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?


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

Saturday - July 11, 2009

From: Albuqueruqe, NM
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Non-destructive vine for stucco in Albuquerque
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Is there a vine that can grow on stucco without destroying the stucco when removed?


We looked at some vines that are native to New Mexico to see if there were any viable choices.

Clematis pitcheri (bluebill) will grow to about 8 or 9 feet tall, climbing by twining petioles, which would mean you would need some sort of wire netting or framework for them to climb. They are deciduous and die back to the ground at first frost, but would not harm the stucco. You would need either to dismantle the "trellis" on the wall every year, or look at it without a vine covering it in the Winter; the following two vines would present the same problem.

Ipomoea lindheimeri (Lindheimer's morning-glory) climbs to about 10 ft., again by twining petioles, blooms blue from April to October and is deciduous.

Lonicera albiflora (western white honeysuckle) will grow to about 10 ft, is a deciduous twining vine, blooms white March to May.

Deciduous and climbing or ground cover up to 40 ft., Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) can do well in sun or part shade. Not native to New Mexico but is native to Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas, so it might be worth a try. Here are some more notes from our webpage on this plant:

"Virginia Creeper can be used as a climbing vine or ground cover. Its tendrils end in adhesive-like tips, giving this vine the ability to cement itself to walls and therefore need no support. The presence of adhesive tips instead of penetrating rootlets also means it doesn't damage buildings the way some vines do. It is one of the earliest vines to color in the fall. A vigorous grower, it tolerates most soils and climatic conditions."

We're wondering if, instead of growing vines up your stucco wall, you might consider planting some Southwestern plants in front of it. Depending on the sun exposure and color of the stucco, here are some suggestions that might work. Follow the links to each webpage and find out bloom time, expected size, light and water requirements, etc. You can search for other plants for your purposes by going to our Recommended Species section, clicking on New Mexico on the map, and then selecting the Habit (herb, shrub, tree, etc.), light requirements, and so forth.

Suggested plants for in front of a stucco wall in New Mexico

Abutilon wrightii (Wright's Indian mallow)

Chrysactinia mexicana (damianita)

Acacia angustissima (prairie acacia)

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow)

Clematis pitcheri

Ipomoea lindheimeri

Lonicera albiflora

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Abutilon wrightii

Chrysactinia mexicana

Acacia angustissima

Chilopsis linearis



More Vines Questions

Protection from native invasive trumpet vines
April 17, 2008 - Mr. SP: I have invaders! Trumpet vines from a neighbor's yard, two doors away have taken over and are eating my garage and trying to steal all the sun from my clematis vines. How do I get rid of...
view the full question and answer

Virginia creeper in trees
April 26, 2008 - Can Virginia creeper be allowed to climb on trees--specifically Texas ash and live oak--or will it damage them if allowed to attach itself? We are thinking of using it as erosion control in a greenbe...
view the full question and answer

How to produce ivy with large, green leaves
May 25, 2007 - How can I keep an Ivy green? When it was purchased it was green and had BIG leaves. How can I get the leaves to grow big again and get it green?
view the full question and answer

Vine to cover fence from Haverhill MA
April 17, 2014 - Hello, I'm looking for a fast growing vine to cover a chain link fence. The area is sunny half of the day. I have 2 small children so I don't want something that attracts bees or could be dangerous ...
view the full question and answer

Is the fruit of Melothria pendula edible?
November 22, 2014 - Is the fruit of Melothria pendula edible?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center