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Mr. Smarty Plants - What color should I paint a gazebo for vines in Arizona?

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Wednesday - January 29, 2014

From: Tempe, AZ
Region: California
Topic: Vines
Title: What color should I paint a gazebo for vines in Arizona?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a two questions. I have a dome shaped metal gazebo that I want a vine to grow up the 4 columns and cover the top. I live in Tempe, AZ which is hugely hot in summer. The gazebo is black right now. Since it's metal would it be better to paint it white? I was thinking green on the dome. 2nd question. What would be the three best vines to grow. I really don't want flowering because of the bees. Would the white honeysuckle work eventhough it has flowers? The gazebo is in corner of backyard. There is a queen palm towering high above it in the corner. It doesn't offer much shade. Thank you for any help. Karla

ANSWER:

There have been many claims that black (or other dark-colored) cars will have hotter interiors when parked in the sun than white (or other light-colored) cars.   As it turns out, the difference in the interior temperatures are about the same because they both absorb heat from the light going through the glass of the windshield.  However, if we consider the temperature of the dark-colored metal of the roof or hood compared with those painted light colors, there is a big difference.   You can see the results of the experiment of one person.  So, if I were you there in Arizona with its extreme heat, I wouldn't add to the heat that the vine you choose has to survive by painting the gazebo a dark color and certainly wouldn't leave it black.   You didn't say how dark the green paint is that you are considering using.   If it is a pale green, then that should be OK; but, if it is a dark green, you probably should consider going for a much lighter color.

Here are some suggestions for native vines that are known to grow in or adjacent to Maricopa County, Arizona.  They are all flowering vines and will probably be visited by bees or insects of some sort so that they are pollinated.  The only group of vascular plants that don't produce flowers, as far as I know, are the gymnosperms (pines, spruces, etc.) and ferns.  Neither group produces vines that are native to Arizona.

Lonicera albiflora (Western white honeysuckle)  Here is more information from Texas A&M Aggie Horticulture.

Humulus lupulus (Common hop) should do fine in part shade but full sun may be a bit too much for this plant. Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Ipomoea cristulata (Transpecos morning-glory)  Here is more information from Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness and Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and the Plants of the Sonoran Desert.

Janusia gracilis (Slender janusia)  Here is more information from Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and the Plants of the Sonoran Desert and Cabeza Prieta Natural History Association.

Maurandella antirrhiniflora (Snapdragon vine)  Here is more information from Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and Northern Arizona Flora.

Marah gilensis (Gila manroot)  Here is more information from Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and Northern Arizona Flora.

Parthenocissus vitacea (Hiedra creeper)  Here are photos and more information from Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness and University of Michigan Plant Diversity Website.

Pholistoma auritum (Blue fiestaflower)  Here is more information from Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and CalPhotos from the University of California Berkeley.

Vitis arizonica (Canyon grape)  Here are photos and more information from the Master Gardeners of University of Arizona County Cooperative Extension and Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers.

Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers has a list of vines that includes some that aren't named above.  You can also see more vines on our Native Plant Database by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH and choosing "Arizona" from the Select State or Province option and "Vine" from Habit (general appearance).

 

From the Image Gallery


Western white honeysuckle
Lonicera albiflora

Common hop
Humulus lupulus

Transpecos morning-glory
Ipomoea cristulata

Slender janusia
Janusia gracilis

Snapdragon vine
Maurandella antirrhiniflora

Blue fiestaflower
Pholistoma auritum

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