Social Climber-Cypress Vine

Set a seasonal table under a gazebo of green.

Rebecca Bull Reed
Social Climber

Web-Exclusive Content: Grow Cypress Vine

Don’t wait for luck; cypress vine can be yours if you start it from seed. You can get seeds from a friend who grows this annual vine, or buy them from sources such as www.seed, www.park, and www.swallow tailgarden Keep in mind that once you have this vine, it may be yours (and your neighbor’s) for life, as it reseeds easily.

To ensure success, use ripe seeds that are small and black. The lighter-colored ones may still germinate, so don’t toss them.

Soak seeds in a small amount of water for 24 hours prior to planting. This will help to break the seed coat, speeding the germination process.

Sow them in a sunny spot about ½ inch deep, once the soil has warmed in the spring. May is usually good. Thin seeds to be at least 8 inches apart. Soil does not have to be rich, but well drained is best.

In one to two weeks, seedlings should emerge. A periodic application of half-strength water-soluble fertilizer during the first month of growth will speed things along but is not necessary. Within a few months, this vigorous vine will cover chain-link fences, arbors, and trellises, dying back after the first killing frost.

To collect seeds of your own for next year, look for browning seedpods where flowers used to be. They are oval, brown, and give a slight rattle when ready. Rolled between your fingers, they reveal tiny, hard, preferably black seeds. Save them in an envelope or plastic container in a cool, dark place until it’s time to plant.