Vines and Climbers forum→Newbie Q's please :)

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Name: Tim
Kelso, WA, USA (Zone 8a)
heticu7
May 13, 2020 6:19 PM CST
Hello.

I am a 65 year-old (male) retired manufacturing engineer as of 2014. I bought my retirement home and moved here two years ago, in a 55+ park in Kelso, WA. Until a few weeks ago, I had never before in my life considered getting into gardening. But, one day this vine started growing out of the ground next to my front deck that I thought I had cleared last fall. This intrigued me, so I went and bought a 12"x48" trellis and tied it up. It grew so fast that I ended up buying a 32"x72" trellis and set it up around the smaller one. That vine is still growing. Sometimes I think I can see it growing if I stand there and watch it long enough. :)

Then I had an idea to buy some seeds of flowering vines like I had taken many photos of at Butchart Gardens, Victoria, BC back in 2015, and plant them so they would grow up the front deck awning supports (those typically found in manufactured home parks). I went online and did some searching and found the following site:
countryliving.com/gardening/garden-ideas/advice/g1456/fast-growing-vines/
called "20 Best Flowering Vines and Vine Plants to Add to Your Garden". I picked out 7 that I thought I would like to have growing around my house and went on Amazon and ordered the seeds for them:

Blue Crown Passion Flower (Passiflora caerulea) (for a chain-link fence in my front yard)
Dutchman's Pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla)
Trumpet Vine (Campsis)
Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)
Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis)
Chocolate Vine (Akebia quinata)
Hops (Humulus lupulus) -- (I know they don't flower, I just think they're cool looking)

Now I am perplexed about a couple of things, and was hoping for some clarification from someone here:
1. Some seeds are not arriving right away, though they have already shipped:
Wisteria -- June 2 to June 23
Chocolate Vine -- June 12 to June 17
And the Coral Trumpet has not yet shipped (placed the order on May 8) and they say it won't arrive until July 28 thru August 28.

Why? Amazon did not say they were "not in stock"; they just provided these estimated arrival dates after I bought them. And 2 of them have apparently already shipped. And we're talking about something that can fit into a letter envelope. Confused

2. The other puzzlement is the sowing instructions on the ones I have received:
a. Blue Crown Passion: "... paper towel trick ... warm water, fold over twice, seeds inside, fold again ... place in ziplock bag ... place on warm surface to expose seeds to extreme heat ... when seeds pop open place the small sprouts in starter pots for transfer later ... " Huh? Blinking
b. Dutchman's Pipe: "soak 48 hrs in warm water ... seeds in plastic bag with teaspoon of perlite ... store in fridge at 40F for 90 days ... check for mold if too moist ... next, surface sow seeds, lightly cover, maintain soil at 70F ..." Again, huh? Thinking

Granted, I said upfront I was completely ignorant of gardening, but my big question is: Why can't I just take some seeds outside and poke them into the ground where I want them to grow, and let God take over from there? Isn't that what seeds are supposed to do when you put them into the ground?

Any clarification, advice and/or corrections would be greatly appreciated! (Sorry for making this so long a posting)
Thanks!
Name: Mike
Long Beach, Ca.
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Roses Region: California Hummingbirder Farmer
Daylilies Cat Lover Bulbs Butterflies Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
Calsurf73
May 20, 2020 10:47 AM CST
Welcome! and sorry no one has answered your questions yet. Sighing!

1.) What is the vine you found growing and is it blooming ?
If you're able to post a photo of it on here, we can tell you what it is, what to expect from it, and how to maintain it.

2.) The vines you mention in paragraph 3 can all get enormous and "may not" even thrive where you are.
You can use the plant database here to research the vines you want and it will tell you if they're suited to your climate zone which you state is 8a'
It will also tell you how big they grow, whether they want sun or shade, etc.

3.) One quick way to get the vines you want, vs. starting them from seeds, is to call nurseries in your area and ask if they carry the actual growing plants you're looking for. Starting seeds can be tricky for someone like you who said you're basically new to all of this. (Not being sarcastic, just trying to help you !) The methods of starting seeds that you mentioned can be confusing, indeed...but they do work once you understand the theory behind it all.
Buying and planting an already growing plant will speed up the process for you, cause you less angst and not turn you off to gardening in general.

4.) Don't be afraid to ask questions at the nurseries. They're there to help you.

In answer to your last question about directly sowing them outside in the ground: Yes, you can certainly try that and see what happens. HOWEVER, "some seeds" may or may not germinate that way. Some will. That's why people try starting the seeds either indoors or outdoors in small pots and then transplanting them into the ground when they're ready. No harm in trying either way. Not all plants sprout from seeds at the same speed or in just any kind of soil. They're all different. That's why I suggested you purchase the actual plants themselves and THEN try the seed method as back up.

Keep us posted as to your progress. Smiling

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