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?


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

Wednesday - February 22, 2012

From: Sun City, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Vines for Poolsides
Answered by: Becky Ruppel


We would like some color along the pool, but do not want anything with flowers because of the pool. Are there any non-flowering vines that will grow in full sun in Arizona? We have 2 trelis' that we would like to cover. The vines would be in direct, full sunlight >6 hrs/day. Please advise. Thank you


Finding a vine that will fit your requirements is quite a challenge, especially with full Arizona sun!  Unfortunately, most plants flower at some point in their lives.  However, some plants produce more or larger flowers than others, so the next best solution is probably to plant something that has small, sparsely produced flowers.  A good match for your preferences is the Vitis arizonica (Arizona Grape).  This vine will grow in full sun, is very hardy, and is native to Arizona, so should tolerate its harsh summers very well.  When it does produce flowers (young grape vines usually don’t produce any flowers in the first couple years) they are small and will probably not make a mess of your pool.  As the vine gets older it will start to produce flowers that will turn into purple fruit, so that is something to consider.  Though, birds and other wildlife are likely to consume the fruit before it makes a huge mess.

Here are a couple more options that should tolerate full sun and should be relatively clean plants:

Macroptilium sp. (Purple bushbean) is another option that would do well full sun and has small flowers. 

Passiflora foetida (Corona de cristo) could also work well for you.  It is a very hardy vine, which is happy in full sun, and the flowers are large, but normally only sparsely cover the vine.    

To find any of these plants its best to contact any local native plant nurseries and inquire if they have the species.  The Desert Botanical Gardens spring plant sale is also coming up in March and the Passion Flower, Arizona Grape, and Purple Bushbean are listed as plants they will be selling. 


More Vines Questions

Duplicate request for information from Austin
August 30, 2012 - I am considering planting cross vine on a wrought iron fence. Will it cause any damage to the wrought iron or stucco posts?
view the full question and answer

Purple leatherflower with white bloom
July 17, 2014 - A couple of years ago at the wildflower center native plant sale I bought a purple leatherflower according to the tag. This is the first year it has bloomed and the blooms are pure white. The shape ma...
view the full question and answer

Identity of vining plants in yard in Texas
May 08, 2015 - I have vining plants in my back-yard, here when I bought the house, that, from what I have been able to find on-line, look like poison sumac, however, I know they are not. Leaf shape, color, and appe...
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native Cabernet Sauvignon vines in Central Texas
July 01, 2013 - Hi. I recently moved into a remodeled home in Taylor, TX, and have experimented with Cabernet Savignon vines before. I have a 1/2 acre and a chain-link fence I want to put vines on. (I have a book o...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen vine for screen
March 20, 2013 - We have pretty much "dead" red-tipped photinia bushes and old pine trees that have seen better days, on a steep hillside. We need to remove and replace with a more natural setting, with some terraci...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center