We recense more than 500 species of ipomeas, of the kind Ipomoea and the family of Convolvulaceae. For example, the Ipomée Volubilis (Ipomoea purpurea) also named Blue bindweed is very commonly sown in our gardens, in the countryside as well as in town. It has heart-shaped leaves. Very floriferous and fast growing since it can reach 4 to 5 meters in height during the season, this perennial cultivated as an annual blooms for several months. It is perfect for covering an old wall, a guardrail, interfering in a hedge, decorating a tree, dressing a fence, hiding an unattractive element, and its twining stems climb unaided along a pergola. Here is how to sow and maintain an Ipomea to enjoy its splendid flowering for as long as possible.
Sow the Ipomée
The ipomeo is sown directly in place, in a land sufficiently warmed by the spring sun. Depending on the region, sowing takes place between April and the end of May. Do not rush if you live in an area where late frosts are usual because the Ipomée volubilis is a frost plant. To sow the volubilis in place, all you have to do is:
- Dig holes 14 to 16 cm deep, spaced 40 to 60 cm apart from each other.
- Fill the holes with potting soil.
- Place three seeds per hole and push them into the potting soil about 3 cm deep.
In a few weeks, countless ipomea plants can be seen. It is necessary to carry out a thinning because they would get in the way and could not develop normally. It should beeliminates stunted plants in order to keep only the most vigorous. The operation is delicate because the extraction by hand of the seedlings to be eliminated must be done without the plants to be preserved being lifted. It is then necessary to gently compact the soil at the foot of the young shoots then to proceed to a sprinkling in fine rain.
It is possible to sow the Ipomée in March, provided that it is in buckets and that these be placed under shelter. It is a type of culture which is particularly suited to the variety Ipomoea quamoclit also called Hair of Venus or Bindweed with laciniated leaves. It is then necessary to transplant the plants in place as soon as they are sufficiently vigorous. The Ipomée quamoclit should be transplanted in full sun, in a soil which is drained but which must remain moist. This way we get a early flowering, its scarlet-red flowers can then bloom from the beginning of June.
Growing the Ipomée
The culture of the Ipomée volubilis or Liseron bleu is accessible to everyone, but if one does not have any experience in the field of gardening. It is a plant that grows on its own and quickly turns out to be spectacular once it is installed. under the sun. She tolerates any type of soil as long as it is rich in nutrients. It is important to place it preferably sheltered from strong winds likely to damage its flowers.
Before sowing, it is important to prepare the soil. It is recommended to dig 40 cm in order to weed well and remove the roots of weeds in depth, but also to loosen the soil because the ipomées like light soils. We take advantage of this preparation to add to the garden soil a little river sand of medium grain size to guarantee good drainage as well as compost providing all the nutrients needed by the Ipomée.
His twining stems of this vine must have a support of any type. The ideal is to put it in place when sowing or transplanting. You can therefore install your ipomées along a wall, a fence, at the foot of a pergola, a trellis, at the foot of an isolated tree, or within a hedge, or even create yourself – even braces with bamboo rods for example. It is advisable to place the plants about 15 cm from their support. The rods roll up on their own, without help, but it is possible to distribute them on the support to create a real plant curtain. If you want to tie some stems to guide them, you can use raffia, but do not over-tighten the ties.
Cultivated as an annual, the Ipomée can flower for several years in regions with a mild climate. To do this, simply lay a mulch at the foot before winter and cut the stems at a maximum of 15 cm from the ground in October or November.
Maintaining the Ipomée
Once well rooted, the Ipomée does not need a lot of maintenance, but it should be remembered to water it.
The Ipomée must be watered copiously and very regularly especially when the temperature is high or the rains are scarce. It is useful to create a bowl around each foot. When watering, it is necessary avoid wetting the foliage of this plant because it promotes fungal diseases.
Once a month, we can do a add compost by integrating it into the earth at the foot of the plants.
It is recommended to hoe frequently around the feet, both for the purpose of weeding and to break the surface crust and aerate the soil.
Parasites and diseases
The main pests of ipomeas are slugs and the snails, particularly fond of young tender leaves. A little sand at the foot of the plants is enough to prevent the gastropods from progressing.
The fungal diseases such as powdery mildew, for example, are especially to be feared in ipomeas, the leaves of which are wetted during watering. It is therefore highly preferable to water with a watering can without the apple or at the neck.
Flowering of the Ipomée
Each flower of the Ipomoea volubilis has a relatively short lifespan, not exceeding 72 hours. But this cousin of Bindweed continuously produces new funnel-shaped corolla flowers which may be, depending on the variety, purple, pink or blue. The effect is spectacular. After flowering, capsular fruits appear which contain seeds containing powerful alkaloids.
It is possible to obtain a late flowering, that is to say from the end of August to October, by simply sowing its ipomeas in June.