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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - May 28, 2012

From: houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Vines
Title: Need an evergreen flowering vine to cover a fence in Houston, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Looking for an evergreen flowering vine to cover my fence. caveat? one part of the fence is within 5 feet from the air conditioning unit which blows a lot of hot air, the area takes a day or two to dry after a bad rain (though we haven't had many these last few years), and its in partial shade. i am drawn to coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) but i am unsure if it would survive under these conditions..

ANSWER:

Coral Honeysuckle Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) could be a good choice. From its NPIN page you can see that it can grow in sun to partial shade, has low to medium water use, and is heat tolerant. The plants that are closest to the air conditioner may require suplemental watering to make up for the drying effect of the hot air.

For other choices, lets go to the Native Plant Database and use the combination search. Select Texas under State, vine under General Appearance, and perennial under Lifespan. Check Part shade under Light Requirement, moist under Soil Moisture, and Evergreen under Leaf Retention. Click the Narrow your Search button and you get three more choices.

Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine) vigorous climber

Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine)  flowers, leaves and roots are poisonous

Smilax smallii (Lanceleaf greenbrier)   see these two links for more informatiom (#1);  (#2)


 

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