Vineyard, or Ampelopsis – liana with colorful berries

Among the most popular indoor vines, the vineyard is rarely found. But everyone who dares to bring this amazing garden and indoor plant into their home calls it nothing but a wonderful liana. The vineyard seemed to have combined all the advantages of classic indoor steeplejacks, adding to them several colorful details. Luxurious carved foliage, which seems weightless, captivates not only with its shape, but also with its variegated color. The reddish-purple color of the stems, tendrils and cuttings of the leaves seems unexpected, like the multi-colored berries in this amazing indoor giant. And at the same time, the vineyard is also one of the most obedient vines, with the help of which you can not only create spectacular ampels, but also green the supports, walls, and use it as a universal draper. Simplicity is also added to the decorative advantages of the plant: in addition to sufficient lighting, the indoor vineyard does not make any more demands on itself.

Vineyard (Ampelopsis). Farmer Joseph Despins

Indoor gardening career

Among the representatives of the Vinogradov family, there are many plants that successfully combine garden and indoor careers. But even against their background, the vineyard, or scientifically ampelopsis, deserves special attention. Plants known here as “porcelain berries” in the West are called BlueBerry Vine or Porcelain Berry. This culture, which is actively used in landscaping in North America and Europe and is capable of decorating any garden in regions with mild winters, is mainly known in our country only in indoor or potted culture.

At best, vineyards decorate the gardens for the summer, returning them to the premises again for a dormant period. And you cannot call ampelopsis too popular a houseplant. But he deserves much more respect. This culture is very easy to grow, besides, it also allows you to change shape and contours, easily adapts to various decorative tasks. Thanks to shaping and pruning, cultivation on supports and without them, ampelopsis can grow in compact bushes, and not only in the form of luxurious dense ampels or wall draperies. And in the beauty of lacy greenery, no other indoor liana can compete with him.

Vineyard short-stemmed (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata), which today botanists have reclassified as Iron vineyard (Ampelopsis glandulosa), we sell it under the old name, and sometimes – and how ampelopsis ussuri… It is the most common vine among vineyards, a very flexible vine with reddish-purple shoots up to 2-3 m long, so thin that it seems amazing how, at this length, they can support a mass of densely spaced leaves.

Unlike real grapes, ampelopsis produce antennae that are not equipped with suction cups, and it needs help to fix it on any support. Whole, five-part, deeply cut, reminiscent of a hybrid of ivy and grapes, leaves with very impressive large denticles along the edge seem surprisingly delicate and variable. Leaves of various sizes and shapes are often combined on the same plant. But the most attractive part of ampelopsis is by far the color. White, pink or even reddish spots appear chaotically on the dark green, muted color of the leaf plate.

Due to the unevenness of the variegated pattern, it seems as if paint was simply sprayed onto some of the leaves of the plant. It blooms with inconspicuous and almost inconspicuous shields. Fruiting indoor ampelopsis, in contrast to garden, is not easy to wait, since it produces spectacular berries only at a considerable age. But the sight is worth it. The fruits, albeit inedible, seem to be perfectly round balls, as if molded from porcelain.

Uneven ripening leads to the fact that berries with a completely different color from rich azure to blue, pink, white, blue, ultramarine and violet are simultaneously located on the plant. And small specks only emphasize non-standard colors. It is difficult even for recognized indoor berry soloists to compete in the color and beauty of berries with ampelopsis.

In addition to the base plant, the form is also very popular Maksimovich (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata var. maximowiczii) with lighter leaves, deeply dissected into 5 lobes and an uneven edge. Maksimovich’s vineyard produces smaller leaves, which always fall off in autumn. The pattern on the leaves is not white-green, but pink-white-green, reminiscent of marble veins. The variety Elegans (synonyms – Tricolor, Variegata) is even more often on sale – lacy and compact, with shoots up to 2 m in length, ampelopsis with especially bright spotting, some leaves of which seem almost white.

Japanese vineyard (Ampelopsis japonica)
Japanese vineyard (Ampelopsis japonica). Farmer Raffi Kojian

Much less common in indoor collections Japanese vineyard (Ampelopsis japonica) Is a graceful plant with three- or five-part leaves of a uniform green color, which seems simpler than classic vineyards. But it is rightfully called one of the most lacy indoor lianas.

Caring for a vineyard at home

Growing grapes is a simple process. He will need attention, in particular, regular watering without extremes. But despite this, ampelopsis cannot be counted among the capricious cultures. Active care during the growing season and more modest care in winter will decorate the interior with the luxurious leaves of this culture. It is a light-loving and cool winter-loving plant that tolerates pruning well and gratefully responds to minimal care.

Lighting for ampelopsis

Ampelopsis is rightfully ranked among the light-loving vines. This plant loves good lighting and feels comfortable both on eastern or western windowsills, and in a bright place with confused lighting. The vineyard should be protected from direct sunlight only in the summer, and even then it is afraid only of the midday sun. This plant reacts well to fluctuations in lighting and does not like artificial lighting too much. Ampelopsis is able to adapt to partial shade, if you gradually accustom it to less light, but under such conditions it can partially change the color of its leaves and stretch out somewhat.

Vineyard (Ampelopsis)
Vineyard (Ampelopsis). Farmer Hiromi Sato

Comfortable temperature

The basis for success in growing ampelopsis is mainly considered to provide a cool wintering area. The plant should be kept cool during the dormant phase after shedding the leaves. The optimal maintenance regime for the rest period is a temperature of 10 to 12 degrees. But the older ampelopsis becomes, the better it adapts to a warmer winter. With careful care and increased lighting in winter, it can overwinter in temperatures of about 18 degrees Celsius, recover well and delight no less beautiful greenery. The minimum allowable values ​​are about 5 degrees Celsius.

In the rest of the year, the vineyard feels great in the usual “room” temperature range and develops well even in hot weather. True, if the air temperature exceeds 25 degrees, ampelopsis has an increased need for fresh air and spraying.

In summer, the vineyard can not only be taken out into the fresh air, placed on balconies and terraces and even in the garden, but also planted in open ground, dropped into the soil. The vineyard loves frequent airing, grows well in rooms with open windows and doors, and is absolutely not afraid of drafts.

Watering and air humidity

During the stage of active development, ampelopsis needs rather active watering. This plant does not tolerate drought or waterlogging, and it is necessary for it to provide the most stable environment possible. Even a brief drought can cause the vine to shed all its foliage. In spring and summer, from March to November, ampelopsis is watered actively, often and abundantly, immediately after the top centimeter of the potted substrate dries out (but making sure that the humidity is not excessive). During the winter, it all depends on the temperatures.

With a cool winter, it is kept in almost semi-dry conditions, providing light, rare watering, maintaining only minimal soil moisture. With warm wintering, the humidity is halved compared to summer. The transition to the phase of active development, the appearance of the first signs of growth serves as a signal that watering should be made more abundant. It is not necessary to stretch the transition from poor winter watering to abundant summer watering. The optimal frequency of procedures for the vine is about 1 time in 2 days in summer and 1 time in 10 days in winter. Ampelopsis always prefers more rare but plentiful watering.

The air humidity for ampelopsis in the room does not need to be increased. An exception is the periods when the plant is in air temperatures exceeding the optimal ranges. In hot weather, ampelopsis should be sprayed at least 2-3 times a week to compensate for hotter conditions. And in the summer, spraying can be done daily. Hot air from heating systems is compensated in the same way.

Vineyard short-flowered (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata)
Vineyard short-flowered (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata). Farmer Caitlin W.

Top dressing for ampelopsis

An actively growing liana needs fairly frequent feeding, which is best applied once every 1-2 weeks. Any universal fertilizer for indoor plants or special fertilizer mixtures for decorative deciduous plants, thanks to which the variegated leaf pattern becomes brighter, is suitable for the vine. Top dressing for this plant is applied from April to October.

Pruning ampelopsis

Ampelopsis is not afraid of any formation and tolerates pruning very well. Moreover, it is the key to longevity and the formation of a thicker and more lush bush. The stronger the pruning, the better the shoots branch and the thicker this vine grows. The size of the plant, thanks to formative pruning, can be controlled down to the most compact pot forms.

Ampelopsis must be tied to supports, guided: due to the lack of suckers on the antennae, it cannot climb up on its own. It grows well both on curly bases, and on ladders, and on trellises, and in ampels or cascades.

In order for the plant to retain its variegated color, it is better to regularly remove shoots with green leaves. If you leave them on the plant, then the number of simple branches will constantly grow.

Transplant, containers and substrate

The substrate for vineyards is selected very carefully. This culture prefers nutritious, clayey soil with an alkaline reaction. For ampelopsis, an earth mixture is suitable, consisting of humus soil, sand and two-fold shares of sod and leafy soil.

When choosing containers for growing grapes, it should be borne in mind that they are most comfortable in containers whose height exceeds the diameter. He has a powerful, deep enough root system, which does not develop well in wide pots.

The optimal frequency of transplants is annually for young people and once every 1 years for powerful ampelopsis. Vineyards are transplanted as soon as the first signs of growth in early spring appear. In this case, for a plant, it is desirable to carry out a classical transplant, and a transshipment. Medium drainage is laid at the bottom.

Vineyard short-flowered (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata)
Vineyard short-flowered (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata). Farmer Ryan Somma

Diseases and pests

Ampelopsis in room form often suffers from aphids, whiteflies and scale insects. Of the diseases on the vine, fusarium, rust and gray rot are common. But usually problems with vineyards arise only with serious violations of care, in particular, with improper watering. It is best to deal with problems immediately by applying insecticides and fungicides. The damaged parts of the shoots are best cut out. Ampelopsis renews itself quite well after pruning and will recover faster if the focus of spread is limited in time.

Vineyard propagation

One of the main advantages of the vineyard is the ability to easily get new plants. Best of all, this culture is propagated by cuttings. In late spring and summer, apical cuttings can be cut from young twigs, which take root even in wet sand, and not only in the ground under the hood. The only condition is that the air temperature is about 20 degrees Celsius. Pretreatment with a growth stimulant increases rooting by up to 100%.

You can get a new ampelopsis from cuttings. To do this, it is enough to wrap the shoot in the internodes with moist moss or substrate, fix it with foil or film and, constantly moisturizing, wait until the roots are released.

Seed propagation is only suitable for ampelopsis with a uniform green color. Seeds require stratification within 2 months at temperatures ranging from 0 to 2 degrees. They germinate quickly under the condition of creating a warm, humid environment and bright lighting in any nutrient substrate under glass or film.

  • , title : 'David Page and Barbara Shinn of Shinn Estate Vineyards in Long Island, NY
    David Page and Barbara Shinn of Shinn Estate Vineyards in Long Island, NY

Anna Evans

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