En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - August 23, 2010

From: Fullerton, CA
Region: California
Topic: Vines
Title: Need a vine to cover a 8' cinder block wall in Fullerton, CA.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hi- I have a 8' cinder block wall that gets full sun, and need to find either a flowering shrub that would cover, or a vine that wouldn't be to hard to manage, or would not need to use a trellis. Would like to cover as much of this wall as possible. Temp. in summer as high as 90 and winters low 40's. A flowering plant would be desirable. What would you recommend?

ANSWER:

As a part of my energy conservation program (my own energy that is), Mr. Smarty Plants likes to like to peruse our file of previously answered questions for gems of wisdom to help in answering current questions. I found two that I would like to share. The first is a thorough discussion of vines and their growth habits that should prove helpful in your project. The second is an answer to a question very similar to yours that is from Albuquerque; I think the answer will surprise you.

For plants siutable for Fullerton, lets go to the Native Plant  Data Base. Scroll down to the Combination Search box and make the following selections: choose California for State, Vine under Habit, Perennial under Duration, Sun under light requirement, and Dry under Soil Moisture. Click on the Submit Combinatom Search button and you get a rather short list of possibilitites. Clicking on the name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page which contains information about the plant's characteristics, growth requirements, as well as pictures. Here are five possibilities for vines. 

Clematis lasiantha (pipestem clematis)

Clematis ligusticifolia (western white clematis)

Lonicera hispidula (pink honeysuckle)      (more info)

Vitis girdiana (desert wild grape)            (more info)

Calystegia macrostegia (island false bindweed)

We can go back to the Combination Search, and this time select Shrub under Habit,  leaving the other selections the same. Click the Submit Combination button, and you'll that there are more choices. Here are four plants that may be of interest. Check out their NPIN page to see if thteir growth characteristics maatch your space.

Ceanothus leucodermis (chaparral whitethorn)      (more info)

Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon)

Mahonia nevinii (Nevin's barberry)       (more info)

Rhus integrifolia (lemonade sumac)      (more info)

The next step would be to consult our National Suppliers Directory which can help you locate businesses that sell native plants in your area.


Clematis lasiantha

Clematis ligusticifolia

Clematis lasiantha

Ceanothus leucodermis

Heteromeles arbutifolia

 

 

 

More Vines Questions

How Will Termite Fumigation Affect a Figvine
September 26, 2010 - Will a termite fumigation kill a 19 year old figvine that is growing on a stucco house?
view the full question and answer

Edible forest garden for northern Minnesota
March 07, 2014 - I am planning an edible forest garden for northern Minnesota. Can you suggest a list of plants that are native to this area. We are in zone 3a or 3b. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant vine for Austin, Texas
May 17, 2014 - What kind of drought-tolerant vine can I plant outside my screened in porch in Austin, Texas, that will stay on a trellis and not grow into the screen?
view the full question and answer

Plants under Oak Trees in Austin TX
December 10, 2012 - Half of my small yard is in the shade of one big live oak and one kumquat. Nothing I plant grows in this shade. The other half of my yard gets sunlight. It is planted with Jasmine grass which grows w...
view the full question and answer

Identity of night-glowing object in tree in New Hampshire
August 02, 2013 - I know this sounds crazy but last night when my husband stepped outside he noticed a purplish glow in one of the trees. At first he thought some kind of animal but when throwing a rock at it it did no...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center