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

Purple leatherflower with white bloom
July 17, 2014 - A couple of years ago at the wildflower center native plant sale I bought a purple leatherflower according to the tag. This is the first year it has bloomed and the blooms are pure white. The shape ma...
view the full question and answer

Duplicate request for information from Austin
August 30, 2012 - I am considering planting cross vine on a wrought iron fence. Will it cause any damage to the wrought iron or stucco posts?
view the full question and answer

Native evergreen vine for East Texas
June 21, 2014 - Can you please recommend a native vine (western edge of East Texas in the pines) that will be evergreen and fast growing? It will get about 4 to 5 hours of sun on my moongate. Flowers a plus, but not ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine with large leaves and blue-black berries
January 15, 2013 - I visited a creek with a limestone seep spring that supplies it. Around the creek is growing some kind plant that has leaves that are very similar to a briar, or snailseed. However, the leaves of the ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Hyacinth Bean vine dying
June 17, 2008 - I live in Missouri and have tried to grow hyacinth bean. Mine drop leaves (after some yellow appears on on them)and the vine turns yellow, then withers to brown. Other places near me grow them beautif...
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