Is Butterfly Vine A Perennial?
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These flowering desert plants would be considered perennial. However, in the late springtime, there will be yellow blooms.
For those just learning about what a Butterfly vine is, Callaeum macropterum is a sun-loving and high heat bearing desert dwelling plant that can grow to the size of twenty feet tall and wide.
The name comes from the seed pods that grow out in the form of butterfly wings, and these ‘wings’ will turn a light brown color when ready for harvesting and planting.
The Central American native plant prefers to grow in rich but well-drained soils. Even so, it is good for growing on walls and fences.
When is it Perennial?
Most of the deserts, especially in the Phoenix valley in Arizona, will have a bloom of cacti and many of the other desert annuals in the later springtime around the monsoon months.
The Butterfly vine will have a blooming season that starts then and will last sometime into the Autumn season.
In this case, as with many desert habitats, there will be weather-dependent results that will change the blooming seasons and, in some drought situations, prevent blooms altogether.
However, spring rains and possible regular moisture will allow these desert vines to grow fast and make them look good while doing it.
Can Frost Prevent it from Being a Perennial?
As the cold season comes into the picture, these vines have more than likely finished their blooming season.
That being said, a late frost could end a flowering season’s start, and if the summer is dry, this would be just one situation in which a perennial bloom could be prevented.
Colder seasons depend on Geographical location, elevation, and other natural elements, which can prolong a winter frost situation.
This type of weather is usually found further north of the deserts found in the Southwestern United States, but the rare occurrence would, in effect, prevent a bloom.
How Should You Protect it?
Suppose you are growing your own personal plant, a cutting of the butterfly vine, to defend it from the elements. A gardener would have to provide an indoor space.
There will be certain sides of buildings that can be shielded from the wind and get all the sun possible, to the plants’ content and more.
In the northern hemisphere, it is commonly known that in order to catch the most sun year-round, positioning a plant on a southern-facing wall would be the best spot for it to grow.
Otherwise, the practical policy says to grow it in a desert climate, avoiding the frost issue altogether.
What can Stop a Butterfly Vine from Being a Perennial?
There was mention of frost in the section before this one, which could stop a perennial bloom in its tracks. The other, possibly more dangerous foe would be the wildlife looking for a bite to eat or just passing through.
This desert flowering plant has adapted to the heat and dryness, thriving in the newer, hotter climates that have been forming on the North American continent.
But, unfortunately, the weather also plays a big part; too much water from rain can harm the plant, and not enough water can dry it up, as with all plants.
Can you Propagate a Butterfly Vine?
The vine can be grown with either cuttings or seeds. The faster it is to clone the plant with the proper propagation. In other words, yes, you can take cuttings and plant them into well-prepared soil to grow additional plants.
Be sure to water the mother plant the day before to provide the best recovery conditions for her to regenerate herself.
Next, have the potting places ready for the cuttings with all the nutrients necessary for ample growth, and prune the cuttings before planting to give the new plants the best chance to grow.
Final Thoughts on Is Butterfly Vine a Perennial
This very sturdy plant will do well in any weather as long as the soil is well-drained. However, frosts will prevent perennial blooms and may, in the end, kill your plant if not careful.
The best plan is to keep this plant growing in northern and central America’s deserts and arid places.
This will ensure the survival of the plant by keeping it in its native habitat. The yellow flowers are a nice gift from the desert dweller and can be a creative inspiration for those who can see the butterflies from the seed pods.