En Español

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?


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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - June 11, 2014

From: Brooklyn, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Container Gardens, Vines
Title: Vine for trellis in Brooklyn, New York
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Hello, I am looking for a native vine to grow on a trellis in a large container. I live in Brooklyn, NY, and the area is in part shade. Thank you.


Here are some native candidates for your trellis that grow in or very near Kings County or adjacent counties in New York:

Adlumia fungosa (Climbing fumatory)  This is a biennial and won't bloom until the second year.  Here is more information from Adams Garden.

Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper) is a perennial blooms best in full sun, but will grow in shade.   It is an aggressive spreader and needs lots of room.   Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Clematis occidentalis (Western blue virginsbower) is a perennial with interesting flowers and seed pods.  Here is more information from Connecticut Botanical Society.

Dioscorea villosa (Wild yam) is a perennial with interesting leaves.  Here is more information from the North American Native Plant Society.

Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) is a perennial with flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies.  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.  This is evergreen here in Texas but is likely not in New York.

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) is a perennial that doesn't have showy flowers but does have interesting leaves and grows quickly.  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Since your vine will be grown in a container I recommend reading our How to Article, Container Gardening with Native Plants.  And, since your winters can be rather cold, you need to take steps to protect the roots of the vine in the container since they will be more susceptible to freezing than if the vine were planted in the ground.


From the Image Gallery

Climbing fumatory
Adlumia fungosa

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Western blue virginsbower
Clematis occidentalis

Wild yam
Dioscorea villosa

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

More Container Gardens Questions

Native Plants for North Texas Container
July 12, 2011 - What would you recommend for a large permanent plant for a large container (3' X 3') for Plano, Texas in the sun?
view the full question and answer

Moving houseplants from New York to Florida
August 02, 2011 - We are relocating to Florida from New York and would like to bring our houseplants with us. Are there any laws forbidding indoor plant transport into Florida???
view the full question and answer

Possibility of invasiveness of blackberry bush
March 27, 2008 - I bought a blackberry bush from Home Depot last year. My sister said if I planted it in the ground it would take over my lawn. So I put it in a big planter up against my fence, but I'd like to put it...
view the full question and answer

Flowering plant for container on lanai in South Florida
December 15, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I would like to purchase a flowering plant for my ailing mother for Christmas. It has to be able to grow in shade so I can place it on her table on her lanai for her to be a...
view the full question and answer

Plants for planting in gourds
March 15, 2009 - I enjoy painting dried gourds. This spring I got the idea to paint a gourd and cut holes in the side and plant some small blooming flowers. I have seen "hen and chickens" growing out of holes in the...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center