In this article, we will discuss how to grow the beautiful shrub of Convolvulus cneorum, the shrubby bindweed in containers. When we think about Convolvulus, we think about the climbing and beautiful annuals and the hard-to-kill weed, but we do not think about the low-growing shrubs.
Convolvulus is a large genus of around 200 to 250 species belonging to their own family, Convolvulaceae. There are annual or perennial vines, but we are not interested in these but instead the small group of shrubs.
The only shrubby species you will find is Convolvulus cneorum which grows up to 60cm high. It is covered in 2.5cm long, lance-shaped, grey-green leaves that are covered in silky hair. These silky hairs give the shrub its silvery appearance. In May the pink buds that appear earlier in the season, open and white trumpet-like flowers appear. The flowers are around 4cm across and have a white stripe with pink on the reverse and have a face which is bluish-white, greenish-white or pure white.
Find out how to grow this beautiful shrub of Convolvulus in containers in this article.
GROWING CONVOLVULUS IN CONTAINERS
First, you will need to choose a container that will really show the silvery leaves and white flowers. Whatever you choose make sure it is well-proportioned with the plant in question and that it has plenty of drainage holes at the bottom. Add a 2cm layer of gravel at the bottom of the container to aid drainage further. Make a growing media by mixing 80% by volume of multipurpose compost with 20% by volume of washed building sand. Fill the container up to 5cm below the rim with this growing media.
Dig a hole at the centre of the container that is slightly bigger than the root ball it came in the original container. Drop the plant in so that the top of the root ball is at the same level as the top surface of the compost. Backfill with the growing media so that no obvious gaps remain, using more compost if necessary. Firm the plant in and water well.
BEST GROWING CONDITIONS
They prefer to be grown in full sun but can tolerate light shade in hot sunny and dry climates.
You will need to water regularly until the plant is established especially in hot, dry weather and you will need to water when 5cm below the top surface of the compost feels dry to the touch.
You will not need to fertilise frequently as it is not a hungry plant but in spring you can feed with a slow-release fertilizer at half its recommended dosage to give a boost through the growing season.
In general, no pruning is required but in spring, you can cut back weak and straggly branches.
To propagate your plant, you can take semi-ripe cuttings in summer and plant them in pots full of multipurpose compost. Place them in a cold frame and plant them out next year when it has rooted and is large enough to do so.
PESTS AND DISEASES
This is one plant that in general does not suffer from pests and diseases. The biggest problem is that shrubby bindweed is a rather tender plant, so it may need the protection of a greenhouse in winter to protect it from harsh, frosty conditions.
If you bring the containers inside for winter they can suffer from aphids and spider mites. You will need to blast them off with jet water to remove an infestation or use a systemic insecticide or miticide to deal with the problems.
VARIETIES TO GROW
The only species and variety you are likely to find is Convolvulus cneorum which has been described in great detail in the introduction. Other species of shrub Convolvulus are harder to find and are no more beautiful than Convolvulus cneorum.
In this article, we have discussed how to grow the wonderful silvery-leaved and flowering shrub of Convolvulus in containers.
If you want a compact silver bush that is easy to care for, easy to look after and does not suffer from pests and diseases then this shrub is for you.
If you have any questions or comments that you wish to make about growing Convolvulus in containers, please do so in the comment box below.
Happy Convolvulus growing.