I started growing annual vines a number of years ago and really enjoy the big displays. I like to plant some annual vines with perennial vines to help fill in the trellis when the perennial vines are young and need time to become established. Planters equipped with a trellis and vine may be a fantastic feature for your garden.
Cobaea Scandens are easy to start from seed, and may grow up to fifteen feet in a season. They take several months to bloom, so I start them in mid March indoors and usually get blooms late in August. This is one vine that has great looking foliage all season, in addition to being a bit frost tolerant. They are at their best growing in the ground in a sunny spot.
|Newly open blooms are lime green||Blooms mature to purple|
Another great vine that is easy to start from seed early indoors is Thunbergia. I like to put three plants in a 14" planter with a trellis to produce a full display. These plants grow very well in a deep container and part sun exposure.
One of the tallest annual vines is a Scarlet Runner Bean. It can reach up to twenty feet by the end of the season. If you have a late average last frost date, you may want to start it early indoors in a large pot or sow directly in the ground after the danger of frost is past. Just like the rest of the bean family, Scarlet Runner Beans are not frost tolerant. A sunny sheltered area is the best choice, and make sure you have a support for it to climb.
|Scarlet Runner Bean started early in big pot 4 to 5 weeks before last frost. The bean is as tall as the house by early August.|
Morning Glories may be direct sown after the danger of frost is over, or they can be started 4 weeks early, indoors, for May blooms. Morning Glories, like the pictured Star of Yelta, often self sow and germinate the following year, even in cold climates. The plants are temperature sensitive, so do not plant them out too early in the spring. The more sun they receive, the more flowers you will have.
Chilean Glory vines are a great container vine and will fill a 4-foot trellis easily. These are started indoors in March and usually are blooming by mid June. The blooms start out bright yellow and mature to a deep orange. Full to part sun is required for the most blooms.
Sweet Peas are one of my favourite annual vines. They make a wonderful scented vertical display along a walkway. I start them indoors, in March, for earlier flowers, but they can also be direct sown in early spring. Shorter varieties are suitable for containers and the taller varieties should be planted in the ground. You will need to support the vines with mesh or a trellis.
Easy Wave and Tidal Wave petunias will also climb up a small trellis and will produce a lovely vertical display of colour. Petunias are started in early March for blooms in June and throughout the season.
Let's not forget about the edibles. Tomatoes make a great wall of green and the fruit is easy to pick when staked. There are six plants in these two containers.
Annual vines are a great way to create some spectacular vertical displays for the season. Starting from seed is very economical and easy. "Garden Up" with annual vines.