We bought our potted Firecracker vine at a green house. It is on our patio and is doing wonderful. It was about 3' tall when we brought it home in May and has climbed to over 10' and is still growing. I have already harvest some of the seeds and will try to start them next spring.
Since we live in Michigan we are going to try cutting the plant back and bringing it in this fall and see if we can keep it alive through winter.
Hi...I live in Hawaii and have had the firecracker vine in my courtyard for about a month now. It seems quite happy. However, I am moving soon to a house directly on the beach and wonder if it does well near salt. Where I am now is quite a ways from salt spray. Any thoughts?
On Jan 19, 2011, hortulaninobili from St. Louis, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:
Ipomoea lobata syn. Mina lobata:
A very easy to grow plant from seed. Seed can be started in small pots early in the spring and transplanted out as soon as frost threat abates, or planted in final position in the garden and will do equally well. Once planted (or germinated and plant begins to grow), firecracker vine/Spanish flag will grow rapidly and takes well to heat and humidity. Too much fertilizer, water, or too rich a soil may contribute to the plant growing vegetative and luxuriously at the expense of flowers. In my region (center of the country) Spanish flag begins to flower late summer, through autumn, and until hard frost.
Hummingbirds have a ravenous appetite for the nectar in the flowers. It seems that the hummingbirds all think this--among others--is their plant: I have observed they are not very given to sharing and chase each other away to indulge in the ephemeral nectar-drinking binge (also witnessed with salvias, trumpet creeper, honeysuckle, African lion's tail).
Not at all cold-hardy in my locale. Best if allowed to grow up a trellis, arbor, pergola, fence, or similar. Because of firecracker vine's boldness and warm color, tends to look best alone or with lush tropical plants such as canna, elephant ear, castor bean, lantana, or similar. No observation of serious disease or pests.
On Oct 17, 2010, cattypuss from Melbourne Australia wrote:
I have been fortunate enough to obtain a dozen seeds from a friend who is a real "plantaholic" like me. All twelve have germinated and are now planted out in the garden. I can't wait to see them flower, this plant is not widely available down here in southern Australia, I saw it for the first time in a trial garden last season and had to track it down. Maybe mine will start something!
On Oct 12, 2010, GreginColorado from Greeley, CO wrote:
I bought some seeds and planted them after soaking overnight, into a 15 week, late for the growing season, flower bed. It was a slow go at first and I thought they wouldn't make it. Seemed to take forever to get them out of the ground, even in the direct Sun they were growing in. Plenty of water too.
They have been blooming now for nearly three weeks and I am so pleased! What a bright and shining specimen of a plant to have growing on my fence posts. I'm hoping to gather seed, but so far, even the dried seed pods seem to be absent of any seed. Might be the late start in the season and or not enough pollinators? Anyway, I will have this in my garden from now on! I live in Greeley, Colorado and it will frost tonight, so will cover my vines and see if I can still get some seeds after Oct 12, 2010.
On Aug 27, 2010, nrandel from Dublin, VA (Zone 6a) wrote:
I cut down a messy magnolia but left a 10 foot stump thinking I would plant a vine to climb it - I picked the Exotic Love Vine, Mina Lobata. It didn't climb the stump but spread out in a low shrub fashion; perhaps I should have helped it along by tieing it up. But, it's beautiful, very hardy in hot Roanoke, VA sunshine and the hummers love it.
Hi, bought three of these at the L.B.Gardens in Oct and they were all doing great. They now look like the frost may have done them in, but I'm hoping being like a morning glory they will all come back hardy in the spring. All three are in pots, one in San Francisco and two are here in Vacaville, CA Please tell me they will come back, they are so lovely and I would like to harvest the seeds for more.
On Aug 29, 2009, EllieMaGoo from Pittsburgh, PA wrote:
I forget how many seeds were in the pack. Maybe 7 grew, though a couple got eaten by a groundhog. The remaining plants grew into a very nice vine, though it could thicker. I saw that the seeds are poisonous. Should I be careful to keep my dog away from them?
On Sep 27, 2008, rosary83 from Wyandotte, MI wrote:
This is my first year of planting spanish flag . It took forever to start but once it did it grew fast. Hummingbirds are super attracted to it. I am looking forward to having it in my garden for many years. This plant is grown in Wyandotte Michigan
On Aug 7, 2003, SueP64 from Centerbrook, CT wrote:
This vine thrives in full sun and is quite an eyecatcher. We planted it in pots along with chartreuse coleus, dark purple coleus, purple salvia (annual), feathery celosia, sweet potato (tricolor) and dusty miller. The effect is stunning. With 12 24" pots filled to the brim and a pastoral background that includes a waterfall, it makes a picture perfect setting.
We've had numerous requests for information on this vine. It's hard to believe that something so exotic can thrive in our fickle New England summers.
On Jan 8, 2003, Cactus_Joe from Vancouver Canada wrote:
This is a vigorous vine. Slow to start off with while the soil is still cool, once warmed up late in spring, it can completely cover an 8 foot tall pillar in no time. The numerous unusual and spectacular flowers are long lasting. It blooms right through till first frost. In locations where frost hits before the end of October, there may not be enough time for the seeds to ripen. The neatest thing about it as a vine is a characteristics it shares with other annual morning glories - the vines decay quickly and are easy to remove once the plant packs it in in the fall. It looked good combined with Cobaea scandens - they seem to coexist well together on the same structure.
On Aug 25, 2001, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:
Related to the morning glory, sometimes called 'Firecracker Vine' or 'Exotic Love'. This unusual annual vine has up to 12 beautiful 2" tubular flowers on each spike, that change color as they enlarge and open from crimson red to yellowy-orange to creamy yellow. The leaves may remind you of sweet potato vine.It's easy to grow, and excellent on a trellis, fence or in a hanging basket. Also makes a great cut flower.I didn't realize this plant attracted hummingbirds until today. I have watched the hummers on the vine all afternoon. Started out with just one and as the afternoon progressed there where at least five at one given time.So this for sure is a plant that attracts hummers.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Lincoln, Alabaster, Alabama Huntsville, Alabama Ladonia, Alabama Kachina Village, Arizona Peeples Valley, Arizona Amesti, California Arroyo Grande, California Benicia, California Citrus Heights, California Fairfield, California Fresno, California Los Angeles, California Merced, California Richmond, California San Diego, California (2 reports) San Jose, California San Leandro, California Santa Clara, California Stockton, California Archer, Florida Jacksonville, Florida New Port Richey East, Florida Sebastian, Florida Spring Hill, Florida Yulee, Florida Kailua, Hawaii Indianapolis, Indiana Barbourville, Kentucky Ewing, Kentucky Covington, Louisiana Greenwell Springs, Louisiana New Orleans, Louisiana Stanton, Michigan Wyandotte, Michigan Mantachie, Mississippi Hoberg, Missouri O'fallon, Missouri Pinardville, New Hampshire New Milford, New Jersey Albuquerque, New Mexico Roswell, New Mexico Averill Park, New York Elizabeth City, North Carolina Greensboro, North Carolina Spencer, North Carolina Columbia Station, Ohio Hulbert, Oklahoma Mckeesport, Pennsylvania Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania West Chester, Pennsylvania North Augusta, South Carolina Pawleys Island, South Carolina Memphis, Tennessee Westmoreland, Tennessee Austin, Texas Georgetown, Texas Houston, Texas Mckinney, Texas Oakhurst, Texas Plano, Texas San Antonio, Texas Arlington, Virginia Cave Spring, Virginia Kalama, Washington Pewaukee, Wisconsin