En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Plant to trail down concrete block retaining wall in Maryland
September 15, 2012 - Hello, Your website is an excellent resource. Thank you very much! My girlfriend recently bought a house that has a concrete block retaining wall in the front yard. We want to improve the app...
view the full question and answer

Flowering vine that will bloom in East Texas in March
October 08, 2008 - What kind of flowering vine will bloom at the end of March in New Caney, Tex. 77357?
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant plants for erosion from Austin
May 03, 2014 - I live in Austin and my house backs up to Shoal Creek. I am looking for a native creeping vine or something that will grow on the shaded bank to help prevent erosion. It should be able to tolerate the...
view the full question and answer

Vine for Marin County, CA
August 31, 2012 - Looking for relatively fast growing evergreen vine (not Ivy). Plant along sturdy 7 foot wire fence. Mostly sun, some shade. Soil drains reasonably well. I had some success w/ star jasmine, but too...
view the full question and answer

Mistake in propagation of Mustang grapes from Victoria TX
July 27, 2013 - I didn't read first! I planted dried mustang grape seeds in good potting soil, watered and put on tall clear plastic bags to retain moisture, will they ever come up? Should I get the seed out and r...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center