Vines





A number of the vines make very excellent house plants, though one

seldom sees them. This seems rather strange when one takes into

consideration the facts that they are easily grown and can be used for

decorative effects impossible with any other plants.



If there is one particular caution to be given in regard to caring for

plants in the house, it is to keep the foliage clean. Naturally a vine

that runs up the window trim, and maybe halfway across the wall to a

picture frame, cannot well be sprinkled or syringed; but the leaves can

be occasionally wiped off with a moist, soft cloth. Keep the pores open;

they have to breathe.



Cissus discolor--This altogether too little known vine has the most

beautiful foliage of any. The leaves are a velvety green veined with

silver, the under surfaces being reddish and the stems red. It is a

rapid grower and readily managed if kept on the warm side. New plants

may be had from cuttings at almost any season. C. antarctica is better

known and easily grown.



Clematis--This popular outdoor vine is sometimes successfully used as

a house plant, and has the advantage of doing well in a low temperature.

Cuttings rooted in June and grown on will make good plants, but the best

way will be to get at the florist's two or three plants of the splendid

new varieties now to be had.



Coboea scandens--The Coboea is sometimes called the cup-and-saucer

flower. It is very energetic, growing under good conditions to a length

of twenty to thirty feet. The flowers, which are frequently two inches

across, are purplish in color and very pretty. They are borne quite

freely.



The coboea is easily managed if kept properly trained. As the plant in

proportion to the pot room is very large, liquid manures or fertilizers

are desirable. Either seeds or cuttings will furnish new plants. The

former should be placed edge down, one in a two-inch pot and pressed in

level with the surface. They will soon need repotting, and must be

shifted frequently until they are put in six-or eight-inch pots.



Coboea scandens variegata is a very handsome form and should without

fail be tried.



Hoya carnosa--This is commonly known as the wax plant on account of

its thick leaves and wax-like flowers, which are a delicate pink and

borne in large pendulous umbels. It is easily cared for; give full sun

in summer and keep moderately dry in winter. Leave the old flower stalks

on the plant. Cuttings may be rooted in early spring in pots, plunged

in bottom heat.



The Ivys--The ivys are the most graceful of all the vines, and with

them the most artistic effects in decoration may be produced. I have

always wondered why they are not more frequently used, for they are in

many respects ideal as house plants; they produce more growth to a given

size pot than any other plants, they thrive in the shade, they withstand

the uncongenial conditions usually found in the house, and are among the

hardiest of plants suitable for house culture. And yet how many women

will fret and fume over a Lorraine begonia or some other refractory

plant, not adapted at all to growing indoors, when half the amount of

care spent on a few ivys would grace their windows with frames of living

green, giving a setting to all their other plants which would enhance

their beauty a hundred percent.



The English ivy (Hedera helix) is the best for house culture. A form

with small leaves, H. Donerailensis, is better for many purposes. And

then there is a variegated form, which is very beautiful. Large

cuttings, rooted in the fall, will make good plants. Hedera helix

arborescens is known as the Irish ivy and is a very rapid grower.



The German ivy (Senecio scandens) has leaves the shape of the English

ivy, and is a wonderfully rapid grower and a great climber. It lacks,

however, the substance and coloring of the real ivy. It is,

nevertheless, valuable for temporary uses, and a plant or two should

always be kept. Cuttings root freely and grow at any time.



Manettia--This is a cheery, free flowering little vine, especially

good for covering a small trellis in a pot. The brilliant little

flowers, white, blue or red and yellow, are very welcome winter

visitors. Cuttings root easily in summer and the plants are very easily

cared for, being particularly free from insect pests. Give partial shade

in summer.



Mimosa moschatus--This is the common Musk Plant which, according to

one's taste, is pleasant--or the opposite. It is of creeping habit and

has very pretty foliage.



There are a number of varieties. That described above is covered with

small yellow flowers. M. m. Harrisonii has larger flowers. M.

cardinalis, red flowers and is dwarf in habit. M. glutinosus is erect

in habit, with salmon colored flowers, very pretty.



Moneywort (Lysimachia Nummularia)--This is a favorite basket plant,

as it is a rapid grower and not particular about its surroundings, so

long as it has enough water. While the flowers are pretty, being a

cheery yellow, the plant is grown for its foliage. New plants may be had

by dividing old clumps.



Morning-Glory--This beautiful flower is seldom seen in the house, but

will do well there if plenty of light can be given. Neither vines nor

flowers grow as large as they do out-of-doors, but they make very pretty

plants.



Nasturtium--Another common summer flower that makes a very pretty

plant in the house. Start seeds in August and shift on to

five-or-six-inch pots. There is also a dwarf form and other sorts with

variegated ivy leaves that make splendid pot plants. Of the tall sorts

some of the new named varieties, like Sunlight and Moonlight, give

beautiful and very harmonious effects. They will be a very pleasant

surprise to those familiar only with the old bright mixed colors.



Othonna crassifolia--This pretty little yellow flowered trailing

plant, sometimes known as "little Pickles" is quite a favorite for

boxes, or as a hanging or bracket plant. It should be given the full sun

but little water in winter. When too long, it it may be cut back freely.

Root cuttings, or the small tufts along the trailing stems, in spring.



Smilax--In some ways this is the most airily beautiful and graceful of

all the decorative vines. And it is valuable not only for its own

beauty, but for its usefulness in setting off the beauty of other

flowers. It is very easily grown if kept on the warm side, and given

plenty of root room. Care should be taken to provide green colored

strings for the vines to climb up, as they make a very rapid growth

when once started. The best way to provide plants is to get a few from

the florist late in the spring, or start from seed in February. New

plants do better than those kept two seasons.



Sweet Peas--Of late years a great deal has been done with sweet peas

in winter, and where one can give them plenty of light, they will do

well inside. Plenty of air and a temperature a little on the cool side,

with rich soil, will suit them. Start seed in very early fall, or in

winter, according as you want bloom early or late. There are now a

number of varieties grown especially for winter work such as Christmas

Pink, Christmas White, etc. Five or six varieties will give a very

satisfactory collection. The fragrant, beautiful blossoms are always

welcome, but doubly so in winter. Do not let the flowers fade on the

vines, as it increases the number of flowers to have them taken off.



Thunbergia--The Thunbergia, sometimes called the "butterfly plant," is

the best all-round flowering vine for the house. The flowers are freely

produced, average an inch to an inch-and-a-half across, and cover a wide

range of colors, including white, blue, purple, yellow and shades and

combinations of these. Its requirements are not special: keep growing on

during summer into a somewhat bushy form, as the vines will grow rapidly

when allowed to run in the house. It can be grown from seed but

cuttings make the best plants. Root early in spring, and by having a

succession of rooted cuttings blossoms may be had all winter.



Thunbergia laurifolia has flowers of white and blue; T. fragrans,

pure white; and T. Mysorensis, purple and yellow.





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