Clitoria Ternateae popularly known as Butterfly pea is a beautiful perennial flowering vine. It blooms from mid-spring throughout the summer till the first frost in the fall. These vines are pretty hardy in USDA zone 9 and above. Although they can survive almost anywhere with little care and protection. The butterfly pea is a fairly drought-resistant plant that still needs care during hot summer days. Therefore today we will discuss everything about Butterfly pea Summer care.
Butterfly pea has many other common names like Aprajita or the Clitoria flower. It comes in a variety of colors including bright blue, pink, purple, white, and red. All of them have both single and multi-layer variants available to grow. If you are interested then read how to grow Butterfly pea.
Check out the best Butterfly pea seeds on Amazon.
Problems that affect a Butterfly Pea Plant in Summer
A butterfly pea plant is fairly drought tolerant. It can survive well on hot summer days. The summer season is usually the best time for these flowering vines. Although if the temperature scales above 38 degrees celsius then it may cause several problems. The mortality rate of the Butterfly pea plant is fairly low even at 40 degrees celsius unless you forget to keep it well hydrated.
The Common problems that can affect a butterfly pea plant in summer include-
- Acute Dehydration,
- Leaf and flower drop,
- Reduction in flower size,
- Color fading of flowers,
- Foliage and vine tip Burn
- Partial death and dryness of long Butterfly pea vines.
All of these problems are directly related to the lack of moisture. Acute dehydration occurs when the plant does not get water for 3 to 4 days at a temperature above 32 degrees celsius. This condition will result in curling and drooping of leaves. Latter the leaves at the farthest distance will start falling off the vines. Then the vine tips will start drying and if the plant is not hydrated by this time then it may die eventually.
Even if the plant is safe, it will slow down new bud formation with subsequent temperature rises. The butterfly pea plant will try to save as much moisture as it can to stay alive. It will result in small flowers with faded coloring. If a temperature above 35 degrees celsius is common in your locality during summer. Then you should grow these vines in part shade where the chance of overheating and excessive evaporation is low.
Apart from high burning temperature, pests and diseases can also cause problems to the butterfly pea during summer.
You may also read: Why is my Butterfly Pea plant not flowering?-Clitoria Ternatea
Butterfly Pea Pest Problems in Summer
Summer is the favorable season for butterfly pea vines. These vines are very hardy and drought-resistant. They are also not prone to any serious pest problem unless the plant has low immunity. Sometimes the high summer temperature and prolonged dehydration can weaken these vines. This will allow the pests to attack and feed on butterfly pea vines. It usually happens in places where day and night temperature varies too much.
Hot days and cold nights can lead to pests attack. Generally, this situation is not dangerous for the plant instead it can interfere with the natural blooming cycle. It may cause poor quality blooming in butterfly pea plants.
Only a few bugs can damage your butterfly pea plant in summer and they are-
- Spider mites
- Fruit borers
The combination of high temperature, overwatering, and pests are dangerous for any plant. This is the main reason for root rot diseases in Butterfly pea vines.
How to Care for Butterfly Pea in Summer
- Keep the vines well hydrated. They may require watering daily and sometimes twice every day. Keep in mind vines in containers need extra care and more hydration.
- Water the plants early in the morning or before sunset when the temperature is below 30 degrees Celcius temperature. Water deep and wait for the containers to drip to ensue through hydration.
- Never water these vines during daytime else it may cause rotting of the vines and the roots. If you water hot overheat soil during the daytime then it may boil the delicate fibrous roots. Wait a few more hours and have patience with watering. Usually underwatering will not kill the plant but overwatering will definitely do, so be careful.
- If you experience high summer temperature in your locality then provide part shade to protect these vines from direct sunlight. A simple overhead green net should be sufficient even at 40 degrees celsius.
- Don’t fertilize these vines with NPK or chemical fertilizers during the peak summer season. Apply NPK fertilizer during the spring season and after summer. You can instead spray the vines with liquid fertilizer or seaweed extract during the summer season. These are the healthy alternative to chemical fertilizers during summer.
- Use neem oil spray and soap water to deter bugs. Only two or three applications should be sufficient to keep your butterfly pea vines healthy and free from pests.
- Harvest the flowers and don’t allow them to produce seed pods. The plant will slow down all other processes just to keep seeds healthy. The summer season is the blooming season and if you allow seeding then the blooming will stop.
- At last, you can apply organic mulch to prevent water loss during summer. Just 2 or 3 inches of rice husk or sawdust is sufficient for mulching butterfly pea vines. Make sure the much does not contain any bugs and it should not touch the main trunk.
Special Tips: Butterfly Pea Summer care-
The butterfly pea is a hardy drought-resistant and pests-resistant plant. Although if you want it to bloom vigorously during summer without any problems. Then-
- Water the vines every day. Sometimes watering twice every day is essential, so do it.
- Feed them with liquid fertilizer and spray with seaweed extra twice every month.
- Water deeply early in the morning and keep the soil moist thoroughly. Never overwater the soil, it should not remain soggy.
- Use neem oil spray or general-purpose pesticide once every week during the blooming season. It is recommended even if the plant is not infested.
- Harvest the flowers in time and prune long vines to keep them clean and healthy during late summer.
Check out: Pests and Diseases of Moringa Plants: A Quick Guide
Keep the butterfly pea plant well hydrated during summer. Water is the only thing that can keep it safe and healthy. These vines can survive drought yet it is not good to test their tolerance. The vines may survive the drought period but they may never recover fully with optimum bloom quality. So never allow the soil to dry completely and don’t overwater these plants, not even during the summer season.
The use of fertilizer is completely optional. Butterfly pea vines can grow well without much use of chemical fertilizers. You can simply rely on compost and organic mulch for the rest of the plant care during summer.
If you have any questions regarding Butterfly Pea Summer Care, then ask your queries in the comment box.
Till then keep reading Keep gardening!