Our Queen’s Wreath – 2015
Readers of JBRish who have been following along for a while might have read a bit about our Queen’s Wreath (Antigonon leptopus) vine (see links below). Up until recently, this plant has been a show stopper and then something happened…
The plant was just not filling out the way it did during the previous years. Instead of a full, swath of leaves and stems this what we saw.
A close up revealed how sparse the leaves where in relationship to the lush coat of heart-shaped leaves we anticipated.
It was only a vague shadow of its former glory and far from queen-like.
Instead of the abundant bouquet of blooms in the first picture, this was the extent of the flowering.
We examined the plant over time looking for insect damage, making sure the water was being amply applied and noting that we used the same fertilizing regimen of the past. At the base, the leaves were more lush so we looked more closely and then it hit us. Rabbits!
Those pesky rabbits had decided that they now like the Queen’s Wreath and that it would become their salad bar. This was not an issue during the three or so seasons of beauty preceding this problem.
We knew what we had to do even though we didn’t relish the thought. Like other plants in our landscape, this would have to be rabbit-proofed. We erected a plastic barrier approximately thirty inches high.
To completely thwart rabbits, some method needs to be used to keep them from digging under the barrier. Most of the time, having the “fencing” flat on the ground for several inches creating a lip and then topped with rocks will be discouraging enough. When done correctly, it forms a resistant border. (See yellow arrows below)
We were sure to have the water supply located appropriately before fastening the barrier and now we had the fence around the entire plant. I wasn’t quite sure how to proceed. I knew I had to do something with the existing plant material. Some flowering vines (as well as other plants) will react negatively to a severe trim and the bloom may be lost for the current gardening year.
After all of this trouble, I didn’t want to risk that so I hedged my bet and severely trimmed one side while only moderately trimming the other side in hopes of preserving some of the flowers for this current season.
Luckily the plant began to flourish as in the past and now, at the end of the season, both sides have evened out and the plant is showing why it is called Queen’s Wreath.
You have to admit, although small, the plethora of blooms do put on a show.
We are hopeful that this will be a long-lasting resolution to the Queen’s Wreath’s care and provide years of charming color!
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