Ipomoea Species, Morning Glory, Cardinal Climber

Ipomoea sloteri

Family: Convolvulaceae (kon-volv-yoo-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ipomoea (ip-oh-MEE-a) (Info)
Species: sloteri (SLO-ter-eye) (Info)
Synonym:Quamoclit x sloteri
View this plant in a garden



Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:



36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Elmore, Alabama

Queen Creek, Arizona

Batesville, Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Paris, Arkansas

Bakersfield, California

Calistoga, California

El Sobrante, California

Hawthorne, California

Merced, California

Oroville East, California

Redondo Beach, California

Sacramento, California

South Oroville, California

West Covina, California

Apopka, Florida

Dade City, Florida

Deland, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fountain, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Braselton, Georgia

Carrollton, Georgia

Cordele, Georgia

Ellijay, Georgia

Aurora, Illinois

Elmhurst, Illinois

Frankfort, Illinois

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois

Thomasboro, Illinois

Waukegan, Illinois

Indianapolis, Indiana

Tipton, Indiana

Indianola, Iowa

Fort Scott, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Corbin, Kentucky

Lancaster, Kentucky

Prospect, Kentucky

New Orleans, Louisiana

Zachary, Louisiana

Patuxent River, Maryland

Bedford, Massachusetts

Somerville, Massachusetts

Bellevue, Michigan

Fremont, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Mason, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Byhalia, Mississippi

Madison, Mississippi

Olive Branch, Mississippi

Brunswick, Missouri

Cameron, Missouri

Columbia, Missouri

Fair Play, Missouri

Independence, Missouri

Saint Louis, Missouri

Springfield, Missouri

Henderson, Nevada

Bradford, New Hampshire

Brick, New Jersey

Brooklyn, New York

Elba, New York

New York City, New York

Ronkonkoma, New York

West Kill, New York

Canton, North Carolina

Cary, North Carolina

Greenville, North Carolina

Rockingham, North Carolina

Rowland, North Carolina

Tobaccoville, North Carolina

Wake Forest, North Carolina

Wilmington, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio(2 reports)

Garber, Oklahoma

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Portland, Oregon

Millersburg, Pennsylvania

Quakertown, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Lafayette, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Austin, Texas(2 reports)

Brownsville, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Desoto, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas(3 reports)

Georgetown, Texas(2 reports)

Houston, Texas(2 reports)

Midland, Texas

San Antonio, Texas(3 reports)

Spring, Texas

Provo, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah(2 reports)

Quechee, Vermont

Dutton, Virginia

Midland, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Portage, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 4, 2017, SubTropMigrant from Quechee, VT wrote:

In Vermont, this vine behaves well, shows good growth occupying a reasonable area, is a reliable hummingbird attractor and does not reseed itself. I've grown it for two years now from nursery grown seedlings in full sun supported by a trellis and fence. The first year with slightly below average rainfall was the best with many blooms from late July through September. This year from the same nursery, with higher than average rainfall, I had the same amount of growth but fewer blooms. Still a good Ipomoea to grow as an annual.


On Sep 29, 2017, Wesee_Wisee from Batesville, AR wrote:

I''m always looking for plants that attract hummingbirds, something that they can get food from from without it always being a sugar-filled feeder, so when I saw the seed packet at Home Depot from Burpee for annual Cardinal Climber, I decided to try it.

The black seeds all sprouted in a pot, very easy to germinate. I planted three at the base of a Bald Cypress tree and one at the base of an 8 ft. tall stake on the south side of our house. The seedlings planted at the base of the Cypress didn't take off, and it seemed to compete with the Trumpet Vine that was already growing up the base of the tree. Maybe the shade had something to do with it not thriving, or the fact this area was far away from the watering hose so it didn't get regular watering.

The vine ... read more


On Oct 4, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A very beautiful plant with beautiful fine-textured foliage and many small elegant flowers. The scarlet flowers attract hummingbirds.

It grows slowly here and doesn't flower till mid-August. Here in Boston Z6a, I don't find any self-sowing, which makes this a much better garden plant than morning glories. I harvest seeds from the brown seedpods in the fall and sow them in the spring.

The states of AZ and AR have declared this a noxious weed. According to BONAP, it has naturalized only in MI, PA and FL.

The hybrid between I. quamoclit and I. coccinea is I. x multifida. I. sloteri is a new species resulting from a chromosome doubling in I. multifida. (It is an allotetraploid.) So I. x multifida and I. sloteri are not synonyms---they are geneticall... read more


On May 13, 2014, Lovehum wrote:

In my zone I can't plant this in the ground until temps are consistently warm. It don't really take off until late August, faster in full sun. Just in time for hummingbird migration though. I was surprised how woody the oldest growth got. I imagine this plant must be amazing warmer climates.


On Jun 17, 2013, salmon_patty from Springfield, MO wrote:

in my yard in southwest Missouri this annual comes back in the same place year after year. it gets no help from me. seeds start germinating toward the end of june, so germination depends on shorter days or soil temperature. it's a great plant for attracting hummingbirds but it can be invasive. I suggest dropping seeds on the ground where you want it to come back year after year. at the bottom of a telephone pole would be a great place. at the end of the first season, let the plant go to seed. then after the first frost let the vine dry out and tear it down. be careful how you dispose of the vine as it will still have seeds on it and they'll grow wherever if you're not cautious. I love the looks of this vine and the way it attracts hummingbirds.


On Sep 17, 2012, DonnaLMcC from Evanston, IL wrote:

I have had the packet of seeds for 3 years. 1st yr 2010 I planted only a few seeds in a grouping and the vine was rather thin. 2nd yr 2011 I planted more seeds in better soil and enjoyed watching it climb up a tall metal stake. This yr 2012 I planted all that were left and really watched it take off (if that is what other folks call invasive). It is such an amazing plant with those feathery leaves and then the larger ones.

Who knows how to harvest the seeds? Please let us know!


On Aug 19, 2011, CCPikie from Elmhurst, IL wrote:

I'm growing this vine because I've seen the RubyThroated hummingbirds visit one frequently in a neighbor's garden. I planted seeds indoors in peat pots a couple of weeks before last frost, which germinated well. After planting out it took quite awhile for the vines to get established. I now have two vines of pretty good size. They're just forming buds now and I expect flowers in a few days. I'd like to have seen blooms before mid August. These vines require very frequent watering, or they wilt. We're nine inches ahead of normal for rainfall here, and it's not nearly enough. Pest free.


On Mar 30, 2010, fixpix from Weston-super-Mare,
United Kingdom wrote:

i got some cardinal climber seeds (5x) and all sprouted.
when with just a few sets of leaves, i saw flower buds.
they turned red.
i am sure in a couple of days i will see flowers.
am surprised to see flowers so early in the spring and also on such young and small plants, considering it's a vine.
i can see the difference between this one and the cypress vine.
leaves are quite different.
got one potted in my apartment, two potted but on my parents' porch in the sun and one planted directly in the flower garden by a plum tree.
first time ever to experience this vine and i hope to have the same positive experience at the end of the fall.


On Jan 28, 2010, Blackwill from Bakersfield, CA wrote:

Neutral only because I have not experienced it yet...

I picked up a packet of Ferry-Morse "Cardinal Climber Vine" seeds at one of the Home Improvement centers here in Bakersfield, California (Zone 8b or 9a, depending on time of day, i guess..).

I have planted the seeds at the base of my two Bradford Pear trees in the front lawn (Jan. 25th, 2010).

I am hoping that they will flourish, and climb the trees to provide some much needed color and textural interest to the yard.

I will post an update as/if they progress.


On Nov 26, 2009, grrrlgeek from Grayslake, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I. sloteri is an allotetraploid species derived from Ipomoea ×multifida. I. ×multifida is a cross between I. coccinea and I. quamoclit. Both are referred to as Cardinal Climber.


On Sep 28, 2009, DMgardener from (Daniel) Mount Orab, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

Well, sort of. The flower were larger then I exspected, and were a rich scarlet. But the groweth was so slow!!! And it never did take off. But otherwise, it is a very good Ipomoea. The flowers were super early(!), a big +.
I was kind ashtonished to see the heart shape, after noticing that I. coccinea (which was growing on the other side of the house) has heart shaped leaves and the I. quamoclit has feathery leaves. The Cardinal Climber has a happy medium of them both!


On Sep 4, 2009, rare_bird from Independence, MO wrote:

I planted seeds from WalMart in planters alongside a fence surrounding the patio, in late May. By the end of June the vines were weaving in and out of the fence and up and over shephards' hooks holding other plants. The hummingbirds ignore the feeder, preferring the lovely red trumpets. I was surprised and delighted when the foliage began to turn to autumn hues in late August - gold, orange, deep red and even a dusty purple. Will plant in containers again next spring.


On Aug 31, 2009, lehua_mc from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Further north the Cardinal Climber has shown no invasive tendencies. Granted, I sowed the seeds late, near Memorial Day, as a last thought to cover a struggling woody shrub (& shed), which has since come back. Instead of mass take over I have a dainty vine climbing determinedly skyward with yes, the hummingbird magnet small red tubular flowers. I'm watching for seeds, mostly because I don't think it will over winter and I consider the experiment still open. Moisture has got to be key, since our summers are quite dry.


On Aug 16, 2009, rileyriley from Charlottesville, VA wrote:

Grew it in a pot and it went wild!!! I loved it, but give it a lot of room. Would never plant it in the ground - would probably eat all the other plants! Has anyone ever seen the stupid movie "The Ruins" ?


On Sep 6, 2008, dmj1218 from west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

One of the biggest problematic invasive plants I deal with--literally "chokes" out the life of surrounding plants in a matter of days. If you are located in the deep south please do not plant this--your neighbors will have to contend with its problems for years!


On Aug 9, 2008, RustyStar from Redondo Beach, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Here in Southern Cal (Redondo Beach), growing beautifully up the side of a white wooded wall. Of note is that the red flowers are delicate looking - although they are tubular in shape (attracts hummingbirds really well!), they do not have a "thick" wall to them - thus, the plant looks very lacey and airy -LOVE IT! Virtually pest free! Started from seeds right in the ground and they have performed so incredibly well. Also note that the red is a beautiful clear "Christmas" red - so lovely!! Will be sorry to see these go! :)


On Jul 20, 2008, brutusmother from Grand Rapids, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

I purchased seeds for this plant in Grand Rapids. It goes by the common name Cardinal Vine. I have planted this the last three years.


On Apr 22, 2008, nolabug from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I found this vine to be a very fast grower. I purchased seeds from Target labeled 'Cypress Vine, Cardinal Climber.' The plant grows easily from seed. It has proven very temperature flexible and pest free, unlike my morning glories which are constantly troubled by caterpillars and aphids. Planted in January in Zone 9, this plant was the first to top my fence and also the first to bloom. I pruned off the minor shoot until it got to the top of the fence with its main vine and all of these cuttings rooted and became vigorous plants.


On Jan 24, 2008, stephanotis from Queen Creek, AZ (Zone 8b) wrote:

I bought a packet of Cypress Vine seeds, started them in peat pellets, and every single one germinated. By the time they started twining I could see that the leaves were different on some of the seedlings. I had both Cypress Vine and Cardinal Climber seeds, and they were identical. I went ahead and planted all of them in a huge ceramic pot with an obelisk, and sat back to see what would happen. I was rewarded with mountains of foliage and lovely little red flowers from both sets of vines. The pot was set so it received a.m. sun, then shade for a few hours, then late afternoon sun, and then shade again. I had a hard time getting the watering right; I did find out that it's a fine line for these little vines between too much and not enough moisture. It's hard to strike a good balance here in... read more


On Oct 11, 2007, jasljohns from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I found no need to scarify the seed prior to planting, and sowed it directly into my garden at the base of the supports for my tomatoes. The effect is attractive and has significantly reduced the need to tie up the tomato vines.


On Oct 3, 2007, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

If I had a nickel for every time this plant was mixed up
with Cypress Vine. Sigh.

Cypress Vine has a light and airy, almost fern-like foliage.
The seeds look, quite frankly, like mouse droppings.

Cardinal Climber has larger foliage on which the leaf structure
is significantly wider. The seeds resemble typical Morning
Glory seeds.

Thanks for letting me get that out. I feel better. :-)


On Jun 30, 2007, Sherlock221 from Lancaster, KY wrote:

If you find this plant too invasive -- I have a suggestion. It was recommended to me by a nursery as a container plant that would grow even in concrete planters. It did extremely well in the concrete planters, climbing up my lightposts, which looked very nice indeed! When it got unruly, I simply trimmed it back. It did not come back on its own this year, so I would have to replace it each year in this area (Kentucky). It grows very fast, so it works well as an annual that gives you quick color and interest. Recommended as a container plant. The leaves are pretty and fern like and the flowers a beautiful shade of red. It looked very nice growing up our black lamp posts.


On Mar 23, 2006, Galop from Washington, DC wrote:

Very beautiful deep red flowers on dark green. Attracts humminbirds. Moderate care (watering about once everyweek, normal soil). Flowers look like they're on fire in sunlight.


On Sep 17, 2005, MollyMc from Archer/Bronson, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Clearly I have been confused about the difference between the Cypress Vine and the Cardinal Climber, until today. I have both plants here and the Cardinal Climber grows faster, longer and is much fuller that the Cypress. Both leaves appear to be lacy, but the Cardinal is less so.

So when I plant those seeds that I just threw into the same envelope, I will get a mix of both plants.


On Jul 19, 2005, RON_CONVOLVULACEAE from Netcong, NJ (Zone 5b) wrote:

This interesting species was first created by successfully hybridizing Ipomoea coccinea and Ipomoea quamoclit,thus creating the new species of Ipomoea x multifida which when it had become fully stabilized after several generations was given the updated binomial of Ipomoea sloteri =an allotetraploid derived from Ipomoea x multifida..
The new species shows a flower most like the I.coccinea,sepals most like Ipomoea quamoclit,but with a new leaf shape with divided foliage like the I.quamoclit,but with the overall heart shape(!) of the Ipomoea coccinea.


On Sep 6, 2004, MN_Darren from Saint Paul, MN wrote:

In cold climates, it appears that this vine will grow slowly until about late August when it will explode into rapid growth and blooming. I suspect that it's triggered by a combination of warm soil and shortening days. It will grow like a thug until the first frost, which will kill it dead. No chance of reseeding here in Zone 4. I like to plant it near beds of flowers that tend to collapse by late summer so that the Cardinal Climber will cover it all in a lovely blanket that builds upon the structure of dead annuals poppies, or other plants past their prime. There are definitely two variations of this plant. We have grown it every year for about ten years and this year the seeds we bought produced a much finer, lacy leaf that is quite a bit prettier than the others we have grown. Bo... read more


On Sep 29, 2003, clantonnaomi from Iredell, TX wrote:

Although this seems to be a great hummingbird plant, it is very invasive in Central Texas. It reseeds every year, and the more I pull it up, the faster it grows. I will certainly never have to replant it.


On Sep 28, 2003, slynx from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

Patience is the key with this plant. In Oklahoma the soil can dry out quickly. If you need to frequently water due to hot/dry cliamate, I recommend that you spread about one half cup of coffee grounds into the soil to keep the pH fairly low. I have seen the pH of my soil rise (due to watering with 7.5pH tap water) to at least 7.1 after almost 35 days af minimal rainfall.
This plant does well when planted with Four O'Clocks (I.jalapa).


On Sep 17, 2003, sfm from Bradford, NH wrote:

I added the Cardinal Climber only as an afterthought to a containered Mandevilla vine. It out-performed the
Mandevilla; and the humming birds love it! I'll harvest the seeds shortly, and will try it on a trellis on a
west-facing garage wall next year.


On Sep 8, 2003, katchip from Rockingham, NC wrote:

I started out planting some seeds I bought at Food Lion. Had 40 or so plants. When I planted them outside only 3 survived. The 2 that have done the best are planted in high acidic soil, and seem to love it. The hummingbirds and butterflies are always on the flowers. The hummingbirds like to hide in it as well.
Rockingham, NC


On Aug 1, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I too am somewhat confused about the nomenclature of this plant. My mother, who grew up in South Louisiana, always called this vine "Cypress Vine," so that's what I have always called it. A friend, who was raised in Baltimore, Maryland, corrected me this summer and said it was called "Cardinal Climber." Well, her plants do have a finer leaf than mine, but I am still trying to figure out if we are both right or both wrong! "The Southern Living Garden Book," the Bible of gardening in the Southern USA, lists both "Cypress Vine" and "Cardinal Climber" as common names for I. quamoclit (Quamoclit pennata) and does not list this species, but my book was published in Feb. 1998, so I really don't know if it is up to date.

I find the human propensity to try to "qualify the unquali... read more


On Jul 31, 2003, Karenn from Mount Prospect, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

In my zone 4b/5a area, this is grown as an annual vine. It matures and blooms very quickly, but does not "self-sow" lasting seed for the next year. Very attractive foliage; attracts butterflies as well as hummingbirds!


On Jun 25, 2003, defjef from Lake Mary, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Cypress Vine is still a very common name for this plant (so common in fact that I have never heard it called anything else) from Texas to Florida. Obviously it has nothing to do with true Cypress, but the name still exists.


On Mar 19, 2003, viner wrote:

Plant doesn't re-seed in Northeast. Soaking the seed, after scarification, speeds germination to 3 - 5 days at room temperature.


On Aug 5, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Often mistaken for Ipomoea quamoclit (aka Cypress Vine), this closely-related plant is a cross between Ipomoea coccinea and I. quamoclit) with slightly coarser leaves.

Very attractive to hummingbirds, self-seeds readily.