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Sollya heterophylla (Bluebell creeper)

madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,422

I have been give a small plant of Sollya heterophylla (Bluebell creeper).As it is half-hardy I will put it in a pot to grow up my archway.

Should I put in a small pot for this year and re-pot as it gets bigger each year or start with a big pot?

At the end of the season can I cut down the stems which have grown over the archway so I can bring it in for the winter and then cut back properly in the spring?

Should I pinch out the plant now to make it more bushy?

I live on the Isle of Wight so could I risk planting directly in the ground and if so would a mulch be enough to protect it?

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“Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
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  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,617

    This was a favourite plant in my previous garden, and it thrived for many years outdoors.  We also had a pink hybrid.  Both were killed by a harsh winter (in London).  I would recommend growing it indoors in a conservatory, or in a pot which you can move indoors for winter.

    It's slow growing, so I wouldn't put it into a huge pot now, just repot as and when you need to do so. We never pruned ours, due to the relatively slow growing rate, and so if you cut it back each year, you may find it never reaches the top of the arch in one growing season.  Ours took several years to reach to the top of our fence.

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  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,422

    That does look pretty!

    No conservatory for me I'm afraid.

    It is classed as H3 for hardiness which means it could go down to -5°C.It has been a long time since that temperature was reached down here so may just bite the bullet and plant in the ground (well drained and south facing).

    I wonder if planting it deep would help?

    Last edited: 23 April 2017 11:30:38

    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,617

    It may be better to take softwood cuttings in Autumn, so you have a back up plant, I wish we'd done that.  Apparently it produces edible berries, but ours never did.

  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,422

    I have just planted directly in the ground and keeping my fingers crossed!!

    Will take cuttings as suggested just in case.

    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • kateelgodkateelgod Posts: 1

    Hi Keenongreen was just wondering if you could give me some advise on what support you used to train yours up the fence? I have one planted against the fence but not been sure whether it needs trellis or something else?

    Woud be really grateful of any advise

    Thanks

    Kate

  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,617

    We used a plastic mesh that you can buy for climbers but it was very ugly, so in the end we just used garden twine. It doesn't naturally cling very well so you will need to tie it in as it grows. 

  • Just got mine via online, but have no greenhouse or conservatory. Can I overwinter it on a windowsill, and would I need to feed it?

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,627

    You can leave these plants outside if you have a sunny wall and a micro climate. As long as temperatures don't dip below -5 for more than a day or two. If you are over wintering on a window sill, keep it in a cool room preferably without heating on. Feed it in the spring time.

  • Thank you! Was just a bit worried, as its the first bluebell creeper for me, and I live right next to the sea in Wales, it's wet, windy and salty!!! 

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,627

    I understand your concern. If it's wet and windy and your plant is small, over-winter inside. 

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