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

Wednesday - October 28, 2009

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Native vine to cover brick column in Houston
Answered by: Nina Hawkins

QUESTION:

I have a brick column (~20ft tall) in the entry way to my house in Houston, TX. I am looking for a beautiful native vine that'll cover the column and soften the look of the house. I don't want to use a trellis, so I'd prefer something that'll "grip" brick and mortar and hopefully won't do too much damage say in the next 5 yrs.

ANSWER:

If your porch column has full sun to part shade, Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) would be a good choice because it is evergreen, has beautiful trumpet-shaped flowers in Spring and climbs by tendrils equipped with little claws that allow it to climb stone, brick and fences without support.  This woody vine will flower best if you prune it every few years or so, but probably won't need much attention for the first 5 years.  Since it climbs by tendrils and not by rootlets, it won't damage structures as non-native English ivy would.  This previous question provides instructions for reviving overgrown Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) to encourage blooming.  To research other native options for your porch column or other areas in your garden you can search the Native Plant Information Network for species recommended for your region and the specific growing conditions of your garden.



Bignonia capreolata

Bignonia capreolata

Bignonia capreolata

 

 

More Vines Questions

Blooming challenges with oakleaf hydrangea and bittersweet vine in KY
October 03, 2010 - 1. I cut back my oak leaf hydrangea last fall and it did not bloom this past year. Problem? 2. I have 3 yr old male/female bittersweet plants growing heartily, but no berries. Problem? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

A privacy hedge for a shady spot in Austin, TX
July 02, 2012 - What is a good choice for a privacy hedge in west Austin in a predominantly shady area? I'd like it to be 8-12 feet, along the fence, so as to obstruct the view of the neighbor's yard.
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

Will wisteria grow in LaQuinta CA?
June 13, 2010 - I have moved to the desert, near Palm Springs, CA from Omaha NE where I was an avid gardener. I would like to know if wisteria will grow in this environment, with temps up to 120 several weeks each su...
view the full question and answer

Why won't my Campsis cultivar flower in Lowell MA
February 08, 2010 - I bought a Campsis trumpet vine cultivar in 2006 and planted near my fence in my yard hoping to cover the fence with the vine. Well 4 seasons later the vine has grown about 5 ft. in area but has yet ...
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