En Español

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - September 02, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Vines
Title: Vine recommendations for Central Texas homes
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I have hardy plank siding and am looking for a Central Texas native vine that will grow over it. I am trying to keep it from growing under the planks.

ANSWER:

Wikipedia has a good article on vines and they discuss how vines attach themselves to whatever they climb.  We can use this as a basis of choosing between different possible vines,   Ones that climb by wrapping around protrusions or by twinned petioles [leaf stems] are likely OK while those that send roots into the wall or burrow under ‘bark” are not such a good choice.

We have eleven vines to choose from that are native to Central Texas.  You can review the set by going to the Central Texas recommended species  and narrowing the choices by choosing “vine” as the habit.    You can then look for clues in the plant record.  For instance, Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper) climbs by means of aerial rootlets, which, like English Ivy, can damage wood, stone, and brick.   Even though it can be quite attractive, I suspect this should not be on your list.

To me, these three look the gentlest to your wall:
Clematis pitcheri (Purple clematis) – climbs to about 10 ft by twining petioles
Clematis texensis (Scarlet clematis) - similar
Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) – 3-20 feet by twining

If you can tolerate tendrils, then these also become possible choices
Ibervillea lindheimeri (Lindheimer's globeberry) – climbs to 6-10 feet by tendrils
Passiflora tenuiloba (Bird wing passionflower)
Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower)  to 25 feet
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) – to 40 feet

 

From the Image Gallery


Purple leatherflower
Clematis pitcheri

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Scarlet clematis
Clematis texensis

Balsam gourd
Ibervillea lindheimeri



Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

More Plant Lists Questions

Lilies with with wide lush foliage in Georgia
July 01, 2012 - I love lilies of all kinds, but I particularly like lilies with wide lush foliage. An example would be Agapanthus foliage. What other lilies present that same attribute?
view the full question and answer

Landscaping plans in Kyle TX
February 12, 2012 - I am starting from scratch in a backyard (approx. 52'x25')in Central Texas (Kyle). The backyard is on the north side of the single story house. I would like to have plants and trees that attract and...
view the full question and answer

Would like a "try instead of" list for non-native plants in Austin, TX.
June 19, 2012 - It would be so helpful if, when asked about a non-native plant, you would do a "try instead of" list. I have about 45 plants to reseach from my landscaping firm, and it's wearing me out to try to...
view the full question and answer

Native vegetation of Burbank, CA
April 04, 2012 - What is the native vegetation of Burbank, CA?
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for Emory Texas
September 18, 2013 - I live in Emory Texas want to plant native plants in my yard. I am new to Texas and need help.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center