Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Seeds and Vines: Bird of Paradise, Blue Poppies, and Passionflower

I was thinking of gardening goodies when I won a $200 gift card for adding content to one of my blogs. Some of the items I ordered were 4 passionflower vines (two blue and white flowered and two pink flowered vines) and two packs of seeds: blue Himalayan poppies and Bird of Paradise. I read up on the instructions they gave and both sets of seeds like to stay in the fridge for 2 to 4 weeks before planting. The Bird of Paradise seeds can also be soaked and filed (like sweet peas) to help them grow. I took half of the Bird of Paradise seeds and the pack of blue poppies and put them in the fridge, then soaked the other half of the Bird of Paradise seeds to see which set of seeds will do better. My father had a Bird of Paradise plant growing in the front yard along with his bed of bearded purple Iris. I remember the Bird of Paradise plant blooming, it was really beautiful. From what I've read growing Bird of Paradise from seed can take 3 to 5 years before they bloom. I planted the first set of seeds a few weeks ago, along with some sweet peas for my back yard obelisk. The filing on the sweet peas worked perfectly and the seeds starting sprouting within a week or two with strong little sweet pea stems. So far no sign of my Bird of Paradise seeds coming up, I have to be patient. I will be planting up the blue poppies sometime in June, probably planting some poppy seeds directly in the ground and a few in a pot to see which works best. The blue poppies are supposed to be fussy about warm temps but that won't be a problem here since we rarely get up to 70 degrees here even in summer. I have a feeling the Bird of Paradise won't be so easy to grow either.

We dug out the two front trellis boxes to make way for the new passionflower vines. It took two weekends, we knew it would either be easy or horrible to dig up what was in the boxes and, as we thought, it was horrible. The boxes had so many roots it was a mess, no doubt the trellis boxes had never been changed or cleaned out in at least ten years. We cleaned the trellis boxes out the best we could, filled up the bottom of the big boxes with some large rocks and then refilled the boxes with new dirt and planted two passionflower vines in each one. The pink flowered passionflower vine grows 8 feet tall, that one is placed out front of the boxes; the second vine is a blue and white (closer to purple color) flower and grows up to 25 feet, it is placed in the back, if nothing else this plant will fill out the trellis. Even though the vines are less than a foot tall one of the blue and white flowered vines already has a flower opened on it, very pretty. It has been a month and the vines so far are growing very slowly. Once the passionflower vines take hold I hope the vines grow rapidly, the same as the other passionflower vines in our yard. Bird of Paradise image courtesy of stockphotosforfree.com.

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