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

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

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

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

 

 

 

 

More Vines Questions

Urushiol Oil Persistance?
September 09, 2015 - I'm trekking into poison ivy infested areas for work every other day. I make sure to wear long pants, long sleeves, boots, and long socks over my pants. I walk into my office to drop off supplies and...
view the full question and answer

Green wall panel for Dallas
August 21, 2007 - We are working on a green wall panel for a hotel near SMU--I see your list of recommended species for green roofs, & wondered if you have any ideas for vertical applications. Probably will have someth...
view the full question and answer

Identification of ivy-like plant with large purplish leaves.
March 27, 2015 - Can you ID this ivy-like growing plant with a big purplish elephant ear type leaf and a big green stem pouch?
view the full question and answer

Care for cultivar of native Bignonia capreolata
February 05, 2008 - I planted Dragon Lady Cross Vines at the end of the fall last year. When would be the best time to trim them. I live in the Dallas area. They look kind of beat up right now and I thought if I trimmed...
view the full question and answer

Identity of milkweed vine with smooth seedpod
November 23, 2012 - I believe the vine I am curious about may be Matelea reticulata. However, most of the pictures I have seen of that vine show bumps on the exterior of the seed pod, and the pod I have is green and smo...
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