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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.

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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.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Friday - June 08, 2012

From: Tarrytown, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Privacy Screening, Vines
Title: Need a vine to cover a chainlink fence in the shade in Tarrytown, NY.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Any advice for a vine to cover a chain link fence in shade

ANSWER:

For starters, lets go to our Native Plant Database  and use the Combination Search option. Select New York under State, vine under General Appearance, and perennial under Lifespan. Check Shade  under Light Requirement, moist under Soil Moisture, and Deciduous under Leaf Retention. Click the Narrow your Search button and you get 8 species that meet these criteria.  You will probably want to eliminate Toxicodendron radicans (Eastern poison ivy), so that leaves you with seven. Clicking on the Scientific Name of each species will bring up information about its characteristics, growth requirements, and in most cases, photos. As you go through the list, select the best match between the plant and your growth conditions.
Two other sources that you can contact for help are the Native Plant Society of New Jersey, and the Westchester County Office of Cornell University Cooperative Extension. 

 

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