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

Non-invasive, native vines for flood wall in San Jose CA
April 12, 2010 - I was hoping you could help me with some information on vine selection. I am interested in selecting three vines for a flood wall application. Non-native species are acceptable, so long as they’re no...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for memorial garden in Michigan
March 04, 2008 - I want to start a memorial garden for my daughter. I live in northern Michigan and the area has very tall white pines we have pruned them up about 15' so the area does get partial sun. Which plants w...
view the full question and answer

Can you root a crossvine?
May 31, 2009 - Can you root a crossvine?
view the full question and answer

South Austin Groundcovers for Oak Shade
March 29, 2013 - Hi! I live in S. Austin now but used to work at the Wildflower Center! My backyard is shady with several oak mots. Do you have any suggestions as to what if any ground cover will grow in all that sha...
view the full question and answer

Vines to Complement a Fence
April 10, 2012 - I have a 3' weathered picket fence that I want to plant a flowering vine on part of it. The vine must be perennial, tolerate full sun and low watering. Is there anything besides trumpet, cross vine, ...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center