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?

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

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
2 ratings

Wednesday - January 21, 2009

From: Kilgore, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Vine for pergola in Kilgore, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Have recently constructed a 10'X 20' free standing pergola with a 14' X 24' treated wood deck surround. The support posts are inset 14" from the outside edge. I want to grow greenery on the pergola open roof but do not wish to attract bees, wasps or the like. I do wish to have blooms for butterflies & hummingbirds. Do not need plants that will weep or forever drop sap. Wish to have something native. Have considered coral honeysuckle. Please assist me with a selection. Location of deck / pergola is the southwest side of home within city limits in residential neighborhood. Have constructed 4' X 8' wildflower above ground garden.

ANSWER:

Most flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies will also attract bees, wasps and other insects—so Mr. Smarty Plants can't guarantee that any flowering plant won't attract bees and wasps or any other insects.  Flowers need to be pollinated and, therefore, produce delicious nectar to attract insects to them.  As the insect is enjoying its meal it brushes against the anthers of the flower and collects pollen that will then be transferred to another flower to pollinate it.

Mr. Smarty Plants can, however, suggest several attractive vines for your area that may or may not attract unwanted insects:

Bignonia capreolata (crossvine)

Gelsemium sempervirens (evening trumpetflower)

Ipomoea cordatotriloba var. cordatotriloba (tievine)

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle)

Passiflora incarnata (purple passionflower)

Passiflora lutea (yellow passionflower)

Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria)


Bignonia capreolata

Gelsemium sempervirens

Ipomoea cordatotriloba var. cordatotriloba

Lonicera sempervirens

Passiflora incarnata

Passiflora lutea

Wisteria frutescens

 

 

More Vines Questions

Native plants for roadside in Gallatin TN
February 19, 2012 - What native plant would you suggest that we try to establish on 100 feet of road frontage which gets full afternoon sun? The soil is mostly clay, and it's on a rather sleep hill about 10 feet high. ...
view the full question and answer

Spots on leaves of sevenleaf creeper in Austin
November 14, 2009 - Have 3 seven leaf creepers that are planted in mostly shade. In Sept & Oct 2009 all 3 plants had dried up leaves which fell off; however, all three plants grew new leaves when we got rain and are com...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Potato vine from Morgan Hill CA
June 13, 2011 - Greetings from Morgan Hill. CA. I have moved into a home that has a fairly mature (10 years +/-) Potato Tree which has some blue/purple flowers but very few new leaves, it looks almost barren. It gets...
view the full question and answer

Full Sun, Wind-Tolerant Shrubs and Vines for Steep MN Hillside
June 26, 2013 - My neighbor and I share a very steep, large (in total almost 200 ft. wide) west-facing hillside in Excelsior, MN on Lake Minnetonka. We both have a flat grass area at the bottom so the hillside does n...
view the full question and answer

Vine for complete shade in California
December 21, 2012 - I'm looking for a vine to put over my back door which is in complete shade.
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center