Smith County Master Gardener
Gardeners love vines. They are needed to add height in strategic places in the garden, to cover ugly fences, or large trellises. Most of us have little trellises or tutors that we need a small well-behaved vine. Firecracker Vine will fill the spot perfectly.
Through the years I have drooled over pictures of vine clad arbors and trellises and have tried many vines both annual and perennial. I have also spent many years trying to rid myself of the monsters that developed. We have such a long growing season and vines that are mannerly further North are too happy here and become pests.
We have had this little Firecracker Vine in the IDEA Garden for several years and love it more every year. It hasn’t seeded itself out and hasn’t become so huge as to pull the little obelisk it covers over. Bloom time begins in early May and ends at first frost.
Hummingbirds can’t resist those little red bugle shaped blooms. I have one on my deck in a pot and I enjoy it so much. My zillions of hummers fight over every bloom.
Manettias are easy to grow, requiring only good soil and lots of sun. They will take some drought once established.
Another Manettia you may be more familiar with is the Candy Corn Vine.Smaller yellow and orange blooms grace this small vine and you may be able to find it in garden centers around. We got ours as the spring SFA plant sale in Nacogdoches. You will need to provide perfect drainage as these vines will rot in wet winters if you don’t.
A really cold winter may kill the roots, but we had one two years ago and it survived. I think if it ever gets cold enough to freeze the ground, it may succumb.
Find this pretty little vine as you enter the garden at the Northeast gate and look to the right at the corner of the grass pathway.
Go take a peek at all the color in our gardens and watch butterflies and hummingbirds flit through l the flowers.
Our gardens provide beauty and entertainment for all who are willing to brave the heat.
Dee Bishop is a Smith County Master Gardener. She writes about plants in the Tyler Rose Garden.