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

Friday - June 08, 2012

From: Beaverton, OR
Region: Northwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Planting, Vines
Title: Vine Choices Scarce in Beaverton Oregon
Answered by: Leslie Uppinghouse

QUESTION:

Hi, I am looking for a hearty vine that we could use to cling to and cover a cement wall that is about 8 feet tall and 30 feet long. It is on the south side of our house but never gets direct sunlight throughout the day. We live in Beaverton, OR. Zone 8a. I like the looks of a traditional vine leaf..on the larger side. Thank you!

ANSWER:

 Oregon has a wide variety of native plants to choose from that are commercially available. The exception to that rule would be when it comes to vines. If you do a search in the recommended species section of the web site. You can click on the state of Oregon and then narrow your search by choosing vine, in the general appearance box. You will see that this brings up only three species to choose from, Clematis columbiana (Rock clematis)Clematis ligusticifolia (Western white clematis), and Lonicera ciliosa (Orange honeysuckle)

Any one of these would work for your wall. All of them will need something to cling to, as your wall would not have enough texture for them to grab on to, and climb. The simplest way to do this would be to screw in eye hooks at the top of the wall and run a coarse landscapers twine down the wall. 

Neither of these vines will harm the surface of the wall. The Clematis are typically stickier to work with than the honeysuckle. The Orange honeysuckle is the showiest, in terms of bloom. 

We wish we had more variety for you to choose from and it is funny that Oregon doesn't have more native vines. For even the vines that are not commercially available are few. Maybe your state is so chock full of stuff growing on the ground and in the trees that there just isn't enough room for vines. Oregonians battle the dreaded English ivy all the time which is a non native, aggressive invasive. We can't recommend this plant, as it has escaped formal gardens and has become a real nuisance in the wooded forests and wild spaces of Oregon and many other states as well. Even if you did try and grow ivy on the wall it would likely spread all over your yard and your neighbors, so be a good state steward and stick with your natives.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Rock clematis
Clematis columbiana

Western white clematis
Clematis ligusticifolia

Orange honeysuckle
Lonicera ciliosa

More Non-Natives Questions

Deer resistant plants from New Braunfels TX
August 31, 2012 - I have a 1/2 yard covered by a tree, shady. Bermuda grass previous owner planted has all turned brown this summer. I don't have lots of money to work with but would love to landscape that side of fr...
view the full question and answer

Planting non-native peach seed from Archdale NC
September 13, 2010 - Planting and watering peach seeds. Can you give advice for my 12 year old who has recently planted some peach seeds in our yard in Archdale NC? Is the fall okay for planting? Watering instructions? I...
view the full question and answer

Non-native chocolate mimosa in Levittown NY
August 09, 2010 - I purchased about 2 ft chocolate mimosa tree in early June of this year from a local nursery located in Nassau County, New York. It was doing in our Long Island soil just fine for over a month, I woul...
view the full question and answer

Moving potted plants from California to Georgetown TX
February 10, 2012 - Hi, I am moving from Gilroy CA to Georgetown TX, I have many potted plants I would love to take with me but I am not sure what would survive in my new location. These plants have been cared for so ma...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on non-native Betula pendula
July 03, 2008 - I live in Puyallup, Washington. I purchased and planted a weeping birch on June 21, 2008. For the first few days all seemed well and the tree seemed to be settling in to its new home. Less than e...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center