Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Friday - June 12, 2009

From: Chester Springs, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Vines
Title: Evergreen vine or plant that is non-toxic for horses in Pennsylvania
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am looking for an evergreen vine or plant that can grow in shade and is not toxic to horses. I live 30 miles west of Philadephia. Can you help me? I would like to camouflage a wire horse fence. It is in the shade and I would like an evergreen. It also needs to be non toxic. I saw an ivy called a sub zero ivy would that be ok to use. I live in eastern PA. Thanks.

ANSWER:

First of all, we would NOT recommend Sub Zero Ivy since it is a hybrid of Hedera helix (English ivy)Hedera helix is a non-native invasive species and is also listed by the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System and Poisonous Plants of North Carolina as toxic.

The only evergreen native vine in Pennsylvania, Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle), is evergreen in the south but is likely semi-evergreen in Pennsylvania.  It will grow in part shade (2 to 6 hours sun per day).

The following plants will grow in the shade (less than 2 hours sun per day).

FERNS:

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern) grows up to 3 feet and is evergreen.

Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern) grows up to 3 feet and is evergreen.

Dryopteris carthusiana (spinulose woodfern) grows up to 3 feet and is semi-evergreen.

Dryopteris cristata (crested woodfern) grows up to 3 feet and is semi-evergreen.

Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern) grows up to 2 feet and is evergreen.

(Note:  Do NOT put Pteridium aquilinum (western brackenfern) on your fence. It is toxic to horses.)

SHRUBS/TREES:

Ledum groenlandicum (bog Labrador tea) grows to 3 feet high.

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) grows to 30-40 feet generally, but can be pruned into a hedge.

Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae) grows to 30 feet, but can be pruned into a hedge.

Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock) usually grows 40-70 feet, but can be pruned into hedge.

None of the plants above appeared on the following poisonous plants databases:

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

Toxic Plants of Texas 

University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

Horse Nutrition: Poisonous Plants from Ohio State University

10 Most Poisonous Plants for Horses from EquiSearch.com

Poisonous Plants from Trailblazer Magazine

Toxic Plants: Horses from the ASPCA

You can search for deciduous vines or shrubs for your location using the COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database by choosing Pennsylvania from Select State or Province, then 'Shrub' or 'Vine' from Habit (general appearance), then 'Shade - ' from Light requirement.

 


 


.

 

More Vines Questions

Stabilizing a shale slope in Virginia
April 08, 2009 - I have family members who recently built a new home in Virginia. The site required extensive excavation resulting in a large 30 foot, nearly vertical, shale wall behind the house. They now want to r...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Crossvine from San Antonio
September 03, 2011 - I have a new Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) that has a single seedpod so far. What is the best way to plant it for the best chances for success? It is still green and a very hot August. Do I plant ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of possible Hairy Cluster Vine or Clematis
May 28, 2007 - I found a small twining vine with purple to lavender, tubular flowers hanging on one side of the stem. The leaves are very narrow and alternate about 3/4"-1" long. I found them on the side of the ...
view the full question and answer

Vines for an arbor
November 02, 2012 - We're building an arbor in a 9 1/2 x 12-ft area on the south side of an urban lot. It's bordered by two-story buildings on the south and west and has a tall,sparsely leaved pecan tree on its northea...
view the full question and answer

Cottage-style landscaping for Chesapeake VA
August 02, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plant staff, I recently moved into a cottage style home that has a poured concrete/paver patio. I am trying to come up with ideas for plantings that would 1. give me a bit of privacy,...
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.