En EspaŅol

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
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

Sunday - June 14, 2009

From: Keller, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Vine for limited space, part-shade fence in N. Texas
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe

QUESTION:

I have a narrow strip of yard (about 3ft) between my covered patio and privacy fence. Since the fence itself lacks visual interest, I'd like to find a vine to grow on the fence to give the background to my patio area some "life." I would like something that will not destroy the fence (like Wisteria tends to do) and something that clings pretty tight since there is not much room for the vine to grow out from the fence. I'm most interested in an evergreen with flowers, but have also considered Boston Ivy since its fall color is interesting. This area receives partial shade most of the day and hot Western sun for a few hours in the late afternoon. Would love to hear your suggestions?

ANSWER:

At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center we are dedicated to the care and propagation of plants native to North America and particularly to the area where they have been confirmed as native species, so our answer springs from that basis.

Two suggestions come to mind which may work for you in this location. Gelsemium sempervirens (evening trumpetflower), – aka Carolina Jessamine – is a pretty, well-behaved, evergreen vine, with fragrant blooms early in the season. Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) – aka Coral Honeysuckle –is a moderate-sized vine, has attractive flowers, and is non-invasive. It is semi-evergreen – some winters it keeps quite a bit of greenery and may even flower; other winters it looks nearly dormant.

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) has attractive fall foliage, but isn't noted for its flower and can become hard to keep from spreading. Clematis virginiana (devil's darning needles) is another versatile vine with profuse white flowers, but deciduous. NOT a good choice for this space is Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) a popular floweriing evergreen, but quite a vigorous climber and extender.

There are some small re-seeding annuals and herbaceous perennials that could provide some interest for your fence. Clematis pitcheri (bluebill), Clematis texensis (scarlet leather flower), and Maurandella antirrhiniflora (roving sailor) are wonderful little Texas vines. They could be secondary vines along with Carolina Jessamine or Coral Honeysuckle. They are not always easy to find for purchase, but are very much worth looking for.

 


Gelsemium sempervirens

Gelsemium sempervirens

Lonicera sempervirens

Clematis virginiana


Parthenocissus quinquefolia

 



Clematis pitcheri

Clematis texensis

Maurandella antirrhiniflora
 

More Vines Questions

Plants wilting too quickly in Toledo OH
May 27, 2012 - The garden I have had recent issues with plants wilting all too quickly. I would like to know what types of plants would be hearty for the climate in Toledo, Ohio. I have a partly sunny front yard and...
view the full question and answer

Non-flowering deciduous vine for Phoenix AZ
March 27, 2011 - Are there any non-flowering deciduous vines native to the Southwest? I'd like to plant them to shade our windows in the hot Phoenix summers. If only perennials are available, can I cut it back each w...
view the full question and answer

Mystery berries on vine in Montgomery County, TX
August 09, 2013 - While out in the woods today on Caney Creek near Grangerland, Texas, I found what I thought to be some grapes on a vine hanging down from a tree. I brought the vine down, but when I got it home to pr...
view the full question and answer

Vines for Poolsides
February 22, 2012 - We would like some color along the pool, but do not want anything with flowers because of the pool. Are there any non-flowering vines that will grow in full sun in Arizona? We have 2 trelis' that we ...
view the full question and answer

Vines to Cover Brush Pile in Maryland
April 29, 2013 - We have a large brush pile on our property that we'd intended to burn, but it is big enough now that it would require the help of the fire department! I'm thinking I'd like to cover it with native ...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center