Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time.


Carrying Plants Through the Winter in Water

Carrying Plants Through the Winter in Water

Yesterday, I talked about the elaborate preparations I made to carry plants through the winter inside my house when I was a young, energetic woman. Today, I’m going to admit to you that I either don’t carry plants through the winter in my house anymore, I just plant perennials, or I let the plants die a natural death outside and buy and plant new in the Spring.

 I have not been well as you know, and I just don’t have the energy to bring in and take care of plants all winter long! However, this year, I broke my own rules! I was feeling better as Fall began to bring cool weather, so I decided I had to try to save a couple of my beautiful annuals!  However, I also decided, that I’d only take cuttings of things that could root in, and survive in water! I’ve heard it’s not the best thing to do. They say plants rooted in water are never as strong as plants rooted in soil. But I know myself, I’m lazy, I’m tired. I’m not going to water my flowers regularly inside, so I need the built in insurance of having them already in water. So…how did they do? I figure they’ll be ready to plant outside in about a month, if the nighttime temperatures are regularly above 50 degrees. Remember, I’m in North Carolina, the sunny South! 

Sweet Potato Vine, Blackie, in a pot, Fall, 2012


Sweet Potato Vine, Blackie, rooted and
carried through the winter in water. 

 One of my favorite vines and fillers for container gardens are sweet potato vines. So, even though I’d planned to just let them go, as Fall got chillier and chillier, and the sweet potato vines held on, I just couldn’t stand to let that lusciousness die!  I love the burgundy colored, pointy leaved sweet potato vine, officially called “BlackieIpomoea batatas“.  So I cut about three vases full, and set them in windowsills for the long winter months! Don’t worry, I also love the looks of the chartreuse green “Margarita, Ipomoea batatas”.  They both thrive in full sun, even here in the hot, humid South! Furthermore, even though they are grown for their ornamental foliage, they also have lovely little lavender flowers that I personally love! So, I brought the lime green in also! 

Margarita Sweet Potato Vine
 after a long winter in water, March, 2013

However, you can
easily see that the
vines are struggling, 
getting paler and more dull by the day! “Come on  babies, just hang in there 4 more weeks! You can do it!”  (You do know you are
supposed to talk to your plants, right?)

Now, look at this beautiful 
pink mandevilla vine, growing on the railing of my wheelchair ramp last summer.
Now look closely at the picture of the four vases of plants on the tray on the left. See that leafless stalk sticking up back there in the back? Well, that’s all that’s left of the beautiful mandevilla vine! Think it will make it? Want to make me a bet as to whether or not it will grow again and flourish like this one last summer? We’ll see! I’ll let you know! 

Notice that there are four little plants in vases on the tray above. Two are sweet potato vines, one is the stalk of the mandevilla vine, now I’ve saved the best for last! The fourth 

Angel’s trumpet plant rooting
in water

plant, the one pictured on the right, was a cutting given to me by a good friend! It’s a very special plant that I am so excited to grow! It is an angel trumpet plant! It grows about five or six feet tall, is tropical, and is the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen! Hopefully, by the end of the summer, I’ll have a large enough plant to give cuttings away myself! One of the joys of gardening is having beautiful, growing things to share with your family and friends! Just look, look at this picture of a blooming, mature angel trumpet plant! Oh my gracious, I wish you could see it up close and personal. Come visit in late summer or early fall and I hope my plant will look like this! 

Angel’s Trumpet Plant
Angel’s Trumpet,pink

I have so many gardening posts I want to share with you! I want to show you all the trees and plants others have given to us, either as full grown plants right out of their own yards, or as cuttings for me to root. It’s absolutely amazing, and I recommend it highly as a feel good gesture on both sides! There are many other things as well, we will have fun together! 

Just a few more weeks until we can get out there and dig in the dirt! Alleluia!   Helen