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

Slow flowering wisteria
May 09, 2007 - We have a young wisteria growing on the side of the house. It began to flower this year for the first time. Whereas my neighbors' wisterias all bloomed in February, ours has only begun to bloom in mi...
view the full question and answer

Native, non-invasive vines for wall cover in California
June 14, 2007 - I live on the Central Coast in California. I have a stucco garage wall, which receives full sun, and faces West. I would like to plant a climbing vine to cover the wall, and was considering a clim...
view the full question and answer

Containerized honeysuckle for Dassel MN
April 05, 2013 - We are renting our house but I would like to enjoy my own honeysuckle. Can they be planted in a big pot so that I can take it with me when we move.
view the full question and answer

Native vines for pergola in Denton, Texas
January 28, 2009 - We ve built a pergola under our Post Oaks and Winged Elms. The soil is sandy, as you would expect with post oaks. Are there any native vines, hopefully with a pretty flower, that I might coax into g...
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine with red flower
April 14, 2008 - I have a "vine" that flowers. When it "blooms", it begins with a reddish/yellowish/orange ball about the side of a dime. The ball bursts open and a small red bloom emerges. It looks like a carn...
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