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

Identification of vine in Ohio
March 26, 2010 - We were in our school's back yard and we found a vine that has green leaves and has a purple stem and we were just trying to figure out what is was? Can you help us out with that!
view the full question and answer

Evergreen vine for trellis in Fredricksburg, Texas
March 27, 2011 - Hello, and thank you so much for this service. I am looking for a non-deciduous vine to plant on the east side of my house. I have already put in a trellis, now I need to know what to plant on it. ...
view the full question and answer

Purchase source of Coral honeysuckle from New Boston TX
April 21, 2012 - I have been unable to find a supplier in the listings on your website for Lonicera Sempervirens. Many of them had a variety of different plants listed under this name but none were the 20' species. ...
view the full question and answer

Distinguishing non-native Wisteria from Austin
June 25, 2012 - How do I distinguish a native wisteria from a non-native wisteria?
view the full question and answer

Should a mustang grape be left near live oak in Austin?
July 17, 2009 - I recently removed a huge mass of jasmine from a clump of live oaks. Inside I found a very large (12' long) exposed root of a mustang grape. I'd like to trim it back to the original clump and reta...
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