gallon pot. I cut some bamboo canes to make a teepee for it. Being that it was long on its stake in the 1 gal. pot, it filled out nicely on its taller teepee. It'll stay in this pot until cooler weather in Oct. hopefully or Nov. can be planted in the ground on a bit of fence on the east side of the house between properties.  

In it's 2 gallon pot. 

I hope your garden is giving you some solace in these crazy times.  I am lucky to have mine.  Stay well. 

Happy Gardening!