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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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Wednesday - July 11, 2012

From: Grand Beach, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Xeriscapes, Vines
Title: climbing vine for growth in sand
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I live in Grand Beach, MI. My house sits on a sand dune. I want to plant a flowering vine that will grow up a fence. The area has plenty of sand and I have a trickle watering system. Can you please make some recommendations? Thank you

ANSWER:

Three native species come to mind.  Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper) is a rapidly growing vine that has showy tubular red flowers.  It blooms all summer and is a hummingbird favorite.  One potential problem is that it extends lateral roots and sends up shoots where you may not want them.  A second and less invasive choice is Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle).  This vine also has clusters of tubular coral-red flowers.  A third choice is Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet).  American bittersweet has non-showy flowers followed by colorful clusters of berries.

Coral honeysuckle is semi-evergreen, but the other two species are deciduous.

I do not find a source of these vines in your vicinity.  You may have to mail order them  from this or another nursery.

 

From the Image Gallery


Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

American bittersweet
Celastrus scandens

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