Volubilis also called bindweed, or Ipomoea is a climbing plant grown in the garden or balcony. It can exceed 5 meters in height, and its lateral development is significant – 2-3 meters. It is therefore ideal to be used as an original screen. The spectacular funnel-shaped flowers are purple, pink, blue, white, or red with a slight tint inside and grow with dense foliage. This article is devoted to the planting and the rules of maintenance of the potted balcony ipomoea.
Features of balcony ipomoea cultivation
Ipomea can be grown not only in open ground but also on balconies and loggias. The plant grows quickly, and after a while, it will cover part of the space. The main thing is to choose the right containers and the right varieties.
This is great if the balcony is on the south, west, or east sides. In this case, the bindweed will receive enough light and heat. If grown on a north balcony, the plant turns out pale, strongly stretched, and with rare flowering. It is therefore not possible to obtain a decorative appearance.
What varieties of ipomoeas can be grown on a loggia or balcony?
In reality, not all varieties of ipomoeas are suitable for container cultivation. That is why you must first determine which are the best seeds to buy. On the balcony or loggia, bindweed will grow only for one season because they are annual plants.
A plant with long stems (up to 4 meters). The leaves are large, 7-10 cm in diameter, heart-shaped. They are located quite densely along the entire length of the stems. The flowers are funnel-like, the layout is unique. In diameter, the blue, purple, and white buds reach 6 cm. The plant begins to flower in June. In the climatic conditions of a balcony, flowering is long.
This species should be grown in slightly alkaline or neutral soils. Shoots can reach 4 meters in length, making it possible to create amazing “curtains” shading the balcony. The leaves are medium in length. Their shape corresponds to that of ivy, hence the name of the plant. Sky blue, scarlet, pink, or purple colored flowers look charming against the background of green foliage.
One of the hybrids is very interesting – “Roman Kandy”. It has a tint of wine on the petals – longitudinal white stripes, on the leaves – white spots.
Ipomea of the Nile
Japanese breeders created this variety. With dark green heart-shaped leaves, the plant has dense pubescence. Whitish yellow bands are located over the entire surface of the leaves.
The Nile ipomoea is distinguished by large double flowers of blue, purple, crimson color. Each star has white stripes that extend from the edge to the center.
Ipomée quamoclite or Liane Paradis
This type of bindweed is valued for its sculpted leaves of a juicy green hue. The length of the stems can reach 5 meters. These are so powerful that they can climb independently to any height. The star-shaped buds have long tubes. Their color can be red, scarlet, pink, or white, depending on the variety. The flowers open early in the morning and close after sunset.
This bindweed attracts with its unusual sky-blue flowers and powerful shoots—a great option for the balcony.
Despite the decorative character of the plant, it is not recommended to grow it if you have young children because it contains psychotropic substances.
Plant ipomoeas on the balcony
It is advisable to sow the seeds at the end of March or April to obtain flowering plants. Of course, this is an approximate period because it all depends on the region’s climatic conditions. In any case, planting is carried out after the establishment of positive temperatures.
Preparation of planters and soil
To cultivate the balcony ipomoea, You must take care of the containers. It is best to choose flowerpots that contain at least 3 liters of soil if you plant a single flower in them or long boxes in which you plant several.
Since plants do not like standing water, we make holes in the bottom of the pots. Then, we put drainage made up of small stones. After that, the vessels are filled with prepared earth.
Volubilis grows in almost all substrates. Sandy soils are the only exception. In this case, you need to add black soil or homemade or store-bought compost. The main thing is that the soil is loose, permeable to air and water.
Warning! Before sowing the seeds, We should pour boiling water over the soil, to which several crystals of potassium permanganate are added to prevent the development of fungal diseases.
As the ipomoea seeds are difficult to germinate, they should be soaked in hot water for 24 hours before sowing to speed up germination.
Rules of care of seedlings:
1. The soil of the containers is watered with warm water, a deepening is carried out, and the seeds are sown to a depth of no more than 1 cm.
2. Next, we pull a plastic bag over the container to create a greenhouse effect. This will speed up germination. Containers should be kept in a warm place with a temperature of + 18-20 degrees.
3. The first shoots appear after 7 to 12 days. The shelter is immediately removed, and the containers are placed on a well-lit window sill. If there is not enough light in the room, it is advisable to install artificial lighting.
4. If the seedlings are grown in a common container, picking will be required after 2 or 3 true leaves appear. Since the young plant does not like this procedure, it is necessary to choose seedlings with a good clod of the earth not to damage the root system.
5. To obtain lush foliage, pinch the seedlings at the height of 15 cm to cause new side shoots to form. At the same time, you need to make supports for the plant to begin to cling to it.
6. The balcony seedlings are watered as needed. But We must remember that drying out and standing water is just as destructive to the plant.
7. There should be at least 20-30 cm between the containers (plants).
If you have the skills to take care of plants in the open ground, you will have no difficulty with balcony plantings. You need to know how to water properly, nourish and protect your flowers from diseases and pests.
If the bindweed is grown on a balcony, it should be watered frequently. As a rule, every other day. You need to moisten with warm, settled water. It is necessary to irrigate so that the water does not stagnate. Otherwise, the decomposition of the root system will begin.
Climbing plants grown outdoors are demanding to feed because they quickly absorb all nutrients. Therefore, mineral fertilizers will be needed – mixtures of potash and phosphorus. Plantations in pots are fed monthly during watering.
If you overfeed the plants, they will grow unevenly. In some cases, the buds do not appear, or the plants react with the yellowing of the foliage. All mineral fertilizers are diluted according to the instructions.
Warning! Do not feed the container culture with nitrogen fertilizers as this will cause the green mass to grow, not the formation of buds!
Installation of brackets
To create a curly composition, We will need supports. They are installed in the center of the pot when the height of the plant is at least 15-20 cm. To point the stems in the right direction, you can use twine. If you want, instead of wires, you can build a structure from bamboo sticks or make a planter with trellis.
Important! Wire mesh is not recommended because it gets hot and burns the stems of the plants.
What problems can they arise?
Even though the plant is unpretentious, novice florists who are embarking on cultivation may encounter difficulties:
1. The rain outside makes the air on the balcony too humid, which can cause the buds to rot.
2. In extreme heat, the leaves may turn yellow and drop. On sweltering days, we should create shade to protect the plant.
3. You need to choose deep containers for planting so that the root system develops well.
4. Among the pests, the spider mite most often affects the ipomoea. To get rid of pests, spray the plants with suitable insecticides.
Why do the ipomoea leaves turn yellow on the balcony?
This problem can occur for various reasons:
- sharp changes in temperature during the day and at night: rotting of the roots begin in cold earth;
- inadequate watering;
- too tight a pot, the root system does not develop well;
- lack of iron in the soil
Why does the ipomoea not bloom on the balcony?
Flowering may not start if you overfeed the ipomoea with nitrogen fertilizers. In this case, the green mass will begin to grow profusely. The second reason why there is no bud formation is that the pot is too large. That is why it is advisable to choose 3-liter containers.
To propagate the plant, collect its seeds. After the flowers of the ipomoea close, the seed shells develop. You can either drop the seeds to the ground and grow new ipomoeas, or collect the seeds to use them later for your balcony plantings, or pinch the flower after it has reached maturity, allowing it to devote more energy to flowering (instead of producing a seed).
Ipomea and other plants are grown together.
The ipomoea and the moonflower (Ipomoea alba) are both members of the Ipomoea family. If you want to grow them together, give them separate containers to have the best chance of thriving.
Moonflowers need extra support, so be sure to stake them as they grow. As the name suggests, they open their white flowers at night. The ipomoea and the moonflowers together create a romantic garden any time of the day.
Volubilis does not associate well with other annuals or perennials because its rapid growth can suffocate these plants. Finally, do not plant petunias in the same pot because these flowers are antagonists compared to bindweed.