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
1 rating

Thursday - September 10, 2009

From: Portland, OR
Region: Northwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Grape Vines and spacing for Portland, OR
Answered by: Amy Johnson

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a somewhat small south-facing yard next to my home (less than 8' wide). I would like to build a tall arbor for grapes that runs along the length of my home (about 40'). How far from my home should I build the arbor so as to not have the roots cause damage to my home? Would grapes do well climbing a tall arbor? Thanks for your help! DL

ANSWER:

Yes, grapes would love to climb a tall arbor!  You would probably be very safe planting the vines 6-10 feet away from your home, and depending on the orientation of the arbor, you may want to plant the vines on the far side of it, away from the house.  You can always double check that when you purchase the grape vines for planting.  The best native grape vine for your area would be the Riverbank Grape Vitis riparia (riverbank grape) since it is native not only to your state but is cold-hardy enough for your area.  You can see a picture of this vine at this link.  The California Wild Grape Vitis californica (California wild grape) is native to your state, but more so in the southwestern area of Oregon.  It may adapt well to your area, but need a little protection from extreme cold.  You can see a picture of this vine at this link.  The Fox Grape Vitis labrusca (fox grape) is one of the most popular grape vines in North America - the famous "Concord" variety is of the Fox Grape species - though it is native to the more eastern U.S.  You can see a picture of this vine at this link.  Again, it may adapt to your area well, and is more cold hardy than the California Wild Grape, though wouldn't be as sure a bet as the Riverbank Grape.  Some good places to purchase these vines can be found at this link: National Suppliers Directory.

 

More Vines Questions

Vine for arbor in Eugene, OR
May 01, 2009 - We have an arbor that is partial shade and stays fairly wet and want to plant a climbing plant on it with shallow roots, preferably with flowers. We had a wisteria but got roots and shooters everywher...
view the full question and answer

Non-floweriing vines not poisonous to dogs from Pittsburgh PA
June 10, 2013 - Are there any vines or crawlers (nothing that flowers) that are non poisonous to dogs? Everything I am finding is poisonous, I want to plant some vines up a chain link fence around a swimming pool.
view the full question and answer

Flowering vine for shade in Southern California
May 11, 2012 - Flowering climbing plant for shade in Palm Desert, CA.
view the full question and answer

Carolina Jasmine failing to turn green in Pleasant Garden NC
April 26, 2011 - We planted Carolina Jasmine last year and it did great. This Spring we only have about 2-3 small green leaves beginning on the vines. We did not cut them back in the Fall. Is it time for them to be tu...
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine with 4-petaled purple flower
May 30, 2012 - Does anybody know what vine has a purple four petaled flower with small bulb in middle??
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center