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Saturday - November 21, 2009

From: St Petersburg, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Vine for stucco wall in St. Petersburg FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I would like to cover a 15' stucco wall with a fast growing, low maintenance vine. The wall faces south. I live in St. Petersburg, FL. What do you recommend? Would star jasmine or creeping fig be a good choice?


Neither Trachelospermum jasminoides (Star jasmine or Confederate jasmine) nor Ficus pumila (Creeping fig) are plants we would recommend. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the care, use and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. Star Jasmine is native to China and Japan, while Creeping Fig comes from Japan, China and Vietnam. Both can become somewhat invasive and should not be planted where they will grow up trees near a building, as the tree could become shaded out, die and topple onto the house. Creeping fig, in particular, is not to be used on wooden structures, as its adhesives that hold it to structures can damage the wood.

We can suggest some vines native to Florida, although some of them may require some supports on the wall for their twining process by which they climb. If your wall faces south, it should have more sun in the Winter, if there are no other structures in the area to shade it. We consider sun to be 6 hours or more of sun a day, part shade 2 to 6 hours of sun, and shade less than 2. Follow each link to the page on that vine to decide whether you have the appropriate amount of light for the plant you select. Several of these vines can become invasive, especially in a place like Florida. You asked for "low maintenance" plants, but you will need to control any vine and keep it from wandering out of the area you have selected it for. This may require some pruning two or three times a year.

Vines for wall in St. Petersburg. FL:

Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) - evergreen, claws at ends of tendrils allow it to cling to stone, bricks and fences without support, blooms red, yellow March to May, low water use, sun or part shade

Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper) - deciduous, climbs by aerial rootlets, blooms red, orange June to September, low water use, sun

Decumaria barbara (woodvamp) - deciduous, blooms white May to October, medium water use, sun or part shade

Gelsemium sempervirens (evening trumpetflower) - evergreen, blooms yellow December to May, medium water use, sun or part shade

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) - evergreen, needs some support to start climbing, blooms red, yellow March to June, medium water use, sun or part shade

Passiflora incarnata (purple passionflower) -  deciduous, blooms pink, blue, purple April to September, medium water use, sun or part shade

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) - deciduous, blooms white, green May and June, low water use, sun, part shade or shade. Berries poisonous, plant can irritate skin

Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria) - deciduous, blooms white, pink, blue, purple May and June, medium water use, sun, partshade or shade

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

Bignonia capreolata

Campsis radicans

Decumaria barbara

Gelsemium sempervirens

Lonicera sempervirens

Passiflora incarnata

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Wisteria frutescens





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