En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - May 17, 2014

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

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

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

Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Mustang grape
Vitis mustangensis

Winter grape
Vitis cinerea var. helleri

Sweet mountain grape
Vitis monticola

More Vines Questions

Huckleberries and blueberries from Vancouver WA
April 14, 2013 - Can you plant a blueberry next to a huckleberry?
view the full question and answer

Foundation plants unlikely to provide good shade for rattlesnakes in TX
August 28, 2011 - I would like to plant native grass around my new home in the country near Mason, TX. My concerns are the rattlesnakes that are common here, and if they could "hide" in the native grasses since they ...
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming wisteria in Oklahoma
June 24, 2008 - I have a wisteria bush that doesn't bloom. It's two years old. What should I do?
view the full question and answer

Identity of vines in Florida
October 30, 2012 - Hello, I have 2 different types of vines growing in my shrubs. They are very pretty and I like them I just want to know if they are poisonous or if they will take over my shrubs. I have not been able ...
view the full question and answer

Bird-friendly plants for the Texas coast
July 13, 2012 - I'm interested in starting a native plant garden, specifically with an eye towards providing food (either from the plants or insects that are attracted to the plants) for migratory birds. However, s...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center