Particularly known for its showy green foliage and small, fragrant flowers, this plant, also known as polygonum aubertii, is native to China. It belongs to the Fallopia baldschuanica family. It is known to be hardy in most climates in the United States. The flowers put up a show of light green hues with white, and a tinge of pink. Also, it can grow to a staggering 30 feet tall, where it reaches about 12 feet high, within a year. A landscape that is begging for attention will get just that, by planting a silver lace vine.
- The spot that you choose to plant this, should receive full sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. However, if you reside in a place where temperatures rise to 90° F, then it is better to choose a partially-shaded location, when the plant is in its growing season.
- The soil must be rich in nutrients and well-drained for the vine to grow as desired. Also, the acidity of the soil should be within the pH range of 5-8. It is important to keep the soil moist, especially when the climate's dry; do not water the soil to a point where it's soaking wet. It should be damp to the touch.
- During the growing season, the soil has to be kept moist as the silver lace vine rapidly soaks up water. During warmer months, you may have to test if the soil is moist or not. You can do this by digging up a little soil (an inch deep) from the pot and trying to mold it into the shape of a ball. If it retains its shape, then it's a sign that the plant has adequate moisture, otherwise, it'll mean your vine needs more water.
- Once you notice that your vine has attained a height of 1 foot, the next step is to fertilize it. A balanced fertilizer is required during this time, and again when it begins to bud.
- Mulching the soil with organic compost (1-2 inches thick), will help the plant absorb moisture, nutrients, and prevent a weed invasion.
Given the invasive nature of the vine, pruning it becomes a necessity, lest it may overtake other vegetation in the garden or yard, and spread in places where it is not required. So, a strict pruning schedule should be outlined. Early spring is considered to be an ideal time for this process. Check for any diseased shoots or leaves. Now the shears that you are going to use must be dipped in a solution, containing 10% alcohol and water. Then, get rid of the diseased shoots, and cut the portion from where the damage begins.
Remember to dip the shears in the solution every time you make a cut, to prevent the disease from spreading to other parts. If you prune the vine ⅓ to ½ its size before it buds, then it will help prevent an overgrowth. Trim the vines that are growing in opposite directions, this will prevent them from getting entangled.
With the help of seeds, cuttings, division, or layering, you can help the vine propagate without much sweat. If you go for the division, then remember, spring is the best time to do it. And if cuttings are your choice, then place them in a pot, keep them moist and treat them with a rooting hormone. If you should have any doubt with this process, then there would be nothing better than consulting an experienced gardener.
Fortunately, the silver lace vine is not prone to develop many diseases, except the annoying presence of Japanese beetles or aphids. Simply spraying the plant with soapy water is enough to knock these pests off. And to prevent them from coming back, you can spray the vine with a dormant oil.