Vigna Caracalla


Vigna caracalla is an elegant perennial plant from the legume family. Translated from Portuguese, its name means "grape snail". The liana owes such an unusual comparison to its bizarre flowers, swirling like a snail's shell.

In nature, an unusual plant is found in the tropical latitudes of the American continent. In warm climates, cowpea is grown as a perennial. In temperate latitudes, the thermophilic liana does not hibernate, and is most often grown as an annual, like common beans. You can save the bush for the next year only by providing it with a warm winter.

Description and characteristics of the plant

Liana has a fast growth rate. The length of the climbing shoots of the cowpea can reach 7 meters. Over the summer, they can completely braid the support intended for them: a net, a fence or a gazebo. Stems with tenacious tendrils do not need a garter.

Even during the growth of the cowpea, the caracalla looks very decorative. Its deep green leaves have a pointed tip and are composed of three parts. But the plant reaches its peak of entertainment precisely during the flowering period. Its delicate flowers are spun in a corkscrew. The colors range between purple, pink and yellowish cream. Flowers exude a delicate aroma. On one brush, both blossoming flowers and buds can be kept at the same time. You can admire them from mid-summer until the onset of cold weather.

Vigna caracalla can also be grown as a houseplant. But limited space will require systematic pinching or trimming. Such procedures will promote rapid flowering. It will be necessary to take care of a decent strong support. Their role can be played by cords or mesh. If the cowpea grows in a pot, you should not move it, so as not to harm the delicate stems.

Caring for the caracalla cowpea flower

Lighting

Vigna caracalla loves light, its lack will lead to stretching of shoots and weak flowering.

Content temperature

Liana does not like cold drafts, but it is moderately resistant to cold snaps: it can withstand temperature drops of up to +3 degrees. Short-term frosts can destroy its stems, but after the return of warm weather, fresh shoots can begin to grow from the preserved roots.

If the cowpea just wintered in the house, then it can be returned to the street only when the threat of frost has completely passed. This is usually done in May or June. In order not to injure the plant with transplants, it is easier to keep it in a large container. For the summer period, it can be dug into open ground.

Watering mode

In the summer, the cowpea requires abundant watering, but it is not worth overmoistening the soil, short periods of drought will not harm the plant. In winter, the flower in the pot hardly grows and is watered only slightly.

Fertilizers

In the stages of active growth or flowering, the vine can be fed once every 2-3 weeks. The intensity depends on whether the cowpea is growing outside or at home. For this, you can use both organic and mineral additives. But nitrogen fertilizers should be used only at the very beginning of the growing season, otherwise flowering can be damaged.

Required soil

When growing cowpea at home, you need to take care of a sufficient volume of the pot: this is a large plant that will need a place. There should be a hole at the bottom of the container. The soil for planting should be light, nutritious and include good drainage. You can use commercially available universal mixes.

The cowpea should be transplanted carefully, it is better not to destroy the earthen lump.

Dormant period

In winter, the cowpea stops growing and loses its visual appeal. She can spend this time in the form of rhizomes with shoots cut to 20 cm, the pot with which is stored in a cool place with a temperature of no higher than +12 degrees. Cuttings rooted in autumn are also suitable for storage. The main task of the gardener is simply to keep them until spring.

Breeding cowpea caracalla

There are three ways to breed the caracalla cowpea: by seeds, cuttings or layering.

The seeds are pre-soaked in warm water for 24 hours. When planting, each is deepened by 2 cm, after which the container is placed in a warm and bright place. With the appearance of a pair of true leaves, the sprouts dive into individual pots.

Cuttings from the plant are cut in the fall, before the onset of cold weather. Each of them is planted in a separate small pot. They take root, as a rule, in a couple of weeks, but in winter they hardly grow, revitalizing with the arrival of spring. This method works well for breeding garden cowpea.

Shoots take root in the summer. Having fixed such an shoot in a pot with a substrate, it is watered until roots are formed. After separation from the main bush, it becomes an independent plant.

Pests and diseases

Liana is sometimes affected by rust or powdery mildew. Of the pests, the main danger for cowpea is the spider mite.


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