Snail Vine (Vigna caracalla)

snail vine
snail vine

Looking for a climber that has esthetic value as well? Why not give a skim to Snail Vine? snail vine is a very beautiful, rather stunning evergreen vine that is so attractive. You must need to move it indoors in the winter months. if you want to adorn your garden with flowers that look like a snail’s shell when they bloom. This is the reason for them being called so.

Habitat & Distribution

Snail Vine is native to Central and South America and thrives well in high humidity and temperature. So it can be found easily in the tropics. Snail Vine can not withstand colder climates and will die soon if you try to grow. However, Snail Vine can tolerate moderate colds.

Description

Snail Vine is known as the corkscrew plant and snail bean. Snail Vine blooms in lavender, purple, and white flowers. Some of the varieties are fragrant and bloom in flowers with a green tint. Snail Vine looks stunning growing in hanging baskets, sometimes dangling as much as 15 meters below.

snail vine

This member of the pea family is a deciduous, perennial, twinning, and fragrant plant that grows profusely in regions that replicate tropical conditions. It can be up to 4 meters in size.

Flowers of Snail Vine are green in color initially, then become white, turning purple later on. The unusual shape of flowers is typical of the Fabaceae family and exhibits a large, coiled keel. If flowers are allowed to stay, they mature into green pods that turn yellow after some time. Ants pollinate its flowers, so you need at least one colony of them to be able to get some pods.

The leaves are large and divided into three, separate leaflets. Snail Vines add to the greenery of your garden, or where they grow. You need to prune the tendrils if you want more flowers to bloom, as vegetative growth is a distraction for most plants and keeps them from flowering profusely. If you let it grow sideways and form many leaves, there will be very few resources left to form flowers.

Snail Vine looks majestic arching over walls, trellis, and hanging baskets. Snail Vine needs at least a season to set in so you have to wait for the next season to see them colonize your space.

Planting the seeds

Growing Snail Vine from seeds is easy if the soil is loamy, moist, and slightly acidic. You should plant the seeds in an area where full sun is available.

The seeds may show a little bit of dormancy, so the idea of keeping them in warm water overnight before planting is good. You can directly plant the seeds outside if the temperature is good there, or if it is cooler, plant inside. You can plant seeds in a container all year round. If you plant them in the ground, do it when it is warm. Snail Vine will not grow or will not survive if the indoor temperature is less than 15 C.

You can plant the seeds indoors if this is cold outside.

Planting the cuttings

Snail Vines are also easy to grow from cuttings. You should slice a 15 cm long section of a twig in the early summer when new branches are growing. Use clean clippers to cut the cuttings.

Take a container or pot and fill it with perlite. After moistening the container, dig a hole in the center of the container using a pencil. You need to remove the leaves from the lower part of the cutting Insert the cutting into the hole and make sure that it is 2 inches inside the hole.

If you are using a clay pot, wrap it in a plastic bag so that it can retain the moisture. Water the cutting once a week so that it remains humid. Transplant your plant once the fall kicks in.

 Snail Vine care

Growing Snail Vine from seeds is easy, but its vine-like structure demands support such as a fence, trellis, or wall. Once it starts growing, Snail Vine is very fast-growing and will start colonizing your garden rapidly. You should actively prune it to keep it from engulfing the entire area.

There are no particular insects, pests, or diseases that victimize Snail Vine. Snail Vine is quite an invasive plant and attracts butterflies and birds. Pollination is, however, carried out by the ants.

Light

Snail Vine loves to grow in full sunlight. Snail Vine can also tolerate a moderate amount of shade.

Soil

As they are chiefly tropical, Snail Vine plants grow only in fertile, moist, and well-drained soils.

Water

You should water Snail Vine once a week. Make sure you do not overwater it. Snail Vine plants do not grow in flooded, soggy soils.

Water them only when they appear dry. You can add a 3 cm layer of mulch to help the soil retain moisture.

Humidity & warmth

Snail Vine plants love high temperatures and humid conditions. This is because they come from the tropics and do not do well in low temperatures. They can be grown in the North provided they are kept indoors. In Asia and temperate regions, Snail Vine plants have to be moved indoors before the first frost of the winter sets in. Once exposed to frost, they will do well.

Fertilizer

Fertilizer is not a requirement for these plants. If you have to, try using an organic fertilizer with a granular texture.

Propagation via seeds

Snail Vine does well if grown from the seeds. You can use a toenail clipper to cut the seed-coat halfway around its edge. It will help break seed-dormancy.

Make sure that the seed is just below the top light cover of the soil and not buried in it. Snail Vine can take up to a week before it germinates depending upon the temperature and other conditions.

Pruning

Snail Vine is an invasive plant and you have to carry out an active pruning of it to keep it from taking over your garden.

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