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

Vines for fence, safe for horses in California
December 12, 2013 - I live in a fire prone part of Orange County, CA named Silverado and own horses. Am interested in fast growing vines to cover a fenced area which are horse safe. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Which Aristolochia species are toxic to pipevine swallowtail larvae
May 27, 2009 - In a May 30, 2008 question regarding the toxicity of certain Aristolochia species to pipevine swallowtail larvae, I had heard the same from at a talk from the curator of the Cockrell Butterfly Center ...
view the full question and answer

Fence Vines for Austin, TX
August 31, 2013 - Hi, What are the best high density vine plants for coverage on chain link fence in Austin, TX? Thank you
view the full question and answer

A vine to atract hummingbirds in MO
March 08, 2011 - I am looking for a non invasive vine to plant on a trellis near buildings/brick patio to attract hummingbirds (and other birds and butterflies).
view the full question and answer

Eradicating trumpet vine runners in Austin
April 29, 2012 - How do I eradicate trumpet vine runners from my lawn? Will it kill my pecan tree?
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