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Wednesday - May 14, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Fast growing, evergreen vine for deck
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Hi, I hope you might help me select the most appropriate flowering vine for my situation. I am looking for a fast growing, mostly evergreen, and long blooming flowering vine for a large container (probably 18 in pot). Fragrance would be a wonderful bonus. I hope to grow it up a strong, 10'X 8' wooden lattice with full afternoon sun on a deck about 40 feet up in the air with a mostly western but also southern exposure. We are located near the top of a high hill in west Austin, and the deck frequently sustains a strong breeze. I have a new dawn rose and a carolina jessamine in the same location and, while they look lovely and have done well, they have not grown as much in the last couple of years as I would have liked, nor do they bloom very long. I am trying to decide between the John Clayton Coral Honeysuckle, the trumpet creeper, the crossvine, japanese honeysuckle, the coral vine, and any sort of Jasmine and climbing rose. I can move my existing plants if the new vine needs the entire lattice. I would love to know which vines would bloom within the first couple of years, and which would bloom the most profusely for longest. I also hope to acquire a bit of screening and afternoon shade from the vine. I plan to water it with a micro-drip tubing system, and can water it a lot or very little, as required. I would appreciate any opinion or recommendations you have from among the vines I mentioned, or others, and I could plant several if you recommend a nice combo. Thank you for your feedback, and for this excellent site!


Here's an assessment of the vines you asked about, plus a few added ones. On the home pages for each of the native ones be sure to read about their growing conditions.

Too bad Gelsemium sempervirens (evening trumpetflower) hasn't done better since it is fragrant, evergreen and beautiful.

'John Clayton' is a yellow version of Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle). It is mostly evergreen in Austin and reasonably fast growing and flowers best in the sunshine. Grows in sun and part shade. It isn't fragrant, but it attracts hummingbirds.

Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) is semi-evergreen, fast growing and blooms profusely in the sunshine. It is somewhat fragrant. It will grow in sun or part shade. It attracts hummingbirds.

Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper) looks a lot like crossvine, but it isn't evergreen. It is very fast growing, one might even say "aggressive". It will bloom most of the summer. It grows best in sun and is slightly fragrant. Attracts hummingbirds.

Lonicera albiflora (western white honeysuckle) frequently grows as a shrub, but will twine. It is not evergreen and not fragrant.

Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria) is the non-invasive native cousin of the invasive Asian species, W. floribunda (Japanese wisteria)  and W. sinensis (Chinese wisteria). It is fast-growing and very fragrant, but is not evergreen.

Antigonon leptopus (coral vine) is native to Mexico and, although it will grow in Austin, it will not be evergreen here and is not fragrant.

Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) is also a non-native plant and, moreover, it is listed on the TexasInvasives.org web site as an invasive species. For this reason we would recommend that you avoid this species completely even though you are planting in a container rather than in the soil. Birds distribute the fruits and it is fast growing and aggressive, killing native plants by covering them and shading out sunlight and by girdling the trunk with its vines.

Gelsemium sempervirens

Lonicera sempervirens

Bignonia capreolata

Campsis radicans

Lonicera albiflora

Wisteria frutescens



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