Creeping Wire Vine Care

by Eulalia Palomo

Creeping wire vine (Muehlenbeckia axillaris) can take a beating, making it a smart choice for spots that get some foot traffic. This low-maintenance creeping vine creates a dense mat over walkways, in rock gardens and garden beds and on slopes and hillsides. All it needs is a little water and a regular trim to stay healthy and green. You can grow creeping wire vine in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 9.

1. Water

Creeping wire vine flourishes with regular water but can survive periods of drought. During the first year, when new plants are getting established, regular water is most critical. In general, water creeping wire vine when the top 3 inches of soil feel dry to the touch. A good way to test the soil is by digging out a narrow, 3-inch-deep hole in the soil next to the plant and feeling the dampness at the base of the hole.

2. Fertilizer

Fertilize creeping wire vine yearly in early spring. This will supply all the nutrients the plants need for the rest of the year. Use a general-purpose, complete granular fertilizer, such as a 12-4-8 slow-release fertilizer. The best way to apply is by sprinkle the fertilizer over the top of the plants. Use 4 tablespoons for every 4 square feet of planted area. After sprinkling the fertilizer, water the area to dampen the soil and wash off any fertilizer from the plant leaves and stems. Before fertilizing, read the application rates for the specific fertilizer brand as they tend to vary by manufacturer.

3. Maintenance

Keep creeping wire vine growing vigorously by giving it an annual shearing. A simple, low-maintenance way to shear creeping wire vine is by using a lawn mower. Run the mover over the planted area in early spring. This will stimulate new, green growth. Where you can't mow, like slopes and hillsides, you can leave creeping wire vine to grow year-round or cut it back with a pair of shears. This hardy vine does not suffer from any significant pest or disease problems, making it a low-maintenance, unfussy plant.

4. Landscape Uses

This low-growing 2- to 6-inch-tall vine has a spread of up to 30 inches for each plant. Use it as a ground cover or to stabilize a hillside. In rock gardens, creeping wire vine can take over, but with regular trimming you can keep it in check. This vine is well suited for areas that get a lot of foot traffic. You can also grow creeping wire vines in hanging baskets or in tall patio planters where it can cascade over the side. Space plants 18 to 24 inches apart in full sun or part shade.

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