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tdr4

aristolochia questions

tdr4
16 years ago

What kind of Aristolochia do I need to grow down south? Question number 2....Where do I find it?

Comments (27)

  • angie83
    16 years ago

    Hehe looks like we ask the same question .Hope someone will help I really hate it when I run out of pipevine food .I think the leafs are to small hoping to find a bigger leaf for more food for the goldrim they pigs.

  • MissSherry
    16 years ago

    I've got lots of aristolochia tomentosa (big vine) growing in my garden - it's supposed to be the best for the Deep South. I'm thinking about ordering some a. macrophylla, though, just for the fun of it to see how it'll do here - it's native to the Upper South. Having one of these native vines is the best way to grow lots of pipevine swallowtails.
    The swallowtails like to lay their eggs on another North American Native, a. serpentaria. This plant is small, growing only a couple of feet high, but it grows back over and over again after caterpillars have eaten it down to the nub. I've got some of this in my garden, and I've recently planted out a good bit of it in my woods - it's an egg-laying favorite for the females.
    Another good aristolochia is a. clematitis. It's like a bigger version of a. serpentaria, except that the flowers are very different. It's not native to America, but our pipevine swallowtails do very well on it.
    Another type used by many people is a. fimbriata - I've never planted it, but those who have report good luck with it.
    Here are some sources -
    To order aristolochia serpentaria, e-mail Rod Angeroth - his address is rodangeroth@yahoo.com.
    For a. tomentosa and a. macrophylla = http://www.pineridgegardens.com/2003.htm
    For a. tomentosa - http://www.mailordernatives.com/servlet/Categories?category=Vines
    For a. clematitis, a. fimbriata and a. macrophylla -
    http://www.lazyssfarm.com/Plants/Vines/vines.com
    Aristolochias grow naturally on those rare southeastern soils that are a lot more alkaline than we have down here. You can increase the alkalinity of your soil with lime or both the alkalinity and fertility of your soil with manure, preferably chicken manure, but cow will do. They need good drainage - they're definitely not swamp plants.
    Good luck!
    MissSherry

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    Weebay, I ws'd A. tomentosa 3 years ago, with great success. Soaked in hot water for 24 hours; sowed on February 20th; sprouted May 14th. I got between 5-10 sprouts, and potted up about 5. Well, I never figured out where to plant them, and so they are still in pots! Unfortunately 3 have died off with only 2 healthy plants left in 1 gallon pots. They probably all would have survived if they had been planted in the ground or potted up to larger containers sooner. But, winter-sowing makes starting stuff from seed so easy, that I have this problem with sprouting vines, shrubs and trees, and not knowing where to plant them! Supposedly, A. tomentosa and A. macrophylla are the only 2 pipevine species that will be hardy in our colder zones. They grow well in partial shade. Aristolochia is a host plant for the Pipevine Swallowtail, which I have never seen around here, but may be resident in your area. I ordered the seed from Easywildflowers.com and they still sell it. Very nice guy runs that company, generous quantities, great germination, and I shared many of the extra seeds in SASBEs. Still have some left, but not sure if they are still viable?? Somewhere I read these lose viability quickly; however I am meticulous about storing seeds, so it wouldn't surprise me if they sprouted fine.
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  • mssunflower
    16 years ago

    Ms. Sherry, thanks for the heads up on the Clematis. I have three of them planted here in OK and know that I have seen a couple of PSTs. Now I know what is attracting them and think I will plant a couple of more. I enjoy them anyway and now I can have double the pleasure. This is especially good since I have acid soil and the pipevine as you pointed out prefers aklaline soil. This way I don't have to worry about adding the lime. Also, have you ever tried bunny droppings? I have found them to be very good but not have the burn that a lot of manures have.

    Butterfly Dreams,
    Ms. Faith

  • MissSherry
    16 years ago

    I've never had access to bunny manure, Ms. Faith, except the little piles I find here and there. I think I know which piles come from deer and which come from bunnies - isn't deer poop dark brown and not round, whereas bunny poop is light brown and round? Or is it the other way around? :)
    Maybe I could collect it and put it in a pile somewhere to age. I sure wouldn't mind trying it, it's just been easier to buy the bagged and aged chicken manure - maybe I could collect enough to do me some good.
    MissSherry

  • mssunflower
    16 years ago

    MissSherry, you might check your local 4H and see if any of them show rabbits. If so, I'm sure they would love to share the droppings with you. The thing with bunny manure is that it doesn't need to be aged and it just doesn't burn the plants but they sure do like what they get out of it. I think part of it is because most of their feed is made from alfalfa which is a nitrogen fixer and usually high in nitrogen. I use alfalfa meal as an organic fertilizer in all my flower beds and while the results are not immediate, the long range results are excellent. The organic fertilizers help to make cell walls a little stronger which results in a healthier, happier plant.

    Hope this helps. I know that the knowledge that you have shared with us has been wonderful and I appreciate your sharing with us all of us so much.

    Butterfly Dreams,
    Ms. Faith

  • khakitag
    16 years ago

    I'm here in central Tx and fimbriata grows great. I have it in a raised bed in semi shade, and it grows wonderfully. The PVS eat it down quickly, but it leafs out almost immediately. I was very surprised to find most of it has remained green throughout the freezing temps this winter too.

  • angie83
    16 years ago

    It does well here to but its just not enough food and they run out fast I have 8 pots of it but its just not enough for 1 batch the calico seemed to feed more .But they are pigs they eat them to ground so fast .
    {{gwi:451756}}
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    {{gwi:451761}}

  • cass_fritillary
    16 years ago

    I was wondering which pipevine grows the best in the heat. Someone told me the tomentosa leaves are tough and the caterpillars only want to eat the new, fresh growth.

    I bought a. serpentaria plants from Rod that I will be planting out this Spring. Do these plants grow as quickly as the a. fimbriata? Just wondering what to expect.

    I planted 12 a. fimbriata plants in the fall and only the ones on the side of the house that's protected with a fence have stayed green. The others are all brown and crispy.

    Cassie

  • mboston_gw
    16 years ago

    i think Serpentaria is also a slow grower. Correct me Miss Sherry if I am wrong. Calico grows well in the heat and does fine in the shade or full sun. Of course, Pipevine cats don't tolerate it well and will die but the Polys love it.

  • MissSherry
    16 years ago

    No, Mary, a. serpentaria grows very quickly, but mine never grow bigger than about 2' tall. The cats eat the plants down quickly, then the plants regrow to the original 2' size very quickly again, and again, and again. So I really love a. serpentaria, and the PVSs do, too!
    MissSherry

  • cass_fritillary
    16 years ago

    Thanks so much! I am soooo happy to hear serpentaria is a fast grower. I just might have to order more. I bought 3 plants bare root and have them waiting for Spring but I'm sure I can find room for more:) I want to have plenty for the PVS when they come---I CAN'T WAIT!!!! (Can you tell I hate winter?)

    Cassie

    --Oh yes and I read the thread about M. Sunflower and bought some seed. I am going to have plenty of that too!

  • ambbutterfly
    16 years ago

    Cass, If you lived here in PA, you'd R-E-A-L-L-Y hate the winter. Brrrr, it's been so cold here lately! I hate it when it's so darn cold because I can't do anything outside at all and our furnace has been running an awful lot. Every time it turns on, I think *ka-ching*, there goes more money...oil heat! :S So as you might guess, I'm like you and hate winter and can hardly wait for spring. I planted two Aristolochia macrophylla plants last year and they got to be about ten feet high even with the drought that we had. Of course, being that they were newly planted, I didn't have a lot of each plant, just one vine crawling up each trellis (no side shoots), but it still surprised me that they got as high as they did that first year. I'm anxious to see how much they grow this year. I didn't get any PVS here last year, which is good, or they wouldn't have had much to eat. Now I'm wondering how many years it takes for a plant to get substantial growth so it can feed some of those leaf munchers. I might get more someday too.

  • tdr4
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    I ordered a A.tomentosa and it arrived today. I am mad that I did not order more. It is already in a small pot. I know it is still too cold to do anything with it even on the Gulf Coast. Do I keep it inside under lights or near a window? Also, when you talk about clematis, is it what you can buy at Walmart? They have it in boxes (seeds or bulbs).

  • ambbutterfly
    16 years ago

    tdr4, I think that you're mixing up the words "clematis" and "clematitis". You're right in that Walmart sells clematis, but you don't want that for the Pipevine Swallowtails. I highly doubt if Walmart would sell A clematitis. Ours doesn't sell any host plants for anything as far as I know. The PVS will eat Aristochia clematitis, A. tomentosa, A. fimbriata, A. machrophylla (also called A. durior), A. serpentaria, A. californica...um, I'm probably missing some. Anyway, if you see those boxes at Walmart, look to see if they have that "it" in the name. If they don't, then you know that that isn't it. ;-)

    Now, I wish I were an expert and I'd tell you where to put your A.tomentosa. I don't know if this is right or wrong but if it were me, if it's been in the dark, I'd gradually get it accused to light (I personally like to sit things by a window if I can, but that's me) and I would keep it in a cool spot of the house so it won't take a lot to get acclimated once it's time to put it outside. I would also make sure it doesn't dry out.

    I'm like you and wish I had more pipevine. If I would get PVS's this year, I doubt if I'd have enough to feed them if I get a hoard of them.

  • MissSherry
    16 years ago

    The most important thing I've found about keeping overwintering plants alive, including aristolochia tomentosa, is to NOT over water it. I've killed more plants through root rot by watering plants like you would if it was warm outside, and the plant was actively growing. So if I were you, I'd put the plant by a window and rarely ever water it, tdr4.
    MissSherry

  • tdr4
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    I never realized that that clematis was not the same as clematitis. I did not notice the extra "it". I have not really ever gardened before I got interested in butterflies. I sat my a.tomentosa by a lamp. I guess I will put it by a window and do my best not to over water it. I also ordered a small passionvine (maypop). I have it inside also. My 4 sassafras trees are in my garage, my back patio(an enclosed room), and in my utility room. Surely one of the 4 will make it. I also planted 4 passionvine seeds. I am just hoping for something to be ready to plant come March. Is that when you plant yours, Misssherry?

  • MissSherry
    16 years ago

    March is the most common month for me to plant things, but a. tomentosa and a. serpentaria are very cold hardy, so you can probably go ahead and plant them in late February, it'll depend on the weather. This has been a cold winter, so we'll see.
    Please don't over water your sassafras - it could probably go without watering until you plant it, if you watered it good when you potted it up then put it in your cool/cold garage. Sassafras is especially prone to root rot - it needs good drainage more than most.
    MissSherry

  • ambbutterfly
    16 years ago

    tdr4, I'm glad that I could help with the clematis and clematitis thing. ;-) I don't know at what point I realized that the people here weren't talking about clematis when they were talking about the PVS host plants, but then I realized that it wasn't that but clematitis. Anyway, I was confused too at first. Ha. Oh, and you'd better listen to MissSherry about the watering thing. She's been here longer than I have and probably gardening awhile. I've been gardening for pretty long but haven't been into butterflies that long. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything about the watering. It might have led you to believe that I meant to keep the plants wet. I just never had a problem with mine and watered them periodically, not every day but I didn't let them get bone dry either. Maybe it's different for everyone. I know sometimes I have problems with aphids getting after some plants, like the rue I had in the house this past year over winter. Of course the oleander aphids get after the milkweed too. I had a heck of a time with them this past summer. Anyway, good luck with your plants.

  • tdr4
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    I think that Ron said he will not have serpentaria until April. I will work hard at not over watering my sassafras. I do not have any rue. I think I will check into that now. I am anxious to get going again. Thanks all.

  • mssunflower
    16 years ago

    Thanks for pointing out the difference between clematis and clematitis. I mis-read the first time and now that I have been straightened out, I will have to go back to the drawing board. I bought my M. Sunflower seeds this week and will start them inside in March and will probably transplant them in April when last frost is done and gone. I have also picked up some giant dill and cardinal climber and plan on getting some Asclepias tuberosa. This forum is really helpful on what to plant, how, where, and when.

    Ms. Faith

  • imabirdnut
    15 years ago

    I am looking to buy the native Texas aristochia reticulataas or one that will grow in the DFW area. Does anyone know where in our area to purchase the plant?
    Thanks, LP

  • khakitag
    15 years ago

    I don't know about that variety, but I am in New Braunfels, and I have found a. fimbriata to be VERY hardy. It sprouts back immediately when eaten down, can grow in full sun or shade, and doesn't seem to require that much water. I was very pleasantly surprised with this plant. We have a nursery here that grows it, so I have a constant supply. I love it so much, I keep planting it in all my beds, between the other plants. Needless to say, I have LOTS of PVS here. Haven't seen a whole lot of other BF, but never a shortage of PVS!

  • imabirdnut
    15 years ago

    The only pipevine available in the local nurseries is gigantica & elegans & I think these don't suppport PVS cats & they die on them...please correct me if I'm wrong. I was considering ordering tomentosa plants but the shipping is rediculous. Has anyone had success with the seeds this late in the growing season & our temps are in the upper 90's & low 100's right now.
    I'd love to have several kinds to see which works best in our area...I am on well water & it is slightly akaline.

  • butterflymomok
    15 years ago

    Here is some information based on my personal experiences with growing different types of Pipevine from seed and otherwise:

    Fimbriata grows well from seed and germinates fairly quickly. If you are in Texas, that would be first choice for ease of germination and growth. I got my seed from someone on one of the forums last year. You could do a search for "Fimbriata seeds" and find out who had them. I am getting little "pipes" on my plants. If they get pollinated, I should have some seed this fall. Since I live in Oklahoma, the Fimbriata is not hardy here and I'll have to give it winter protection, or start again from seed.

    I also planted Serpentaria seed last fall and it germinated. It takes a long time for the plants to get any size; whereas the Fimbriata grew rather quickly. Rod Angeroth offered the seed on our forum last fall, so watch for his posting. The Serpentaria plants have been the first choice of the Pipevines in my yard. Second choice has been Tomentosa. As soon as I find the caterpillars on the Serpentaria, I move them over to the Tomentosa to conserve the Serpentaria plants for egg laying.

    I have a seed pod on my Tomentosa but it hasn't matured yet. I'll see what happens when I plant the seeds as to whether it germinates easily. I may have some extra seeds to spare. Since this is my first time to have a pod mature, I don't know what to expect. My Tomentosa plants were either purchased or collected from outside my neighborhood where it grows wild. It is very hard to get the cuttings to root. I've had minimal success doing this.

    Clematitis takes a long time to germinate. After 6 months, 2 of my dozen seeds germinated. Those 2 plants have taken off. I have purchased 6 more plants from a native plant vendor, and Susan gave me a start. So far the Clematitis has been ignored in my garden. But, I think that it will be discovered as it spreads.

    I have Macrophylla also, but that has been my slowest grower, and it hasn't had any attention from the Pipevines.
    I didn't start it from seed, but purchased the plant from a native nursery in our state.

    Sandy

  • catlunatic
    15 years ago

    Imabirdnut, I'm a catlunatic(felines or caterpillars). I have some arist. fimbriata seeds I can share with you. What area of dfw are you in? I am in Azle just west of Fort Worth. Maybe we can arrange a swap. I can give you cuttings from arist. tometosa although I do not know how easy they are to start. Also starts of arist. clematitis. Let me know if you have an interest.

    Hope

  • MissSherry
    15 years ago

    Congrats on the a. tomentosa seed pod, Sandy! I always get plenty of flowers, but none have ever made a seed pod.
    My a. tomentosa has been coming up outside my garden area a lot lately, so I dug up some of them, not really expecting them to do anything, since they didn't appear to have much root of their own. Well, they all appear to be 'taking' in the new beds I've planted them in next to my new fence - they're making little bits of new growth! I'm beyond pleased.
    The pipevines will lay eggs on your a. clematitis when nothing else has any new growth on it, at least that's been the way it is with mine.
    I ordered and planted three a. macrophyllas in the new fence beds, and they've already gotten 4 or 5 egg clusters - I moved them to other aristolochias, hoping to give the a. macs some time to get established.
    Sherry

  • imabirdnut
    15 years ago

    Hope, "catlunatic" I am very interested!!! I'm a cat, dog, hummer, bluebird, painted bunting nut & a martin landlord wannabe!
    I'm not far from you...I'm west of FW & would very much appreciate any seeds, cuttings, advice, etc. I just started being obsessed with butterfly gardening & I've checked with every plant nursery from Fort Worth to Dallas to Waxahaxie to Frisco & haven't found anyone that has any of the pipevines you have. You can email me at parkerdesigns@att.net & I would be glad to share any cuttings I have with you. I have a lot of hummer & butterfly nectar plants & have milkweed seeds & plants for Monarchs & Queens. I also have perennial Passionvine that the Gulf Frittilaries are all over. I'd really appreciate swapping something I have for seeds, cuttings, etc. Thanks & look forward to hearing from you! You are a blessing!

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