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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


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?


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




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