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Sky vine is one of the most dramatic vines around. It produces a plethora of big, lavender-blue flowers all summer long. The color harmonizes with just about everything, and the leaves create a nice backdrop for the bloom. Sky vine is a perennial in tropical areas, but in most places, it's grown as an annual where it only climbs about 12 feet.
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A close relative of the black-eyed Susan vine, sky vine is a tropical vine with lush, ruffled purple blossoms. Like black-eyed Susan, it scrambles up trellises and trails out of pots during the heat of summer. In tropical environments, sky vine is evergreen and woody, and blooms from early summer until later winter. In cool climates, count on sky vine to bloom for several weeks from midsummer until early fall.
Must-Know Growing Tips
Plant sky vine in full sun or part shade and well-drained soil. In Zones 10 and 11 it grows best in a location that receives shade in the afternoon. Sky vine can be hard to find in a nursery. If nursery-grown transplants are not available, start sky vine from seed.
Plant seed indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost. Start seeds in individual planting pots filled with soilless planting mix. Sow 2 or 3 seeds in each pot. After seedlings emerge and grow 2 to 3 inches tall, thin to the strongest seedling by snipping the stem of the weak seedling at soil level. After the threat of frost passes, transplant sky vine into the garden or a container.
In tropical regions, prune sky vine in winter after the plant stops blooming. Trim vines back to desired length and remove any crossing or damaged branches. Sky vine can be rejuvenated by cutting it back to 12 inches above ground level.
Sky vine will quickly scramble up a trellis, pergola, or fence. In temperate regions where it grows as an annual, it typically climbs 10 to 12 feet. In tropical regions, expect it to climb 20 feet or more and produce woody stems. Add sky vine to a hanging basket and it will create a curtain of color. Plant it atop a wall and it will create a blossoming curtain.
Beware of Rampant Spread
In areas where it doesn't freeze, sky vine is potentially invasive. It has been identified as an invasive species in Hawaii and could be troublesome in other areas as well. Plant it with caution in tropical areas.