Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Thursday - February 07, 2008

From: Seneca, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Plants to trail down wall in South Carolina
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Good day, I am putting in a stacked mortarless concrete block retaining wall which will rise to the forest floor along a cut bank - about 4 feet high. Each course steps back about one inch from the face of the one below. What native or relatively native plants can I plant in the top block cavities which will cover the top and / or cascade down the side of the wall? At this point I do not wish to cover the entire wall face. The area is adjacent to a "natural area" (wetland) along a small brook "estuary" into a reservoir. The face of the wall looks northwest. It gets late afternoon sun. Otherwise, partially shaded, by beech and oak, among others. The base of the wall is at least 6 feet above and 20 feet from the reservoir at full pond - 40 feet from the brook at low water, as now. I can set the grade to extend the forest floor up to the level of the block top such that surface run-off will reach the wall [notwithstanding the gravel drain field on the back side of the wall (standard construction practice)] and run down the wall face. There will be no irrigation and no watering after establishment. Thank you.

ANSWER:

It sounds like the best bet for your wall is some sort of vine. Most vines will trail as well as climb and you could plant these in the top of the wall to trail down it. I suppose another possibility is to plant them at the base of the wall to climb up. The following are all native plants that grow in South Carolina.

These first three are evergreen.

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle)

Bignonia capreolata (crossvine)

Gelsemium sempervirens (evening trumpetflower)

The following are not evergreen.

Clematis crispa (swamp leather flower)

Clematis virginiana (devil's darning needles)

Passiflora incarnata (purple passionflower)

Ipomoea cordatotriloba var. cordatotriloba (tievine)

Clitoria mariana (Atlantic pigeonwings)

Decumaria barbara (woodvamp)

Cocculus carolinus (Carolina coralbead)

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)

You can also see on our web site a list of other South Carolina Recommended native plants that are commercially available and suitable for landscapes.

 

From the Image Gallery


Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Scarlet beeblossom
Gaura coccinea

Swamp leatherflower
Clematis crispa

Devil's darning needles
Clematis virginiana

Purple passionflower
Passiflora incarnata

Atlantic pigeonwings
Clitoria mariana

Carolina snailseed
Cocculus carolinus

More Vines Questions

Blossoms but no fruit for gooseberries in Enoch UT
January 16, 2010 - My gooseberries always get loads of blossoms, but I never get fruit. I think they need more sun, and thus, want to transplant them to a sunnier location. What (and when) is the best way to do this?
view the full question and answer

Low Ground Cover for Steep, Shaded PA Site
February 17, 2014 - I am located in Downingtown, PA, right on the border between Zone 6 and 7. Please provide a recommendation of a native ground cover for the following conditions: steep slope (greater than 45%), full s...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen vine for New York
May 27, 2008 - I live on long island. I live on a corner piece of property and we have a 4 foot picket fence. We have some deciduous bushes planted along the fence, but would like a little more privacy because we ...
view the full question and answer

Vines to Complement a Fence
April 10, 2012 - I have a 3' weathered picket fence that I want to plant a flowering vine on part of it. The vine must be perennial, tolerate full sun and low watering. Is there anything besides trumpet, cross vine, ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a vine with purple flowers
July 06, 2011 - I'm trying to identify a vine-like plant growing in my yard to determine if it is a weed or should be kept around. It has small purple flowers with a small yellow center, looking like a mini honeysuc...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.