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Growing Vigna, The Corkscrew Vine

Vigna: Parade Lush Evergreen Flowering Vines of Late Season Color

by Frances Santos

Growing Vigna, The Corkscrew VineVigna (Vigna Caracalla), often called corkscrew vine, snail bean and snail vine is native to tropical South America and Central America. It belongs to the Fabaceae family.

This perennial, fast-growing flowering vine can grow up to 20 feet in height, and prized for its long clusters of aromatic blooms.

Vigna’s flowers are shaped like snail shells and boast dainty lavender-white color. Other varieties bear pink, yellow, cream and purple blooms. So if you want a charming addition to your flower garden, this easy-to-grow evergreen vine makes a wonderful selection.

Corkscrew vine blooms profusely from midsummer to early winter. It is a good covering for fences and arbors, making your lawn or garden appear instantly elegant.

This leguminous vine also attracts butterflies, bees and other beneficial pollinators into your tropical garden.

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Corkscrew Vine Propagation

Incise the outer hull of each corkscrew vine seed using a sharp knife or razor blade. Do not nick the seed too deeply. Put the seeds in a shallow dish and soak them for 24 hours.

This will soften the hull and prepares the seed for germination. Next, sow the seeds in a seedling flat/ planting dish filled with standard potting soil. Vigna seeds require sunlight to germinate. Place the flats in a location with full sun (or near your window sill) at 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sow the seeds in a separate container five weeks before the last frost date in your region. Mist the top soil every day for 15 days or until the sprouts emerge. Do not wet the soil too much, just let the moisture seep into it. After that, reduce watering to every other day. Transplant the seeds outdoors after the winter has passed and when the soil has warmed. Choose a sunny location as the corkscrew vine loves full sun. Note: Full sun means direct sun exposure for more than 6 hours a day.

How To Grow Corkscrew Vine

Vigna is easy to grow and does not require too much attention. But just like any other flowering vines, it requires a planting site that is friendly for climbers. Make sure that its long, flexible stalks have room to grow as it gets taller. Take note that its tendency is to grow towards the sun. Strings, wires, trellises or existing structures can provide support for this climber. Make sure that your support structure is sturdy and rust-proof. As the stems grow and are long enough to clinch to their support structure, loosely tie them together to guide the plant.

Make sure that the soil does not turn soggy wet. How? First, water the plants only when they appear dry. Second, direct the water at soil level. Third, allow excess moisture to seep away after watering. You may add a 3-inch layer of mulch to keep maintain soil moisture. Now listen. Vigna is a very fast grower and may take over your garden (and the neighboring backyard) once established, so monitor its growth and spreading out. As winter comes, Vigna usually dies as it does not do well below 50 degrees. Now, if you are worried about diseases and pests, no need to fret as Vigna is virtually pest-free and disease-free.