Firecracker vine mina Lobata (also known as Ipomoea lobata) is truly a stunner. This striking vine can reach 4-6 feet. It explodes with brilliant sprays of flowers from July to the end of summer.
This plant is closely related to ipomoea Tricolor and is distinguished for its flowers. The RHS’s Award of Garden Merit was given to these racemes and sprays, which have blooms that change from red to white. You’ll be amazed at the range of colors it produces, which are very showy when in bloom.
All About The Fire Vine (Mina Lobata)
The Mexican morning glory is closely related to the fire vine, which is native to Mexico and Brazil. Although it is very similar, it grows in a completely different way.
These leaves are not heart-shaped, but tri-lobed and have a distinct point. Their blossoms form on a reddish stem. These stems produce teardrop-shaped blossoms. The stem is divided into different colors, with each color represented. Because it is similar in color, the Spanish flag’s common name is derived from the reds and the golds.
It does not reach the same heights as its relatives. It can grow to about ten feet in height. This plant is still quite large and can be used to make beautiful summer flowers and foliage along fences. This plant can also be grown on trellises, so it is possible to container-grow.
Although it is a tender perennial, the firecracker vine can be grown annually. It is not tolerant to cold temperatures and will often die back in late autumn.
Suggested planting locations and garden types
- Garden in the city and courtyard
- Cottage and informal garden
- Flowers borders and beds
- Wall-side borders
Growing Spanish Flag (Mina Lobata)
Light & Temperature
This vine is not affected by warm weather. It thrives in zones 9-11 where it is rarely exposed to cold. The plant can suffer cold damage if it is subject to temperatures below 40 degrees.
It is also a sun-worshipper. Ipomoea Lobata thrives in full sun, which means it needs at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. Although it can be grown in partial shade, it doesn’t do as well. You’ll get a colorful display of flowers if you provide lots of sunshine.
Water & Humidity
Your Spanish flag vines will thrive in moist but not too wet conditions. The best thing to do is keep the soil moist but not too soggy. Mulching can reduce soil moisture loss. To ensure my vines are healthy, I check the soil underneath the mulch every two days.
These subtropical vines can withstand surprising amounts of humidity. This is why this plant is so popular on the southern coast. As long as there is good airflow around the plants, sticky air shouldn’t pose a problem.
This is just like other plants. Avoid overhead watering. Fire vines can be watered best with a soaker irrigation system.
This plant is well-suited for sandy or loamy soils. Chalky soil is also acceptable. Avoid hard-packed clay as roots can have trouble forming in this type of soil.
The firecracker vine is not particularly picky and can tolerate a wide variety of pH levels. Your plant can tolerate mildly acidic to slightly alkaline soils. Avoid extremes in soil pH for your plant’s health.
Fertilizing Mina Lobata Plants
You should limit fertilization to the time you are planting. Before planting, apply a slow-release organic fertilizer to the soil. Too much nitrogen can cause excessive leaf growth and very little flowering.
If you are unsure about the soil requirements, do a soil test prior to fertilizing. Although the vine needs some fertility, it may not need any. This plant is not worth over-fertilizing.
Propagating The Vine
Mina lobata is a fast-growing plant so it’s best to start your plants from seeds. This is the best way to ensure your plants are healthy. After lightly scratching the seeds, soak them in water for 24hrs before planting. In starter pots, do not plant more than four times the size of your seeds. Make sure the soil is well-watered. Once the plants have reached a certain height, and are hardened off, you can transplant them.
It is not possible to grow this plant from cuttings. Most cuttings do not develop roots.
Pruning & Training Mina Lobata
The firecracker vine does not require pruning. You should limit your pruning to the trimming of diseased or damaged foliage.
Mina lobata grown in containers can be trained up on a tripod or trellis. Avoid choosing options that aren’t smooth as vines will grab onto rough surfaces. Once the vine finds the tripod or trellis it will grow up on its own. To secure young vines to your trellis, you can use plant ties if necessary.
It is possible to weave the vine into and out of a fence, but it is important to be gentle so as not to damage the stems and leaves.
Pests and Diseases
This vine is very resilient to pests and diseases. There are rare cases of pests or diseases. It’s generally pretty trouble-free.
Pests Attacking Mina Lobata
Red spider mites
They can be common so they are likely to appear. Wipe them out with neem oil, or a pyrethrin based spray. Your ipomoea lobata may be a target for other spider mites. The red spider mite is the only one who seeks out this vining herb.
A minor inconvenience, these can be annoying. However, neem oil is a preventative. It won’t necessarily kill the adults. These can be removed using pyrethrin-based sprays.
Potential Diseases When Growing Mina Lobata
Whitish spotting of leaves caused by oomycete. It is caused by an oomycete and creates blister-like clusters of spores underneath. This is a common condition. You can only remove the infected leaves and clip them. The infected material should not be composted.
Alternaria leaf spot
Other fungal leaf spots can also occur. These spots can be treated with a copper-fungicidal spray.
Fungal agents can cause a variety of symptoms. Copper fungicide can be used to treat these conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mina Lobata
Is mina lobata poisonous?
Ipomoea lobata seeds, like the morning glory, are poisonous. This plant’s seeds are poisonous and should be kept away from children and pets. The leaves can also cause nausea or vomiting.
Is mina lobata a perennial?
Although technically it is a perennial, firecracker vines are only perennial in zones 10 through 11. These zones seldom see temperatures below 40 degrees. It’s grown in all other regions as an annual.