desert merremia

Leo A. Martin
Tue, 04 Oct 2011 16:31:39 PDT
Richard wrote regarding Merremia aurea

> I found some of these seeds a couple of years ago and I have
> only two plants left after starting some 10 or so. They are
> very slow for me, In gallon containers, and the growing
> tip seems to die over the winter, condemning the plant
> to zombiehood. How do you grow them?

They're easy for me so I don't know what might be causing your problem.
Summers should be hot enough in Vista and your winters aren't that cold.
Maybe put your plants in the ground where they won't get too wet in the
winter? Or try them in a bigger container.

They don't produce much top growth the first 2-3 years but are making a
big tuber. I had one produce a tiny thread stem and only 4 small leaves
the first year, but the tuber was bigger than most sweet potatoes sold in

They don't emerge from dormancy until it's good and hot, so you might want
to wait a while to start watering, or put the pots someplace hot as soon
as you can. I wouldn't water them during cold weather. And I would make
sure the pots don't freeze in the winter. I lost a big plant in the ground
years ago during a heavy freeze here in Phoenix.

Another option would be to put them someplace warm and sunny and keep them
growing through the winter, if such be available. They are evergreen and
ever-blooming in Baja California.

Leo Martin
Phoenix Arizona USA

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