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Saturday - May 17, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Drought Tolerant, Vines
Title: Drought tolerant vine for Austin, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton


What kind of drought-tolerant vine can I plant outside my screened in porch in Austin, Texas, that will stay on a trellis and not grow into the screen?


First of all, you will have to monitor the vine to keep it from attaching itself to your screen.   As the tendrils grow they are "looking" for things to attach to.  With a little vigilance, however, you should be able to keep from growing on your screen.   You should put the trellis enough of a distance from the screen that you can reach in behind it and keep the tendrils of the vine from growing through the trellis and attaching to the screen.   The vine itself, of course, should be planted on the side of the trellis away from the screen.  

Another thing is that, even though when established the vine should be tolerant of drought, you will need to water it frequently until it is well-established.

These first three suggestions are evergreen:

Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) is a twining vine and not considered aggressive and is also drought tolerant after establishment.  It is also has attractive flowers.  Here is more information from North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension.

Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine) is also twining, evergreen and will tolerate drought conditions.  Here is more information from North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension.

Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine) is considered drought-tolerant once it has been established.  However, it might too aggressive for what you want since not only does it cling and attach by tendrils, they have hooks on the end that allow it to attach itself to walls (and probably your screen).   It does have attractive flowers and is evergreen.  Here is more information from Aggie Horticulture.

There are several deciduous woody vines that will re-establish their leafy cover each spring.

 Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) grows quickly in the spring.  It will readily attach to walls so would have to be carefully monitored.   Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Among these woody vines are several grape vines that would grow well in drought conditions.   Their fruit is edible and/or can be used in making wine or jelly.  They are:

Vitis mustangensis (Mustang grape)

Vitis cinerea var. helleri (Winter grape)

Vitis monticola (Sweet mountain grape)


From the Image Gallery

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Bignonia capreolata

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Mustang grape
Vitis mustangensis

Winter grape
Vitis cinerea var. helleri

Sweet mountain grape
Vitis monticola

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