Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The Sweet Wire Vine

Muehlenbeckia complexa

I was invited by my neighbor to come over and look at her plants to see if I could offer any suggestions. She recently bought several at a local plant store. This small and sweet slice of life was sitting on her kitchen counter. 

It's called a Wire vine or Maidenhair vine. With tiny soft green leaves on creeping, twining reddish-brown stems, this smallish plant can add a touch of freshness wherever it is placed. It can be pruned as needed to keep it compact. It should divide quite easily if it's root-bound and you still want a small plant.

This is one of the 'forgiving' plants, as I call them, meaning they can recover from setbacks beautifully. If they have a setback or are doing poorly, cut them back quite a bit, remove dead leaves and stems, and it will grow into a lovely plant again, if their care is corrected.  

This can become a lovely hanging basket if you'd like. I hope that it blooms for you! It has greenish white flowers that show up as small spikes. 

Botanically known as Muehlenbeckia complexa, its natural habitat is New Zealand. It can become quite the thicket, if not managed. It is used decoratively to cover walls and fences outdoors.  

Care Instructions:

  • Bright indirect light, direct morning sun or some late afternoon will be best. Full sun may bleach the leaves. 
  • Water thoroughly when the soil surface is good and dry on top. 
  • A plant in a 4" diameter pot should require about 1/2-3/4 cup of water. Test to see how much your plant needs by observing how much water comes out of the bottom of the pot. A little bit of water should drain out of the bottom hole to show that it was thoroughly soaked. 
  • A plant in a 6" (15cm) diameter pot should be watered with about a pint (or almost a half liter) of water
  • A plant in an 8" (20cm) diameter pot or 10" (25cm) diameter hanging basket, will use about a quart of water, when necessary.
  • Regular fertilizing keeps them looking their best and may induce them to flower more than without it. 
  • If they are trimmed back some, from time to time, you will have a fuller, lusher looking plant. Every few months, cut a few of the vines back a little, just below a leaf.
  • Longer vines can be cut back to the length you desire.  
  • They do appreciate some humidity. A daily water misting can be helpful. With the right light, a bathroom or kitchen can be a great room to keep them in.  


***To watch short video clips from the 1990's "The Indoor Garden" TV series, click below:


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