What Are Cypress Vines?

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  • Written By: Steven Symes
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 09 August 2019
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Cypress vines are an annual plant that grows well in direct sunlight with watering that is above average. The vines grow quickly and produce bunches of flowers that make them attractive for a yard or other outdoor areas. Originally, cypress vines came from Central and South America, and so they do not grow well if exposed to early frost in the spring. Other names for the vine include star glory, hummingbird flower and its scientific name, Ipomoea quamoclit.

Some consider cypress vines to be a nuisance plant, since they spread easily. The vines attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies, which in turn spread the vine’s seeds nearby. New vines are likely to continue growing around the established vines, choking out other plant life as they consume water and sunlight as well as occupy soil. A gardener can avoid the vines taking over an area by picking seed pods when they first appear on the vines, before they have a chance to open and begin spreading seeds in the surrounding soil.

Pink, red and white flowers that are tubular in shape grow in small clusters spread throughout the vines. Flowers on cypress vines appear from the early stages of summer into the fall, making them attractive decorative plants for outdoor areas. Unlike some other plants, the flowers stay open during daylight hours. Once the flowers on the vine die, a gardener must trim them off to promote the growth of more flowers.


Trellis and screens provide a non-destructive way for cypress vines to grow. The vines do not grow along the ground like some other types of vines, preferring instead to climb vertical surfaces. A gardener can twist the new growth on the vines around surfaces he wants the vines to grow on, pointing the tips upward. If allowed to grow up trees or other plants, the vines eventually choke out and kill the other plants.

Under optimal growing conditions, a cypress vine can grow as much as 15 feet (about 4.5 m) in one growth season. When planting new vines, a gardener should space the vines at least 12 inches (about 30 cm) apart. The vines should also be in soil that is moist but not wet, being watered regularly. Each spring, a gardener should also dig out at least some of the new vines growing around established vines, otherwise the new vines will choke each other out and negatively impact at least some of the established vines.


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