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
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

Tuesday - May 27, 2008

From: Bayport, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Evergreen vine for New York
Answered by: Nan Hampton


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 just put in a pool. I do not want to rip out the existing bushes (purple sand cherry, rose of sharon) but would like to plant an evergreen vine to grow on the fence. I want it to grow on the fence and give us a little more privacy all year long. I would also like the vine to produce flowers, if possible. Any ideas???


Mr. Smarty Plants regrets that there is only one evergreen vine native to New York, Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) and it is described as semi-evergreen. This means that it is usually evergreen in the south and can be evergreen further north depending on the severity of the winter. it will grow in New York, but the bottom line is that I don't think you can count on it being evergreen there.

You don't say what the available light is along the fence; but if your fence is in partial shade, you might consider planting ferns under or beside your existing deciduous shrubs. They could fill in the spaces between your trees and add some winter privacy. Here are several ferns that grow in partial shade, are evergreen, and reach heights of 3-6 feet.

Dryopteris cristata (crested woodfern)

Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)

Dryopteris cristata

Dryopteris marginalis

Polystichum acrostichoides

Lonicera sempervirens

Lonicera sempervirens



More Vines Questions

Folsom CA Wall-cover
April 13, 2012 - I live in Folsom, CA and I have an ugly cinder block wall that I want to cover, I want something that is low maintenance and that is going to grow and spread into my grass. The only one i can really t...
view the full question and answer

Want to identify thorny vines growing in Charlotte Hall, MD
April 25, 2013 - I have vines with thorns growing in my wood, vining around the trees and killing them. It grows and vines go up trees of any height all the way to the top. It has green pointy leaves. If it doesn't...
view the full question and answer

Non-invasive, native vines for flood wall in San Jose CA
April 12, 2010 - I was hoping you could help me with some information on vine selection. I am interested in selecting three vines for a flood wall application. Non-native species are acceptable, so long as they’re no...
view the full question and answer

Care for a Campsis radicans in Yakima, WA
October 08, 2008 - I have a Campsis radicans it is in a 7" pot and the plant is 20" tall. It was a clipping given to me by a lady that is now out of town. My question is: I live in zone 6a so do I leave it in the p...
view the full question and answer

Thorny vine growing through hedge
May 16, 2009 - In my hedge, a vine grows that has a bulbous root. It has large thorns up and down the vine. The leaves are shiny and grow all along the vine that is exposed to the sun. the vine grows up thru hedg...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center