The Ipomea are voluble plants forming a large genus of about 500 species. Here, we’re talking about the Sweet Caroline, here is our complete plant care guide for the Ipomea Sweet Caroline.
Advice on the care and cultivation of the Sweet Caroline
It does very well on its own to grip, once you provide it with support.
Regular watering, especially in summer, will be necessary.
Remove the seed pods before they dry out and fall to the ground if you don’t want the Sweet Caroline to spontaneously reseed.
Ideal soil and exposure for planting an orchid in the garden
The Sweet Caroline is cultivated in full sun, sheltered from the winds, in a warm situation, in a rich, light, healthy and well-drained soil.
Planting of the Sweet Caroline
The Sweet Caroline is a very fast growing plant, it can easily reach three meters high and exceed ten meters when the climate is conducive to its development.
The Sweet Caroline are not demanding plants as regards the ground: a poor soil can be enough, even if the humus accelerates the growth and generates a more beautiful and abundant bloom. Also, for an optimal development, make sure to plant your Sweet Caroline on a rather fresh and well drained soil.
On the other hand, it is necessary to pay a particular attention to the location of the Sweet Caroline, because it is a plant which needs sun and its delicate flowers fear strong winds. A full southern exposure will thus suit it perfectly!
Plant it in the spring near a trellis, a wall, a tree or a pergola to let it exercise its climbing skills. It is recommended to soak the seeds the night before sowing.
Sow undercover from March, transplant in April and place from May in a mixture of soil, potting soil and organic amendment.
- Soak the seeds in warm water for 1 hour before sowing to speed up emergence.
- One can also sow directly in the ground from mid-May but the flowering will take place much later which is a pity for an annual plant.
- Place the Sweet Caroline in a sunny place.
Cultivation of potted Sweet Caroline
The pot culture of the Sweet Caroline is quite possible and even interesting to decorate a terrace or a balcony.
- Choose a pot of sufficient diameter (about 12 inches).
- Make sure that the pot is well drilled at the bottom and ideally put a bed of clay beads at the bottom.
- Then fill the pot with potting soil for flowering plants.
- Water as soon as the soil is dry on the surface without flooding the plant.
Pruning and maintenance of a Sweet Caroline
The Sweet Caroline has the advantage of being very easy and therefore requires very little maintenance.
Pruning the Sweet Caroline
The Sweet Caroline are voluble plants forming a large genus of about 500 species. However, if it becomes invasive you can easily cut a few stems as needed.
Irrigation of the Sweet Caroline
The Sweet Caroline must be watered regularly, especially in case of strong heat, but without excess. The contribution of a fertilizer for flowering plants should improve the bloom, especially for the Sweet Caroline in pot.
A mulching at the foot makes it possible to keep the humidity after watering and thus makes it possible to limit the number of waterings?
Diseases and enemies of Sweet Caroline
The Sweet Caroline is a rather resistant plant and which does not fear particularly the predators. If the aphids start to invade it, let them! It supports them very well and meanwhile, the aphids leave your other plants in peace. If you want to get rid of them, you can of course sprinkle the foliage of your plant with a mixture of water and black soap.
If the leaves of your Sweet Caroline start to dry out or become deformed, don’t panic: it’s just a sign that it has a little cold; don’t hesitate to place a veil at the foot of the plant at night.
Multiply the Sweet Caroline
In nature, Sweet Caroline are propagated either by their seeds, or by their stems crawling on the ground, or by their tubers.
By recovering the seeds of the flowers which you will have left to mature, you will obtain other climbers by sowing them the following spring. The flowering of these new plants will often be different from the mother plant.
Sweet potatoes rarely flower, so cuttings are used.
Here is a method for cutting sweet potatoes:
- At the end of winter, place the tubers from the previous year in a pot of potting soil and keep moist until sprouts germinate.
- Remove sections of stems with 3 to 4 eyes.
- Plant in the garden 40 cm in all directions or in a pot with a minimum diameter of 30 cm.
- Water and mulch to keep moist and warm.
The Sweet Caroline or volubilis, climbing lianas with large heart-shaped leaves, offer trumpet-shaped flowers all summer long, from white to azure blue and red. Ornamental sweet potatoes, the little sisters of the volubilis, have opulent foliage of many colors that languorously cascades from pots and planters.
Their tropical origin makes them cold, which is why most of them are cultivated as annuals in our climates, with the exception of the Sweet Caroline learii which can come back from one year to another if it has been well protected in winter.