Rangoon Creeper (Quisqualis indica) Growing in an Arch or Arbor - Part 2

In part 1 of this article, I discussed the location where the Rangoon Creeper or Chinese Honeysuckle was planted. There is full day sunlight in this location and so I expect the vine to grow quickly and yield beautiful flowers.

Because the vine has twining young shoots, I tied a piece of insulated solid strand wire from the front fence near where its planted up to the top of the garden gate arch. The wire will be used to train the Rangoon Creeper's vine and reach the garden gate arch.

Why did I not just let the Rangoon Creeper climb up in one of the garden arch's posts?

The primary reason is to let the Rangoon Creeper develop a good-sized trunk made up only of two main branches. I knew that once the twining branches age, they become bigger and will actually be strong enough to engulf the insulated wire. I'm sure that by then I could no longer recover that insulated wire.

Another reason is that I did not want the branches twining on the metal post. If I wanted to, it would be close to impossible to repaint the metal post if I allowed the vine's branches to twine on it. Repainting the metal post is just one reason. There may be other maintenance issues on the garden gate arch that will require tasks to be performed on the arch's metal post.

The photo above shows the wire with the young branches of the vine growing on it. This is after a week since I planted the Rangoon Creeper.

After a few more days, notice that a few more branches began to emerge on the primary stem that twined on the wire. The choice for an insulated solid strand copper wire is to minimize the amount of rusting that may occur.

In my experience with vines, mature branches that have twined on wire eventually wrap on the wire completely. The moisture coming from the vine itself leads to wire's rusting. Ultimately, a badly corroded wire could break resulting in a less rigid vine branch or trunk.

One month later, the Rangoon Creeper's first flower blossomed. Shown below, in the center of the photo is the first flower that bloomed. Notice the side branches have become bigger and longer.

Even the leaves are bigger and look fresh, indicative of a healthy growth. The white insulated wire is still very visible at this point.

After another month, the top branches have settled on top of the garden gate arch. The beautiful tresses of white, pink and red flowers are now visible at the ends of the branches as shown in the photo below.

The side branches on the main trunk have become heavier, longer, and are now drooping. Left on their own, these side branches' foliage would cover much of the metal post and the other flowering plants of the front fence. Eventually, the front fence would appear overgrown with tropical vegetation (jungle-looking).

Thinning the Side Branches of the Rangoon Creeper

To achieve a cleaner and well-delineated look, I opted to retain only two of the main original branches of the Rangoon Creeper. These selected two (the thickest branches) would form the main trunk of the vine. The less healthy, weaker and thinner side branches were cut using a pair of pruning shears.

This is called "thinning the vine" to make the trunk portion of the vine look more compact and neater. It will also allow the energy of the vine to be concentrated to flowering and towards the growth of more branches on top of the garden gate arch.

See part 3 for the continuation of this article.

Go ahead, post your comment below!

Anonymous said...

Very useful, practical information. It really helped me understand what I need to do in order to have a lovely vine and not an unmanageable one. Thanks 🙏

Blackdove said...

Thank you. And yes, otherwise, the vine becomes unwieldy and just looks messy.