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maubles

Newbie Intro and Carolina Jessamine question

maubles
15 years ago

Hi everyone! I have lurked and read and learned for quite awhile. It always seemed like when I would get ready to post a question, it would get answered in some form or another before I got the chance to ask it. I have found a wealth of wonderful and helpful info from everyone here.

I guess I'll start with a quick intro. My name is Michelle and I live in eastern Oklahoma, almost in Arkansas. I grew up in OKC and often spent my summers in this part of the world with my Grandpa and we would spend the summer fishing or working in the garden. I have many fond memories of that time in the garden, so when we moved to this area to help care for him and I had room to grow my own garden, I did. I mostly grow vegetables and herbs, but I try to keep a good variety of flowers and things for the birds, bees and butterflies.

What I was hoping to get some opinions on is I have two arbors that are covered in Carolina jessamine. The arbors don't look like they were very sturdy to start with and a little rust combined with the weight of the vine and some of the wind we have been having has resulted in the arbors breaking off at the ground and trying to fall over. I know all the issues associated with the jessamine and considering I need to replace arbors I was thinking about replacing the jessamine with something more hummingbird and pet friendly.

I have thought about honeysuckle or crossvine or maybe even some sort of morning glory. Any suggestions?

Also, considering it's contents, if I remove the jessamine, is it something that could be shredded and composted or is

it something best put on the brush pile?

I hope I will finally have some time to post every once and a while now, this seems like such a wonderful group.

TIA, for any suggestions.

Michelle

Comments (17)

  • tulsabrian
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Michelle ... from one newbie to another, welcome. I haven't gotten to the point where I'm comfortable answering posts but once you mentioned honeysuckle I couldn't hold back :-) Personally, I hate that vine LOL. I bought a place in Tulsa this spring and the older couple that sold the place to me introduced it to the yard and the stuff is totally out of control. I'm not an expert on honeysuckle and there are multiple varieties out there, so some may not be as invasive as the kind I have ... if there are "good" varieties available I'm sure the regulars on this site will know them ... OkieDawn will for sure.

    For a replacement have you considered Purple passionflower (Pasiflora incarnata)? It's should be root hardy in your area, supposedly to zone 5, and the fruit is edible. The flowers are beautiful and exotic looking. I'm told the seeds are difficult to germinate but I've never tried - I cheated and ordered cuttings. easywildflowers.com has both.

    I wish I had more advice to offer but I've never dealt with vines in the past ... but like I said earlier, I'm sure the others on this site will be able to help you.

    Here is a link that might be useful: The Garden Helper

  • Lisa_H OK
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Welcome! I live in OKC, but I have a family connection out your direction. My mom grew up around Westville.

    T-brian is correct, honeysuckle can definitely be aggressive. I have it, but I keep it cut back. It does smell heavenly in the spring.

    I have morning glories as well, I'm not sure how pet friendly they are. I'm always sad that I don't really get to see them in their full glory since they bloom in the morning. I always grow them though because I do like them. I also grow clematis in through one of my morning glories.

    {{gwi:273774}}

    Well, I can't find the pic where the butterfly is covered in morning glories, so you'll just have to take my word for it :)

    For hummingbirds, there's an annual vine, red cypress vine I think, that you could grow.

    Lisa

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  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Michelle,

    Welcome to the OK Gardening Forum. I think most of us started out lurking before we started posting and I'm glad you decided to post something and let us know that you're here.

    Because of the toxicity issues with Carolina Jessamine, I think it wise to replace it. I don't see any problem with you composting it as long as your compost pile is in an area with your dogs can't get into it and chew on the jessamine.

    If it were me, I'd lean towards using American Crossvine simply because it is a native plant that the hummingbirds rely heavily upon as the migrate northward in the spring. Also, it is not generally invasive although it might be a really rampant grower in the areas of Oklahoma that get a lot of rainfall most years. I love Crossvine and have grown it for over 20 years, both here and in Texas, and never have had a problem with it.

    Honeysuckle is probably my second-favorite vine, but you have to be sure you purchase a non-invasive type. There are almost 200 honeysuckle species out there, although only a handful of them are readily available commercially. One type of honeysuckle that is so invasive here is Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) and I certainly would avoid that one.

    On the cedar entrance arbor to my veggie garden, I have two honeysuckles--one on each side of the arbor--and they have been there for 7 or 8 years. Mine is Lonicera heckrotti "Pink Lemonade", which is one of the named varieties of a species of honeysuckle commonly referred to as flame honeysuckle or coral honeysuckle. The hummingbirds love "Pink Lemonade" and it is gorgeous while in bloom but it can suffer from powdery mildew (as do many honeysuckles) in spring and early summer when there is a lot of moisture. If the Pink Lemonade threatens to get out of control and grow like mad, I just whack it back to keep it under control. As dry as southern OK stays most years, though, I really only have to whack it back sharply maybe once every 3 or 4 years.

    Another one of my favorite honeysuckles is Winter Honeysuckle, so named because it blooms earlier than most honeysuckles--in late winter to very early spring. It is more of a bush honeysuckle--I used to play in a huge hedge of mature winter honeysuckle when I was a kid. Winter Honeysuckle has the most amazing frangrance and, in fact, its Latin name is Lonicera fragrantissima. I've never seen it on an arbor, though, since it tends to grow upright and take more of a shrub shape--but I had to mention it just because it is such a beautiful plant.

    I have mixed feelings about passionflower. It is a gorgeous plant and has the most beautiful and unique flowers but, when I grew it in Texas years ago, it was eaten nearly to the ground every year by the caterpillars of the Gulf Fritillary butterfly. Thus, it may not be the best choice if your arbor is in a prominent place in your landscape and it would bother you to see the cats feast upon it every year. It is a great plant though. If I were to plant it here, I'd probably plant it more as a background plant so the Gulf Frit cats could eat all they wanted and I wouldn't have to worry about the arbor being bare for periods of time.

    There are many clematis species that grow well in most parts of Oklahoma. I like Sweet Autumn Clematis and have grown it on an arbor ever since we moved here. Some people have a lot of trouble with blister beetles eating it, but I've only have trouble with them once.
    If you wanted to grow an annual vine, there are a lot that are lovely and fun to grow, including all the many forms of morning glory, hyacinth bean vine, cypress vine, moonflower vine (blooms at night with huge, highly-fragrant white blossoms), black-eyed susan vine, cardinal climber, canary creeper, scarlet runner bean, and mina lobata. I always have morning glories everywhere, usually Heavenly Blue and Grandpa Ott's and, often, I mix morning glories with moonflower vines so I can have flowers both during the day and during the evening/early morning.

    One vine I probably wouldn't plant is Trumpet Creeper. I have "Madam Galens" and even though I love the way it looks, it is far too rampant of a grower for any arbor that I have here. I dug up some shoots of the one near our side porch and planted them near the tornado shelter and they do work well there--in the summer you can't even tell there is a tornado shelter in that spot! I do have to prune it back hard to keep it from covering up the door to the tornado shelter.

    It really is a shame that Carolina jessamine has the toxicity problems because it is so lovely while in bloom. Because I garden for wildlife, though, I won't plant it.

    Hope this info helps.

    Dawn

  • ilene_in_neok
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Maubles, I have the ordinary white honeysuckle growing amongst my Nandina. I have tried for years to kill it out with no success. I would never recommend willingly bringing that into your yard, although my mother had it in her yard and loved it. I suppose it has it's place, just not in my yard! I have red honeysuckle on an arbor at the end of my porch. I did plant that and I love it. It draws the hummingbirds like you wouldn't believe and has the most wonderful fragrance. But it needs a lot of water and doesn't bloom as fully if it doesn't get enough.

    Lisa, I just loved your pics! I noticed your laundry hanging in the background and even though it's off topic, I have a clothesline tip. If, when you hang t-shirts, you fold them over the line, so that your clothespins go into the armpit area, the hem of the shirt will dry straight and won't get stretched out. LOL I thought I'd just throw that one in there.

    Dawn, those things sound so beautiful, one of these days you need to slip out there and take some pics! I am going to try planting some passion flower vine this winter. My grandmother had a vine at the end of her porch when I was a little girl. The flowers were so interesting -- like little space ships. I also have a clematis. I had to dig it up and move it last year because we poured a new driveway and it would've been poured over where the clematis was growing. It grew well in a more shaded area, but the flowers were not as vibrant or as plentiful. I will probably move it again this spring. I discovered that clematis does best if you cut it all the way back to the ground in the spring. (although I understand there are summer blooming and fall blooming and apparently you don't do that to the fall blooming kinds) This discovery was accidental one spring when we were having work done on the house and the contractor and his men walked all over it. The thing I don't like about clematis is that you have to be very watchful and help it spread out, as it tends to grow in a tangled clump in one place on your arbor otherwise, and the other is that there's all that stuff to remove off the arbor before the next growing season.

    I do love morning glories, and I planted cypress vine (Cardinal Climber) in with my red honeysuckle this last summer. I learned that it does not really get going till late summer, but you'd be amazed at the growth you'll get from just ONE little plant. It doesn't start setting seed till fall, but here again, it goes crazy making seed once it gets started. Morning Glories and Cypress are a mess to clean up before the next spring and you'd better be sure you want to grow them every year because they'll come back up from all that seed they drop while you're trying to get all the dead stuff cleaned off.

    I wouldn't plant Trumpet Vine, either. In my younger years I transplanted one I found growing along the road. OMG, that thing took over and it was nearly impossible to kill. The birds tend to plant this vine pretty readily and now my neighbor has actually planted one on her fence very close to my back yard.

  • rjj1
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I've grown cypress vine every year for about ten years and love having it. It's kept in large containers hanging or sitting over pavement so the birds eat any seed that I don't want. Maybe have pulled 6-10 volunteer plants in the time I've grown it.

    randy

  • seedmama
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Lisa and Ilene, both of your pics are beautiful! Ilene, with your blessing I'd like to share that Cypress vine (Ipomoes quamocliet) and Cardinal Climber (Ipomoea x multifida) are two similar, but definitely different vines. Cardinal climber has a broader leaf and Cypress Vine has very fine fern-like foliage. It is very common for one to be called the other, so much so that the seed companies seem to have a hard time themselves. I've attached a link to a discussion in the hummingbird forum about the two. As best I can tell from the picture, ilene has Cardinal Climber.

    My mom grows Cardinal Climber each year and that's all I can say about it. I grow Cypress Vine, and last year I interplanted it on a cattle panel trellis with Lablab Purple Hyacinth Bean. The year before I had hummingbird feeders hanging from the same trellis and had a steady show of hummingbirds. However, with the two vines interplanted this year I can say almost without exaggeration, it was a nonstop feeding frenzy. The Cypress Vine is easy to pull from the trellis at the end of the season; the Hyacinth Bean not so easy. It follows that the Cypress Vine doesn't need a sturdy trellis at all; the Hyacinth Bean needs only moderately sturdy. The Cypress Vine seeds are great fun to collect so...

    ...if anyone would like Cypress Vine seeds for SASBE I'm always happy to share.

    Randy, I hadn't thought of putting Cypress Vine in hanging baskets, but with your inspiration, I know exactly where I'll put it! Thanks for the idea.

    I agree with the votes against trumpet vine.

    Seedmama

    Here is a link that might be useful: Cypress Vine v. Cardinal Climber

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I agree with Seedmama's ID of the red-flowered vine as Cardinal Climber. A year or two ago I know that we had a similar discussion initiated by Merry Heart about the similarities/common misidentification surrounding cypress vine and cardinal climber.

    I like cypress vine better, so naturally is doesn't reseed very vigourously in my garden. Cardinal climber is a different story. I planted in our first year here, and it still comes up all over the place every year. You never know where it will pop up.

    I don't save the seeds of any of them....they fall where they may and sprout where they want and then I either leave them where they sprout or pull them up if I don't want them there. Even the purple hyacinth vine reseeds, which surprises me, because I would have thought the beans would rot in the cold ground before they sprout.

    Of all the plants I grow, it is the hyacinth bean vine that stops traffic and has people coming to the door to ask "what is that purple flower on that vine?".

    You can grow just about any annual vine in a hanging basket--I've done it with morning glories, cypress vine, cardinal climber, canary creeper and black-eyed susan vine.

    Dawn

  • Lisa_H OK
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ilene: I will pass your tip on to my neighbor! I unfortunately only use my laundry poles for hanging bird feeders :) The squirrels found a way into the squirrel proof one... Look close!

    {{gwi:340204}}


    I have tried and tried to grow purple hyacinth vine. I'm not sure what cloud I have hanging over my head, but certain things that are supposed to be easy-peasy don't grow for me...I even have trouble with marigolds!!!!

  • seedmama
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Lisa, I'm surprised, because I've seen your pics. You grow so many lovely things. Have you had your soil tested?

  • ilene_in_neok
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Lisa, that is TOO FUNNY!

    Thanks for the info on Cypress Vine vs. Cardinal Climber. I bought the seed from Swallowtail and it was labeled Cardinal Climber. I just thought the two were the same. It is such a delicate plant, yet it branches out for miles!

  • Lisa_H OK
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Seedmama: No, I've never tested my soil. I plant so many things that it's not usually a problem if something turns out to be one of my non-lisa plants. It varies from year to year.

    I do LOVE the seed exchange. It gives me tons of things to try. :) and I nearly always ask for marigolds a couple of times a season!

    Lisa

  • maubles
    Original Author
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow, thanks everyone for the warm welcome, great suggestions, and wonderful pictures.

    Brian, I had a similar experience with some honeysuckle left over from the folks we bought the house from. They had 2 separate wood piles that were unidentifiable and a dog kennel that was nearly as bad because they had let the honeysuckle go. I believe it was the Japanese honeysuckle Dawn referenced. I think the passionflower is a lovely, unique looking flower and may well be worth experimenting with in the right location, at worst I may feed some caterpillars, right?

    Lisa and Ilene, great pics. I have a couple clematis vines planted in different areas and they are not yet as established as yours are. I look forward to them filling out and blooming like the ones in the photos you both posted.

    Lisa, I am a little further south than the Westville area and everyone thinks it's too far out in the middle of nowhere. My Mom moved down with me, this is were she grew up, and she went to school with all our neighbors. We all tell one another, that we live just far enough away from each other for the peace and quiet (about 1/2 a mile), yet close enough if we need each other. I have loved it down here since I was young and visiting and I'm glad I was finally able to get settled here.

    Dawn, I have one crossvine and have wished since I had gotten more than one. It was kind of a late season save from the nursery and was a little sickly, so I didn't get many blooms, but it grew tremendously well. I know they bloom fairly early in the spring, are they one and done or do they continue to bloom off and on throughout the summer?

    I have to say I'm quite intrigued by the cypress vine. If I were to plant it or some of the other mentioned annuals in containers, how big of a container would be sufficient? I have a couple of areas were having something container grown would be excellent. I have this small windmill...

    and a small trellis at the birdbath....

    This is one of the arbors I mentioned initially, I have one on each side of the driveway/carport. It is where some of my hummingbird feeders hang. I have bee balm planted in the bed underneath.


    For the replacement, I can't decide weather to build wooden arbors or go with a cattle panel arbor. Any pros or cons, suggestions?

    I also have this trellis out by the building [ pardon the sat dish, did you know when you need a new one they don't take the old one? I do, now : )].


    I think I would like to have something here that would still provide some structure and maybe a little cover for the birds in winter. I have strongly considered one of the red honeysuckle varieties here. I do worry a little about powdery mildew, then I see pics like the one Ilene shared and I worry a little less.

    I have browsed pictures for most of the recommendations and it makes me want to find other places to fit vines into the yard.
    As for the cypress vine and the hyacinth bean, is it better to start seeds inside, or sow outside and let them go on their own?

    Thanks again, everyone.

  • seedmama
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    For both the cypress vine and the hyacinth bean I used the winter sowing method. Do you need seeds?

  • Lisa_H OK
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    ...and if you need any other seeds, I would be happy to send you a variety of seeds. I have bunches :) If we can convert you to wintersowing you will need all you can get your hands on!

    On the Garden Party Forum there's a poster who does interesting experiments. Earlier this year he was working on a solar cooker. I think the base of his apparatus was a cast off sat. dish. He has an additional thread on this experiment if you are interested. My interest was piqued when I read about it. I work with a group who does missions in Haiti...this type of cooking could have a tremendous positive impact in Haiti. I am hoping my group will be able to use a form of solar cooking.

    Lisa

    Here is a link that might be useful: Solar Cooker Experiment

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Michelle,

    The American Cross Vine reblooms sporadically throughout the summer, although often the first flush of blooms is the heaviest. The hummingbirds generally time their migration to follow the cross vine as it blooms across the country, so when my cross vine first starts blooming, I fill the feeders and start watching for hummers. Usually this method works, but every now and then, Texas will be very warm and the vines will be in bloom and the hummers will be on their way to Oklahoma, which is still very cold and no crossvines blooming yet. So, maybe once or twice a decade the hummers get here before the crossvine blooms. Usually, though, I have other plants in bloom for them, and the feeders filled as well, before they arrive.

    I planted the cross vine our first year here because it grew so well for me in Texas, and it has never disappointed me here in spite of our recurring bouts of drought in southern OK. Mine isn't even in good soil....it is in some of the worst, unimproved, heavy thick red clay that you've ever seen. I need to plant another one in good, compost-amended soil.

    Dawn

  • maubles
    Original Author
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Seedmamma, From what I have seen and from what has been said about both of these plants, I would love to have any seed that you would be willing to share. I have done some reading about winter sowing and it sounds like an interesting method to try. It may be my next new gardening experience/experiment.

    Lisa, I found the solar cooker to be quite an idea. I would have never imagined such a use for an old satellite dish. It will be interesting to see the finished product.

    Dawn, thanks for the info on the crossvine, I think I will definitely try to add some more this spring.

    Michelle

  • seedmama
    15 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Michelle,
    I have oodles of seeds. Just send me an email.
    Seedmama

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