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

Tuesday - March 23, 2010

From: Fredericksburg, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Crossvine for metal barn in Fredericksburg, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have a backyard metal barn, the small storage-type structures that are common. Hail knocked some paint off the metal roof and rather than repaint it, we want to install some plastic webbing from the nursery and train a vine to cover the walls and roof. We'd like a native plant that thrives in full sun (one side of the barn gets southern exposure, the opposite side is in the shade but gets a little late afternoon sun. The roof, of course, gets full sun. We're thinking maybe crossvine is a good choice. Your opinion? Thanks!

ANSWER:

We think Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) is an excellent choice for your purposes. It can grow up to 50 ft. long, blooms red, yellow March to May, has low water needs, and will thrive in sun or part shade, so both sides of your barn will be fine. It probably will flower best in the sun, but the plant will still  grow well on the other side. The flowers attracts hummingbirds and butterflies and it is easy to propagate.

A far worse choice would be  Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper), a cousin to crossvine. It is extremely aggressive, especially in the South, and can damage wood, stone and brick. Plus, it is deciduous, so don't let anyone talk you into that as being "just as good."

Follow the plant link Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) to our Native Plant Database page on the plant for care and propagation instructions.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Bignonia capreolata

Bignonia capreolata

Bignonia capreolata

Bignonia capreolata

 

 

 

 

More Vines Questions

Growing kudzu in Las Vegas NV
April 18, 2013 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about a known invasive species that I know you advise against, but I feel my situation may be different enough that it's worth asking about. Yes, I'm talk...
view the full question and answer

Trumpet Vine Dropping Buds
July 25, 2013 - My trumpet vine is dropping its buds before flowering. This happened last year as well. Do you know what is causing this and what I can do to prevent it?
view the full question and answer

Which Aristolochia species are toxic to pipevine swallowtail larvae
May 27, 2009 - In a May 30, 2008 question regarding the toxicity of certain Aristolochia species to pipevine swallowtail larvae, I had heard the same from at a talk from the curator of the Cockrell Butterfly Center ...
view the full question and answer

Should grape vines be covered in winter from San Antonio
February 07, 2011 - Do I need to cover grape vines in winter?
view the full question and answer

Trumpet vines on wall in Longmont CO
May 18, 2010 - I purchased three trumpet vines to plant on the NW wall of my house back in 2002. Although the leaves are a beautiful healthy dark green, none of them have ever bloomed despite regular fertilizing pe...
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