Saturday, 4 July 2015

How to Grow Butterfly Pea Vine In Pots and care for them.

The Butterfly pea is a creeper with beautiful flowers shaped like a conch.It belongs to the pea family.Also known by other names such as Ciltoria Ternatea,Bunga Telang,Aparijata,Shankha Pushpi,Anchan ,Vishnukanta etc.Butterfly pea flowers come in shades of Blue,White,Purple,and sometimes its a mix of two colors like White and Blue together due to cross pollination there are also double petaled varieties .There are many species of Butterfly pea. Its an easy to grow creeper and helps in turning the soil fertile.The Butterfly pea creeper blooms profusely during the summers.



Caring for the plants is very simple pinch of the tips to promote bushy growth or else the vine will grow lanky with only a single stem its best if you remove the flowers so that the vine does not go into seed production phase to soon,apart from this you don't have to do much in fact I have observed that the Butterflypea vine does well in poor soil it can grow in any soil type does not need any fertilization so its pretty much a low maintenance and no fuss vine to grow.Infact the plant is know to condition poor soil and helps in making it fertile the poorer the soil quality the plant tends to bloom profusely.





                    

The flowers are borne upside down on the creeper and bloom in the mornings.Once the flower drops of naturally an elongated pea pod develops this pod has many tiny seeds in it, once mature the pod and the seeds within it dry, the pod then splits open dispersing the tiny black seeds from within,the outer skin of the empty pea pod curls when split.



                           
I happened to collect some Butterfly pea seeds from a Butterfly pea  plant that was growing wild near the road side on one of our trips to Thailand,back home I am familiar and have always seen the common Blue Butterfly pea but this Butterfly pea vine was different it had Butterfly pea flowers in a beautiful shade of Lilac color,I was very happy with my newly found treasure of seeds and I couldn't wait to get back home and plant them in my potted garden.





I planted the seeds during the rainy season and after two weeks the seeds germinated,my joy knew no bounds.The creeper of the Butterfly pea Vine grew really fast and it also started flowering about a month later,I supported it with a bamboo stick so that it had something to creep upon.Couple of days later had seen that the leaves at the base were severely infected with white flies I was so disappointed because i had no seeds left  to start a new Butterfly pea  plant and my existing plants never gave me any seeds,what do i do now i just cut the entire vine from the base and left the roots intact in the pot,I just hoped and prayed that it survives .It took a lot of time about six months to be precise One day I noticed that new leaves had sprouted and  the Butterfly pea vine bloomed again.



I have now decided to leave the flowers on the vine itself so that i can harvest some seeds that i can keep as a back up just in case something may go wrong to it again though i hope it wont cause now i keep a check on the underside of the leaves for any hidden pests.




Blue Butterfly pea flowers are used as a natural dye or food color,It is widely used in Malay,Burmese and Thai cooking.The flowers are used in traditional medicine in India and China.An extract of Clitoria Ternatea the most commonly found species of the butterfly pea has recently been found to have a high concentration of active peptides that have antimicrobial properties.



Butterfly peas make great garden plants. They are fast growing creepers, climbing up almost anything with great ease, their slender flexible stems happily twining around supporting twigs, branches and outcroppings. Being members of the legume family, they have root nodules that contain rhizobium, a fungus that converts atmospheric nitrogen into usable nitrates for your soil,so they are great for any garden.






Happy Gardening To All !!