Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

How to prune wild mustang grape vines.
July 11, 2011 - Now that my mustang grapes are harvested. When can I trim them out of the tree top and redirect them to an arbor where I can reach them next year? The main vine is at least 3" across. The vines from...
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

Plant identification for vine in Kentucky
April 26, 2010 - Need to know the name of a plant. It grows in Eastern KY, south WVA and West VA. It grows alone riverbanks and creeks. It is a weed, in the spring it has a white bloom and bees work it like crazy. ...
view the full question and answer

Stumps of fallen oaks in Hurricane Irene from Newton PA
September 03, 2011 - Two large red oaks fell in the woods in our yard in Newtown PA due to Hurricane Irene. The trees have been removed, but the stumps remain. Please can you recommend some fast-growing, attractive, nativ...
view the full question and answer

How to Control Poison Ivy
February 22, 2016 - We have lots of Poison Ivy on a site we are clearing it is adjacent to a pond and children are around this area all the time. We are creating hiking paths. I have a lot of experience but I do not wan...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.