The happy wanderer is an evergreen creeper is a great vine and can be grown very easily. The vine is also scientifically known as the Hardenbergia.
It also has other common names such as – False Sarsparilla, Native lilac, purple coral pea, etc. These are originally a member of the pea flower family and the native vines of Australia and are found in three species all around from Queensland to Tasmania.
These make up an excellent garden plant because of their bushy vine appearance and soft purple flowers. The happy wanderer vine is also very sustainable and can thrive and adapt to harsh conditions. They are almost hard to kill.
These vines can climb over a variety of structures and give a vibrant and fresh look to your home gardens, front doors, arches, fences, trellises, garden walls, etc. It is a rather aggressively spreading vine and gives a dense appearance with a wildly pleasing look.
The dark green and leather-like foliage and the clusters of the purple flowers are among the most commonly grown vines in Australia.
Apart from the common Hardenbergia Violacea which is violet in color, there is the Hardenbergia Rosea is of a soft pink shade and the Hardenbergia Alba which is an entirely white flowering type.
Let us know more about growing and maintaining a happy wanderer vine.
Description of the happy wanderer plant:
This native Australian vine is a fancy outdoor plant. The beautiful flowers and dark green leaves add an aesthetic touch to your gardens.
These vines are great climbers and wrap around trellises, fences, poles, and many other structures easily. Their easy to grow nature and very enduring properties make these a good vine choice.
They make great décor elements and add a perfect contrasting color of clustered flowers amongst the vining green foliage of the plant.
These plants usually grow up to 20 feet and are fast growers once they are established properly. Many might even reach a 50 feet length at times.
The flowers of these vies are pea-like and grow in clusters. The major species are a violet-colored flowering variety and along with this, there is also a soft pink in color flower species and one which has white flowers.
The vine has a woody stem structure that climbs. The leaves are longish, dark green, and have a leather-like texture.
The leaves of the happy wanderer vine have prominent venation as well. The base of this vine has a rather leggy and stemmed appearance but as the vine grows further, the leggy look reduces and it has a more bunched out bushy appearance with the dark green foliage and clustered pea-shaped violet flowers.
The nectar of this flower attracts bees to the vine and adds to the natural look of the surrounding environment. This vine usually grows during the winter and spring seasons.
The blooming of the flowers during the cold season attracts bees to these flowers as usually the other flowers during this season do not bloom at much.
Thus, the flowers of the happy wanderer vine become an essential food source for the bees and insects in the surrounding habitat. It also attracts different birds and butterflies.
Growing and caring for a happy wanderer vine:
If you want to grow this beautiful climbing vine in your houses and gardens, make sure to keep in mind these growing and caring tips for this vine.
Propagation of this vine:
These vines can be grown either through the stem cuttings from a well-growing plant or even through seeds for a happy wanderer vine.
Cuttings from the softwood or even semi-hardwood stems can be taken to use for propagation. It is best to snip out the plant’s cuttings during the early springtime as this season facilitates good growth.
Make sure you pick up healthy and fresh stems so that the new plant grows with fewer risks and vulnerability to damage. The stems can be then rooted in the soil.
The soil can be made with mixing 1/4th parts of peat moss and 3/4th portions of sand to ensure good aeration and drainage in the soil. The rooted stems prefer a sandy component and it assists in the growth of this vine.
The happy wanderer vine can also be planted using seeds available in gardening stores and markets. The seeds need to be scarified before adding them to the soil mixture as these seeds have a hard outer covering and need to be softened before planting.
The seeds can be soaked in water for a day in order to soften the outer covering. To quicken this process, even a slit can be made on the cover.
Scarifying the seed helps in increasing the speed of a shoot germinating from the seed. The soil mixture can be kept prepared beforehand by mixing all the necessary nutrients, peat moss, sand, etc.
The climate for the germination of a Hardenbergia seed needs to be warm. A temperature range of 21 or above must be provided to this plant. These vines all in all prefer a warm environment and do not grow well in places with cold weather or frosty environments.
This plant prefers growing in a warm climate. The vine while germination must be provided with a temperature of not less than 20. Lower temperatures do not support the germination of the happy wanderer.
These vines do not tolerate low temperatures and frost. It is best to always keep the temperature above 25. The plants are more adaptive to colder temperatures when young, as they grow. They lose this ability to bear the cold.
The happy wanderer vine prefers growing in well-drained soil. It can grow well in several types of soils such as clayey soils and sandy soils. The soil must have a pH of around 5.5 to 6.0 to support the growth of a happy wanderer vine. A soil that provides good aeration to the roots and is richly supplied with nutrients is a great medium for the growth of these climbing plants.
Sunlight requires of the happy wanderer:
The happy wanderer vines grow in full sun conditions. They can be placed anywhere on a balcony, a garden, over trellises or fences, etc. They can also survive well with partial and shaded light sources.
It is best advised to keep a happy wanderer in a western sunlight exposure where it grows in partial sun and partially shaded condition. A lot of extreme full sun exposure can damage the plant, the leaves can burn and the flowers can be hampered too with too much heat of the Sun.
Watering the happy wanderer:
The happy wanderer vine should not be watered more than necessary. Too much water on the leaves of the vine can cause fungal infections and give rise to diseases. The plant in the initial days after planting can be regularly watered.
Once the vine is well established, it can be watered less regularly. During the summer, watering should be increased to maintain adequate moisture in the soil. The soil must at all times be kept drained of excess water as waterlogging does not suit this vine.
Fertilizing the happy wanderer vines:
A happy wanderer vine prefers a nutrient-rich soil. Providing the plant with a controlled-release fertilizer at the time of flowering and after the flowering season is good for the plant.
A slow-release fertilizer during the spring and autumn seasons are preferred. This vine can be given liquid fertilizers every two or three weeks. Following these regular schedules of fertilizing can lead to the vigorous growth of the vine.
The happy wanderer can also be fertilized with Epsom salts and iron compounds during April. It can make the plant stronger and less vulnerable before flowering in the climber starts.
Mulching for this vine:
Mulching the soil can prove to be very useful for this flowering vine. Mulching is done by providing a layer on the topsoil to protect the plant, retain moisture in the soil, and to discourage the growth of weeds.
When mulching for a happy wanderer it is best to have an around 5cm depth of a mulching layer on the soil. This creates a decorative and protective cover for the plant and also keeps the moisture intact in the soil. Ultimately, mulching the soil helps the vine to grow and avoids the growth and emergence of weeds that hamper plant growth.
Protecting the happy wanderer from pests and diseases:
During the cold season, this wine can develop a fungal infection from the dew in the environment. The cool and moist weather conditions give rise to a feeding ground for fungi and this can infest the vine. A proper fungicide can be used to get rid of this fungal growth on the plant.
Another way of avoiding the fungal disease during winter is to let the plant be in good air circulation. This prevents the retention of moister and dew on the foliage and stems. Pruning can trim away dead and dried leaves and help in aerating the vine.
Proper air circulation keeps the plant dry and less vulnerable to a moist for fungal diseases. The foliage can also be watered less during the winters. By avoiding the wetting of the vine leaves, the chances of a fungal build-up are considerably less.
Many a time, caterpillars, and other leaf-eating insects can affect the foliage of these vines. Scale insects as well as mealybugs are also common pests that can harm this vine.
They can be kept away by spraying necessary pesticides and insecticides on the vine. Leaf damage must be checked and kept under control. Removing dead or decaying leaves can be of great help, as these leaves are the causes for the spreading of microbial diseases to the entire vine.
Over-watering must also be avoided to prevent the growth of fungus or other microbes and pests due to moisture. Too much moisture in the soil can be the reason for the roots to rot. Thus, the soil must at all times be kept airy and well-drained to avoid the chances of fungal diseases and pest infestations in the happy wanderer.
Pruning of the happy wanderer:
As we have seen earlier, the happy wanderer vine is a climbing plant with very speedy growth. These vines often even spread aggressively all over the growing medium. Thus, pruning and keeping the growth as well as the spread of these vines under control is an essential task.
Regular pruning after the pruning can keep the spreading of these vines under control and it also helps to maintain the size and shape of this vine according to your preferences.
A lot of times pruning up to as much as two-thirds of the entire happy wanderer vine once it has completed flowering for the season can be helpful for the further growth of this plant. It is of great assistance for the vine to grow better till the next flowering season.
Proper pruning and trimming of leaves and branches also helps with reducing the leggy appearance of the vine and makes it more full and bushy.
It is good to trim and snip off dead, drying, and damaged leaves. This helps to keep away pests and insects which can spread to the vine and hamper its growth.
These vines grow back very quickly and thus there isn’t any harm in chopping off a bigger bit. It grows back and would soon need another round of trimming.
Once established, these vines grow by themselves and do not need too much tending when it comes to watering the plant. They grow and twine over structures and only need a regular pruning schedule to keep in check its spread and growth.
You can even buy different varieties of this vine from the gardening stores to suit your taste and preferences. There are these main types namely:
– The ‘Hardenbergia Violacea’ with violet and lilac-colored flowers against dark green foliage. This is the common happy wanderer.
– The ‘Hardenbergia Rosea’ which is a soft pink colored flowering Hardenbergia.
– There is another variety found in stores known as the Free ‘n’ Easy variety. It has a soft lavender-pink hue mixed with white.
– The Hardenbergia Alba is a pure white flowering type in this family.
– Another variety is a mix of purple and white-colored flowers from the common happy wanderer vine and the Free ‘n’ Easy.
With all the available varieties, choose your favorite today to decorate and add color to your gardens with these beautiful vines.