Creeping Wire Vine
An unusual creeper with a dense fine texture, producing a spreading mat of wiry stems clothed in tiny rounded leaves that are glossy green; flowers are not showy; great in the rock garden or as a small groundcover.
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Plant Height: 3 in.
Spread: 36 in.
Plant Form: spreading
Summer Foliage Color: green
Minimum Sunlight: partial shade
Maximum Sunlight: full sun
Creeping Wire Vine has attractive green foliage. The tiny glossy round leaves are highly ornamental and remain green throughout the winter. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.
Creeping Wire Vine is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen woody vine with a twining and trailing habit of growth. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which should be used to full effect.This woody vine will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and can be pruned at anytime. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;SpreadingCreeping Wire Vine is recommended for the following landscape applications;AccentGeneral Garden UseGroundcoverContainer Planting
Planting & Growing
Creeping Wire Vine will grow to be only 3 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. As a climbing vine, it tends to be leggy near the base and should be underplanted with low-growing facer plants. It should be planted near a fence, trellis or other landscape structure where it can be trained to grow upwards on it, or allowed to trail off a retaining wall or slope. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.This woody vine does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America.Creeping Wire Vine makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a ‘spiller’ in the ‘spiller-thriller-filler’ container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag – this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.
Muehlenbeckia: Wandering Wire Vine
Common Name: Wire Vine, Creeping Wire Vine, Maidenhair Vine
Origin: The genus Muehlenbeckia consists of 20 species native to Australia, New Zealand, South America, and New Guinea. Only the species M. axillaris and M. complexa are common garden plants, and both are native to New Zealand.
Culture: Many are frost tender, however, Muehlenbeckia axillaris and Muehlenbeckia complexa are hardy to USDA zone 7 (0-10 degrees). In New Zealand, both are woodland plants preferring dappled shade, but here in the Pacific Northwest we have much less intense light, and both grow equally well in full sun or quite a bit of shade. Any reasonably well drained soil will suit these agreeable groundcovers, and drought, salt spray, and wind are all tolerated with good grace.
Maintenance: When sited appropriately, both Muehlenbeckia axillaris and Muehlenbeckia complexa are fast spreading, and quite capable of vining over obstacles or up trellises, so some cutting back to keep them in bounds may be required. Otherwise, these tough plants take care of themselves if watered deeply about once a week for the first couple seasons.
Pest and Disease: Generally none, however, bacterial root rot can kill even established patches if the soil is poorly drained and conditions are unusually wet. There is no treatment once damage is observed, the key lies in choosing the proper site and amending the soil at planting time.
Creeping Wire Vine
Common Name: wire vine, creeping wire vine, mattress vine
Botanical Name: Muehlenbeckia axillaris
Family: Polygonaceae, the Knotweed family.
Habit: Hardy creeping evergreen groundcover that is deciduous at the cold end of its range. Its texture is unique – small, round cotoneaster-like leaves widely spaced on dark wire-like stems. The tiny flowers aren’t showy – but lead to translucent pearly-white fruit. Stems and leaves grow laterally hugging the ground and rooting as they go. Upward growth is more prevalent in milder climates. A dense springy mat of old and new growth eventually accumulates, leading to the other common name, mattress vine. Under ideal circumstances, a mat of six or eight feet across and six or eight inches high is formed. Can be killed back by harsh winter.
Culture: Zones 6-9: Sun or shade and any well-drained soil. At the cold end of its range, easier to establish with excellent drainage. It does well in quick-draining and wind-sheltered cracks of ledges and walls. In milder climates it is almost too easy and adaptable. It grows quickly and works well as an annual in cooler climates. You can clip or even mow it in the Spring to keep it flat. Clip off out-of-bounds stems at any time. Propagate by division in Spring or by seed. Muehlenbeckia is native to New Zealand.
Uses: Unique groundcover and useful for growing in cracks in stonework and over hardscape in general. Its tolerance pruning and training, so it can be clipped (with frequent pruning) into tight tracery around stones, or grown up into wire forms to make topiary. Useful rock garden plant or fine-textured groundcover for larger areas.
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